Length 49.6 km
Time needed
Time needed 03:30
Največja strmina vzpona[%]
Greatest slope of the ascent: 4 %
Greatest slope of the descent: 8 %
Average slope of the ascent: 4 %
Length of ascents above 5%: 3.10 km
The lowest point of the route: 568 m
The highest point of the route: 290 m
Difference in altitude: 618 m
Poraba kalorij
Consumption of energy for men: 7122 kJ (1701 kcal)
Consumption of energy for women: 5803 kJ (1386 kcal)
Difficulty: Demanding
Quality of the surface
Quality of the surface: Asphalt
Type of bike: Road bike
Short description

An undulating route, intended for well-prepared cyclists, starts with the warming-up at the plain on the edge of the Marshes and continues with a demanding ascent to Turjak and a racing descent to Grosuplje. It finally ends at the starting point on the edge of the Ljubljana Marshes. The route begins at the edge of the city hustle and bustle with vehicles whizzing in Rudnik, but it later leads to a quieter valley of the Želimeljščica River. The ascent to Turjak will strengthen the body and you'll be able to think about famous and invincible Auerspergs while cycling up the hill. You'll rest from Turjak on, as the gravity will take you to the flat Grosuplje Plain where, again encircled by traffic, you'll return to the starting point.
The route runs along the asphalt paths; some of them are of quite interesting shapes due to the marshy ground, while the short section of the route (800 m) below Pijava Gorica is macadam. It is not difficult to orientate on the route, but because of the busy roads it is necessary to cycle carefully.


Nakupovalno središče Rudnik – Škofljica – Želimlje – Turjak – Grosuplje – Šmarje-Sap – Škofljica – Nakupovalno središče Rudnik

Counts of Turjak (Auerspergs) were one of the bravest and most famous warriors in the history of Slovenia, as they made it difficult for the Turks to ravage the land, while many ladies of the castle admired them. Head to their castle at Turjak, armed with your bike and a will of iron.

The shopping centre at Rudnik is your starting point and you can reach it along Dolenjska or Jurčkova roads by car which you can park at one of the car parks. If you came by train, alight from it at Galjevica railway station. Make your way through the labyrinth of roads to the utmost southern edge of the shopping centre, cross the railway line and turn right to the main road towards Škofljica.

Stick to the right edge of the road due to heavy traffic and try to meet other vehicles as safely as possible. You'll first get to Lavrica, which is also the starting point for Čemšenik Castle Footpath (perhaps some other time?), but you continue to Škofljica which is the seat of Pekarna Pečjak Bakery and where you can thus supply yourself with the appropriate amount of carbohydrates for the road. In Škofljica, turn to the road to Kočevje , and then continue straightforward (or slightly to the right) at all main crossroads. On the right side at the crossroads, do take a look at the last remains of the former village centre of Škofljica - Španček Homestead which used to be an inn, fairground and a cart drivers' stop in the time of cart drivers. The inn took care of horses too which were tied to the famous Robežnik double hayrack. Proud locals claim that this might be the longest hayrack in Europe. The owner moved it a few metres away from the road, due to the expansion of the main road, in order to preserve it for the next generations as the hayrack is of great importance for the identity of the settlement. Cross the railway line at the end of Škofljica and soon after, turn right to Ig to avoid the busy main road as soon as possible. You are now at a pleasantly empty road on the Marshes where you turn left at the end of the forest (on your left) and continue to Pijava Gorica. You've reached the main road Ljubljana-Kočevje which is accompanied by the birch-lined alley ; however, in the time of Maria Theresa, apple trees grew there. During their long walks across the unknown lands, the soldiers and hikers thus got free food from the trees in the autumn. This road used to connect Drava Banovina with Sušak at Reka in Croatia, as the Slovenian coast belonged to the Kingdom of Italy prior World War II and the sea was thus much further than today. Due to the marshy ground, the road is uneven, however, cycling along it is pleasant and carefree and full of genuine marshy flair and lovely panoramas of the plain . When you reach the petrol station at the main road, turn right and bypass Pijava Gorica and Pijavški hrib along the flat section. The asphalt road just behind the houses is replaced by an 800-metre long section of macadam, so the cyclists with city bikes should cycle this section a little more carefully. Pijavška barjanska pot Path, a circular hiking trail, which leads from Pijava Gorica to the Marshes runs partly on this road. The path is equipped with boards describing the cultural, historic and natural peculiarities of this area and joins the road from Pijava Gorica to Želimlje . The road runs along the very edge of the Želimlje Valley, a narrow valley which is located at the end of the Ljubljana Marshes and at the alluvial fan of the Želimeljščica with cultivated surfaces. The valley is on the eastern side towards Turjak encompassed by the forest karst hills, while the western side towards Kurešček is hilly and intertwined with gorges and hamlets.

Under the free sun in Želimlje
The road takes you to Želimlje, a settlement known for the Church of St. Vitus. At the beginning of the 20th century, Fran Saleški Finžgar was a priest in Želimlje. During his work there, he wrote the monumental historical novel Pod svobodnim soncem (Under the Free Sun). The novel describes a famous period of Slovenians from the times of their early settlement when the people were still free under the sun, subordinated to no one and without the supreme leader, living in a democracy where the assembly of elders decided in the name of the people. This sounds almost too good to be true today. In the honour of the elder Svarun, Svarun Path has been arranged. The path connects places which were important for the formation of the story. The path starts in Škofljica, rises over the hilly surroundings to Vrh nad Želimljami, descends down the valley of the Želimeljščica and returns to Škofljica. You've already cycled the part of Svarun Path between Škofljica and Pijava Gorica. Turn left to the valley of the Želimeljščica at the chapel , where the newly asphalted and winding road along the forest and the Želimeljščica takes you to Turjak. The road behind the first houses in Podturjak gently ascends. At the turning for the settlement of Ščurki and some other villages , turn left to the valley of the Bajdinc Stream towards Turjak.

The Bajdinc Stream, a right tributary of the Želimeljščica River, springs below Gora (Sv. Ahac) which you'll approach when descending from Turjak. The Bajdinc Stream creates four marvellous waterfalls along its course, because of its great difference in altitude. The view of the waterfalls will definitely make your route more diverse. Two paths lead to the waterfalls: a longer one from the valley where you proceed over the stream at the bridge along the right bank up the hill, and a shorter one (which is also safer) which descends from the cemetery at the houses below Turjak Castle. You need proper shoes and some climbing skills to visit the Bajdinc waterfalls, as the path along the stream is steep in some sections.

The road with some hairpins (for more than 200 metres) ascends toward Turjak Castle and the view of the mighty walls will reward you for the efforts you've put into getting there . The castle got its name after the extinct powerful and aggressive wild cattle - urus - which used to live in this area and is also depicted in the castle's coat-of-arms. Turjak was one of the most important castles in Carniola, its greatest power and glory coincided with Reformation, Turkish invasions and peasant revolts. The Turjak noblemen, Auerspergs, were Protestants and thus supported Trubar and Dalmatin in their efforts to spread Protestantism and promote Slovenian language. In the 16th century, the Auerspergs bravely defended their land and religion in more than ten decades long battles against the Turks in the wider area of former Austrian Monarchy.
As a silent observer of the events, a mighty 100-year-old linden tree grows in front of the castle. Instead of using the linden tree, Prešeren poetised an oak tree in his poem of the beautiful Rosamund of Turjak, a presumptuous and boastful lady of the castle. By changing the trees, he made fun of the Auerspergs as he refused to ascribe them the symbol of Slovenian identity - the linden tree. The remains of the tree-lined alley , where knight games took place, are still visible at the castle. The path between the houses below the castle turns to the 400 m distant cemetery with a church which is located amid the forest. There is also a starting point for the previously mentioned ten-minute descent to the Bajdinc Stream or Bajdinc waterfalls. On the main road Ljubljana-Kočevje, take one last look at the castle , and then cross the road and turn toward Grosuplje. You can see the conical Gora on the left, which is also known under the name of Sv. Ahac, after the church of St. Acacius at the top. Gora was populated already in the ancient times and was in the time of Turkish invasions an observation mountain closely connected with Turjak Castle and its defenders. The area from Škofljica to Dolenjska is one big archaeological site with an exceptional number of remnants from the prehistory, Iron and Bronze Ages, to say nothing of the later periods. The broader area is known for the abundance of findings from the 3000-year-old Halstatt period. Permanent settlement began at that time as well which testifies of the importance of this area in Slovenian history. It is not surprising that Fran Saleški Finžgar got an inspiration for his historical novel in these places. However, the road still slowly ascends to the second part of the Turjak settlement where you reach the highest point of today's route and later descends to Grosuplje. First cycle past the village of Škocjan with the Church of St. Cantianus (Kocjan) which is located at the site of the former chapel built as thanks for safe rescue from the forest. Primož Trubar was baptised in this church, and Jurij Dalmatin worked there as a Protestant priest. Cycle through Velike Lipljene and turn left to the asphalt road in the village ; the right turning would bring you along the macadam road to Županova jama Cave, an arranged karst cave (it was discovered almost 100 years ago by a mayor of the nearby village who also arranged it for tourists) and to Tabor nad Cerovim, an anti-Turkish fortress which was never conquered due to its proximity to Turjak Castle and its armed defenders and has been really beautifully renovated. You can add these two local touristic peculiarities to your schedule for one of the following trips.

From knights to Romans
You'll soon descend through Št. Jurij, Mala vas and Ponova vas into the valley to Grosuplje where you cross the railway line, turn left towards the city centre and continue to the main road at the glass administrative municipal building, which runs towards Šmarje-Sap or the motorway. You can observe modern statues or sculptures along the road , which have become a trademark of Grosuplje. Turn left before motorway junction, towards Cikava and Šmarje-Sap, where a road between northern Italy and Pannonian Plain (Aquileia-Ljubljana-Sisak-Sremska Mitrovica) used to run in the times of the Roman Empire. This was a transit road, but can be regarded as a great-predecessor of the motorway Ljubljana-Zagreb-Beograd. Cultural Heritage of Šmarje-Sap Trail is arranged in Šmarje-Sap, which also includes the former Roman road. Ascend from Šmarje-Sap to Mali vrh, and then descend back to Škofljica. Turn right at the main crossroads in Škofljica, and after a few metres at another crossroads, left to Dolenjska Road and then cycle towards Ljubljana or to the starting point at the shopping centre in Rudnik.

Final thought
You've started with the remembrance of the brave knights who fought with the Turks 500 years ago, then proceeded cycling across the hilly landscape rich with historical sites from 3000 years ago, and concluded with the old Romans who lived there 2000 years ago. The route could not finish more symbolically and appropriately than at the shopping centre - a modern sanctuary which requires no hill, knoll or magic spring for its shrine is already located at the bank. Haven't we, compared to the historically attested efforts of our forefathers, gone astray somewhere along the way?

Pri Špančku Inn at Škofljica
A farm and an inn were at the centre of village life in the cart drivers' time and served as a post, an inn and a fairground.

Bajdinc waterfalls ,
The Bajdinc Stream has a spring below Gora at Mali Ločnik and, after it crosses the main road, steeply flows in a gorge toward the valley of the Želimeljščica. There are four waterfalls in the middle section of the stream due to great difference in altitude. The water slows down as it flows through the mosses which grow on the wall and deposits calcium carbonate which piles in the form of a porous loose crust and eventually hardens. Thus you can observe the formation of tufa rock that causes the rising of the waterfalls. There used to be a lot of mills along the stream, but nowadays only the steep and slippery path (in some sections) has been preserved.

Turjak Castle ,
The castle with a turbulent history was first mentioned already in 1220, although it presumably existed already in the 10th or 11th centuries. The original castle was located lower from the present one and only the ruins reminiscent of the former. The present castle was renovated and enlarged after a devastating earthquake in 1511. The Auerspergs, a very influential family in Carniola at the time, were its only owners. The Counts of Turjak supported the Protestants, as Jurij Dalmatin translated the Holy Bible at Turjak Castle, and the counts financed Primož Trubar's schooling. They bravely fought against the Turks. Andreas von Auersperg commanded the army which defeated the Turks in the Battle of Sisak in 1594. In the memory of the victory, the famous linden tree was planted in front of the castle , while the church at the nearby Gora nad Ločnikom was named after Sv. Ahac (St. Acacius). Turjak Castle in the time of the Auerspergs' rule was never conquered. It was only during World War II, in the battle between the partisans and members of the Home Guard, that the weakest part of the walls has been demolished and the castle was conquered (and later even plundered). The castle has been partly renovated today and so many interesting historical facts and stories relate to it that the visit to the castle is a must.

Gora – Sv. Ahac (St. Acacius)
Gora nad Ločnikom with the Church of St. Acacius encompasses broader vicinity between the Marshes and the hilly landscape of Dolenjska, and is a popular hiking destination. The Church of St. Acacius was originally dedicated to Mary, but was rebuilt after the victory of Andreas von Auersperg against the Turks at the Battle of Sisak (in 1593), which ended a century long danger of the Turkish invasion, and as a sign of gratitude for the victory, the church was renamed after St. Acacius who celebrates his name day on 22 June, the day of the victory. The church kept the priest's robes, made of red velvet mantle which was confiscated from the defeated Turkish commander, Hasan Pasha. A statue of Mother of God, who has her leg on the head of the Turkish soldier, is the church's peculiarity. There is an arranged exhibition entitled Following the footsteps of Andreas von Auersperg in the belfry which is separated from the church. The viewing of the exhibition is subject to prior arrangements.

Pri Špančku Inn, Škofljica, Dolenjska cesta 474
Classic inn with pleasant home atmosphere and interesting history.

Čot Inn, Pijava Gorica, Kočevska cesta 140
An inn with traditional Slovenian cuisine. They are praised for their doughnuts, but you can also order pork sausages with various side dishes and home-made cottage cheese dumplings and Pijava žlikrofi (filled pasta).

ONA Pizza Restaurant, Škofljica, Šmarska cesta 54a
Classic Pizza Restaurant which offers other dishes too.

Arkada Pizza Restaurant, Škofljica, Ob pošti 6
Classic Pizza Restaurant which offers other dishes too.

Strah Inn, Škofljica, Dolenjska cesta 427
Classic Slovenian inn.

Petkovšek Inn, Škofljica, Dolenjska cesta 446
Former cart drivers' inn offers everything what a good Slovenian inn has to offer.

Pod svobodnim soncem (Under the Free Sun)
Historical novel of Fran Saleški Finžgar speaks about the struggle of Slovenian pagans against the invaders and about the skilfulness and bravery of Slovenian forefathers. The main character Iztok, a brave warrior, knows that his people are in need of a fighting knowledge in order to survive. After a certain set of circumstances, he finds himself in Byzantium, where he quickly advances, but has a dispute with empress Theodora over his love for a beautiful female courtier and ends up in jail. After various complications, he leads his people to the final victory and lives happily ever after married to his loyal sweetheart.

Tur-jak (Urus-powerful)
In the times when the robber knights, the predecessors of the Auerspergs, settled in Slovenia, wild bulls or uruses roamed the endless forests around their castle and attacked the masons who were building the castle. The forefather of the counts of Turjak decided to eradicate the burdensome wild animals. He succeeded in time, but one last urus managed to persevere and the lord of Turjak Castle swore that he would find the urus and kill it. He set out for the wide forest in the vicinity of his castle and managed to catch the wild animal on the very first day of hunting. He hunted down the young urus, but got lost in the forest during the hunt. He could not find his way home and, together with the seized animal, wandered the forest for five days. In his despair, he promised to build the chapel on the spot where he would find his way out of the forest. He also swore that the chapel would be dedicated to the Saint who celebrated his name day on the day of his rescue. On the sixth day, the lord of the castle came to a clearing with the urus and realised where he was. This was on the name day of St. Canzian and the count had the chapel built there and dedicated it to the saint. The Church of St. Canzian (Kocjan) is located there nowadays, while the village in the vicinity of the church bears the name of Škocjan. The count was prophesied to have powerful Auersperg descendants who would remain heroes forever although they won't have to catch the wild urus as they will be extinct by then. It is also interesting that cattle tur (urus) and the Turks have the same root morpheme. In the meantime, a young urus grew at the castle and the count was very proud of it and had it depicted on his family coat-of-arms . He also named the castle and the nearby village after tur (urus) - Tur-jak which presumably means urus-powerful.

Rosamund of Turjak
France Prešeren wrote a ballad about boastful Rosamund, a lady of Turjak Castle, who was the most beautiful girl far and wide. From among her numerous suitors, she chose the brave Ostrovrhar from the family of the famous knights. On the celebration of her engagement, a minstrel told her that a black-eyed beauty Lejla lives in Bosnia who is much more beautiful than Rosamund. Vanity and pride took over Rosamund, and she forced her fiancé to bring the outrageous beauty from Bosnia. The brave Ostrovrhar defeated all the Turks and won the beautiful girl, but was so overwhelmed by her beauty that he forgot all about Rosamund and married Lejla instead. Saddened Rosamund retreated to the monastery.

Herbert von Auersperg
Herbert von Auersperg was born in 1528 in Vienna where the Auerspergs temporarily moved after the earthquake in 1511. At age of eighteen he returned back home and joined the army in the then Military Frontier. He was extremely courageous in the fights against the Turks and had a firm character and excellent commanding skills (him being of high class helped as well), so he soon became the deputy of the chief commander of Military Frontier. In 1566, after the victory in the valley of the Una River, he was named the state governor of Carniola. As Carniolan state governor, he strongly supported the Protestantism in Carniola between 1566 and 1575. He was killed in the battle at Donja Budačka in Croatia. The Turks took his head to the sultan's castle in Constantinople, but the Auerspergs brought it back to Turjak Castle after they had paid the ransom. Ferhadija Mosque in Banja Luka was built with the ransom money.

Čemšenik Castle Path
Traditional hike on the first Saturday in October.

Hike along Pijavška barjanska pot Path
The annual hike along this path is on 1st May, and the cycling meeting on the first Saturday in September.

Hike along Svarun Path
Hike along Svarun Path takes place every year in June.

Prešeren Hiking Trail
Prešeren Hiking Trail is annually held on cultural holiday, 8th February. A cultural programme and mass take place on Kopanj.

Cycling Marathon of the three municipalities
The marathon with the starting (and finishing) point in Grosuplje takes place on every first Sunday in June and runs along the municipalities of Grosuplje, Ivančna Gorica and Dobrepolje and offers various routes for cyclists of all ages. In addition to marathon, a hike to Magdalenska gora Hill also takes place.

Cultural Heritage of Šmarje - Sap Trail
Cultural Heritage of Šmarje-Sap Trail is annually held in September.

Čemšenik Castle Path
A diverse, 12-kilometre long circular route along the hilly hinterland of Lavrica is intertwined with the past and the present. The route runs from Lavrica through the forest and to Lisičje where a marvellous caste is located. The route then crosses the motorway cuts and ascends through the forest up to Molnik and continues at Orle, and, after a turning through the forest, finally returns to Lavrica.

Pijavška barjanska pot Path
Circular hiking trail from Pijava Gorica to the Marshes and back. You'll see historic and cultural monuments, as well as typical flora and fauna which can be found at the moist Marshes. The path is equipped with boards which describe cultural, historic and natural peculiarities.

Svarun Path
The hiking path runs across places which Fran Saleški Finžgar included in his historical novel Pod svobodnim soncem. The path starts in the centre of Škofljica at Ruskov hayrack at the primary school and then leads across the hilly landscape to Vrh nad Želimljami, where it descends to Želimlje to the valley of the Želimeljščica, along which it leads back to the starting point. The route is 23 kilometres long.

Turjak Tourist Path
Circular route, 15 kilometres long and suitable for all generations. It begins at Turjak in front of the Community Centre and runs through Smrečje forest, crosses the regional road Kočevje-Ljubljana and continues past the village of Laporje to the village of Gradež. From there on, the route leads to Sloka Gora, to the fort, and continues to the valley of Mali Ločnik, where it again ascends to Gora with the Church of St. Acacius. Then the road descends through the village of Mali Ločnik to the bus station, crosses the regional road again and runs through the forest to Bajdinc waterfalls and past the castle pond, all the way to the mine pits and further to the Auerspergs family vault at the cemetery. It takes you along the count's path to the old castle and to Turjak Castle and finally ends at the starting point.

Prešeren Hiking Trail
Two hundred years ago, young France Prešeren came on foot from Vrba for a visit to his great-uncle at Kopanj. In his memory, a hiking trail from Grosuplje through Spodnja Slivnica, Predole and Velika Račna to Kopanj is arranged. The path runs along asphalt and partly along macadam roads, as well as cart tracks and forest paths.

Cultural Heritage of Šmarje - Sap Trail
Ten kilometre long circular trail along the cultural peculiarities in Šmarje-Sap.