Tacen and tax collectors
The starting point of this cycling route is in Tacen in the car park which can be reached by city bus (no. 8 or 15) and is known mainly to hikers to Šmarna gora. Tacen is known for the River Sava rapids , and competitions in whitewater kayaking and canoeing. In the summer heat, the sandy banks of the River Sava become temporary swimming spots, where numerous inhabitants of Ljubljana find some refreshment when water level in the Sava is low. The name Tacen perhaps originates from the terms dace and dacar (tax collector), but not to worry, these days you don't have to pay bridge toll anymore, and the tax for the bicycle was paid for upon purchase.
If you bring your bike to Tacen by car and the first car park is occupied, you can probably park the car a bit further on in the village in a larger car park near the Police Academy.
The route begins at the first car park and continues west on the main road to Vikrče.
Go past the Police Academy (not the one from the American comedies) and the enclosure with fallow deer where a slight ascent begins. Above you on the right, Grmada is towering with its bare cliffs, where many test their climbing skills. In the middle of the slope, turn left towards Pirniče . If you went straight on, you'd come to Smlednik, but this isn't our direction today. Go through Pirniče and Verje to the bridge over the River Sava under the power plant and you're at the beginning of Medvode. On your way, you can take a look at the interesting Church of the Holy Cross (first mentioned in 1392) in Spodnje Pirniče, where there's also the birthplace of the legendary partisan commander and national hero, Franc Rozman - Stane (not along our route). Drive through Zgornje Pirniče to the settlement of Verje, where a prehistoric bronze axe was found when the power plant was being built.
As you cross the bridge to the other side of the River Sava, go straight on towards the shopping centre with an ornate pyramidal glass roof. The Donit Factory is on your left. Before the centre, turn right through the underpass under the main road and you'll reach a football pitch. Don't go straight on, although you might like to, because the straight road ahead isn't passable in continuation. Immediately after the underpass, turn sharply right and go up the slope. Let's count junctions. The first one at the pharmacy isn't the right one, but the second one is. Turn left onto Cesta na Svetje Road. Go between the houses along this road slightly uphill to the village of Svetje, where a maze of roads starts giving you a good chance to get lost, but just continue straight on through Svetje and slightly left along the edge of the terrace above the River Sora, and descent to the railway leading to the Gorenjska region at the end of the village. Drive a few hundred metres along the railway, turn right and drive to the road coming from your left over the level crossing. At the top of a slight slope, turn left onto the road leading towards Senica.
Along the River Sora to Škofja Loka
There are no more houses, so drive across the fields and go straight on at all crossroads until you reach Spodnja Senica. In the centre of the village, turn right and continue through the village until you reach an overpass over the railway, which offers you a possibility of crossing it. The priority road turns right, while you turn left across the railway, so be careful at the crossing! You don't have much of a choice regarding direction once you get to the other side of the railway track. So go right and then straight on. Drive through this beautiful landscape with plenty of fields and forests. The first thing you'll see in Reteče is a level crossing. Don't go over it but rather go straight on until you see the Domel Factory and the underpass under the railway. Drive straight ahead along the railway. As you're getting tired of village roads and mazes of roads, pick up the pace. So turn right over the level crossing and then left to the main road. There's a cycle lane next to the road leading through the village, while there's only road – beautiful wide road from the end of Reteče onwards. Here you can speed up as much as you like but the weakness of the main road is that also all other road users speed up along this road, and there are quite a lot of them and they're mostly bigger, much bigger.
Go through the underpass under the railway to Godešič and continue straight on towards Škofja Loka. Like along the entire route, there are more than enough inns in Godešič as well, but there's also something which you might need even more – a bicycle service. After Godešič, the road descends. Drive on between Trata and Lipica and at the traffic lights turn left towards Suha.
Suha is an interesting and beautiful village with old houses. At the very beginning, there's a picturesque Church of St. John the Baptist from the 15th century . When you reach Suha, turn right at the chapel, that's after about 300 metres, and continue towards Škofja Loka.
A bypass around Škofja Loka, which will relieve the heavy traffic along the narrow streets of the old city centre, has been under construction for many years . It's difficult to say when the bypass will be completed but until it is, you'll have to cross several tens of metres of the construction site or take a detour as the bypass construction site runs through Suha. Along the way, there's the well known and nicely renovated Špan's House dating back to 1785 with a Baroque sign from approximately the same time.
The River Sora and the River Sora, and a castle in between
You reach Škofja Loka in Plevna. Continue along the Old Road until you drive to the main road just before a bridge over the River Selška Sora. Continue left across the bridge and you'll find yourself in the lower part of the old city centre in the Lower Square.
The old medieval city centre of Škofja Loka with Loka Castle above it is beautifully preserved, so it's worth a few metres' walk up the hill to see it. It's best to walk from north to south, from the Capuchin Church over the Capuchin Bridge and through the arched gates in the city wall straight on past many cultural and historic sights until you reach the old city wall again on the other side.
After the old city centre of Škofja Loka, go left down the hill and cross the Puštal Bridge over the River Poljanska Sora (or Poljanščica). There are two rivers called the Sora, just like two rivers called the Sava. One of them runs along the Poljanska Valley, the other one along the Selška Valley, and they are named after these valleys. They become one Sora in Škofja Loka.
Puštal or Burgstelle
Just after the bridge, there's a football pitch and you can see the old Puštal Castle a bit further along the route. Above the castle, you can see the Hribec Hill with the Baroque Church of the Holy Cross and twelve chapels of the Stations of the Cross and with the most beautiful view of Škofja Loka. The name of the castle is supposed to be derived from the term fort, German Burgstelle, and Hribec would be just the right location for a fort. To be on the lookout and safe.
The route continues straight on but there's another sight worth seeing in the vicinity. It's the Nace House , which you reach if you turn right just after the Puštal Castle (there are signposts). You've probably had enough history, so hop on your bike again and continue towards Medvode.
Goričane and other villages
If you took off in a summer morning, the sun must be strong by now, you can't wait for some shade. And here it is! The roadside sign says Hosta (Forest). But don't get excited too early. It really is Hosta (Forest) but there's no forest along the road, there's one up the hill. The road runs across the fields along the edge of the Polhov Gradec Hills and is exposed to the sun . And so it remains all the way to Ljubljana . The next village is Pungert, then Gosteče and Draga. And the next one is Sora (which one is that again?) with a lovely fire station. You could turn left towards Katarina, but you'll do that another time. Continue straight on, through Rakovnik to Goričane, which is most known for the Goričane Mansion, which has housed a Museum of Non-European Cultures since 1963, but now it's being renovated.
On the left, before the dam in Goričane, where the River Sora calms down, there's a natural river bathing area.
Go past the castle and drive on (or turn right to see it) to the village of Vaše and a bit further on to Preska . Don't turn right into the village, but go straight on past the level crossing and along the railway on your left. Medvode is behind you now. After a kilometre or so, make a gentle turn (if you went straight on, you'd come to the Slavko's Home) left across the bridge and down the slope to the motel, now called the Medno Hotel. By the way: this is the oldest motel in Slovenia.
Finishing towards Tacen
Cycling along the main road behind the Medno Hotel is not recommended (is even prohibited), so you'd better take the right road through Medno and continue towards Stanežiče . The greatest nuisance along this stretch of the route all the way to Vižmarje are speed humps or 'sleeping policemen' as they're also called in Slovenia. In the north-eastern part of Stanežiče, you arrive at a chapel and the road branches off. Turn right onto the cycle lane. The lane leads you past the Baroque Church of St. James.
Several tens of metres along, the lane ends. Turn left onto the wide road towards Šentvid. Go along this road, past the rugby field to the golf course. When you see the main Medvode–Ljubljana road on your left, turn right towards the centre of Gunclje, where you can take a look at the renowned Krvin House which is under monumental protection (a bit further on towards the hill, there are two more buildings under protection: a house and barn). From the village (humps again), you arrive at a shopping centre and the place where bus no. 1 turns around, where you cross Celovška road at the traffic lights. In Vižmarje, drive through the underpass to Tacenska Road to the next traffic lights and there turn left. Descend along a gentle slope , go through Brod and over the Sava Bridge, and you've reached the end of the route in Tacen.
Not considering a few minor detours, you've biked about 34 kilometres. Satisfied?