From hillfort to hillfort by bike – an expedition into the past

on demand

CYCLING

UNSPOILED NATURE

LOCAL CUISINE

On the two-day cycling trip, we will move the time machine for almost two thousand years into the past and set out to explore the homes built by the inhabitants of the area at the time. Vulnerable and inextricably linked to nature, they sought security above all else, so in the hilly karst landscape they looked for hills, from where they could observe what was happening around them. From the intrusion of unwanted or hostile visitors they further protected themselves by erecting walls from the material available to them in the immediate vicinity – mainly opaque quantities of stones – and fortified settlements were formed. These are called hillforts in the Karst, and further south, in Istria and Dalmatia they call them “kaštelirji”.

We will visit ten locations of hillforts in the Karst, from Tomaj in the south to Štanjel in the north and from Trstelj in the west to the Raša valley on the eastern edge of the Karst. Among them, we will look for paths and trails that were chosen on foot or by riding animals by the domestic inhabitants at the time. As a rule, these are as direct as possible and with milder slopes than later paved roads, and they were separated from the fields and groves by the same stone walls that protected their dwellings. Binding material was not available, so they trained in the art of stacking stone “dry”. Over the centuries, these dry-walled companions of the people from Kras have acquired a noble patina of time and connected with the vegetation of the surroundings into a stunningly beautiful whole.

However, to round out our experience we will not stop at dwellings and trails. At the meadows and gardens of the Karst still grow plants and spices that were there centuries ago. The natives knew them in detail, and to round off the feelings of this exciting expedition we will use them to prepare our culinary experiences, too.

Duration:2 days
Total distance: 74 Km
Avg. distance:37 Km
Total height:1479 m
Bicycle type:trekking, gravel or MTB, e-support recommended
Countries:Slovenia
Begin/End:Pliskovica
Price (guided / self-guided):from 85 €

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:

  • hillforts Tabor (Tomaj), Vahta (Kazlje), Gledanica (Štanjel), Gradišče (Kobdilj), Gradina (Kosovelje), Debela Griža (Volčji grad), Brith (Zagrajec), Sv. Ambrož (Trstelj), Lipovnik (Škrbina) and Martinišče (Sveto) and the old religious shrine Gulaka (Temnica).

Price of guided tour includes:

  • 2 days of cycling
  • 2x breakfast
  • 2x daily snacks
  • 1x dinner
  • guiding and organizing the trip

Overall Tour Level:

Day
Distance / Gain
Terrain
Surface
Day Level
138 kmasphalt/gravel
236 kmasphalt/gravel

DAY 1:

From Tomaj to Štanjel

Highligths:

  • hillforts Tabor (Tomaj), Vahta (Kazlje), Gledanica (Štanjel), Gradišče (Kobdilj) and Gradina (Kosovelje), karst villages: Pliskovica, Kreplje, Godnje, Tomaj, Utovlje, Grahoovo brdo, Kazlje, Nova vas, Kobdilj, Štanjel , Hruševica, Kosovelje

After a morning snack enriched with wild flavors of spring, we will leave Pliskovica along the asphalt road, but soon turn off onto a beautiful gravel road that will take us through the picturesque villages of Kreplje and Godnje and the most beautiful vineyards around Dutovlje to Tomaj. Next to the local church of Sv. Peter and Pavel was the first of the hillforts, named Tabor. We will continue past Utovlje and Grahovo Brdo to Kazlje, above which another hillfort Vahta will be waiting for us. From Kazlje we will descend to the hidden valley of the river Raša, where the limestone structures meet the flysch from the slopes of the so-called “Karst Switzerland” and watercourses are also preserved on the surface. The ascent to Štanjel follows, where we will also refresh ourselves with a delicious hot meal. After, we can also see the Štanjel hillfort Gledanica and the nearby hillfort Kobdilj. They are connected by Fabiani’s path, named after Max Fabiani, an architect who was a native of Kobdilj. We return to Pliskovica past the last hillfort of Gradina near the village of Kosovelje, partly along the Pliska path.

Distance:38 km
Gain:749 m
Terrain: 
Surface:asphalt / gravel
Day Level:
Meals:breakfast, lunchtime snacks, dinner
Accommodation:

DAY 2:

Between Debela griža and Martinišče

Highligths:

  • hillforts Debela Griža (Volčji Grad), Brith (Zagrajec), Lipovnik (Škrbina) and Martinišče (Sveto) and the ancient religious shrine of Gulaka near Temnica; karst villages Kregolišče, Volčji Grad, Gorjansko, Zagrajec, Temnica, Lipa, Škrbina, Sveto, Komen

On the second day, we will leave Pliskovica along cart tracks and return to the picturesque, dry-walled asphalt road in the village of Kregolišče. In the neighboring Volčji Grad, the first hillfort will be waiting for us – the imposing Debela griža. We take some more time for it and leave it along the way, where we find two more typical karst sights – a quarry (java) and a dry-wall stone shepherd’s house. We continue along a single track through the grove to the asphalt road and the village of Zagrajec, above which is the hillfort Brith. To the neighboring Temnica, the path will lead us along a forest road to the next ancient religious landmark – the Gulaka shrine. Above it, on the slope of the hills, which stretches from Cerje to Štanjel and onwards to Razdrto, there are two more hillforts – Sv. Ambrož and Lipovnik, but we will visit only the second one. We will finish discovering the hillforts in the picturesque village of Sveto pri Komnu, where the Martinišče hillfort is, and then we will only return to the starting point in Pliskovica.

Distance:36 km
Gain:730 m
Terrain: 
Surface:asphalt / gravel
Day Level:
Meals:breakfast, lunchtime snacks
Accommodation:

DO NOT FORGET BEFORE YOU GO ON A JOURNEY:


Upon registration:

  • pay the mandatory 30% of advance payment at the time of booking
  • check the contents of the confirmation email
  • meet any requirements from the confirmation email

At least one month before the trip:

  • arrange insurance (Coris or similar)
  • carefully read the travel confirmation email, as it may contain very important information
  • pay the last installment

* The trip takes place in sites with limited accommodation capacity, so in some cases we can be accommodated in three or four persons bedrooms. Participants wishing to have a single room will be catered for where practicable and their single room supplement will be reduced accordingly with a lower standard of accommodation.


Legend of symbols

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

on demand


PRICE 

(at least 6 people)

Deadline for applicationsa::

at least a week before the planned date of travel

Are you a larger closed group or a group of friends?

Call or email us for an individual quote for a custom travel option.

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