This time we will cycle through the valleys at the foot of the Karst edge: a stretched line of limestone walls, where the Karst plateau descends to the Slovene part of Istria. The route runs through Mediterranean forests, past fragrant meadows, through vineyards and remote Istrian villages. Fall and spring show this countryside in beautiful colors whereas summer days can get too hot. Do not forget to visit the Holy Trinity church in Hrastovlje!
Starting point: Leave the motorway 'Ljubljana – Koper' on exit Črni Kal. Continue in the direction of Sočerga or Buzet; when you see a signpost for Hrastovlje, turn left and you will soon come to the village. Look for an appropriate parking spot.
Description: From Hrastovlje you have to ascend to Kubed village. There are two options for that: A) Asphalt: Go back to the main road (where you came by car), turn left and continue ascending to Kubed (direction Sočerga) on a wide road. On weekends this section is pretty busy with traffic. B) Forest road: After visiting the church of the Holy Trinity in Hrastovlje go back to Švab restaurant and continue straight on. Asphalt road ends quite soon and the dirt road gradually turns into an occasionally rough forest road. The road turns to the right and descends gently at first, but then starts ascending towards the main road, which you can already see right above you. The ascent is short but not very easy. The road runs through a nice forest and is better suited for mountain-bikers. When you reach the main road, you can turn left and cycle to Kubed along it. However, I recommend all well prepared mountain-bikers to just cross the main road and continue with a tough ascent on a stony path, which leads to Kubed as well. In front of a tower at the top of the village descend down to the right on a narrow path and come to the main road again.
From Kubed follow the main road to the next crossroad in Gračišče village, where you turn left onto a smaller asphalt road with little traffic. Descend past Smokvica village to the lovely Movraž, where the 'real deal' begins. Drive through the village and the road starts to ascend mercilessly. Partly through a charming pine forest, partly past Karst meadows with lovely views you ascend to a train station in Rakitovec (at the only crossroad go left towards Rakitovec), and onwards to the next crossroad, where a wooden table with a bench invite you for a rest. This is also the highest point of our tour. After a well-deserved rest turn left towards Zazid or Podgorje and descend through an incredibly beautiful valley just below the Karst edge. Almost too quickly you will come to the cute traditional Zazid village. Have a drink in the excellent Xaxid hostel!
There are quite a few options for the return to Hrastovlje: A) Proceed on the main road through Podpeč to Bezovica, where a signpost directs you to the left towards Hrastovlje. (asphalt road throughout). B) Proceed on the main road to Podpeč village, turn left at the last houses in the village (onto an unmarked road) and go down to Hrastovlje on a dirt road. C) Proceed on the main road to a longer flat part (before Podpeč village). Towards the end of this 'flat part' a nicely visible dirt road branches off to the left. Ascend gently on it, ride past a water container and then start to descend. An initially rough cart road takes you to a lonesome church in Zaningrad and onwards to Hrastovlje.
Highest point: The tour has no obvious summit. The highest point is the crossroad before Rakitovec village (535 m).
Length (duration, km): Hrastovlje - Kubed: 30 min (5 km) Kubed - Rakitovec: 1.30 h (13 km) Rakitovec - Hrastovlje: 1 h (12 km) Total: 3 h, 30 km
Type of path: 75% asphalt (22.3 km) 7% dirt road (2.2 km) 18% tractor road (5.5 km)
Pod Kraškim robom
This time we will cycle through the valleys at the foot of the Karst edge: a stretched line of limestone walls, where the Karst plateau descends to the Slovene part of Istria. The route runs through Mediterranean forests, past fragrant meadows, through vineyards and remote Istrian villages. Fall and spring show this countryside in beautiful colors whereas summer days can get too hot. Do not forget to visit the Holy Trinity church in Hrastovlje!Pod Kraškim robom
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