Length 23.3 km
Time needed
Time needed 02:00
Največja strmina vzpona[%]
Greatest slope of the ascent: 6 %
Greatest slope of the descent: 6 %
Average slope of the ascent: 4 %
Length of ascents above 5%: 2.50 km
The lowest point of the route: 267 m
The highest point of the route: 485 m
Difference in altitude: 400 m
Poraba kalorij
Consumption of energy for men: 4070 kJ (972 kcal)
Consumption of energy for women: 3316 kJ (792 kcal)
Difficulty: Medium demanding
Quality of the surface
Quality of the surface: Mixture
Type of bike: Trek bike
Short description

A tour of Sostro and its surroundings. The route leads you from the city plain, around the Kašelj Hill and through the Besnica Valley to the Babna gora Hill, which offers interesting views of Ljubljana. You'll return to the city through Zagradišče, Češnjice, Podmolnik and Zadvor.


Podgrad – Besnica – Pečar – Zagradišče – Češnjica – Sadinja vas – Podmolnik – Zadvor – Zgornji Kašelj – Podgrad

Route begins At a stalk (Pri Peclju)
The route begins At a stalk, not apple's, however, but an inn by the Zalog–Podgrad main road, just before Podgrad, bearing the name Pri Peclju (At a stalk) , . You can park your car by the road and change it for your bike. Of course, the direction of cycling is just as important and it's best to cycle clockwise towards Besnica, so quickly turn right off the straight road through an underpass under the railway and head to Podgrad. Don't go too fast though as the underpass is narrow and has low visibility!

Under-castle (Pod-grad) and Osterberg
The settlement is called Podgrad (under a castle), which tells you that it is located under a castle. Not only one, but two castles: beneath the old and new Osterberg. Locals call them the Ostrovrhar Castles. The settlement has a long history which began with the erection of the first castle, i.e. the old one or the original Ostrovrhar Castle, on the Kašelj Hill around 1150. The castle was a genuine fortress with a strategic position above the valley of the Besnica Stream, but today, there are only some ruins left of it . The new castle is architecturally less interesting. Except for some emphasised features on the façade, it doesn't give the impression of a real castle, it more resembles a country villa. Probably, this is a consequence of numerous reconstructions .
The settlement comprises two tourist farms and an interesting old factory called Arbo, where chemical products used to be made, but now it is, unfortunately, desolate. Take a good look at it and don't overlook a narrow opening with the space for only one car to go through at a time and no space for a bicycle , .

Through the narrow valley to Besnica
The route runs along a good asphalt road along the right bank of the Besnica Stream. The road slightly and steadily ascends, while the valley is rather narrow as it's bound by the steep slopes of the surrounding hills to the left and right. This is good because the summer heat doesn't affect you too much and bad because it gets dark quickly in the evening.
In the narrowest part of the valley, there are the ruins of the old Osterberg Castle at a sharp left turn, a kilometre or so from Podgrad. You can't see the castle from this spot, but an opportunity occurs some 300 metres ahead if you look back . Be careful, however, the verges of the road are not wide enough for you to stop for a longer period of time. At the top of the hill, you'll notice a bright spot under the ruins of the castle. This is a quarry where they used to get millstones from.

Furiously up the hill
After a kilometre and a half, the valley becomes wider and houses appear again: you've reached the settlement of Besnica (Fury), which is scattered over most of the valley. Go past the fork towards Vnajnarje and just before the crossing with the main road, turn right and drive along the macadam shortcut , . This way you'll spare a few metres, although you might just as well drive along the asphalt road to the crossroads. In both cases, you need to turn right towards Ljubljana. In front of you, there are two kilometres of a steeper slope along a macadam road, so shift the chain which is stopping you from easier pedalling and push the pedals as much as you can. It's a little unpleasant if you meet a car as there's a lot of dust coming from behind it and, besides, some people drive rudely fast. And, of course, a truck may also appear, and that's double joy for you. But the path isn't so bad, and the fact that it isn't very long is even better. Three solid hairpin bends and you'll be back on asphalt under a pass in no time.

Pečar and Zagradišče
At the pass, there's a settlement called Pečar. Due to its excellent strategic location, it's always been a popular post and defensive point, of which remnants of bunkers and dugouts from World War II south of the settlement are still a reminder. Behind the houses, there's a view of the Ljubljana Basin and Ljubljana , you, however, need to turn left in the settlement onto the road towards Javor.
The approaching slope is approximately twice as steep (14 per cent) but short, since you need to turn right onto a forest path (first intersection) after somewhat less than 200 metres , . The road turns downhill for a while and the forest is pleasantly cool. The path is not the best. It runs along a slope made of slate, which quickly disintegrates and forms impermeable layers, and thus makes the road very muddy when it rains. At the crossroads, stick to your right or rather to a better road. Once past the holiday cottages, you're already near the settlement of Zagradišče (meaning behind a fort), whose name implies that there used to be a prehistoric settlement or fort in the vicinity. The settlement is situated on a ridge , which offers views of the Ljubljana Basin on the right and the Kižlovka Stream on the left, which is known for being a fossil and mineral deposit site.
It isn't far from Zagradišče to Češnjica, the next settlement along this route. The forest and, at the end of Zagradišče, macadam road becomes a poor asphalt one. After the descent past Češnjica, go through the valley to Sadinja vas, where you'll turn left towards south at the crossroads with the main road.

Sadinja vas and quarry-pality
Here, the area is more densely populated. You're driving through a scattered settlement of Sadinja vas. On your right, a large quarry is located, which is very much alive so the traffic with many cargo vehicles is quite heavy. To avoid the traffic on the main road, take the first turning right onto a field path . A signpost for the cycling route L043 is there to help you orientate. The path leads to the Marenček Hill and left towards the quarry. There, you'll reach an intersection under the power line and need to turn right towards Podmolnik.
On the left (south) side, you can see the quarry and a chapel below it . On the right (north) side, there's the Marenček Hill, where a prehistoric fort and later castle used to be situated, of which only the foundations have remained . At this quarry, which considerably mars the appearance of the surroundings, dolomite aggregates of various granulations are being acquired. It is managed by the Ljubljana Municipal Utility Company and if we play with letters for a second, we could easily call it quarry-pality, as it's very characteristic of the Municipality of Ljubljana .
The cart track below Podmolnik is getting increasingly worse but, luckily, you'll be back on asphalt in the settlement. This minor settlement of Podmolnik has become known for its 'dog hotel', where you can place your pets when you go on vacation. The hotel is somewhat beyond the settlement and you won't pass it. In the settlement, stick to your right , and drive to Zadvor along the main asphalt road.

Back in the city
Continue towards north, cross the Cesta II. Grupe odredov Road and Litijska Road, and drive into the old centre of the village of Zadvor. The road narrows down to less than three metres. There isn't much traffic but you can never be too careful. Just after the village centre, you can see a flood plain, where special plant communities thrive, by the River Ljubljanica on your right below the riser.
Along Zadvor, drive north of the Vevče Paper Mill and then cross the bridge over the River Ljubljanica. Along the middle of the bridge, you'll see an industrial track of the paper mill. The tracks are deep and may be dangerous for bicycles, so stick to the edge of the carriageway.
On the other side of the bridge, Vevče is located. In the vicinity, there are also stops of city buses nos. 12 and 29, blocks of flats and the main Papirniški Square. Cross Vevška Road, and drive along the slope between the railway and houses onto Grajzerjeva Street , and then continue along Pečinska Street.

You're in Zgornji Kašelj now. Before the war, there were mainly fields around here while today everything seems to be built up. The settlement has a long history and has been known for its free peasants since the Middle Ages. There were more of those here than anywhere else and they also stuck around longer. They were mentioned from the 12th to the 14th century and then they became serfs as well, although properties of individual free peasants were still haunting land registries up until 1527.
When you reach Kašeljska Road, turn right and drive through the old part of the settlement, where the road is quite narrow. After about 500 metres, the settlement ends and you're back on the fields. At the first crossroads, turn right onto Mazovčeva pot , , which leads to the bridge over the River Ljubljanica. On the bank, you can often see fishermen trying their luck in the murky water. Don't overlook the first turn to the left, since it's there where you turn onto macadam, and then stick to the main road. You'll drive on macadam for another two kilometres.
Across the flood plain, where grey herons often stick around, you're coming closer to the Kašelj Hill. Humming of an ultralight aircraft warns you that an airfield is nearby. But foot power is foot power and own force is own force, so turn your back on it and head northward. The view here is prettier – you can see the Kamnik-Savinja Alps in all their greatness .

A kilometre ahead, there are some cars parked on the right side of the road. Let's check out what they're doing here. Right next to the road, there's a large pond called the Kašelj Pond , . Ducks love its two islets, where they always find a safe nesting place, and the fishermen love what is hidden under the surface. The pond is managed by the Vevče Fishing Club.
After 600 metres, you'll get closer to the River Ljubljanica again, 'former' Ljubljanica actually, since you're cycling along a dead arm with an islet in the middle. An interesting place, a true paradise for frogs and you can even reach the islet along a footbridge , , .

From the islet, the path continues through the forest. At the end of the forest, there is the Ribnica Hut on the left and the road goes back to being asphalt. A bit further on, you'll drive into an underpass under the Ljubljana–Zidani Most railway line, and after a short and steep ascent, you'll reach the crossroads with the Zalog–Podgrad main road (Cesta v Kresnica Road). Be careful at the crossroads, as the junction isn't clearly visible for drivers on the main road because of the ascent.
At the crossroads, turn right towards Podgrad and your starting point. The road you're driving along runs along the right bank of the River Ljubljanica. There's some heavy traffic on this stretch of the road and the drivers are mainly patient. A kilometre ahead, you'll see a wider footpath on your left leading to a meadow. Not a usual meadow, but a meadow on a river island. The islet is about 300 metres long and over 100 metres wide .
There's less than 500 metres to the end of the route. A piece of cake, after everything you've experienced.

Arbo Factory in Podgrad
The Arbo Factory at the end of Podgrad, at the spot where the road narrows down, is a former oil-extraction plant and one of the oldest chemical plants in Slovenia. It was established as early as 1450 as Osterberger Ölfabrik. Oil paints, varnishes and spirits were produced there. At the end of the 19th century, the factory burnt down and was later renovated. After World War I, ether and other chemicals started being produced in it. It was renamed Arbo Chemical Factory after World War II, when additives for lacquers and paints were produced there. It was in operation until 2001.

Ostrovrhar hiking trail and millstones without a mill
Soon after the narrow opening in Podgrad, a forest road branches off to the right and leads you to the younger of both castles (700 metres off the route) , and, if you're persistent enough, to the ruins of the old castle and an disused quarry of millstones above the narrow Besnica Valley (1000 metres off the route) . The longer version of the route also leads to the Debenji vrh Hill above Kašelj with an observation tower and view of the Ljubljana Basin and hills in the background.
Quartz conglomerate, which used to be acquired at the quarry, is a rather common rock in these hills, but this one is something special. Its adequate size, structure and cohesiveness of grain make it ideal for making millstones, which was the main activity of the quarry. It was in operation already in 1578 and it supplied the stones even to Ljubljana city mills. Its surprisingly high position on the slope which is also difficult to access points to the high quality of the rock. Millstones of one meter in diameter and up to 20 centimetres in thickness were acquired at this quarry. Today, you can still see well-preserved circular hollows in the rock where millstones of various types and qualities were made .
An information board 'Ostrovrhar Hiking Trails' marks a turn of the road, and on its left, you can see the top with the remnants of the old castle in the background . The path is mainly passable with a bike (mountain!), except for the last 100 metres before the old castle and quarry where you need to go on foot.

Fossils and minerals in the valley of the Kižlovka Stream
South of Zagradišče, there's a fossil and mineral deposit in the valley of the Križlovka Stream. Among minerals, the beautiful quartz crystals are really exceptional and locals refer to them as 'little churches' because of their typical pyramid-like shape. Near Gradišče, a hill above Zagradišče, where remnants of a prehistoric settlement were found, there's also a smaller, once quite renowned deposit of special quartz crystals which are as beautiful and clear as, well, crystals. They resemble chunks of ice with frozen green moss inside them. Actually, it isn't moss, but a mineral called chlorite, which is clearly visible through the transparent layer of quartz . One of the deposits of quartz crystals was also a quarry of quartz sandstone and conglomerate, which is today disused and inaccessible.

Quarry near Podmolnik or quarry-pality
At this quarry, dolomite aggregates of various granulations are being acquired. Many of the once modern façades of a pretty cream colour, made with the technique of traditional 'creased' plaster, are made of sand produced in this quarry. A local feature giving the settlement its characteristic appearance. The sand from this quarry was also a very popular base for mortar. The quarry is large, as its annual production amounts to over 90,000 cubic metres. In addition to the acquisition of new construction material, the quarry is also used as a landfill site for discarded building material. Perhaps the very rock being dug at this moment will once end up at this place.

Vevče Paper Mill
Vevče Paper Mill has a very long history. Lately, it has been specialising in the manufacture of label paper (for labelling bottles, plastic bottles and tins), paper for flexible packaging and graphic paper. Total annual production is 100,000 tonnes.

Rivers Sava and Ljubljanica confluence
About 600 metres from the starting point towards Laze pri Dolskem, at the Pri Peclju Inn, you'll see a signpost to 'Rivers Sava and Ljubljanica confluence' on the left side of the road. This is the confluence of three rivers: Sava, Ljubljanica and Kamniška Bistrica.

Fruit Road between Javor and Janče
In 1993, the implementation of the CRPOV (Comprehensive Countryside Development and Village Renovation) project began in the area of the Besnica Valley and Janče. The fruit road between Javor and Janče was created. Within this project, pastures and contemporary plantations for integral fruit production (strawberries, apples, pears, cherries, plums, peaches, walnuts, chestnuts etc. are being produced) were arranged, the project of the revitalisation of grass plantations and gardens was implemented, and 11 water reservoirs to irrigate fruit trees and berries were set up. Farmers established a tourism society, within which all activities regarding the Fruit Road are performed. Farms are always open for all visitors; they offer various agricultural and other products. Within the framework of the Fruit Road, several traditional events take place each year.

Pri Peclju Inn, Podgrad
The Pri Peclju Inn in Podgrad has a long tradition. They offer excellent and diverse food, and you can also bowl or play volleyball and football in the garden. The inn is both the starting point and a stop on this route, as the car park by the road is not intended only for guests but also cyclists. At the inn, you can also get maps of cycling routes in the area.

Pri Lazarju Tourist Farm
When you come to Podgrad, turn left at the second crossroads and follow the signposts for the Lazar Tourist Farm. By prior arrangement, they'll prepare lunch or dinner, you'll be able to buy homemade products, such as juice, tea, spirit; in summer, dairy products are available for tasting or taking with you (sour milk, cottage cheese and cheese).

Mrkotovc and Snopičar homesteads
En route through Češnjica, you can stop at two homesteads offering seasonal fruit and vegetables. When you reach the settlement from Zagradišče, turn left off the route. The homesteads are a few houses ahead.

Zadvor Log Cabin
En route from Podmolnik to Zadvor, you'll drive past the renowned Zadvor Log Cabin, where, in addition to culinary offer, you can also treat yourself to a trim trail; there's also a small playground for children at the cabin.

Cruel lord from Marenček
Marenček is a hill you'll see when you'll drive from Sadinja vas across fields towards the quarry near Podmolnik. The hill's slope is very steep, almost impassable, only on the western side is the hill a bit gentler sloping. In prehistoric times and Antiquity, the path to the top was located here, and in the Middle Ages, this was the path to the castle. The castle was supposed to be demolished by the earthquake of 1511, so the owners had to move out. The only thing left were the foundations, which are not visible on the surface. According to locals, a very cruel lord governed the castle, who brutally punished disobedient serfs and, presumably, no one who had entered the castle returned. Hence the name of the hill (Morilček – Murderer, later changed to Marenček).
Marenček has been renovated several times for defensive and settlement purposes. Archaeological findings from different sections of the hill date back to prehistory and the Middle Ages.
Marenček is accessible via many gently sloping paths from several sides. The easiest is from Podmolnik.

Hike along the Ostrovrhar hiking trail
This traditional hike starting in Podgrad takes place on the last Sunday in April.
The trail begins in Podgrad, runs along the Besnica Valley, passes two medieval castles to the mill stone quarry. Then it descends into the Besnica Valley, ascends to Murjevka and finishes at the Pri Lazarju Tourist Farm.

Fruit hike
The traditional Fruit Hike starting in Sostro takes place on the third Sunday in May.
The trail runs from Sostro to the villages of Češnjica and Zagradišče, over the Pečar pass into the Besnica Valley and back to Sostro.

Blueberry hike
Traditionally, the hike takes place within the Second strawberry Sunday in Janče. It begins in Podgrad.
Hikers can participate in an organised hike along the marked Blueberry Hiking Trail running from Podgrad to Janče (792 metres altitude) along well-maintained forest and field paths.

Exhibition of handicraft and dishes
This event traditionally takes place on the last Sunday in May at the Zadvor Cooperative Hall, Cesta II. grupe odredov Road 43.
At the exhibition, visitors can see handicraft products of local masters and various traditional baking products prepared by famers' wives and girls from farms. The programme includes guidance, presentation of the objects and culinary delicacies exhibited, and various workshops. After the exhibition, visitors can buy the exhibited dishes.

Celebration of autumn
This event traditionally takes place on the third Sunday in September at the Zadvor Cooperative Hall, Cesta II. grupe odredov Road 43.
At the exhibition, visitors can admire autumn products; various apple varieties and other fruit are generally exhibited. They can also listen to expert comments on fruit and vegetables. In front of the staging area, there's usually a market with local produce.

Chestnut sunday and hike along the chestnut hiking trail
This traditional hike takes place on the second Sunday in October.

The route is mostly safe; however, you do need to be careful in some sections:
- while driving through the underpass under the railway in Podgrad,
- during the ascent between Besnica and Pečar, where the path is rather wide but quite steep and macadam,
- while driving from Podmolnik to Zadvor upon returning to the city, where you cross two busy and priority roads, namely Cesta II. grupe odredov Road and Litijska Road,
- on the bridge over the River Ljubljanica at the Vevče Paper Mill, as there's an industrial railway track running across the bridge,
- while driving through the underpass under the Ljubljana–Zidani Most railway line, where you join the main road between Zalog and Podgrad (Cesta v Kresnice Road) after a short and steep ascent. Drive slowly towards the crossroads, as the carriageway isn't clearly visible for drivers on the main road.