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Mountainbiking recommended route

Alpine Pastures of Mt. Begunjščica

Mountainbiking · Upper Carniola · open
Responsible for this content
Turizem Radovljica Verified partner 
  • The paved road in the forest
    / The paved road in the forest
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-SA, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The church in the village Mošnje
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Horses in Spodnji otok
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-ND, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Country road towards Zgornji otok
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-SA, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Alongside the hedge of the mansion Drnča
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-ND, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Cyclists
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-ND, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The village road
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-SA, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The ancient stone wall
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-SA, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Kamen Castle, Begunje na Gorenjskem
    Photo: Jošt Gantar, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The view on the debris cone made by the river Begunjščica
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Draga valley
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-SA, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The bridge crossing the river Begunjščica
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The road leading from Planinca to Draga valley
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Pogled na Begunjščico s Sv. Petra
    Photo: Kaja Beton, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The gravel road leading to Planinca
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Planina Planinca
    Photo: Kaja Beton, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The gravel road ascending up the shaded forest to Poljška Planina
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Poljška Planina
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Preval Kališče
    Photo: Kaja Beton, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Cycling on the log skidding track to Smokuški vrh
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-ND, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Smokuški vrh
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / From Smokuški vrh to Saint Peter church
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The view from St. Peter hill
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-ND, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Svetu Peter spomladi
    Photo: Kaja Beton, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The descending gravel road from St. Peter hill to village Begunje
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-ND, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Tourist information center in Begunje na Gorenjskem
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Begunje na Gorenjskem
    Photo: Jošt Gantar, CC BY-SA, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The view from the road beside Elan on Begunjščica and St. Peter
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / Entering in to the village Nova vas pri Lescah
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY-ND, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The forest trail in the village Vrbnje
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
  • / The wooden bridge
    Photo: Tjaša Kocijančič, CC BY, Turizem Radovljica
m 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 30 25 20 15 10 5 km
A mountain bike climb for experienced cyclists who enjoy overcoming ascents and riding through the forest. Two excellent descents and at least three fabulous views await you.
open
difficult
Distance 32.4 km
4:35 h
930 m
930 m
As a warm up on this mountain bike ascent, the route leads through the Radovljica forest nature learning trail to Mošnje and past Vila Podvin (Chef Uroš Štefelin) towards Begunje na Gorenjskem. Then the route leads through the beautiful Draga valley and onwards on the forest road beneath Mt. Begunjščica. The road is steep in places, which makes your arrival on the idyllic Planina Planinca mountain pasture even more satisfying. You can take a break for refreshments here, or a few hundred metres later at Poljška planina mountain pasture. Next comes an adrenaline-fuelled decent from the pasture through the forest, followed by a short ascent (from here you can reach the Smokuški vrh viewpoint on foot). You descent towards the St. Peter's church past Sankaška koča mountain hut. Note that both these forest descents are on paths that are also used by hikers, therefore caution is advised. Enjoy the views of the Radovljica countryside from St. Peter's church and descent down to Begunje.

Author’s recommendation

The ruins of the mighty Kamen castle behind Begunje are a perfect spot for a short rest before the big climb up to the mountain pastures. 
Profile picture of Sašo Gašperin
Author
Sašo Gašperin
Updated: July 14, 2021
Difficulty
S1 difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
1,198 m
Lowest point
466 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Part of the descend from Poljška planina alpine pasture to St. Peter's church (especially the section from the end of the forest road) represents a very popular hiking route. Please keep in mind, this is a multifunctional trail also used for hiking and forestry.

Tips and hints

  • The friendly Draga Inn, located at the far end of Draga valley, is a perfect stop for the morning coffee. They serve excellent breakfasts too!

  •  The mountain hut on Poljška planina is located at the highest elevation of the tour. No better place to sit in the shade at have a refreshing drink.

  •  From the alpine pastures of Begunjščiča, some wonderful views of the Karavanke range can be admired. However,  for the best view of Lake Bled, Mt. Triglav and the Julian Alps stop at the popular Sankaška koča mountain hut near the church of St. Peter.

  •  St. Peter's church above Begunje is not only known for panoramic views of Radovljica, Begunje and the surroundings... it's also a fascinating cultural monument. Ask the friendly sacristans Milka and Milan (residing in the nearby farm) to unlock the doors of the church and show you the original 16th century frescoes in the interior.

  •  Cycling through the park of Katzenstein Mansion in Begunje, you shouldn't miss the two wonderful pavilions designed by Jože Plečnik, the most renowned Slovenian architect. Even though they are not in best conditions at the moment, the sight is wort of a short stop for it's unique ambiance.

Start

Tourist information centre Radovljica (491 m)
Coordinates:
DD
46.341232, 14.174552
DMS
46°20'28.4"N 14°10'28.4"E
UTM
33T 436477 5132292
w3w 
///stammers.misfit.empowers

Destination

Tourist information centre Radovljica

Turn-by-turn directions

Standing outside the Tourist information centre in Radovljica, follow the narrow street leading south-east onto the colorfull Linhart square in the old town centre of Radovljica. In between two historic buildings  -the Lectar Inn and Vidic mansion (recognised by it's famous round tower on the edge of the building) - a street branches off to the left and leads you to the former town walls of Radovljica (delightful view of the Karavanke mountains and Mt. Begunjščica). Turn left again, and follow the parapet towards the enclosed compound of historic park. A very steep paved road branches off to the right-hand side and descends to a group of old farmhouses. Keep right and remain on the descending road, which soon climbs up again. Meeting a wider road, turn right and cycle on the principle village street along the farms on your left-hand side. Ignore the road descending on your right-hand side and stay on the principal road bending to the left. Passing by a small grocery shop, the road brings you to a junction. Continue straight ahead and cycle towards the electric power station in the outskirts of the town. Ignore all left and right turns, as the road brings you to close proximity of the motorway. Reaching the edge of a natural terrace, follow the paved road leading south-east alongside a motorway fencE. Soon you will notice  a motorway service station on your left-hand side. Pass it by, and follow a quiet road which soon turns into a dusty field road. Follow the road into the forest (a nice view point on Sava River valley on your right!) , which gradually starts descending towards a small river. (It's called Begunjščica, the stream that you will later follow almost right to it's source).  Remain on the road, which soon passes by a small shooting range. The road surface turns into asphalt again, as you cycle alongside the motorway towards south-east.

Reaching the motorway underpass (bike rest station across the street), turn left and cycle north towards village Mošnje. Cycling through the village ignore the first road leading to the right-hand side, however take the second one. It leads you to a quiet mountain street, which leads you to a charming miniature village square with ancient church, Museum and a linden tree. You rejoin with the main village road next to the primary school building and continue cycling north towards an abandoned mansion (Hotel Podvin) outside the village. In it's former annex a Michelin star awarded restaurant Vila Podvin has found it's domicile. 

Passing by the famous restaurant, you will reach a traffic lights signalised intersection with the principal road. Cycle straight trough and follow the paved road leading north across the fields. After about 300 meters turn right into the village Spodnji Otok (a horse ranch on your right-hand side). Reaching the centre of this small hamlet, it's well worth to climb up the stairs to the picturesque church of St. John the Baptist. From the village centre, head west on a narrow running lane alongside a large (slightly dilapidated) farm. North of the village (next to the electricity transformer) you reach the principal road again. Turn right and follow the principal road leading to village Zgornji Otok. Take a minute or two to admire the wonderful architecture of historic buildings, than cycle to the northern end of the village. Next to a wooden crucifix, turn right onto a quiet paved road (motorised traffic permitted to residents only) leading north across the fields. The wide open fields provide a wonderful panorama of the Karavanke range and some of the goals of this tour (St. Peter's mountain church, alpine pastures on Mt. Begunjščica...). Cycle straight through Dvorska vas,  keeping right in the fork in the upper part of the village. Reaching it, continue straight ahead (direction: north/north-west) and pedal on a quiet paved road passing-by a group of newly built family houses. As you reach the wide open fields, you will spot a modern hotel (Lambergh) and a renaissance mansion (Drnča castle) on your right hand side. Reaching the first intersection, turn right and approach this wonderfully restored historical gem. Having reached the front yard of the mansion and hotel, turn left and cycle alongside the hedge (a nice park with an oval water pool can be seen through the gaps). Very soon, you will rejoin with the original road in an intersection next to a wooden crucifix. Turn right and follow the scenic field lane leading you north across the fields. Reaching the next intersection (marked by a beautifully painted catholic shrine/column) continue straight ahead on a gently ascending country lane (delightful views of Mt. Triglav and the Julian Alps stretching on your left hand side). Pass-by a recently built residential area (private homes and two apartment buildings) and follow a quiet village road leading across the meadows to the north-east. The lane first follows a tiny brook on your left-hand side, than an ancient stone wall on your right-hand side. In the intersection by the 18th century  plaque column (made of locally sourced green stone), continue straight ahead towards the valley and a castle ruin at the end of the village.

When the village lane reaches the principal road, turn left and cycle alongside the saw mill towards the road intersection at the far end of the village. Turn left (signpost: Grad Kamen, Draga) and pedal into the Draga valley alongside the Begunjščica stream. It' well worth to turn left in the next junction to visit the mighty ruins of Kamen castle. However, if you wish to save time and energy for the big climb, continue ascending up the paved road all the way to the upper end of the valley.  After the bridge by the Draga Inn (always a great place to stop!), the road surface turns from asphalt to gravel. Follow the gravel road leading north-east alongside the lively Begunjščica stream. The road soon makes a sharp left turn and scales up gradually towards the second bridge. After reaching the third bridge, the forest road presents it's steepest section. Though gravel is loose at certain parts, the road is solid enough to enable cycling. When reaching the U-turn of the road, the long straight steady climb eventually eases a bit (a hiking trail branching off on the left hand side). Continue cycling on the road, and ignore another forest road, branching off to the right-hand side some 200 meters further. Same goes for the (flat!) road branching off to the left few minutes ahead. Stay on the ascending road, being cut by hikers short-cuts on the bends. While the hiking trail eventually heads straight-up into the forest, to road makes a forest long bend to the right-hand side. Both hiking trail, and the road, meet at the bottom of a scenic mountain pastures towered by a traditional alpine hut (Planina Planica). Cycle up the road to upper end of the pasture where you will meet a narrow gravel road leading east. Ignore it, and stay on the wider road leading past the shepherds hut into the forest. Within minutes you will reach the second grazing area, the former Poljška planina alpine pasture with a large alpine hut with adjoined stables (drinks and snacks available). You have reached the highest point of this cycling tour (1195 mt.)! While most of the hikers will turn right (to ascend the popular Roblek mountain hut), your trail leads you left (south-west) following a road leading on top of a levelled mountain ridge (occasional parked cars). 

Upon passing the Poljška planina alpine pasture hut keep right on the forest path. Climb the short ascend and then enjoy the beggining of the upcoming descend. Lower your seatposts, if you have it with you, put on your protection equipment (knee pads, elbow pads, ...). Please know that this part of the descend can be a bit muddy, especially after long periods of rain - so keep in mind that the descend could be a bit trickier if conditions as mentioned. The first part of the descent is a wider forest path with a great forest surface that gets a bit narrower and rockier in the second part. Please keep in mind that hikers can come up in the direction you are descending and adjust the speed to your mountain bike knowledge and current conditions. In case you reach an obstacle you are unconfortable riding over, walk along you bike to tackle it. The bottom part of the descent is the most challenging as the path gets narrower, steeper and rockier, so please keep the above recomendations in mind when riding the trail. At the bottom part of the first part of the descent from Poljška planina alpine pasture towards the second part of the descent from under the Smokuški vrh peak to St. Peter's mountain church, you will reach a forest road that you have to climb to reach the descend again. Take the climb to the end of the forest road and just before reaching the end of it turn sharp right and immediatly after a couple of meters sharp left (streight on if you want to visit the Smokuški vrh viewpoint) to a forest path that will take you down towards St. Peter's mountain church. The first part of the descend is a bit steeper and rockier that the second part of it. So make sure to adapt the pace of the descend according to your capabilities. Again, keep in mind that you can meet hikers on this path. In the middle of the descent you need to steer right to reach the breathtaking views of the valley bellow from the ridge between the Smokuški vrh mountain and the St. Peter's mountain church. Make sure not to follow it all the way, but turn sharp left to another forest path that will take you to the forest road that you will use for the in and out access to the viewpoint of St. Peter's mountain church and on the way back to your descent down into the valley floor.

Having taken-in the breathtaking views by St. Peter's mountain church (art history enthusiast should ask the sacristan to unlock the doors of the Chappel  ), retrace the cycling route back to the forest in the north-west. Cross the barrier, than turn right on the gradually ascending forest gravel road. As you meet the approach road to Sankaška hut on your left-hand side, the flattish road turns right to north-east. The road starts gradually ascending, (ignore the road branching off to the left), before descending to a small valley. At this point, you are re-joined with the original track, and the long descend down to Begunje begins. Beware, that the forest road is very popular with hikers too! After a few bends, the steepness looses it's edge and you are joined with another forest road descending down from the left-hand side. Turn right and keep descending. Soon after passing by a water reservoir, you will find a road ascending to the right-hand side. Stay on the descending road, or use a (short- but sweet) shortcut on your left-hand side. Both bring you to a bridge next to another water reservoir (drinking water fountain!). From here, the asphalt road descends steeply down to the village.

After about 400 meters you will encounter a large gravel parking area on your right-hand side. Cross it diagonally to meet the children's playground and a small bar (go slowly!). At the end of the playground, you will notice a barely visible single track leading left alongside a cattle fence. Follow the narrow cart track leading southwards alongside the Blatnica brook. Reaching a long historic building (gate across the road), continue straight ahead to a gravel parking area. Reaching the avenue of chestnut trees continue straight ahead, following the tiny stream. By the roof-covered bridge the track first takes you right, than twice to the left. At the end of the fenced-in orchard, you will reach a paved village road (fire brigade station to your left-hand side). Turn left and cycle towards the tourist infomation centre in the village Begunje (public drinking water fountain).

Standing outside the tourist information office, turn right in the junction and pedal on the principal road exiting the village towards south-west. Pass the cemetery (on your left-hand side), grocery shop (on your right-hand side) and Elan ski factory. Reaching the end of the factory compound, ignore the road branching off to the left. Continue straight ahead across the wide open fields to reach an intersection in the middle of the field (WWII memorial plaque). Cycle straight through to a field gravel road leading south/south-west pass the catholic shrine (column). Pedal "full speed ahead" for nearly 1 km, ignoring all field tracks branching off to the left.  When the road suddenly dends to the left (wooden crucifix), turn left at a 90 degrees angle , and follow a cart track leading straight ahead. Passing by occasional hay-racks and orchards, you will enter the village Nova vas next to a large historic farmhouse. Carefully join with the principal road, and turn left. Cycle up the village through the bend, than turn immaterially to the right into a quiet village road. In the fork by the hedge, turn right (signpost: Ski servis) and follow a tiny road alongside a hedge fence (newly built houses to the right hand side). Suddenly the road ends in a private yard, while a narrow cart track continues straight ahead in the same direction. Follow the track leading straight ahead into the forest (direction south). A pleasant quiet forest trails leads you alongside a (sometimes dry) riverbed to a narrow wooden footbridge.

Cross the bridge and follow the leading further in the same direction to an large farm. Reaching a T junction in the middle of the village (wooden crucifix), turn right and pedal on the principal village street in Vrbnje. Soon you will reach a Y fork (another wooden crucifix), where you keep left. A narrow village road leads you between the residential houses on the left, and wide open fields and meadows on the right-hand side. In the junction with a wider road, turn right (direction: west) and pedal towards the large Dolenc farm (fresh dairy product shop!) and further alongside the motorway. Reaching the main road and motorway underpass, turn left and cycle towards the traffic lights. Continue straight ahead, pass the SPAR supermarket and downhill alongside the main road into Radovljica.

Before reaching the main bus station, a tiny cart track branches off to the left in-between parking area and fruits&vegetables market (signposts: Juliana, Pusti grad). Make left turn, carefully cross the road and descend down towards a health food store/pharmacy. From here, the cart track leading beneath the high stone built walls leads you towards the old town centre of Radovljica. A very special treat awaits you at the end: turn right by the yellow house (signpost: Juliana) and cycle into (what seems to be) a tunel. It's actually a former town moat, one of few of such kind. Reaching the other end, turn sharply to the right and climb up to a tiny square in-front of tourist information centre in Radovljica. 

 

 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

By train: arriving from the direction of either Ljubljana or Jesenice, exit the train at Radovljica train station, than cycle (push a bike)  straight up the steep narrow street (Kolodvorska ulica) leading you directly to the square (roundabout) in front of the Tourist information centre in Radovljica.

 

By bus:  frequent buses connect Radovljica to Bled, Kranjska Gora, Jesenice and Ljubljana. On most Arriva operated bus lines you can load the mountain bike on the bus free of charge,providing there is enough space in the luggage  compartment.

From the bus station in Radovljica, cross the main road at the road crossing  by the market, than cycle through the park stretching in-front of the Grajski dvor hotel. Turn right at the end of the gravel lane, and you will find yourself on the square (roundabout) in front of the Tourist information centre in Radovljica.

Getting there

 

Arriving from Bled:

Use the motorway A2 and take the exit 4 (OMV petrol station). Follow the signs for Radovljica, when reaching the first junction. Turn left and drive towards the town until reaching the junction with traffic lights, than turn left again. Follow the principal road (Kranjska cesta), than Gorenjska cesta for the old town centre.

 

Arriving from Ljubljana:

Use the motorway A2 and take the exit 4 (OMV petrol station). Reaching the local road, turn right for Radovljica and cross the motorway overpass. Drive towards Radovljica until reaching the junction with traffic lights, than turn left again. Follow the principal road (Kranjska cesta), than Gorenjska cesta for the old town centre.

Parking

Most parking spaces in Radovljica are time limited. For mountain biking tours we therefore advise you, to find parking area without time limitation. The nearest such parking area to the old town is in Kajuhova street. After having passed-by the bank (on your left), and the court and high school (on your right-hand side) turn right and follow the street leading pass the school to the edge of a natural terrace above the railway line. Parking spaces can be found on the left hand side of the road. If this parking area is busy, try the parking spaces near the Health centre (Swimming pool) in Kopališka ulica street.

Coordinates

DD
46.341232, 14.174552
DMS
46°20'28.4"N 14°10'28.4"E
UTM
33T 436477 5132292
w3w 
///stammers.misfit.empowers
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

  •  a technicaly flawless full suspension bike

  •  backpack

  •  helmet, gloves, sunglasses

  •  rain jacket, extra shirt

  •  food and drinks from backpack

  •  spare inner tube, pump, multitool, basic personal first aid kit

  •  personal document (ID card), health insurance card


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Status
open
Difficulty
S1 difficult
Distance
32.4 km
Duration
4:35 h
Ascent
930 m
Descent
930 m
Public-transport-friendly Scenic Summit route Loop Refreshment stops available

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