Bled naar Stari trg pri Lozu
Published: 10/06/2020
Lake Cerkniško (RP 17)
This is the sixth stage of a tour through Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The routes were plotted and driven in 2015 by Marc Telkamp. Today's ride is inspired by one of Marc's routes: the route has been shortened so that you also have time for sightseeing along the way and an alternative route has been chosen over a road with less traffic.

Hopefully you had a nice evening in Bled, enjoyed a terrace along the water and talked a lot about the route of the past day? Today is yet another day, showing that Slovenia should be able to earn more attention than it currently gets from motorcyclists. During this route you drive again along and through a number of beautiful nature reserves. You visit the East side of the Triglav National Park (yesterday you traveled along the West side). From Lake Bohinj you drive along the (Selška) Sora river further to the south-east of Slovenia to the medieval town of Skofja Loka. Here you can gain culture, enjoy a terrace to continue your route refreshed to Cerkniško jezero. A special lake in a diverse natural park. Please note that the last part of the route is unpaved. At the bottom of the review is an alternative route as well as a statement of the route point where you must decide whether or not to deviate from the route to avoid unpaved parts.

Your route starts with a little bit of “backtracking” on yesterday's route. After leaving Bled you drive a bit back to Krnica to turn from there to the South-East. Immediately you dive back into the mountains of the Triglav National Park. Slovenia is one of the 8 countries, which is home to part of the Alps in its country. The Triglav National Park is part of this. Because it is a protected nature reserve, there are few possibilities to cross the area by car. Fortunately, there are still plenty of good and beautiful opportunities to drive through the park. Also your route of today.

Via a number of small winding roads, which open up various villages in the region, you arrive at Lake Bohinj (rp 7). In Ribčev Laz, located on the lake, you can park your motorcycle and take a short walk along the lake. You also have the opportunity to take a break at one of the restaurants or hotels in this area. What you will immediately notice is the peace. Compared to Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj is less known among foreign tourists, so you can enjoy the beauty in this part of the Alps in peace.

The area is also known for the 78 meter high Savica waterfall on the west side of the lake. A POI of this is included in the route. Keep in mind that if you want to visit the waterfall, you will have to climb 500 steps for about half an hour. Since the route will be full-day, it is advisable to leave it for now, or to add extra time by arranging an overnight stay at one of the hotels. You will certainly not be bored here: there are plenty of walking routes through the area.

After this stop you will start a climb to the highest point of this area (Bohinj Saddle at 1277m). It is a simple climb, which meanders mainly through the environment, along a number of higher mountain peaks. Finally you descend again to follow the river Selska Sora to Sofja Loka. If you have not paused at Bohinj and you now stop at a restaurant along the river, it is recommended to eat fish. The river has a rich diversity of fish such as trout and (flag) salmon in the water. A real pleasure when served fresh.

Eventually the river takes you to Skofja Loka (rp 10), a Medieval town from 973. The route leads you directly to the old part of the city where you can also park your motorcycle. From here you can take a walk through the picturesque center to the Capuchin bridge (Kamniti Most) over the Selska Sora, the St. Jacob church and the castle of Skofja Loka. Here and there you will see mentions of Freising. This was the first group of bishops to have ruled the city. The city eventually remained under ecclesiastical rule for more than 1,000 years. For example, the castle was built for the governors of the bishops. Also take a moment to pause at one of the restaurants or cafes in the center or at the castle.

In Skofja Loka the Selska Sora river changes into the Sora river (rp 11), which flows another 52km to the South-West. This river is now your guide for part of the route. It takes you to Gorenja Vas Poljane, after which you return to the solitude of the mountains. The connecting road to Drenov Grič is wonderfully winding on a well-paved and quiet road. Along the way there are also plenty of opportunities to stop and take photos of the view (eg rp 13).

You will be awakened for a moment when you cross the busy A1. This is one of the few highways (toll compulsory) in Slovenia that lead to the capital Ljubljana. Fortunately, you do not drive on the highway and you drive over it via a bridge. You quickly leave the crowds behind when you drive up a beautiful rolling mountain road again. The view of the rolling mountains and the continuous (simple) curves are a real pleasure.

Along the way you can - if necessary - refuel your engine (rp 15) and yourself (rp 16). The latter is possible at the lake of Rakitna. Rakitna is a small settlement on the edge of the highest karst field in Slovenia, in the middle of the Crimean forests. You can drive across the lake parking lot towards Hotel Rakitna. Here you can sit down on a terrace and recover from driving. In the summer you can also consider swimming in the lake. You will find that you are not alone!

For the next 15 curvy kilometers, you will wind through the Crimean forests. Especially in a warm summer, it can be wonderfully cool driving here. Enjoy it, because the last kilometers of this route enter the open area around Cerkniško jezero (rp 18).

The lake is one of the largest periodic lakes in Europe. This means that the lake is filled with water for about 8 months a year and the other 4 months are almost completely dry. Thanks to the karst rock, the lake drains almost completely in the dry season within about 3 to 4 weeks to an area of at least 0.1 km 2. In the autumn period, on the other hand, the lake can fill up completely within 3 to 4 days of heavy rainfall up to a maximum of 30 km 2.

You can admire this special spectacle (including sinkholes) up close. The route takes you via a dirt road along a number of beautiful viewpoints. You will also drive through Otok. The name of this hamlet literally means "island". During periods of high water, the village is an island in the lake.

The path between rp 17 and rp 21 is unpaved. It is a well-maintained and spacious gravel road, which is easily passable under normal conditions. If you prefer to avoid the unpaved route, you must deviate from the route from rp 16. From here follow the 212 to Bloška Polica. Once you arrive in this village, turn right at the T-junction (to the South) onto the 213. The next village is Stari Trg pri Ložu. In the village take the third road to the right (Pot na Ulako) and follow the road to the youth hostel in the next small hamlet.

If you have time (and need) to build in a rest day, this area is a great option. The lake is part of the Notranjski nature park and offers interesting options for 1-day trips. For example, look at walks in the Landscape Park Rakov Škocjan. This park is located west of the lake (see POIs in the route file) and has some impressive natural arches that you can walk under. Or hike to the top of the Slivnica mountain (mountain of the witches), from where you have a beautiful view of the lake below in the valley.

Because Ars Viva is a youth hostel, it is recommended to contact them in advance to reserve a room (or beds). The hostel is popular and can fill up quickly. Alternative options can be found in Cerknika (rp 16).

The route receives 5 stars. The entire route is devoted to the beautiful nature in Slovenia. Large forests are interspersed with special lakes. One road is even more winding than the other. It is pure driving pleasure. And of course there are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy the local cuisine along the way. With a sun without dirt in the air, the day can hardly go wrong.
Cappuchin Bridge in Skofja Loka (RP 10)
Lake Bohinj
Useful links:
Penzion Kaps
Lake Bohinj
Skoja Loka
Lake Cerkniško
Youth Hostel Ars Viva

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Waypoint, used to construct the route
Sight, here you can see something
Viewpoint, a short stop for taking a picture
Stopping point, for hotel, lunch, etc
Attention, see the text in the waypoint for more information

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Leonor Orban - RouteXpert
Gorenjska
The images and text displayed here originate from the Wikipedia article "Gorenjska", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
About this region
Upper Carniola (Slovene: Gorenjska; Italian: Alta Carniola; German: Oberkrain) is a traditional region of Slovenia, the northern mountainous part of the larger Carniola region. The centre of the region is Kranj, while other urban centers include Jesenice, Tržič, Škofja Loka, Kamnik, and Domžale. It has around 300,000 inhabitants or 14% of the population of Slovenia.
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