The Heart of Slovenia is Coloured Black

on demand

CYCLING

UNSPOILED NATURE

LOCAL CUISINE

Zasavje is located in the center of Slovenia, so for the area we often use the term “Heart of Slovenia”. However, due to the not-so-distant past, when mines were still dominant there, we still call them  “Districts – mining districts”.

Undoubtedly, the coal labeled these places unforgettably. Less than 200 years ago, Zasavje was inaccessible and remote, still, as the Sava Valley was extremely narrow, and the Sava river dangerous and unfriendly with many rapids. There were no other routes; water was the only trade vein. A decisive change made the decision to build a railway in the middle of the 19th century. Despite the much higher cost of construction, the route of railway was planned right here. The reason: coal deposits, used as fuel of the trains at the time. The construction of the railway and the expansion of coal exploitation triggered an unprecedented development and industrialization in Slovenia began right here. Years of development followed, but also of hard work, strikes and sweat of miners, the expansion of laborers from abroad and the exploitation of miners by foreign owners.

With the decline of coal use, interest in “black gold” also waned. The mines began to close in the 1990s, leaving only the “glitter” of the high social standard of suffering miners, abandoned tunnels and the rich social culture of their lives. The stains of industrialization overgrow nowadays-lush greenery and a high ecological awareness is raising from coal ruins. However, the “black heart” keeps many shining gems in its bosom that are worth exploring.

Lenght:8 days
Total distance:369 km
Avg. distance:46 km
Total height:11.176 m
Bicycle type:trekking or gravel with e-support
Countries:Slovenia
Begin/End:Hrastnik train station
Price (guided / self-guided):1.220 € / 855 €

Highlights:

  • mining tradition (Zagorje Mining Museum in Kisovec, Sitarjevec mine in Litija, Virtual Museum of Mining 4. dritl in Trbovlje, Trbovlje Chimney – the tallest chimney in Europe and the seventh tallest in the world, virtual experience of ascent to Trbovlje chimney, mining dwarf Perkmandelc, …),
  • the tradition of charcoal burning and the largest charcoal pile in the world
  • Valvazor Castle Bogenšperk near Litija
  • chapel with the Valvasor family tomb at Medija
  • the archeological site of the urn “situla” from the Halstadt period in Vače
  • geographical Center of Slovenia GEOSS
  • memorial House of the Constituent Congress of the Communist Party of Slovenia

Guided tour includes:

  • 8 days
  • 7 nights’ accommodation
  • breakfasts, lunchtime snacks, dinners
  • transport of luggage between accommodation
  • accompanying support vehicle
  • entrance fees to attractions during the programe

The trip will be conducted in English.

Overall Tour Level:

DayDistance / GainTerrainSurfaceDay Level
167 km / 1935 masphalt / gravel
262,5 km / 1541 masphalt / gravel
325,7 km / 848 masphalt / gravel
433,5 km / 939 masphalt / gravel
521,8 km / 535 masphalt / gravel
658,5 km / 2411 masphalt / gravel
746,7 km / 1762 masphalt / gravel
843,3 km / 935 masphalt / gravel

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.

DAY 1:

To the Charcoal Land

Highlights:

  • “Cicka” – hand-held cable car across the Sava river, the town of Radeče, the charcoal homestead Brinovec with a charcoal production learning center, charcoal snacks, a giant charcoal pine at the Medved homestead

We will start the journey by cycling along a pleasant, non-traffic and mostly flat asphalt road along the Sava River, which will take us to the town of Radeče. In the meantime, we will stop to see the hand-held cable car “Cicka”, the brainchild of a private innovator who, despite the ageing, still successfully serves its purpose – to transport people and cyclists across the Sava River. We will stop in Radeče for a short visit and a coffe. Follows cycling by the river Sopota. We will slowly ascend towards the charcoal homestead Brinovec, where we will taste a real charcoal snack and get to know the process of charcoal production. Just a few hundred meters away is the charcoal homestead Medved, where they make every year a giant charcoal pile, a candidate for entry in the Giunes Book of World Records. And places where t We will visit the impressive pile, too, and find out how much care from its “builders” requires that charcoal is formed in its guts at the end of the burning. Along the surrounding hills and through exemplary charcoal forests, we will descend back to the Sava River in Dole pri Litiji, where our hosts at the tourist farm will be waiting for us with a delicious dinner of meat and vegetables from their own production in a special pan called “črepnja”.

Distance:67 km
Gain:1.935 m 
Terrain: 
Surface:asphalt / gravel
Day Level:
Meals:lunchtime snacks, dinner
Accommodation:tourist farm, Liitija


DAY 2:

Touch of Dolenjska

Highlights:

  • Bogenšperk Castle, along the route of the hiking trail based on the motifs of the writer Ivan Levstik “From Liitija to Čatež”, Razbore Fruit Dryer, Cistercian Monastery Stična – the oldest Slovenian monastery, collection of Sava pebble

From the “heart«, almost all Slovenian regions are close; though this day we will “touch” Dolenjska. We will cycle first to the charming castle Bogenšperk, where the famous Slovenian polyhistor Janez Vajkard Valvazor created his works. The castle houses an extensive collection of objects he used and other testimonies of his making. After visiting the interior of the castle, we will visit also the beautifully landscaped garden, where nothing but local and authentic flowers take place. When get back to bicycles, we will have to catch the southern route of the The Levstik Trail and follow it all the way to Čatež. Afterwards, our circular path will lead us past (for Dolenjska region very typical) vineyard cottages to the oldest Slovenian monastery – the Cistercian abbey in Stična. It is still alive and actively involved in the events. We will see the interior of the building only to the extent that does not interfere with the work and life of the monks, but we will certainly visit the monastery’s richly stocked shop with herbal pharmacy and teahouse of father Simon Ašič. Upon returning to our accommodation, we will visit the nearby collection of Sava pebbles.

Distance:63 km
Gain:1.541 m
Terrain: 
Surface:asphalt / gravel
Day Level:
Mealsi:breakfast, lunchtime snacks, dinner
Accommodation:tourist farm, Litija


DAY 3:

To the Glittering Limonites of the Sitarjevec Mine

Highlights:

  • Sitarjevec mine in Litija, a pilgrimage center and an ancient settlement on Zasavska Sveta gora

On the third day of our trip, we will leave our bikes to rest all morning and move underground – to the former Sitarjevec mine. It is transformed to the modern underground museum, which offers visitors an insight into the diversity of geological and natural heritage, the world of bats, spiders and fungi, and the richness of mining tradition. In addition, today the abandoned mine is one of the richest deposits of various minerals in Europe and the world, among which the outstanding limonite stalactite structures stand out – the only growing limonite stalactites in Central Europe. If we are at least a little lucky, we will also come across a mischievous dwarf in the mineshafts… After the visit, we will refresh ourselves with some snacks and go to the hills on the left bank of the Sava river, to Zasavska Sveta gora. Today, there is a famous pilgrimage church dedicated to the Mother of God, though the summit, from where the view extends throughout Slovenia, use to be in prehistoric times a fort of natives. Archaeological research testifies to the early Slavic settlement. From the top of the hill, we will only have a descent into the valley to a pleasant home inn in Vidrga.

Distance:26 km
Gain:848 m
Terrain: 
Surface:asphalt / gravel
Day Level:
Meals:breakfast, lunchtime snacks, dinner
Accommodation:boarding house, Vidrga


DAY 4:

To the Geological center of Slovenia and Along the River Medija

Highlights:

  • Site of an ancient urn “situla” from the Hallstatt period in Vače, Geological Center of Slovenia GEOSS, chapel with the Valvazor family tomb on Medija, Izlake (Medijske toplice, unfortunately closed), Kisovec (Zagorje Mining Museum, birthplace of cyclist Primož Roglič), Zagorje ob Savi (Roman clip “fibula” as a water fountain, painting colony Izlake-Zagorje – the oldest painting colony in Slovenia)

From the friendly Vidrgar inn, we will bite in the morning into the slopes again, this time not particularly steep. We will cycle only to the nearby village of Vače, where was by the end of the 19th century excavated a valuable urna “situla”, a container for storing and serving drinks. The original houses today a museum in the capital, but an enlarged copy stands on the site. Just a few kilometers away is the next important point of Slovenia – its geological center GEOSS. The representatives of the Kolenc Theater will receive us and in an original way present the peculiarities of the location. We will round off our visit on a pleasant tourist farm with a delicious snack, and then continue the journey to the valley of the river Medija, where we will meet again with the estate of the Valvazor family. Near Izlake is their castle, which is unfortunately in ruins today, only the chapel with the family tomb, has been preserved and restored. Our famous polyhistor J. V. Valvasor suppose to be burried here, too. We will continue to Kisovec, a former mining colony, of which only an interesting Mining Museum has survived after the mine closed in the middle of the last century. Of course, we will not miss the opportunity to get to know its interior. We will finish the trip in our accommodation in Zagorje ob Savi.

Distance:34 km
Gain:939 m
Terrain: 
Surface:asphalt / gravel
Day Level:
Meals:breakfast, lunchtime snacks, dinner
Accommodation:boarding house Zagorje ob Savi


DAY 5:

Day for Trbovlje

Highlights:

  • Trbovlje Chimney – the tallest chimney in Europe and the seventh tallest in the world (virtual experience of climbing it), Trbovlje (Prometheus – 8 meters high statue of a miner from scrap iron, Virtual Museum of Mining 4th dritl, ethnological route to Trbovlje mining colonies, Workers’ Home Trbovlje, a monument to the Battle of Orjuna

This day will be entirely dedicated to sightsee the rowns of Zagorje ob Savi and Trbovlje. At the morning, we will start with a walk around Zagorje ob Savi in the company of a tourist guide, who is also the charismatic “frontman” of the tamous local rock group Orlek with music called “kanp’n’rock”. In the continuation, we will cycle to the impressive Trbovlje chimney, 360 meters high giant by the Sava River. In order to be able to imagine the experience of climbing to the top without fear, we will help ourselves with a virtual experience. We will continue the experience of virtual reality in the town of Trbovlje, where the Virtual Museum of Mining 4th dritl stand in the premises of the Workers’ Home Trbovlje. We will continue by a journey of the Trbovlje mining colony and, at the end of the day, we will climb to the giant, 8-meter high statue of scrap iron, named Prometheus. For visiting the statue, we will save a late hour when it gets dark already, so we can enjoy the beauty of the laser beam falling from the lamp on his head to the (former) entrance to the mine.

Distance:22 km
Gain:535 m
Terrain: 
Surface:asphalt / gravel
Day Level:
Meals:breakfast, lunchtime snacks, dinner
Accommodation:boarding house Zagorje ob Savi


DAY 6:

On the Top of Kum

Highlights:

  • ascent to “Triglav of Zasavje” Kum

We will not give up the pleasure of climbing Kum, the highest mountain in Zasavje. It offers magnificent views throughout Slovenia and Croatia. Kum is a “must visit” point of Zasavje, with happenings running all year round. A charming legend about the shepherd Jošt and the shepherdess Neža is also woven around its history. We will get with a quite steep ascent before the lunch, followed by a descent along the lookout ridge to Radeče and a return to the starting point by an already known road along the Sava to Hrastnik, Trbovlje and Zagorje.

Distance:59 km
Gain:2.411 m
Terrain: 
Surface:asphalt / gravel
Day Level:
Meals:breakfast, lunchtime snacks, dinner
Accommodation:boarding house, Zagorje ob Savi


DAY 7:

To Čebine and Sveta planina

Highlights:

  • Memorial house of the founding congress of the Communist Party of Slovenia, views from Sveta planina, sleeping in the mountain lodge on “Savinjski Triglav” at 1122 m above sea level

In the morning, we will raise up the hill again to climb to another “sacred” mountain on the Zasavje hills. Only a few kilometers before it is a very important location for Slovenian history – a house in Čebine, where the Communist Party of Slovenia is estanlished. We will visit the memorial spaces in it, and continue the journey to the top of Sveta planina, where from the magnificent views open up – this time to the Savinja Valley and Alps behind. We will not be able to resist the desire to descend to the nearest popular excursion point – the Vrbje pond. By the pond, the locals from the Žalec area have created pleasant places to spend their free days. Dinner will be waiting for us at the mountain lodge on Mrzlica, the summit, called also “Knapovski” (miners) and Savinjska valley Triglav. We will spend the night on the fresh mountain air.

Distance:47 km
Gain:1.762 m
Terrain: 
Surface:asphalt / gravel
Day Level:
Meals:breakfast, lunchtime snacks, dinner
Accommodation:boarding house, Mrzlica


DAY 8:

To the Embankments of the Savinja and Past Hrastnik Towards Home

Highlights:

  • Production of ceramics in Liboje, Laško (Laško Spas, Church of St. Martin, municipal building – Lilijski manor, Black bridge), Hrastnik

From miners Triglav we will descend along its eastern, bare slope, from which beautiful views open up. We will first stop in Liboje, where we will visit the local plant for the production of ceramics, whose history dates back to 1828. From there we will descend a little lower, to the Savinja River, where a pleasant bike path will take us to the town of Laško. We will meet here another Slovenian province Styria. Laško boasts a rich historical heritage, but above all a spa with thermal water and a large beer factory, which conquers the world with its green colour and protector Capricorn. In the local pub along the Savinja River, we will refresh ourselves and taste beer – from factory as well as from private production of small breweries. The dinner will follow a short walk around the city, and then we get back on bicycles to the next spa town, Rimske toplice. Follows the ascent over the pass in Turje and descent back to Hrastnik. After a short tour, we only go to the Hrastnik railway station, where we say goodbye.

Distance:53 km
Gain:1.205 m
Terrain: 
Surface:asphalt / gravel
Day Level:
Meals:breakfast, lunchtime snacks

DO NOT FORGET BEFORE YOU LEAVE TO TRAVEL:


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

Potovanje poteka po krajih z omejenimi zmogljivostmi namestitev, zato bomo v posameznih primerih nastanjeni tudi v tri ali štiri posteljnih sobah. Udeležencem, ki bodo želeli enoposteljno sobo, bomo ustregli, kadar bo to izvedljivo ter jim dodatek za enoposteljno sobo zmanjšali ustrezno z nižjim standardom namestitev

PRICE IN DETAILS

Guided travel is suitable for those who want their trip to be as carefree and relaxing as possible: we take care of your accommodation, arrange for you in advance cyclists tailored, indigenous and healthy meals, book tours (even in attractions that are open only on request or occasionally), we transport your luggage and come to the rescue in case of technical problems with the bike or other equipment.

An experienced cycling guide take care of you not to lose your way and helps you communicate with the locals. Above all, the advantage of traveling within a guided group is to meet new, similar cycling enthusiasts and make contacts for possible later gatherings.


The price of a guided trip  "The Heart of Slovenia is Coloured Black" is:  1.220 €;


The price INCLUDES;

  • 8 days of cycling
  • 5 nights in 3/4 star boardin houses or accommodation of same quality
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 8 lunchtime snacks
  • 7 dinners
  • A professional and experienced tourist and cycling guide throughout the trip
    Entrance fees for tours in Litija, Stična, Šmartno, Spodnja Slivna, Zagorje ob Savi, Trbovlje in Liboje
  • a virtual experience of ascent to the Trbovlje chimney and to the mining tunnels
  • presentation of coal production
  • transport of luggage between accommodation
  • accompanying support vehicle
  • a comprehensive guide to the path in digital form

The price of the trip is valid for 1 person in a double room and for a pre-determined departure date in period of season from June to September. . If you would like to travel at another time, contact us for a customized offer.


Surcharges:

  • surcharge for single room 210 €
  • rental of bicycles or other equipment (on request)


NOT INCLUDED in the price

  • accident insurance and travel cancellation insurance
  • personal safety and cycling equipment
  • drinks with meals included in the package
  • anything else that is not stated to be included

We recommend self-guided tours for travelers who know how to navigate a route based on a map or GPS track and already have experience with self-guided travel. If the above description does not apply to you, a guided tour is likely to be more enjoyable and relaxing. 

The prices of self-guided tours depend on the number of travelers traveling together in the same period and destinations. The price below is based on the calculation of prices for two people sleeping in double room in high season (June – September). In case of other wishes, contact us for a customized offer.


The price of a self-guided trip  "The Heart of Slovenia is Coloured Black" is:  855 €;


The price INCLUDES

  • 8 days of cycling
  • 6 nights in 3/4 star boarding houses or accommodation of same quality
  • 7 breakfasts
  • transport of luggage between accommodation
  • a navigation package containing GPS tracks, maps and a guide with a description of the route and attractions


Surcharges:

  • surcharge for single room 210 €
  • rental of bicycles or other equipment (on request)


NOT INCLUDED in the price:

  • accident insurance and travel cancellation insurance
  • personal safety and cycling equipment
  • drinks with meals included in the package
  • anything else that is not stated to be included

Do you want a trip tailored to your capabilities and desires?

Would you like to choose another starting point or the end of the route; are you worried that your fitness routine is not sufficient?

Send us an inquiry to our e-mail address or via the website and we will do our best to meet your wishes and expectations. 


    Would you join us on the trip?

    Sign up now or send us a message. We will be happy to meet all your wishes and expectations.


    Legend of symbols

    Mostly flat terrain, only shorter lower hills are possible
     Slightly hilly terrain, ascents and descents are shorter and technically and fitness-wise undemanding
    Hilly terrain, ascents and descents can 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 occasional cyclists – mostly undemanding cycling, but some days can also contain longer easy ascents or descents or shorter more demanding ascents or descents. The lengths of the daily sections are on average between 25 and 55 kilometers per day.
    MEDIUM DEMANDING: 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.
    DEMANDING: Suitable for very active and well-prepared cyclists who want more demanding cycling challenges. 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 DIFFICULT: 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 both in height gain and surfaces.

    DATE

    on demand


    PRICE (guided / self-guided):

    Deadline for applicationsa::

    at least one month before the planned trip

    Would you rather travel alone or in the company of friends?

    Call or write to us for an individual offer for the custom travel option and self-guided tours for individuals or closed groups.

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