By bike to prehistoric hillforts, paths and villages of the north-eastern Karst

June 4, 2022

CYCLING
UNSPOILED NATURE
LOCAL CUISINE

The green approach to travel requires the use of green, sustainable means of transport to the starting point of the route, too, so we used railway connections as the “backbone” of the trip. For some, they are even free, for others comfortable, reliable and affordable, and for all environmentally friendly, especially at a moment when we are facing greatly increased energy prices. For the arrival we will use a comfortable composition of the shopping train, which departs from Ljubljana early in the morning, and for the return we will serve us with the connections of the Bohinj Railway across the Karst. Of course, they are all cyclist-friendly, equipped with bicycle stands and free of annoying high stairs for lifting bicycles…

We will choose the route along the trails that have been used by the inhabitants of the Karst for centuries. Many of them are still the same as they used to be – surrounded by dry stone fences, to which every winter adds some patina in the form of moss and lichens, and every new spring lush greenery, which embraces them in green shady “tunnels”. In the eastern part of the Karst we will visit five hillforts and a good number of villages between or below them. The red thread will always be stone, once stacked in dry stone fences or shepherds’ houses, secondly scattered in extensive piles of stone, as shaped by the teeth of time, and thirdly installed and artistically carved on houses and fences of karst homesteads.

Of course, we will take advantage of all the opportunities to get to know the autochthonous, local, seasonal and, above all, extremely tasty Karst cuisine, which is still colorfully complemented by the flavors of spring.
Duration:1 day
Total distance: 39 km
Avg. distance:
Total height:749 m
Bicycle type:trekking, gravel or MTB, e-support recommended
Countries:Slovenia
Begin/End:Temnica or on demand
Price (guided / self-guided):45 €

The trips are planned very carefully, but we cannot predict unforeseen events or road works, so minor deviations or adjustments of routes are also possible.

Highlights:

  • hillfort and forest educational trail Tabor over Sežana, village Tomaj with a visit to the prosciutto factory and tasting of prosciutto, the fort Tabor, villages Utovlje, Grahovo Brdo and Kazlje, hillfort Vahta, torrent Raša valley with villages Mahniči and Nova vas and the path through the mills Kranjšek, Kobdilj (Gradišče hillfort), Štanjel with Gledanica (Turn) hillfort, Hruševica, Kosovelje with Gradina hillfort and shepherd’s hut, Kopriva

Price includes:

  • morning welcome
  • prosciutto tasting
  • lunch
  • farewell dessert
  • travel management and organization

Tour description:

From the starting point of the route at the Sežana Railway Station to the first hillfort, we will not even warm up well, since the Tabor hill is just above the town. There used to be a hillfort on it, of which only a part of the wall in the form of a pile of stones remains today. Today, the hill above the town, with its many indigenous tree species, has a second life as a forest educational trail.

We will continue cycling along forest paths to the heart of the wine-growing Karst in Tomaj. There, too, was a hillfort on a hill. In its medieval part it is also called Tabor, and in prehistoric part it is „Gradišče“ – a hillfort. The last of the six towers of the medieval wall was demolished in the last century only, so that today the central part of Tabor is the Church of St. Peter and Paul. Tomaj has several sights, including the birth house of slowenian poet Srečko Kosovel, but we will be attracted by the prosciutto producing facility in below the hillfort, where from we will not leave on an empty stomach …

We will continue our trip through a pleasant shady forest towards the villages of Utovlje and Grahovo brdo all the way to Kazlje, where the extreme eastern edge of the limestone karst terrain is. There from is also access to the valley of the Raša torrent, a watercourse fed from flysch banks of the so called Karst’s Switzerland. The entrance was guarded by the Vahta hillfort, which means something like a “guard”. Its prehistoric walls are almost completely preserved, of course in the form of a pile. There are quite a few legends about Vahta, including the one about the Golden Calf

We will continue our journey with a pleasant descent into an almost completely flat valley, which is a popular promenade even in winter. At the end of the valley, the Kranjšek stream flows into it, where there used to be quite a few mills. Of course, we will not give up visiting this attractive gorge. Afterwards, we will slowly climb through the whole valley to the village of Kobdilj and find ourselves on the scenic paths again.

The first one connected Kobdilj with the pearl of the Karst, Štanjel, and it is named after Maks Fabiani, a famous Slovenian architect who was born in Kobdilj and was mayor of Štanjel, too. The hill above Štanjel used to be a hillfort Gledanica, alive from prehistory through Roman times until the Middle Ages, when a tower castle stood there. The remains of its ruins are still there and have given the hill one of the names Turn. Prehistoric experience will be rounded off in Štanjel with prehistoric minestrone and delicious pastries in the castle inn.

From Štanejl we will continue through the grassy groves to the village of Hruševica and further to Kosovelje, near which there is the last hillfort. Today it is hidden deep in the woods and its walls are overgrown with thick moss. In front of the fort, we will see another attraction – a house made with the technique of drywall construction, which for centuries served as a shelter from the rain and heat for shepherds or farmers. From there on, we will have only few kilometers more to the village of Kopriva, from where a local train will take us to the starting point in Sežana.

Overall Tour Level:

Mostly flat terrain, only shorter lower hills are possible.
Slightly hilly terrain, ascents and descents are shorter and technically and undemanding for those who are not fit enough.
Hilly terrain, ascents and descents can also be longer and steeper-
Hilly terrain, ascents and descents can be very long and technically demanding.
Mountainous terrain, very demanding ascents and descents on single tracks, tows or otherwise demanding trails that require a high level of fitness and technical skills.
 EASY: Relaxed cycling, suitable for beginners and families who want cycling experiences. There is a lot of time and opportunities on the way to stop and relax, and the terrain is undemanding in terms of altitude – mostly flat or with gentle slopes. The road surfaces are also undemanding – asphalt or well-paved and smooth gravel. As a rule, the lengths of daily sections do not exceed 35 kilometers.
MEDIUM EASY: Suitable for cyclists with an active lifestyle who cycle regularly. The cycling sections are longer and more demanding in terms of fitness. Medium-demanding terrain can also contain longer and steeper ascents and descents. The lengths of daily sections of mostly road-cycling tours are on average between 45 and 75 kilometers, and touring-cycling tours more than 30 kilometers.
MEDIUM DEMANDING: Suitable for occasional cyclists – mostly undemanding cycling, but some days can also contain longer easy ascents or descents or shorter ascents that are more demanding or descents. The lengths of the daily sections are on average between 25 and 55 kilometers per day.
DEMANDING: Suitable for very active and well-prepared cyclists who want cycling challenges that are more demanding. Medium to very demanding terrains can also contain longer and steeper ascents and descents. The lengths of daily road and cycling sections are on average between 65 and 85 kilometers, while touring cycling sections are correspondingly shorter, but at least more than 40 km.
VERY DEMANDING: The most demanding cycling challenges. Suitable for excellent cyclists with high fitness level for longer cycling tours. These can be either typical road-cycling tours with daily sections longer than 85 kilometers or cycling tours on demanding terrains where the daily sections are shorter, but in any case longer than 50 kilometers and demanding in both height gain and surfaces.

DATE

June 4, 2022


PRICE 

(at least 6 people)

Deadline for applicationsa::

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

More info:

Mobile: + 386 (0)40 26 44 33
E-mail:  info@gogreenway.eu