Length 45.8 km
Time needed
Time needed 03:30
Največja strmina vzpona[%]
Greatest slope of the ascent: 8 %
Greatest slope of the descent: 8 %
Average slope of the ascent: 6 %
Length of ascents above 5%: 6.30 km
The lowest point of the route: 294 m
The highest point of the route: 764 m
Difference in altitude: 883 m
Poraba kalorij
Consumption of energy for men: 7122 kJ (1701 kcal)
Consumption of energy for women: 5803 kJ (1386 kcal)
Difficulty: Very demanding
Quality of the surface
Quality of the surface: Mixture
Type of bike: Trek bike
Short description

A very attractive and demanding route across the Polhov Gradec Dolomites mountain range, from the Ljubljana Marshes to Sora Plain and back. It runs along one of the most beautiful hilly landscapes in Slovenia. It is also unique due to its wonderful views, especially in the afternoon. In addition to the view, we can also satisfy our hunger by observing the rich flora (mainly meadows with diverse meadow flowers), cultural peculiarities, and culinary delicacies offered by numerous inns along our route.


Dolgi most – Kozarje – Dobrova – Šujica – Stranska vas – Toško Čelo – Topol – Tehovec – Studenčice – Žlebe – Preska – Medno – Stanežiče – Dvor – Gunclje – Šentvid – Pržan – Podutik – Vrhovci – Vič – Dolgi most

Park + ride 
The tour begins at the P+R car park in Dolgi most in Vič, where we may safely leave our motor friend and switch to the foot operated aluminium means of transport. This is also the final stop of the city bus no. 6.
Drive along the old road towards Vrhnika and turn right onto Ključ Road soon after the second highway overpass. There is no cycle lane here but the road is not too busy. It ends at the crossroads where you turn towards Dobrova. Just before the crossroads, Bokalce Castle comes into view. But more on that castle later. Continue towards Dobrova , go past it to Šujica, and turn right at the Pr' Prek Snack Bar towards Šentvid. Go past the fields and you'll come to the edge of Stranska vas with the Utik Hill rising above it. The settlement of Podutik was named after this hill.

Tošč and its forehead
To this point, the route ran on a plain but here ascents start. At the beginning, the road ascends gradually with a bit more effort required at hairpin bends which are close to Preval where the ascent temporarily ends. In Preval, turn left and continue towards the Toško čelo along a asphalt road, which gently slopes at first but then it gets steeper and steeper. The road runs constantly through the forest. At weekends, it's very busy with many hikers, cyclists and cars. When you reach the Toško čelo , you can treat yourself to a refreshment at the Bitenc Inn , as the steep slope temporarily reached its end.
From the Toško čelo , make your way towards Topol through the Polhov Gradec Dolomites Landscape Park , which was proclaimed as such in 1974. The road narrows and asphalt is substituted by a nicely maintained macadam . Take advantage of and gather some speed during the first descent as a steep slope follows soon with extensively damaged carriageway. After that, it's down again and up again...and so on. When you reach the ridge, the road starts descending and a view of the central part of the Polhov Gradec Dolomites opens up. The name is a combination of the name of the administrative centre, Polhov Gradec, and the rock the range is made of (dolomite). The quarries along the road, where gravel for road maintenance is excavated, remind you that the name is quite appropriate. Dolomite (calcium magnesium carbonate) is a sedimentary rock which is formed in seas.

The road descends to the beginning of the Topol settlement. The original name of the settlement was Sv. Katarina nad Medvodami. It was changed to Topol in 1955 but most people still refer to it as Katarina.
Before you reach the beginning of the settlement, the Jetrbenk Hill (774 m) with its characteristic conical shape comes into view on the right side. Through Topol, you arrive to the crossing with the main road (738 m) where you turn right up the hill. Drive past the Church of St. Catherine , . If you wish to visit Jetrbenk Castle, this is also the right direction. Topol is a very popular place with tourists as it's the perfect starting point and finish so it's no wonder that this small settlement has so many inns. Continue your way along the steep asphalt road past the the Pr' Jur Inn and Na vihri Inn towards north (direction Tehovec). If you didn't stop at the Dobnikar Inn , , you still have two chances of refreshment before descending towards the valley.

... and Jakob
Behind the Na vihri Inn, asphalt ends again and well maintained macadam continues . As soon as you exit the forest, a view of the idyllic Church of St. James, situated atop of a pointed hill, opens up at the hamlet. This church is not the same as the one under Jetrbenk although it bears the same name. If time is on your side, you may wish to visit the church, it's really worth it. It's possible to reach the church by bike, but it's more appropriate to leave it at the foot of the hill and continue on foot in order not to disturb numerous hikers. The Church of St. James on an 806 m high eponymous hill dates back to the 17th century. It was badly damaged in the earthquake of 1895, and then rebuilt in 1898. Return the same way.

Double views ,
Continue the descent and where the road branches off towards Brezovica, go straight on towards Tehovec . The route slightly descends towards the Church of St. Florian in Tehovec , which was first mentioned in 1548. Next to the church, there is also an interesting sign erected by hunters in memory of their comrades . Continue along a steep slope through the settlement. There is little space for the road, let alone houses, so the road runs literally across courtyards and past front doors. The descent continues and when you pass the last houses, a church can be noticed in the middle of the forest. It is the Church of St. Margaret in Žlebe with the aforementioned Jetrbenk towering above it. St. Margaret is depicted with a defeated dragon at her feet; no wonder, then, that the church dedicated to her was erected on the very spot of a prehistoric fort. It seems as a symbolic victory of religion over paganism.

Towards the Sora Plain
As you exit the forest, you reach the settlement of Studenčice through which the road meanders to the valley. When you get to the valley, pay attention! Just after the sign marking the end of Studenčice , turn right into the forest to a narrow asphalt road with a barely visible sign 'Žlebe'. Go through the forest and somewhat uphill until you reach the right hairpin bend where you branch off to the left to a macadam road straight towards houses (northbound). Continue past the houses and through a pleasant forest until you reach a crossing with another, wider macadam road. Turn left here and descend through the forest for a kilometre or so. Suddenly, the forest ends. You lay your eyes on the Sora Plain and the settlement of Preska , . It feels as though you have just come out of a tunnel . On asphalt again, descend to the elementary school, turn sharply right towards east and then across a car park to the lower road. Keep right. You've reached the Sora Plain.

Plain at last
Drive past the Preska Insemination Centre towards a recreational area where the road narrows and becomes macadam . There are a lot of hikers and recreation enthusiasts so be careful. Somewhere in the middle of the meadows, you can see two big lindens by the road with a chapel, work of Jože Plečnik, placed between them. It is absolutely well worth seeing. Also interesting are the views of Šmarna gora, which is the only visible solitary hill and you can't miss it. Actually, this is the second summit, Grmada, as the first one, Šmarna gora, isn't visible from there. In the lower section of the slope, you may notice cliffs, which delight climbers (Turnc).
Continue along the macadam road to the settlement of Seničica , where our road joins the asphalt road from Žlebe. Keep left and descend towards Medno. As you come near the railway, turn right just before the first house and cross the bridge . Up a minor slope, and you'll reach Medno Hotel , where you can treat yourself to some refreshment. If you don't feel like it, continue past the hotel towards the settlement of Medno along the upper or right road. The lower, left road is the wrong one because it takes you to the main road. Continue towards Stanežiče through the settlement . The road is straight, but speed humps make sure you don't drive too fast. Pay more attention as you approach the Church of St. James , , the third one bearing this name.
Behind the church, turn right onto a narrow cycle lane and drive until you reach an asphalt road where you turn left towards east. Drive through Dvor to Gunclje. There are an American football field and golf course on the left. Turn right at the crossroads and the centre of Gunclje is not far away.
In Gunclje, you may visit the famous Krvin House from the 17th century with a stone entrance portal and beautifully painted façade. The chapel in the middle of the crossroads in front of the house is also interesting, and the Rajšp House a few metres on is from the same period.

Outskirts of the city
Turn left at the crossroads. Slowly (speed humps) drive to the place where bus no. 1 turns around and continue to the traffic lights crossing with Celovška Road. Continue on a neat cycle lane to the crossroads with Andrej Bitenc Road. Turn right, go up the hill for a bit and soon you'll cross the Kranj–Ljubljana motorway just after the Šentvid Tunnel.
Along Andrej Bitenc Road, drive through Pržan, past Kamna Gorica and through Dolnice to Glince, where you turn left towards Podutik onto Dolniška Road. This section runs through an interesting alley of old pear trees . At the fire station, turn right onto Kozak Street before the NOB (national liberation struggle) monument , and drive along this street to the quarry with an old brick lime kiln on the right . It was used to gain burnt lime or quicklime.
At the quarry, turn left onto the main road towards Podutik. The place used to be known for its stonecutters and some are still active today. In the centre of the settlement, turn right at the Etna Pizza Restaurant and then left after some 250 metres onto Mladinska Street.
Continue along this street across the meadows towards Grič . Leave behind a motorway base and police station , and when you reach the forest, turn right into another forest heading west just before the traffic lights crossing, and then immediately turn left. The asphalt road is very narrow and quite steep so watch out for the cars. When you reach the top, you catch sight of the Lesnina Brdo Commercial Centre and Nursing Home with a roundabout in front of them. Go past towards south.

The road slopes down and then you see Bokalce Castle , . Under the castle, turn left onto Vrhovci Road and continue along a motorway underpass past the Pečarič Inn . If you have problems with your bike, you may seek help at the bicycle repair shop in the immediate vicinity. The road has less traffic than the parallel Dolomiti odred Road and it soon brings you to the Origano Pizza Restaurant . Turn left onto the one-way Cesta na Vrhovce Road to the Žabar Inn , . Only a short way and level crossing away is Tržaška Road where the cycle lane takes you to the starting point P+R in Dolgi most.

You've enjoyed some beautiful views, breathed in fresh air, and treated the meter to additional 43 kilometres. Perhaps you should go again sometime.

Monument to Partisan Messengers
At the end of a short plain where you've come from Preval, a Monument to the Partisan Messengers greets you.
The monument is located next to the route of the Messenger Path of the Dolomites trail (25 km) in memory of partisan messengers who were a part of the information system of the Slovene partisan army and, as such, an important connection between the partisan units and other authorities of NOG (national liberation movement) across Slovenia. A system of messenger relay stations was organised, where partisan messengers, despite the efforts and dangers which threatened them, performed the given tasks, many times at the cost of their own lives.

The name Jetrbenk is a non-standard word deriving from German Hertenberg. Today, the place where a castle, the home of the Jetrbenk robber knights, once stood is marked by a large cross. The castle was built in the 12th and deserted in the 15th century. It was completely demolished by the great earthquake of 1511 and the locals say that the Church of St. James, one of the many with the same name, was erected on the north-east slope from its rubble which rolled down to the valley. The modest remnants of the ruins of the castle are still visible, and if you wish to see them, you should choose the path going past the Church of St. Catherine . The last ascent is only possible on foot. And don't forget about the treasure which, according to folk tradition, is supposed to be hidden under the castle.

Nature , ,
Nature has endowed these places with an abundance of forests and wonderful meadows, which have preserved their biotic diversity due to less intensive farming.

Views from Sv. Jakob
The view from the top is spectacular. Also wonderful are the views towards the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Karavanke, Julian Alps, Polhov Gradec Dolomites, Dinaric Alps and Zasavje Hills. If the weather is fine, Kum, Krim, Snežnik and Nanos can also be seen. Perhaps the most interesting is the view towards Ljubljana, especially in the afternoon when it is sunlit, and towards the evening when the lights are being turned on. The entire Ljubljana Basin is as clear as a day.

Views from Tehovec
As you reach the ridge with the nucleated village of Tehovec, views towards the Ljubljana Basin and Šmarna gora open up from the right and towards the beautiful valley of the Ločnica Stream from the left. On the opposite slopes of this stream, Govejk and Osolnik are clearly visible. If you look further left, almost directly towards south, you may notice a characteristic pyramid-shaped summit of Polhograjska Grmada, which is an interesting trip destination. On its right is the rounded blunt summit of Tošč, a very popular summit and the highest in this section of the Polhov Gradec Dolomites, with fabulous views. The outlines of the Julian Alps with Triglav in the middle are arching in the distance.

The characteristic of dolomite is that it nicely crushes into sand or breaks down into pieces with sharp edges. It is mostly used as construction material, and if it is suitably massive, it is also good for stonecutting products. The one found in roadside quarries is cracked and crushed due to the activity of tectonic forces and decaying, thus it is possible to gain sand for sanding roads directly from the original rock without additional milling. It is dug up with excavators and the traces of their bucket teeth are clearly visible in the walls of quarries. Dolomite is somewhat harder than lime and does not melt as easily in acids as limestone. This makes it more resilient to weather conditions, for example acid rain. It was named after Dolomieu, a French engineer, and an old Slovenian term for it is grintavec. How does the Polhov Gradec Grintavci sound? Very homely...

A chapel by Jože Plečnik After the death of his only son, a merchant and composer, Lovro Hafner, had the Chapel of the Virgin Mary erected in 1934. He had asked Jože Plečnik to prepare the plans, and Plečnik's creation is truly interesting and wonderful, and so much different from similar structures.

Bokalce Castle ,
It was first mentioned in 1580 in a purchase contract, which means that it must have been build before that time. A part of the interior is painted with frescos which were removed from the original location and are today kept by the National Gallery.
The castle is not arranged for tourists and is in need of a serious renovation. The hope for renovation was prompted by the last change in ownership, but the owner will probably have to wait for more appropriate times. Let's all hope it is not too late.

Pr' Prek Snack Bar and Pizza Restaurant
A nice inn with a wide range of various dishes and a space where closed groups can enjoy the atmosphere of a genuine picnic.

Bitenc Inn ,
The ascent to Toško čelo is really harsh and a not-so-fit cyclist cannot manage it easily. So after the ascent, a break and tea or coffee at the Pri Bitencu Inn are well deserved. If you decided to take the route in the counterclockwise direction, a homemade dish would be nice, which is served on the terrace with a wonderful view of Ljubljana . On cooler days, you may also warm up next to a genuine wood-fired oven.

Dobnikar Inn ,
Lunch at the Dobnikar Inn is almost a rule for many hikers going to Katarina on Saturdays or Sundays. They are never disappointed, especially if they enjoy one of the traditional Slovenian dishes. Views from the terrace also justify the hiker's effort .

Pr' Jur Inn
This inn is known not only for its fine homemade food and desserts, but it offers numerous dishes made from game, and you can relish the views to the surrounding summits and landscape. For groups of over fifteen people, the inn is open by prior arrangement.

Na Vihri Inn
This inn is a neighbour of the Pr' Jur Inn; so views of the surroundings should not surprise you. Here as well guests are provided with delicious homemade dishes.

Medno Hotel
This used to be quite a disreputable hotel, but recently it has gained new momentum. The owners of the hotel offer their guests overnight accommodation, tasty dishes in drinks in the restaurant, the possibility of organisation of seminars, preparation of programmes for closed groups and pampering in the wellness centre. If the weather is clear, there is a stunning view of the Julian and Kamnik-Savinja Alps, and Karavanke from the terrace in front of the hotel.

Pečarič Inn
Tradition of this inn does not reach as far back as that of the Žabar Inn, but creativity is one of the cornerstones for keeping guests satisfied. From the beginning until today, the inn has been offering everything from a bar, bowling alley, pool hall, dance club to the Baroque hall which is suitable for various celebrations and business events.

Origano Restaurant and Pizza Restaurant
When the owners swapped, the Origano Restaurant and Pizza Restaurant emerged at the place of the former Jamnik Inn. But the new hospitality acquisition in Ljubljana is more than meets the eye. Origano is a culinary centre, bistro and wine shop, a place for exhibiting gourmet specialities, training in pizza baking and ice cream preparation.

Pri Žabarju Inn ,
This inn is one of the inns in Ljubljana with tradition and good reputation. Travellers are offered excellent food, desserts in a confectionery and overnight accommodation.

Rich club
At the Rich club, you may have a coffee or tea before embarking on a journey. The rest of its offer is more appropriate if you wish to taste wines or entertain yourself late into the night.

Sputnik, the world café
A café which is more than that. Concerts accompanied by delicious snacks take place in its rooms. We can go to the café alone or book a room for larger groups.

Pr' Noni Inn
The last inn along your route. Perhaps it is just right, as lunch or early dinner is at hand after a strenuous cycling tour. They will serve you with dishes which satisfy various tastes: meat, vegetarian, fish or chef's menu. And, of course, excellent wine.

Legend of a Dragon
The legend is about the construction of the Church of St. Margaret and may be linked to the nearby Gradišče. When the Church of St. Margaret was being built, a fierce dragon was residing in a deep cave between the nave and the belfry, which is standing on its own. In order not to hurt them, he demanded from the locals a fat calf and a barrel of wine each day. When it was the poor small property owner's turn whose only calf perished the day before, the dragon demanded his daughter. The owner took a stranger's advice: he skinned the calf, stuffed it with quicklime and threw it to the dragon. The dragon did not recognise the deceit and when it ate the calf, it became thirsty. Quicklime in the dragon's stomach, mixed with water, boiled and the evil dragon perished. Before it passed away, it had had enough strength to swing its tail and demolish the church. Perhaps this story reminds us of the construction of the current church or that of its predecessor.

Notes on the possible old settlement
Near the Church of St. Margaret, there is a hill called Gradišče. According to priest Koblar's notes, as far back as 1884, ancient walls could be discovered on its ridge only an inch below the turf and tree roots. This has not been researched yet, although experts believe that it was probably a Late Antique or Old Slavic settlement.

Following the paths of robber knights
The event is not organised on a certain day in the year as other events, for example from Litija to Čatež, nevertheless, it is quite similar. Namely, at the end of the path, a book is waiting for the participants intended for them to sign into and confirm that they have walked or cycled the entire path. And, truly, the book already contains a large number of signatures.

Celebrating 26th December – Plebiscite Day
The traditional event on Sv. Jakob is to reminisce about the plebiscite in 1990. The celebration is also attended by the Slovenian Government. The celebration takes place in any weather.

The route takes you along macadam roads (Toško čelo–Topol, Preska–Seničica) which are maintained but their condition deteriorates quickly after heavy downpours. This mainly holds true for the ascent to Topol, where the macadam road is ribbed, and transverse ditches are quite deep and unpleasant for cyclists, especially if they do not ride a mountain bike.