Jesenice - Nova Gorica, via 'Pontebbana'

Bicycle Touring · Slovenia
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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
201.4 km
Duration
16:36h
Ascent
1068 m
Descent
1563 m
Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical value
Two days biking, with the idea to get to Jesenice by train, ride two days through the wonderful alpine and pre-alpine countryside and finish in Nova Gorica, which has again the train connection to Jesenice.

From Jesenice till Tarvisio you follow a good, asphalted cycling trail. In Tarvisio you get on the Alpe-Adria trail. The so-called Pontebbana stretch is also all the time asphalted, modern cycling trail. From Pontebba on, it follows the ex railway. In 2017 the last stretch was opened, so now it ends just past Moggio Udinese. From there till Venzone you ride by the normal road.

In the second part we have many options. It's advisable to sleep somewhere south of Gemona (we slept near San Daniele). So, the second day biking is a bit shorter, but through the gentle, hilly landscape your chosen route can go quite up and down. On the map, the automatically calculated route is shown. We went by the following route: San Daniele - Rive d'Arcano - Fagagna - Moruzzo - Pagnacco and then by the northern side around Udine. Udine is a nice, but busy town. If you explore it, you need at least 2-3 hours. Past Udine, the route shown on the map is the recommendable one. North of it, the countryside is more hilly.

Check the train itineraries! From Nova Gorica (You need to reach the Slovenian train station, not the Italian!) on Sundays it goes to Jesenice at 17:20 (in 2017).

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Highest point
864 m
Lowest point
42 m
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Safety information

Lights for the Pontebbana tunnels.

Tips, hints and links

In 2017 the train to Jesenice and the train from Nova Gorica to Jesenice still took bicycles without prior reservation. Also tickets you best buy on the train. We had bikes in bags and that was even better (you don't additionally pay for them). With the Slovenian seniority card the ticket for one person from Nova Gorica to Jesenice (2:40 hours journey) costed us 4,30 EUR, which was less than one beer on a village beer feast in Italy.

Start

Railway station in Jesenice (SLO) (577 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
46.436648, 14.054440
UTM
33T 427361 5142998

Destination

Railway station in Nova Gorica (SLO)

Turn-by-turn directions

From Jesenice train station you can go on the biking track, but as it goes quite up and down, you can perhaps better take the main road and go on the bike track on the bridge before Mojstrana. Then you follow it (as on the map) through Kranjska gora and further on to Tarvisio.

By Alpe-Adria (signposted 'FVG1') you ride all the way till Pontebba. From just before the town (when you are under the highway), you can consider taking the ordinary road into the town - it's much faster!

From Pontebba on, you simply follow the 'Pontebbana' ex railway. Only in few places be careful not to miss specific passages. They are well marked (plates), just be attentive! In some tunnels having lights is very useful - there are some quite dark passages! Otherwise the scenery in this valley is great. The last two tunnels (2017) past Resiutta are long, but nicely lit, then the 'Pontebbana' stretch ends.

One option to continue is to ride across the river towards Moggio Udinese and then just before the town turn left and ride by the roads on the right side of Fella river. Some stretches are not asphalted there! You return back on the left side of the river by the ex railway bridge at Carnia village. This detour is much longer and time consuming, so it's more recommendable to ride from Moggio till Carnia and further to Venzone by the main road (quite busy).

From Venzone, you can continue towards Gemona (as the 'medieval' Venzone, also a very nice town!) and then more directly towards Udine - depending where you want to sleep. The proposal here is however to continue along the beautiful Tagliamento/Tilment river till San Daniele. So, you cross the river in Venzone and ride by the right side through the villages. Before Cornino, you ride past a small lake (natural reserve) and then on the village turn left and cross the river by the big bridge. Then either continue directly to San Daniele, or ride gently past the small Lago di Ragogna.

Day 2 is difficult to describe in detail. The route depends on what you want to visit. In the Upper Rive dArcano there's an interesting castle, Fagagna is sitting on a hill, but it's worth riding up to the church and castle. Then you can descend directly towards Udine and explore the town, or you keep riding north of it. The road through Moruzzo and Pagnacco goes more up and down, but the landscape is nice.

On the other side of Udine, you ride towards the south-east. In Buttrio ride by the country road north of the main road, from Cormons you will need to follow more or less the main road. No biking tracks there! Finally, you need to ride through the whole town of Gorizia (that's still Italy), and only in its northern part cross the border with Slovenia. Immediately as you are over it, you will get on the railway station.

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Any bike for overcoming longer distances is good. Almost all roads are asphalted.
outdooractive.com User
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Vid Pogacnik

Travel Guide: Bicycle tours in Slovenia


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Vid Pogacnik
May 30, 2017 · Community
Done at May 28, 2017

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