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Mountainbiking recommended route

Trans Karavanke MTB Trail

Mountainbiking · Slovenia
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Slovenia Outdoor Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Panorama Karawanks
    / Panorama Karawanks
    Photo: Peter Lenarcic, Slovenia Outdoor
m 1500 1000 500 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 km
difficult
Distance 145.3 km
25:52 h
4,996 m
5,180 m

Karavanke have preserved their original wild environment, and its fine views and stunning gorges are simply enchanting. It is no surprise that the Karavanke range is a veritable magnet for mountain bikers. The extensive network of ideal trails offers limitless combinations of tours between the mountains, on them, around them and in many places actually through them, the mountain and forest trails and cart tracks seem custom-made for mountain biking.

MTB cycling trail Trans Karavanke goes from Jezersko to Tromeja. Most of it leads on forest roads on sun-facing slopes of Karawanks mountain range, it only climbs to the ridge and to the border with Austria on its most western point- on Peč/Tromeja. On its 145 km, cut in five stages, it visits Slovenia Mountain Museum in Mojstrana and some popular mountain stops like Valvasor hut under Stol, Hut on Zelenica, Hut on Kofce, but the biggest reward will be magnificent views and enjoying in unspoiled nature.

Author’s recommendation

The trail is suitible for well prepared MTB riders, daily stages of 25-40 km, the biggest height distance you will overcome in one day is 1650 h.m.
Profile picture of Peter Lenarcic
Author
Peter Lenarcic 
Updated: June 11, 2021
Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
1,565 m
Lowest point
512 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Karavanke ridge is less visited than neighbouring Julian Alps, which also means smaller density of mountain huts, which you have to consider whan planning water/food/shelter.

Tips and hints

Make reservations for mountain huts in advance (in season). Possible to arrange transfer back to the starting point, and luggage to certain points/huts.

Start

Jezersko (1,071 m)
Coordinates:
DD
46.516939, 13.751421
DMS
46°31'01.0"N 13°45'05.1"E
UTM
33T 404224 5152242
w3w 
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Destination

Tromeja

Turn-by-turn directions

STAGE 1: Zg. Jezersko – Sp. Jezersko – Komatevra – Brsna lesa – Medvodje – Planina Šija – Dom na Kofcah

Start:TIC Jezersko, Zgornje Jezersko 57, 4206 Zgornje Jezersko (height 860 m)

End: Dom na Kofcah, (height 1.488 m)

 

The starting point of the Trans Karavanke MTB Trail is in Zgornje Jezersko. At the Tourist Information Center (TIC Jezersko) we will find the first checkpoint with a stamp, then head along the main road towards the Kokra Valley. At the end of the village, we turn left onto a side road, following which we continue our journey towards Spodnje Jezersko. Our shortcut will cross the main road (carefully!) and rejoin it for a short time, but already at the first houses in Spodnje Jezero, turn right across the bridge towards Pečovnik and Komatevra. An ascent of about 7.4 km begins and with a height difference of 750 meters. In the lower part we follow the ascent along the river Kokra, the asphalt behind the settlement of Bajte soon turns into a gravel forest road. We will pass by the old quarry, higher we can see the partisan hospital Krtina along the way. At the last right turn, under the remains of the Pečovnik barracks, turn onto the path that leads left up towards Brsna wood. (If you came to the end of the road and to the ruins of the former border barracks of Pečovnik, you went about 300 m too far. Go back to the last sharper bend.) This is followed by a shorter, more difficult section (about 500 m) where some steeper sections may need to be walked by the bike. At Brsna lesa, the climb is completed – when we reach the saddle on the Tržič side, we descend to the gravel road, turn left and follow the road and signposts down towards Medvodje. At the sharp right bend, we follow the main road to the right, at the junction with the road to Brsnina planina left, above Bukov Hill at the intersection of four roads again to the right and at the next intersection below Bukov Hill straight down. When we reach the valley of Tržiška Bistrica, we turn left towards Medvodje, which leads to a good kilometer of easy descent. Below the houses and in front of the main intersection in Medvodje, there is a sharp right turn leading to Stegovnik Waterfall – although the waterfall lies 1 km away from our path, it is worth climbing up to it and seeing it. At the crossroad in Medvodje, in case of bad weather or lack of time, we have the option of descending the road through the Dovžan Gorge to Tržič. Otherwise, we turn right and start another ascent at this stage – it is 13.5 km long, and together we will climb another 850 altitude meters along the slopes of Košuta to the finish line on Kofce. The second part of the trail also mostly leads along beautifully maintained forest roads. We first ascend the by stream of Košutnik. At the intersection at the smaller building, we turn left towards Šija. After a shorter, slower part, a steep ascent and then a pleasant, sometimes flat, part of the road through the woods to the junction for Pungrat and Šija. Turn right here, and at the following crossroads follow the signs for Šija or Pungrat. After a kilometer and a half, we will reach the picturesque Pungrat Mountain, where in the summer we can enjoy home-made dairy delicacies. We have already climbed above the forest border, so we can enjoy the beautiful views. As we continue towards Šija on the road, we soon reach the highest point of the day (1,555 m), a stop with good refreshment can also be enjoyed at the Šija Camp House. The last part of the route follows the trail that leads from the Šija mountain past the Ilovica mountain towards the goal of the stage – Dom na Kofcah. On the short but steep road to the mountain hut we can check if we have any energy left after a long day.

 

STAGE 2: Dom na Kofcah – Jelendol – Dovžan gorge – Tržič – Podljubelj – Ljubelj – Mountain Hut Dom na Zelenici

Start: Hut Dom na Kofcah, (višina 1.488 m)

Finish: Mountain hut Dom na Zelenici, (višina 1.534 m)

 

From the home at Kofce we descend towards Tržič by road across the pasture (we do not ride on grass!) Through the fence towards Ravne. We drive carefully, as we often meet hikers in this area, the road is steep and full of bigger rocks. At Ravne this part of the descent ends. From the many roads and paths, choose the far left and continue along the pleasant macadam road, then turn left again after 200 m. Continue straight past the junction for Kal, the busy road will begin to descend again after two kilometers towards Jelendol. At the intersection of two roads, turn right and continue downhill, another 4 kilometers to Jelendol. Above the village the macadam turns into asphalt, but the road in the gorge remains steep and narrow. In Jelendol we reach the valley of Tržiška Bistrica, we recommend a short stop at the crossroads below the Born mansion, where on the information boards we can read how advanced this valley was at the turn of the 19th and 20th centurie. Continue right towards the village of Dolina, where the last part of the descent to Tržič begins. The road s wider, but also more busy. It is obligatory to stop at the Dovžan Gorge, a 300 million-year-old natural monument where fossil remains can be found at every turn and learn about the geological past. Only a few minutes further down the road is Tržič. We can refresh ourselves in the city, see the Kurnik House along the way, learn about the local history at the museum and take pictures in front ofthe famous dragon, which illustrates the story of the origin of the place. At the main bus station, turn right towards Podljubelj. We slowly start climbing through the city center - the whole ascent to the Zelenica will be a good 12 kilometers, but we will rise more than 1,000 meters. Follow the signposts for Podljubelj - When you come from the city center, follow the road right up, and as the road, on 2. kilometer, goes down to the Mosenik River and crosses it, we go left and up to the overpass over the main road and then immediately right again. Follow this road through Podljubelj. If we did not refresh ourselves in Tržič, there are some good local inns along the way. At the end of the village, there is a junction where you can choose a variant of the route over the mountain Preval and Begunje towards Valavasor's home (left across the main road), while the basic variant of the Karavanke cycle route continues on the right side of the main road, past the abandoned hotel. Here the asphalt turns into a bad gravel road which we follow for one kilometer down the valley. Before turning left, turn onto the main Ljubelj road. Next two kilometers we drive very carefully along the side of the road, as the road is very busy! As we climb, we will see a large monument next to the road on the right, and on the left the remains of the Ljubelj camp, a branch of the notorious Mauthausen concentration camp. Prisoners of war here built the present tunnel Ljubelj under impossible conditions. Before the tunnel, turn left onto the parking lot and after 200 m cross the bridge. Here, a steep macadam road branches off to the right, after which we will make the last part of the ascent to Zelenica. Due to the poor ground and slope, we will probably have to push the bike quite a few sections. The road climbs through the forest to the valley, where the ski slope used to be, but today turing skiing reigns here. Under the mighty scree and walls of Begunjščica we reach the middle station of the former cable car, where the road turns sharply to the right and then climbs to the top on the right side of the valley. Under the saddle with the upper station of the cable car, we already sense that the destination is nearby - and indeed, right below the saddle, on the other side, awaits the Mountain Lodge in Zelenica.

 

STAGE 3: Mountain hut Dom na Zelenici – Mountain hut  Koča pri izviru Završnice – Smokuška planina – Mountain hut Tinčkova koča – Završniško jezero – Zabreška planina – Žirovniška planina – Mountain hut Valvasorjev Dom

Start: Mountain hut  Dom na Zelenici, (višina 1.534 m)

Finish: Mountain hut Valvasorjev Dom (višina 1.181 m)

 

STAGE 4: Mountain hut Valvasorjev dom – Potoška planina – Olipova planina – Javorniški rovt – Mountain hut Dom Pristava – Križovec – Planina pod Golico – Plavški Rovt – Dovje – Mojstrana

Start: Mountain hut Valvasorjev dom (višina 1.181)

Finish: Slovenian alpine museum Mojstrana (višina 643 m)

 

STAGE 5:  Mojstrana – Gozd Martuljek – Kranjska Gora – Rateče – Peč (Tromeja) – Korensko sedlo (pass)

Start: lovenian alpine museum Mojstrana (višina 643 m)

Finish: Pass Korensko sedlo (višina 1.070 m)

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Jezersko and Rateče (bellow Tromeja) are accesibe with local bus connections. Jesenice or Kranj can be reached by train as well.

Getting there

Follow the highway from Ljubljana to Kranj, turn off , and head towards Jezersko (follow signs). To reach Rateče (start for Tromeja), continue on the highway to Jesenice, turn of towards Kranjska Gora, and continue towards Italy, till you reach Rateče.

Parking

Free and payable parking available at Jezersko and Rateče.

Coordinates

DD
46.516939, 13.751421
DMS
46°31'01.0"N 13°45'05.1"E
UTM
33T 404224 5152242
w3w 
///clapboard.thinking.spanner
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Some info about Karawanks here: http://www.karavanke.eu/en

Author’s map recommendations

Tourist map Karavanke/Karawanks

Equipment

Helmet, head torch, water/food and all weather gear

Questions and answers

Question from Peter Praprotnig  · June 26, 2021 · Community
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Question from Rudolf Lurger · October 09, 2020 · Community
Hallo! Is it possible to make this trail by eMTB? Is it possibly to charge the bike battery in the mountain huts? Thank you, Rudi
show more
Answered by Peter Lenarcic  · November 06, 2020 · Slovenia Outdoor
Hallo Rudi. Yes it is possible to ride with eMTB and most huts (if not all) have electricity, so it shouldn't be a problem. We suggest you make a reservation in advance, and ask them directly for the 100% Best regards, Peter

Rating

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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
145.3 km
Duration
25:52 h
Ascent
4,996 m
Descent
5,180 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Geological highlights Botanical highlights Singletrail/Free ride

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