Length 34.6 km
Time needed
Time needed 02:30
Največja strmina vzpona[%]
Greatest slope of the ascent: 7 %
Greatest slope of the descent: 7 %
Average slope of the ascent: 6 %
Length of ascents above 5%: 5.50 km
The lowest point of the route: 300 m
The highest point of the route: 650 m
Difference in altitude: 819 m
Poraba kalorij
Consumption of energy for men: 5087 kJ (1215 kcal)
Consumption of energy for women: 4145 kJ (990 kcal)
Difficulty: Demanding
Quality of the surface
Quality of the surface: Mixture
Type of bike: Trek bike
Short description

A very attractive and somewhat more demanding route takes you from Podutik to the edge of the Ljubljana Marshes and the Gradaščica Valley, from where you then ascend Toško čelo. You'll be driving over the hills on the eastern side of the Polhov Gradec Dolomites and, before Katarina, you'll descend steeply into the valley of the Malveščica Stream, and reach the River Sava with this stream in Medno. From Medno, the route will take you along the foot of the hills through suburban villages back to Podutik.
The shape of the route is reminiscent of the drawing of the ghost or its lamp from the story of Aladdin's lamp.
The route runs along one of the most beautiful hilly landscapes in Slovenia, unique because of its wonderful views, especially in the afternoon. In addition to the views, gentle cycling souls can also enjoy the rich flora (especially meadows with the abundance of colourful meadow flowers), cultural peculiarities and, last but not least, culinary delicacies offered by numerous inns along the route.


Podutik – Grič - Brdo – Bokalce – Stranska vas - Preval – Toško Čelo – Topol – Babni Dol - Golo Brdo – Seničica – Medno – Stanežiče – Dvor – Gunclje – Šentvid – Pržanj – Dolnice – Glince – Podutik

Lowland introduction to...
You're headed to the Polhov Gradec Hills, which, naturally, means driving up steep slopes, so it would be good to warm up a bit and indulge in some slow lowland cycling, which will prepare you for greater efforts. You'll start off in Podutik, which was selected to be the starting point (if you arrived by car, you can leave it at a smaller car park next to the quarry near the end stop of city bus no. 7). While exercising and warming up for cycling, you can check out the old brick lime kiln , which was erected in 1875 by a stonecutter, Lovrenc Vodnik, from Podutik. It was used for burning lime from limestone, which was crushed in the neighbouring quarry, and with it, Ljubljana and the surrounding villages were supplied.
From the quarry, dash along the main road through Podutik towards Ljubljana, and a few tens of metres after the self-service shop, turn right past the Etna Pizza Restaurant , where you'll probably have a snack on your way back. You're driving through a built-up area along a cul-de-sac so you need to look for a parallel road on your left. It's best to do that at the first decent left turn, which is about 250 metres from the self-service shop. You'll reach Mladinska Street. Follow it between the meadows all the way to Grič, where the Police Station and Motorway Maintenance Centre are located . Leave both behind and drive to the traffic lights crossing, cross it and go past the shopping centre to the roundabout not far away.
Continue on the other side of the roundabout and go right past the retirement home towards Bokalce. Descend along the slope past once beautiful but now, unfortunately, rather neglected Bokalce Castle , . At the moment, you're at the bottom of the Aladdin's lamp and if you could rub it, you'd probably want the castle to glow in its previous beauty.

... asphalt and other bends...
Below the castle, there's a crossroads, where you'll turn right onto a pleasant asphalt road with barely any traffic, along which you'll reach Stranska vas in the shade of trees and sound of mysteriously murmuring Gradaščica Stream . At the crossroads with the main road, go straight on and a bit to the right, while the roads turn even more to the right into the valley of the Čepski graben. The end of the road is also the beginning of bends and a substantial slope. It's marked as 12% but seems steeper. At the top, there's the Preval pass . If you crossed it, you'd return to Podutik, but this route doesn't finish this quickly, so turn left towards Toško čelo. After a short straight stretch, you'll need to push those pedals again after the Monument to Messengers . The good asphalt road leads all the way to the top, but it's rather steep and, especially at weekends, quite busy, as it's taken over by larger or smaller groups of visitors, mostly pedestrians, in fine weather. For those of you who find this annoying, we recommend patience and moderate use of your bell. And don't forget: when you meet a person in the hills, it's appropriate to greet them. When you reach Toško čelo, all sweaty, you can relax and refresh in one of the inns there . You can also make a turn to the hunting lodge, cast an eye on the capital , and then hop back on your bike and you're off to Topol.

... through a landscape park...
Asphalt is soon gone , and you'll find yourself in the Polhov Gradec Dolomites Landscape Park. The macadam road is rather well-maintained and you'll have to keep an eye on walkers on beautifully afternoons. Cycle up and down (first rather than the latter), and avoid the damaged parts of the carriageway along the slopes – it can be severe mainly after downpours. Drive past several limestone quarries . Limestone here is so fragile that the rock itself crushes into sand, which is then used to patch up holes in the carriageway. The surroundings are exceptionally beautiful and, during the ascent, you can feast your eyes on the greenery of the lush forests and meadows with many flowers . The beauty eases the troubles, but you're probably fed up with slopes and grumble to yourself: "If only these slopes ended!", which is considered your wish for the ghost from the Aladdin's lamp.

...past a mysterious castle...
Your wish is about to come true. Suddenly, a view towards west (Topol, Katarina, Jeterbenk, the Ljubljana Plain...) opens up. You've reached the top of the route. From here on, the only way is down (almost). From the forest on the slope, you'll reach a meadow, where an asphalt road towards Topol starts. On the ridge in the middle of the meadow, there's a crossroads . If you turned left, you'd reach Topol, but instead turn right towards the lonely farms on the slope and on into the valley. The asphalt road soon comes to an end; there are a few short sections of asphalt only at some farms. Straight ahead is the cone-shaped Jeterbenk Hill , where a castle of the Hertenberg Knights once stood.

...for a rest and homemade snack
Continue along a slope sandy path between the meadows and farms below Jeterbenk. At intersections between the farms, you need to be careful not to turn uphill. The slope road is becoming increasingly steeper so you need to squeeze those brake handles really tightly. Additional caution in this section of the route is recommended. This steep forest road is one of the main reasons why we recommend the Aladdin's lamp to be cycled clockwise, because when you look back on this road, you're happy you don't have to cycle back up that hill. During the way down, you can stop and enjoy the beautiful views of the landscape and individual scenes , from nature, but when driving, you need to focus on the path ahead of you as it's intersected by drainage ditches , which prevent sand erosion from the steep road during downpours. The forest path will bring you to the meadows in the valley . Soon, you'll reach a crossroads with an asphalt road and this is really the end of macadam paths. At the crossroads, turn left and continue to the turn towards the Slavko's Hut. Just before the Slavko's Hut, there's a small karst cave with a few flowstone formations in the forest slope on the opposite hill. To variegate the trip , you can get off your bike and walk two or three hundred metres uphill to the entrance . The cave entrance is low and steep, and often moist and muddy, so we recommend the use of a safety rope to descent into its interior.
The nicely renovated Slavko's Hut a bit further up the path is the post which can be estimated as a very appropriate place for refreshment, if you need one, of course. A homemade snack is certainly welcome, not to mention the traditional 'white kidneys' the hut has been known after for ages. From the terrace below the Hut, a wonderful view of the Polhov Gradec Dolomites, which you've just left, opens up.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with continuing the ride along the road towards Seničica , and on to the crossroads next to a small bridge , where you'll turn right and go uphill towards the Medno Hotel . If the weather is nice, a wonderful view of the hills, where you cycled half an hour ago, and all the way to Triglav , , over the River Sava from Medvode to the Karavanke and Kamnik-Savinja Alps, which are clearly visible, opens up.

Let's change direction – back to the city
Go past the hotel to the intersection before Medno, where you'll turn right – if you went straight ahead, you'd drive onto the main road, which is far too busy and dangerous for cycling. So continue along the narrow road through Medno and although there are some unpleasant holes, this is way better than a queue of cars. From Medno , descend along a slope, a riser between the upper and lower Sava flood terrace, to the fields and after many bumps and a kilometre of winding between the fields, you'll reach the next minor slope, which will take you to Stanežiče . Drive straight on along the main road for some time until you reach the chapel at the eastern end of the village before an abandoned sandpit and look right. You'll see a cycle lane between the fields and a beautiful Baroque church a bit further on. Turn right onto a narrow two-way cycle lane, which runs right next to the beautifully renovated Baroque Church of St. James , . Keep driving until you reach a wider asphalt road, where you'll turn left towards the city. The road will take you past Dvor, in a long left turn past an American football field to Gunclje, where you'll turn right towards the village. In the centre of Gunclje, old, nicely painted farm buildings from the early 17th century and the chapel at the crossroads are worth seeing. You've probably come to terms with the humps, so turn onto Gunceljska Road and indulge in the rhythmic waves. In order not to get a feeling that you're on a ship in the middle of the Adriatic Sea, you can take a look to or turn right below the hill, where the ski jumps of the Dolomiti Skiing Society are located , . Some of the most successful Slovenian ski jumpers took their first sport steps on these ski jumps.

Holes in the Šentvid Hill
You'll exit Gunclje at the Merkur Shopping Centre opposite the Jelen Inn. You'll reach Celovška Road, where you'll turn right onto a two-way cycle lane leading towards Šentvid and on towards Ljubljana at a stop where the city bus no. 1 turns back into the city. Drive through an underpass under the slip road to the Šentvid Motorway Tunnel and you'll soon reach the centre of Šentvid . On your left, you'll notice the bank, the parish Church of St. Vitus and primary school. Turn right and then immediately left onto Šentviška Street, which is parallel to Celovška Road, but not so busy. Boredom is broken off by a moderate slope. Push your pedals strongly and you'll reach the top in no time. On the other side, it's downhill again, of course, and then up a little and down a little. Stick to the right at the crossroads and drive along the foot of the Šentvid Hill along Podgorska Road until you turn right onto Andrej Bitenc Road, which will quickly take you through Pržan, over the motorway and through the long settlements of Dolnice to Glince, where a short ascent starts. In Dolnice, you could turn left onto a shortcut towards Podutik, which runs through a beautiful street lined with pear trees ; instead, go straight ahead and make some effort driving up a minor slope before the end of the route.
At the top of the slope, you'll see an information board about Brezarjevo brezno, a place where massacres took place after World War II. There were about 800 victims, soldiers and civilians, and their remains were later transported from the abyss to the common burying ground in the neighbouring Kucja Valley. The large Brezigarjevo brezno Abyss has been declared a cultural monument. It isn't more than 300 metres away from the road, but you can only reach it on foot.
There's a crossroad a bit further ahead, where you'll turn left and descend along a rather steep slope past the Kačji Dol Inn and a bus station to the finish of the route at the quarry in Podutik.
It went well, didn't it? It really is no wonder that cycling races were organised in this area even before World War II.

The shape of the described cycling route is reminiscent of the lamp from the story about Aladdin's wonder lamp (stories from One Thousand and One nights). Podutik is on the verge of this wonder lamp and when you get off the bike after you've completed the route, take a look around. Perhaps you'll find a golden ring glowing in the grass, which makes every wish come true, just like Aladdin did at the end of the story.

Grey lime called 'gliničan'
In Podutik, there's an old quarry near the starting point, where the renowned lime called 'gliničan', named after the settlement of Glince, used to be excavated. The rock is nothing special—it's of light grey to dark grey colour, it doesn't reach the quality of the lime from Podpeč or Lesno Brdo—but it still played an important role in the construction of Ljubljana. It was already used by the ancient Romans and most of it was used during the renovation of the city after the earthquake just before the end of the 19th century. In the past, it also used to be popular for building ornaments, such as entrance portals or window frames. Thus stonecutting developed in Podutik and some of it has remained until today. As a particularly interesting fact, we should also mention that the central bridge of the Triple Bridge is made of 'glinčan'.

Lime kiln in Podutik
At the quarry in Podutik, there's an old brick lime kiln , which was built in 1875 by a stonecutter, Lovrenc Vodnik, from Podutik. It was used for burning lime from limestone, which was crushed in the neighbouring quarry, and with it, Ljubljana and the surrounding villages were supplied. It was used to gain burnt lime or quicklime. Lime production especially thrived after the catastrophic Ljubljana earthquake of 1895. However, the development of industrial lime production caused the craft to die down. The Podutik lime kiln was last lit after World War II.
The procedure of acquiring lime was strenuous, as an arch above the firebox had to be made from processed pieces of lime and the kiln stuffed full with rocks before each burning process. There were a few tens of tonnes of limestone in the kiln. Then a fire was lit under the arch, and the rocks were burnt day and night for a week or so at high temperature. Calcium carbonate (limestone) was transformed into calcium oxide or burnt lime, which was transported to customers by carts. It was intended for the production of mortar, and better lime was also intended for painting interior walls. Burnt lime as such was useless. First, it had to be mixed with water so that during a turbulent reaction, during which heat was released, slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) was produced. To achieve better quality, it was left outside in special caves for years, which gave it an even, 'greasy' structure.

Bokalce Castle
Its beginnings reach far back into the past—the first stone fortress was supposedly erected here as early as the 12th century—but the castle was not mentioned until 1580 in a purchase contract. It had swapped numerous owners since then and was nationalised after World War II. They say that a state is a bad master and this really holds true in this case. Since they couldn't come up with anything better, the castle was intended for 'farming'. The ground floor was refurbished to become the administration area of the Ljubljanske mlekarne company, while the upper floors were converted into apartments for workers and the surroundings into pastures for cattle. This was alright for a while, but not for long. The diary company moved to another location, the pastures were replaced by a motorway and the living quarters remained inhabited. After Slovenia had become independent, the castle was returned to its last owners in a denationalisation process and later sold to a private investor, who was supposed to thoroughly renovate it. A lot has happened, but the passage of time is merciless and the castle is still deteriorating . The once rich inventory has been scattered to all directions in the recent years: for example, the Narcissus Well with the beautiful statue of Narcissus from the castle courtyard is located in the City Hall, the famous frescos are in the National Gallery, whereas the whereabouts of the remaining movable property are unknown to anyone.

Monument to the Partisan Messengers
At the end of a short plain where you've come from Preval, a Monument to the Partisan Messengers greets you on your right.
The monument is located next to the route of the Messenger Path of the Dolomites trail, which is 25 km long, in memory of partisan messengers who were a part of the information system of the Slovenian 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.

Jeterbenk Castle
The castle of the Hertenberg Knights, ministers of the Spanheims, dukes of Carinthia, once stood on the Jeterbenk (a non-standard word deriving from German Hertenberg) Hill . Ministers were members of lower nobility who performed military or administrative service for higher nobles; the Spanheims were those famous noblemen whose seat was at Ljubljana Castle and who first used the renowned coat of arms with a black climbing panther on white background, and some people wished for it to become the national symbol of the Republic of Slovenia. As the Spanheims had no descendants, the rule over their lands (including Carniola) was inherited by Ottokar II of Bohemia, who also adopted the aforementioned coat of arms. But not for long, as he was killed in a battle with the Habsburgs in Moravia, and the rule over this part of Slovenia was taken over by the Counts of Gorica and held it until 1335 when it was claimed by the Habsburgs. In written sources, Jeterbenk Castle was first explicitly mentioned in 1252 and in 1444 for the last time when it had already been abandoned. In the 14th century, the original tower building on the top of the hill was replaced by a more modern building at the fort near the Church of St. Margaret in Žlebe (on the other side of the hill in front of you), but it was soon abandoned, perhaps even deliberately demolished. Namely the knights of Hertenberg were robbers and there is a great possibility that they got hurt during one of the Habsburg punitive campaigns. The Hertenberg Knights supposedly erected the Nebovz (Nebojse) tower, which is mentioned in the folk tradition, but its actual location has never been found. The treasure the knights supposedly hid under Jeterbenk Castle has also never been found.

Church of St. James in Stanežiče
This is a Baroque church . The belfry was erected in 1681, while the octagonal nave and square presbytery were built in 1721, and the narthex in 1749. The arch of the nave is bath-shaped, the one in the presbytery cross-shaped, and the interior walls are richly divided with lesenes and garlands. The high altar is a classicistic work of Matevž Tomec from 1856, while the four side-altars are designed in the Baroque tradition. The altars of the Holy Cross and St. Florian date back to 1739, while the altars of St. Peregrine and St. Lucia were renovated in 1934.

In historical records, Šentvid was mentioned as early as the times of the Illyrians and Celts. An important cargo route, which connected the Ljubljana Basin and Carinthia, ran through Šentvid. Numerous Roman sites are the proof of that.
Between 1408 and 1584, Šentvid was often attacked and burnt down by the Turks. Another great problem was plague, which claimed many lives, especially in the middle of the 17th century. Due to this disease, the city and church authorities withdrew to Kamnik or Gornji Grad already in the middle of the 16th century.
A very important landmark in the history of Šentvid was the Vižmarje Rally attended by about 40,000 people from the entire Slovenia on 17 May 1869 in the Vižmarje Forest. It was run by Dr. Bleiweis. Its success is owed to Blaž Potočnik, the then priest in Šentvid. People at the rally demanded an autonomous united Slovenia and the equality of the Slovenian language.

Nature has endowed these places with forests with approximately the same share of coniferous and deciduous trees. There are plenty of beautiful meadows on the ridges and gradual slopes near the villages and in the valleys, which have preserved their biotic diversity due to less intensive farming.

Etna Pizza Restaurant in Podutik
You'll enjoy a warm pizza and cool drink after cycling the Aladdin lamp more than at the beginning of the route.

Pri Bitencu Inn on Toško Čelo
The ascent to Toško čelo is so demanding that 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 will be 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, Topol
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 like the traditional Slovenian dishes. Prices are appropriate as well. There is usually enough space and the views from the terrace justify the efforts the hikers make.

Slavko's Hut
This is a suitable and tranquil post, where you can refresh before moving on.

Medno Hotel
In addition to hotel rooms, the Medno Hotel, just next to the route, offers plenty of tasty foods and drinks in its restaurant, and, if the weather is clear, there is a wonderful view of the Julian Alps, Karavanke and Kamnik-Savinja Alps from the terrace in front of the hotel.

Jelen Inn, Vižmarje
This old inn and its owners have seen their ups and downs in the past, but now it is renovated and yet again enriching the culinary offer of Šentvid and its surroundings.

Šentvid Tunnel
Even before its opening, the Šentvid Tunnel had occupied the Slovenian media for a number of years, as its construction was accompanied by numerous delays, complications, price increases and affairs. After the tunnel was finally opened after numerous years of construction, the ceiling soon began to fall down causing the tunnel to be closed again. During the first few years, the expensive Šentvid Tunnel was closed more than it was opened, and people made up numerous jokes about it, including the one about how Donat, mineral water, would be useful for it. After initial problems, the tunnel has remained open most of the time and we wish for it to continue being open so that there is less traffic on the roads around Šentvid.

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

The route takes you along macadam roads (Toško čelo–Topol–Golo Brdo), which are maintained but their condition deteriorates quickly after downpours. Macadam is jagged, transverse rainwater ditches are quite deep in some places and thus unpleasant for cyclists, especially if they aren't riding a mountain bike.
If you're using a mountain or a good trek bike, the route is appropriate in all seasons; however, upon snowfall in winter, more remote roads can be left unploughed for longer periods of time. After rain and if the carriageway is wet, asphalt in the forest can be very slippery.