Length 9.8 km
Time needed
Time needed 01:00
Največja strmina vzpona[%]
Greatest slope of the ascent: 7 %
Greatest slope of the descent: 8 %
Average slope of the ascent: 3 %
Length of ascents above 5%: 0.80 km
The lowest point of the route: 300 m
The highest point of the route: 359 m
Difference in altitude: 139 m
Poraba kalorij
Consumption of energy for men: 2035 kJ (486 kcal)
Consumption of energy for women: 1658 kJ (396 kcal)
Difficulty: Easy
Quality of the surface
Quality of the surface: Mixture
Type of bike: Trek bike
Short description

A pleasant short cycling route which does not lead us to Šmarna gora for a change but around it.


Tacen – Vikrče – Spodnje Pirniče – Zavrh – Šmartno – Tacen

The car park in Tacen is a traditional starting point for trips to the surroundings of Šmarna gora. Today's trip is no exception. This time, we've chosen a kind of an 'exploratory' route which will lead you to interesting, and not quite usual, nearby places. You may start discovering these sights immediately—the first one isn't far away.
From the car park, drive towards west—Vikrče. However, don't take the main road—try to avoid those—but turn immediately right onto Rocenska street which takes you to the Police academy. A part of this institution is also the former Rocen (Rutzing) Manor. Nowadays, it houses the management of the Police Academy. The easiest way to find it is to turn right at the beginning of the car park (at the sport court), where the road splits in two, even though our route continues on the left. The manor is some 300 metres straight ahead. On the outside, the manor is beautifully renovated, but the interior is, unfortunately, heavily modified. The park is also partly preserved.
Descend to the main road in Vikrče but turn left immediately at the next turn (after 100 metres) at the bar. Continue along the River Sava. After the cycle lane sign , turn left onto a narrower asphalt path leading to the suspension bridge or footbridge over the Sava. This is the only suspension bridge in the area of the Municipality of Ljubljana, and the only one covered with a roof. It offers a nice view of the river.

Spas and heroes
Don't cross the bridge, but stay on the left bank of the Sava. Follow the asphalt and later macadam road until you reach the crossroads where your route continues on the right. If you took the left one, you would reach an interesting hot spring Straža with a small spa after a kilometre or so. Are you tempted and willing to make a detour? In this case, take the left road, again turn left (towards the Sava) at the next crossroads and, after 200 metres, turn right onto the path which will take you straight to the spring.
From the crossroads, take the right path and ascent through Spodnje Pirniče to the main road towards Medvode. Before crossing it, you may take a look at the Holy Cross Church, some 200 metres right from the crossroads. Cross the main road and drive onto the village asphalt road leading towards Zavrh. At the first crossroads, turn left and (not far ahead on the right) take a look at the birthplace of the legendary national hero—commander of the main headquarters of the National Liberation Army, Franc Rozman - Stane—which today houses a museum.

Oh, Triglav, my home...
In the direction towards Zavrh, drive to the crossroads with Vikrče–Smlednik road, cross it and continue past the Lipa Club, known for its tragic events in 2005. A view of the Kamniško sedlo mountain saddle opens up. The next sight is the birthplace of Jakob Aljaž. It is situated on the right at the beginning of the settlement of Zavrh—it's a bit off your route but well marked.

Behind the summit
Before reaching the second part of Zavrh, a steep footpath branches off on the right, leading to the forest on the slope of the Gradišče Hill (471 m). This is the lowest of the three summits of Šmarna gora in its broader sense. The remaining two are, of course, Šmarna gora (669 m) and Grmada (676 m). As a summit, Gradišče, which is approximately 200 metres lower, is only visible from the north and west sides. On the Gradišče slope, the Matjaž Cave is situated. You reach it if you take the abovementioned steep path—only on foot, of course. You may view the cave at your own risk!

Half past eleven
Drive among the houses to the crossroads in the centre of the village. There you can decide whether to continue straight towards the end of this route or treat yourself to some exploration of the vicinity before moving on. If you decide on the latter option, it's best to turn the wheel to the right, shift into a lower gear and work your way up a steep macadam slope of the driving path to Šmarna gora which will take to the very top. But don't go this far. Your goal this time is a stone medieval sign on the right next to the road, which was erected during the period of Turkish invasions.

In the shelter of a forest
The asphalt ends in the village, and you continue your way on macadam. Descend a bit lower towards a field, and immediately after a large long hayrack, turn right onto a cart track which will bring you to a forest. The road will slightly descend and soon bring you to the other side of the forest. Asphalt emerges again and so do the houses. Drive south among them, until you reach the Ljubljana–Vodice main road. Drive along this road only briefly, as you soon reach the main junction in Šmartno.

Šmartin and Tacen
In Šmartno, go past the Church of St. Martin, which is so big that you won't be able to miss it .
Main roads are very busy and we don't like them so we search for parallel routes, where there's less traffic and the pleasures are greater. So you move on through the main junction and right down the slope to the next crossroads, cross it and descend once more down the slope to the new residential area (driving on the right). At the end of this area, turn right again and, along a pleasant path, you'll get closer to the main road once more. This time, there's no other way but to briefly drive along it, then turn left onto the Ulica Ivice Pirjevčeve street and straight towards the River Sava for as far as you can. Then turn right onto Židankova Street and Pot sodarjev Street which goes to the crossroads in Tacen from where you can already see the big car park—your starting point and finish line.

Rocen (Rutzing) Manor
The manor dates back to the 16th century and was first owned by the Lamberg family. Then it had several owners until it was finally nationalised after World War II. Today it houses the management of the Police Academy. On the outside, the manor is beautifully renovated, but the interior is, unfortunately, heavily modified. The park is also partly preserved.

Hot spring
Next to the River Sava, a hot spring Straža with a small spa is situated. The water with the temperature between 17 and 23°C flows into a small overgrown wetland where numerous bird species may be observed. The area is interesting for amateur explorers.

Holy Cross Church
It is situated on an archaeological site. It was first mentioned in 1362.

Birthplace of Franc Rozman–Stane
Today, the birthplace of the legendary national hero, Franc Rozman - Stane—commander of the main headquarters of the National Liberation Army—houses a museum. Franc Rozman died towards the end of 1944 while testing a new mortar which was sent to the partisans by the British allies. A few days later, he was pronounced a national hero. Otherwise, Pirniče is a birthplace of another national hero, Tine Rožanc, after whom a known folklore group is named.

Birthplace of Jakob Aljaž
Jakob Aljaž, a priest and composer, played an important role in the development of Slovenian mountaineering. As a nationally conscious Slovenian, he bought Kredarica and the very summit of Triglav from the Municipality of Dovje for five guilders, and put up a modest shelter, called the Aljaž Tower. A miniature replica of the tower can also be viewed in front of his birthplace. The tower of thick galvanised tinplate was made by Anton Belec from Šentvid near Ljubljana. In August 1895, it was brought to Triglav bit by bit and assembled there. This stirred up anger of the Germans, mainly from the Alpen Verein – Sektion Krain mountaineering society which claimed the right to the Slovenian mountains and was the owner of almost all mountain huts in our Alps. The Germans sued Jakob Aljaž and claimed that, by erecting the tower, he destroyed the state triangulation point of the first order, which, of course, was not true as there had been no such point on that spot. In court, Aljaž managed to prove that with the help of an honest captain of the Austro-Hungarian army, Schwartz, who achieved that the tower was later actually used as a triangulation point and it has been state-protected since then.
The front of the birthplace contains a memorial plaque which shows a relief of the north face of Triglav with the Aljaž Tower on the top. Our route which starts in the courtyard of Aljaž's birthplace takes us to Šmarna gora.

The Matjaž Cave
The Matjaž Cave is located on the slope of the Gradišče Hill (471 m). This is the lowest of the three summits of Šmarna gora in its broader sense. The remaining two are, of course, Šmarna gora (669 m) and Grmada (676 m). As a summit, Gradišče, which is approximately 200 metres lower, is only visible from the north and west sides. We reach it if we take the steep path–only on foot, of course. This is a small Karst cave almost devoid of cave ornaments, approximately 30 metres long and 11 metres deep, consisting of two 'rooms'. The ceiling of the larger one includes a 'window' through which daylight penetrates. You may view the cave at your own risk!

In the shelter of the forest of Šmarna gora
The forest is shady, moist and pleasantly cool, the scent of mushrooms seems to float in the air. No wonder, since Šmarna gora is known for its botanical diversity. Its slopes host over 260 species of fungi and no less than 832 plant species including delicious raspberries. You'll find plenty of those along the path.

Šmartno was originally called Šmartin (with the stress on i) after the Church of St. Martin, which is so big that you won't be able to miss it. It was built between 1838 and 1841, and is famous for the art of the painters, Langus, Šubic, Bradaška and Layer.

Bizeljčan Inn
The Bizeljčan Inn is located in Šmartno. They offer service all day every day of the week for individuals, families and closed groups. There is a pleasant shade in the garden including some playground equipment for children.

Košir Inn
The Košir Inn at the very foot of Šmarna gora in Tacen has a venerable tradition. For decades, it has been attracting individuals, families, groups who come here for a snack, rest, entertainment, and gatherings. It is known for its good homemade food, fine service and round-the-clock availability. You may enjoy in the comfort of its shady chestnut garden and playground.

Marienberg Castle
Folk tradition says that on the slope of the Gradišče Hill, once stood the Marienberg Castle, which collapsed when the owners abandoned it and moved to the valley. Today, there are no visible remnants of the castle.

Half past eleven
The medieval stone sign originates from the period of Turkish invasions. The legend says that the Turks once tried to seize the encampment on Šmarna gora but a miracle prevented them from doing so. Namely people who had resorted to the church atop the hill supposedly had a vision of St. Mary who was sending St. Ahac against the Turks. Something must have been going on as Turkish soldiers got scared. They turned around and fled from the hill. This supposedly happened just before noon on St. Ahac day on 22 June 1471 (perhaps in 1475 or 1477) when the Turks were nearby. At the place where they turned around, a stone sign was later erected, and since then, the church bells ring at 11.30 am instead of at noon. So there is no mistake...

Whitewater kayaking
Since 1948, there has been a race track for kayaking on the River Sava in Tacen, where water can be regulated with the gates of the nearby power plant. On the River Sava, a kayak centre with one of the most famous tracks for whitewater slalom was formed. This track saw several world championships (1955, 1991, 2010 etc.), and also national championships and various international races each year. In addition to the water sport, the tourists are attracted by the beautiful surroundings and views from the top of Šmarna gora or Grmada time and time again.

Šmarna gora race
The Šmarna gora race is a traditional mass sporting event which, in addition to recreational runners, attracts best international fell runners.

In Vikrče, the traffic sign marking the cycle lane is turned around and it takes us up the road while the right way is to turn left towards the River Sava.