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Sava River Bike Route – 3 Countries with the Bicycle

A new adventure connects Carinthia, Italy and Slovenia

Enjoy Lake Jasna ́s cool refreshing water, Zelenci Nature Reserve ́s photogenic scenery, or get an adrenalin kick at the largest ski flying hill in the world. A cycle trip along the Sava River Bike Route will let you sample these experiences and enable you to visit three countries at the same time. Carinthian bloggers Marie-Theres and Andreas (Hier wohnt das Glück) have tested this route exclusively for you.

Cycling is the new trend: it keeps you fit and saves the environment! This ‘Zeitgeist’ is reflected in the project Sava River Bike Route. We, Marie-Theres and Andreas from Hier wohnt das Glück have tested it for you:

Sava River Bike Route
The cycle route is named after the Sava, the longest river in Slovenia. The 41 km family-friendly cycle route goes from Jesenice via Kranjska Gora to Tarvisio. The fully tarmacked route includes some woodlands, crosses many bridges and follows an abandoned railway line.

New Train Connection
A new train connection makes the Sava River Cycle Route even more accessible. On weekends and holidays, you can travel between Villach, Tarvisio and Jesenice for 17 € (incl. bicycle). Please note, this offer is only available during the summer months July and August!

Planning your trip
Even though the ride can be undertaken in both directions, we recommend you start in Jesenice and cycle in direction Tarvisio. In order to get the most out of the idyllic cycle route, we took the first train in the morning. The excursion might take longer if you want to take in the highlights along the way. We also decided on E-Bikes, which you can hire in Villach. Even though there are many opportunities for refreshments along the way, you should definitely leave room for a pizza in Tarvisio!

The Sava River Cycle Route in itself is impressive. In addition, there are several highlights along the route:

Lake Jasna near Kranjska Gora
At the beginning of the drive up to the Vršič mountain, on the right-hand side, you will find Lake Jasna. This swimming lake with its crystal-clear water, mirrors the breath-taking alpine backdrop. Take a plunge into the cool water, or take a stroll around the lake followed by a refreshing drink at the bar next to the lake.

Zelenci Nature Park
Further along the Sava River Cycle Route, level with the village Podkoren, we reached Zelenci Nature Park. From the cycle path it looked unprepossessing, but it quickly became clear that it’s a true natural jewel. Apart from the many types of plants and animals, the nature reserve also has a lake which displays itself in breath-taking colours.

Planica Nordic Centre
We couldn’t miss out on the Nordic Centre in Planica with the largest ski jump in the world. The route to the centre is approximately 2 km uphill from the cycle path. The viewing platform in the main building offers a good view of all ski jumps. But it’s also worth looking at the building itself, which contains the Planica Museum, with a wind tunnel, a ski jump simulator and a cross country ski trail in the basement! For all who are seekers of adrenalin kicks, we recommend the 566 m long Planica Zipline experience.

Laghi di Fusine
In order to visit the Lakes of Fusine, we crossed the border to Italy. Here we had to cycle approximately 2.5 km uphill to get to the lakes. At this point we were very happy we had chosen E-bikes. Surrounded by the Julian Alps with the imposing Mangart mountain, both lakes appear in a gorgeous green colour and invite you to linger.

From Laghi di Fusine it‘s all downhill to Tarvisio, either directly to the train station or further into the town centre of Tarvisio. If you arrive before 5 pm, you can do some shopping at the market (Mercato di Tarvisio). We chose the more leisurely option of an original Italian pizza! Enriched with many beautiful memories and a full tummy, we took the last train from Tarvisio back to Villach.

Our conclusions
We were thrilled with the ease of the outward and return train journeys, as well as the inexpensive train fares by the ÖBB. The timetable was excellent as it allowed a full day for the cycle route, which offers many highlights. We were particularly impressed by the Zelenci Nature Reserve. We won’t forget the turquoise lake with the stunning alpine backdrop. And now for you – get on your bike and see for yourself!
With love, Marie-Theres und Andreas


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