In the heart of Slovenia lies the enchanting region of Kočevsko, a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its lush forests, crystal clear water treasures and diverse wildlife, Kočevsko is a paradise for cyclists seeking both adventure and tranquility.

Easily accessible from Ljubljana by public transportation or even by bicycle if you are not in a hurry and want to travel at your own pace while exploring the Dragon to Bear Route. Kočevsko is a worthwhile destination for those who prefer to explore by bike, whether for a cozy family outing or a more adventurous trip.

Exploring the forest trails

One of the highlights of cycling in Kočevsko is exploring the vast forests, which cover more than 90% of the region and include six primeval forests. Cycle along the beautiful trails that wind through the forest and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of nature. With over 700 km of bike trails, there is plenty of opportunity to get in touch with nature. The forests of Kočevsko are home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna, including rare species such as brown bear, lynx and gray wolf. You don’t have to worry, because you almost never encounter them there. If you want to get to know them better and observe them safely in their natural habitat (observation is only possible with bears), you should sign up for one of the provided tourist tours.

"The Strma Reber pass goes over 8 km at 8.8% with a max of 17%"

Stop at the Kolpa River, part of the border between Slovenia and Croatia and particularly popular among cyclists, with quiet paths winding through picturesque countryside. As you cycle along its banks, you can enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding landscape. The popular ascent to the Strma Reber pass with eight kilometers of hairpin turns, an average gradient of 8.8% and a maximum gradient of 17%, requires excellent fitness. The pass attracts hundreds of cyclists every autumn for the recreational bike ride “Navkreber na Strmo Reber.”

Navkreber na Strmo Reber © Žiga Marin
Navkreber na Strmo Reber © Žiga Marin

Dose of pure adrenaline

For adrenaline junkies, Kočevsko offers opportunities for mountain biking, including the MTB Trail center Kočevje with more than 20 km of connected trails. Kočevje is home to one of the largest MTB trail parks in Slovenia, MTB Trail center Kočevje, a popular spot for locals and visitors of all ages from nearby European countries. There, all mountain bike enthusiasts are welcome. Whether you are an experienced adrenaline junkie or a beginner. From easy flow trails to technically advanced and challenging trails with different MTB elements that will make your heart beat faster: rocky sections, drops, jumps of different lengths, wall rides, berms, skinnies and much more.

Kočevsko © Jost Gantar, IZBOR
MTB Trail Center © Klemen Humar
Kočevsko © Nea Culpa, Jost Gantar

Cycling culture and hospitality

In addition to its natural beauty, Kočevsko is also known for its warm hospitality and rich cultural heritage. Along the cycling routes, you will encounter charming villages to rest and taste the local cuisine. Bicycle-friendly accommodations, including campsites, guesthouses and eco-resorts, ensure a warm welcome. The entire Kočevsko region is best explored with one of the many guided bicycle tours. The Kočevsko bike trail lasts four days and, in addition to the beautiful tour, you will also take away a nice package of nature and culture baggage at the stops at important natural and cultural sites.

Preserving nature for future generations

As you cycle through the pristine landscapes of Kočevsko, it is impossible not to be enchanted by the natural beauty and biodiversity of the region. However, this beauty is not something to be taken for granted. It is the result of careful forest management and nature conservation by local authorities and environmental organizations, especially the Slovenian State Forestry Administration. By cycling responsibly and respecting the environment, you can ensure that future generations can enjoy the wonders of Kočevsko for years to come.

"Here you can observe brown bears in their natural habitat"

Bear watching

For a more extensive cycling experience in Kočevsko, you can start with one of the most unique and exciting adventures. Observe and discover bears in their natural habitat, where you will get to know Kočevsko’s wildlife, learn about their lives and follow their tracks. The day ends with a stop at an observation cabin, where you will have the chance to observe and view bears, without interfering with their lives. The Slovenian Tourist Board has even awarded the experience “Observing and discovering bears in their natural environment” with the Slovenia Unique Experience label as one of the most unique 5-star experiences for tourists in Slovenia.

© Marjan Artnak
© Janez Papeż

Cycling in Kočevsko is more than just a recreational activity. It is a journey of discovery, a chance to get in touch with nature and a chance to experience the beauty of the Slovenian wilderness up close. Whether you’re exploring the forests, traversing the river valleys or conquering the hills, each pedal brings you closer to the heart and soul of this magical region. So grab your bike, hit the trails and embark on an adventure you’ll never forget in Kočevsko. Where inspiring and unspoiled natural wonders await you after every turn.

Learn more about Kočevsko, cycling in the Secret Forest of Slovenia, spotting wild animals and more, can be found on the website below:

© Nea Culpa, Jost Gantar
© Nea Culpa, Jost Gantar
© Nea Culpa, Jost Gantar

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