Would you believe if I said you could encircle the capital of Slovenia in just three hours? Too good to be true, right? While three hours are usually enough to cycle around the whole city and experience it from a local’s perspective, you could also throw in a few extra hours, making it an active sightseeing trip around Ljubljana. Let’s see how.
Cycling around Ljubljana on the Trail of Remembrance and Comradeship
Under the bracing shade of trees, stretching 40 kilometres around Ljubljana, it winds an enchanting mostly car-free trail of historic importance. If the Trail of Remembrance and Comradeship or simply just POT is a popular walking, jogging and cycling route for outdoor enthusiasts, it also serves as a reminder of where the city used to be enclosed during the World War II.
Renting a bike
While the free bicycle sharing system Bicikelj and renting a bicycle at the Tourist Information Centre both proffer as great options, renting a professional bike might turn out even better. After all, it’s a 40-kilometre-long route and a quality bike might make a big difference out there. Since POT includes 4 kilometres and 150 meters ascent and descent over the forested hill Golovec, you might be better off renting a mountain bike. But as the hard part can be completely avoided, the choice of whether opting for a mountain or trekking bike is yours.
Why the Trail of Remembrance and Comradeship
Cycling the Trail of Remembrance and Comradeship takes you 70 years back, when during 23 February 1942 and 9 May 1945 Ljubljana was the only capital during World War II to be completely enclosed with a fortification system of wire barriers, fortified passages and bunkers. Some of these buildings remain to the day, particularly in the northern part of the city, and can be seen from the trail.
For many, though, the route is a place to relax and stay in shape. To that end, POT hosts all sorts of organised activities like long runs and marches along the historic barbed wire. The best part of the day to visit? If you’re like me and prefer peace and quiet, then definitely head out in the morning.
The POT route starts close to the Dolgi Most bus stop in the District of Vič and is nicely marked throughout.
Cycling around Ljubljana along the trail
Although technically speaking the route starts in the District of Vič near the Dolgi Most bus stop, where you’ll find the first board marked as “POT km 0”, there’s actually no right way to start. I started by the “POT km 7” board in the District of Šiška, which happened to be the closest to my home, but I’m sure you’ll manage to fit the route to match your location best as well. Then what? Simply follow the signs and enjoy the trip. For a detailed description of the route, please visit POT’s official website.
The stats? About 40 kilometres, of which most of it on gravel, and 162 metres ascent and descent.
Points of interest on the trail
According to Visit Ljubljana, there are 9 points of interest close to the trail: Koseze Pond, Žale Cemetery, Stožice Sports Park Arena, Stožice Sports Park Stadium, Labyrinth of Art, Fužine Castle and its Museum of Architecture and Design, Golovec, and two excellent restaurants – Gostilna pri Žabarju and Gostilna Livada.
Anyway, I hope you spend a great day out in nature, sightseeing Ljubljana from a bike, and, most of all, have fun!