Length 6.2 km
Time needed
Time needed 01:30
Največja strmina vzpona[%]
Greatest slope of the ascent: 8 %
Greatest slope of the descent: 8 %
Average slope of the ascent: 3 %
Length of ascents above 5%: 1.00 km
The lowest point of the route: 376 m
The highest point of the route: 312 m
Difference in altitude: 196 m
Poraba kalorij
Consumption of energy for men: 3052 kJ (729 kcal)
Consumption of energy for women: 2487 kJ (594 kcal)
Difficulty: Less demanding
Quality of the surface
Quality of the surface: Asphalt
Type of bike: Road bike
Short description

A less demanding, though interesting cycling route, very suitable for an afternoon or a daylong family cycling trip and recommended even to cyclers who are not in a really good shape.
The route, which follows less busy roads, leads you from Medvode through the villages on the edge of the Sava River terraces to Šmarna gora Hill, and then through forests to the village of Smlednik, over the fields to the village of Dragočajna, and back to Medvode along the Sava River and Zbiljsko jezero Lake. The views of the surrounding hills and mountains over the fields are wonderful, while there are also numerous opportunities along the route for making a stop in the countryside, having a snack in an inn and taking a look at cultural and historical landmarks.
If you like, you can add an ascent to Smlednik Castle to your trip to make it more interesting.


Medvode – Verje - Zg. in Sp. Pirniče – Zavrh – Smlednik – Valburga – Dragočajna – Zbilje – Medvode

Hitting the road from Medvode
The starting point of the route is the car park in front of the library and the Medvode town hall. First go past the shopping centre . Immediately after the shopping centre, before the underpass, turn right towards Pirniče. You will pass the Donit factory of sealing material and its notable red-striped chimney , which will later serve as a landmark helping you to find your way back to Medvode. The route then goes past Medvode Hydroelectric Power Plant and across a bridge over the Sava River to the village of Verje, where you will be welcomed before the first slope by a table saying "Dobrodošli v deželi Jakoba Aljaža" (Welcome to the land of Jakob Aljaž), , so that you know that you are on the right track.
After a short ascent, you will find yourself on the upper Sava terrace. On its edge, on the way towards Šmarna gora Hill lie the villages of Verje, Zgornje Pirniče and Spodnje Pirniče. On the road, which has a couple of speed bumps, you will first go past the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle , , and then past a monument to the fallen soldiers from the National Liberation War in Spodnje Pirniče, where you should be careful not to miss the signposts for the birth houses of WWII commander Franc Rozman - Stane (1911-1944) and of the priest and composer Jakob Aljaž (1845-1927). At the crossroads, about a hundred metres before the Church of the Holy Cross , two red signposts will direct you to the left.

Commander Stane and Jakob Aljaž
After some two hundred metres of a slight ascent through a forest, turn left to the birth house of the Slovenian Partisan commander, Lieutenant General Franc Rozman - Stane, which has also been turned into a small museum. The route continues from the birth house of the Commander Stane to the birth house of yet another famous Slovenian from this area - Jakob Aljaž. Return some ten metres back to the asphalt road and turn left towards Šmarna gora Hill. Soon after, (carefully) cross the main road and cycle for a few hundred metres across the fields up a gentle slope. As you enter the village of Zavrh pod Šmarno goro, you will see a large farmhouse, named Mis, with solar panels on its roof. Before the farmhouse, turn right up the hill and you will soon arrive to the birth house of the legendary priest, mountaineer and composer Jakob Aljaž, the builder of the tower on Mount Triglav and the author of the popular song 'Oj Triglav, moj dom' (Oh Triglav, My Home).
Matjaž Cave , is located just above Aljaž's birth house, some two hundred metres left, up the forest path. It is a small karst cave lit by the sunlight coming in from an opening in the ceiling. The cave is a place where you can find some refreshment in the summer months.

Let's jump a few centuries back
When returning from Jakob Aljaž's birth house, go back to the main road and turn right towards Smlednik. The route continues through a forest and then in a slight ascent past a golf course ; all this time you can see the ruins of the old Smlednik Castle in the distance, on the hill ahead of you. When you arrive in Smlednik, keep to the right and follow the signposts for the Old Castle .
The path will first take you below the castle, but if you feel that you have enough energy, you can decide to make a climb to the top of the castle hill. A macadam road leads to the top of the hill and it is possible to cycle to up there, but the slope is quite steep. The castle is situated atop the hill in the place where once there was a prehistoric fortification and later a Roman fortress. If you reach the top after a couple of minutes, you will feel the burn in your legs, but your effort will be rewarded with the marvellous view in all directions. . If the weather is fine, one can clearly see Šmarna gora Hill in the southeast, the Polhov Gradec Hills in the southwest, Lubnik, Ratitovec, the Julian Alps with Mount Triglav in the west, as well as the Karavanke and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps in the north. It is worth reaching the top, although cycling there is perhaps not even the best option. It is even recommendable to get there on foot – past the chapels of the Stations of the Cross at Kalvarija . The Stari grad Inn is located next to the castle, where you can quench your thirst and have something to eat.
In Smlednik. you will go past the chapels of the Stations of the Cross to the main road, where you carefully turn left before the fire station and then after a hundred metres turn right at the crossroads to the village of Valburga.
Not far away from your route stands the Valburga Manor, also called the Lazarini Castle by the locals . The Church of St. Walburga is left from the road, while the Blood Shrine stands by the road leading southwards past the church. The Blood Shrine is a chapel from the 19th century put in the place where criminals were executed; from here you can clearly see the old Smlednik Castle with the chapels of the Stations of the Cross beneath it.

View across the fields
The route continues northwards along the road between the church and Lazarini Castle which takes you out of the village. In the first section of the route, you were able to look at the Polhov Gradec Hills in the south, and now a beautiful view of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps opens up across the fields in the north and east . For safety reasons, you have to direct your attention to the road, and after a kilometre of cycling you will also have to be careful not to miss the signpost for the village of Dragočajna, which will direct you from the main road to the left, towards the village.
There is a car camp in Dragočajna, which is a popular picnic and vacation spot for people from the Ljubljana area, who can find their peace in the forest along the Sava River, and refreshment in the water in the summer months.
The route here goes parallel to the Sava River, through the village and then past Hotel Kanu . After a couple of hundreds of metres, you will get to the main road, where you turn right and go across the bridge to the village of Zbilje.
You are encouraged to make a short stop by the lake in Zbilje, so turn left shortly after the fire station to the road going downhill towards the lake. Make sure that you hit the brakes at the end of the slope so that you don't end up in the water. There are a couple of good cafes and restaurants as well as children's and sports playgrounds , where you can stretch your legs and relax. You can make your trip even more interesting by renting a boat, , , , and rowing among numerous swans and goose on the lake.
After the rest by the lake, get on your bicycle again for the final part of the trip. First return uphill to the main road, and turn left. The road goes slightly uphill at first; at the crossroads by the shop, keep to the priority road and turn left towards Medvode. There is a cycle track on the right side of the road between Zbilje and Medvode, which will take you through a forest to the first houses in Medvode and past the nursing home. On the left you will see the Stan Restaurant, ; which also includes a bicycle workshop, whose staff will gladly repair or set up your bicycle to make your upcoming cycling journeys easier.

Only a few turns to the confluence
A little bit ahead, at the end of the slope, there is a roundabout. The cycle track runs through an underpass under Gorenjska cesta Road. On the opposite side, training in orientation and slalom through the streets await in a section of several hundreds of metres. So that it is not too difficult to find the right path, here is a detailed description: from the underpass continue your trip straight for about a hundred metres, then turn left before the primary school and kindergarten to Svetje, go past the kindergarten and then turn left again at the end of the street. At the next crossroads turn right and descend by the main road towards the Sora River; turn left before the football field and through the underpass, and then continue past the shopping centre to the car park in front of the town hall and library, where you started today's cycling journey. Here you can leave your bicycle and take a relaxing walk along the Sora River, on the path which goes past the library , and take a look at another natural landmark of Medvode. Several tens of metres ahead you will see the confluence of the Sora and Sava rivers . The confluence of the Sora and the Sava is where Medvode got its name from, as Medvode literally means 'between waters'.
This is the end of your trip. Numerous cafes and restaurants welcome you in Medvode, where you can recharge your batteries.

Medvode Hydroelectric Power Plant and the Bronze Hatchet
Medvode Hydroelectric Power Plant, whose dam can be seen on the left from the bridge near Verje, was constructed in 1953. The dam raised the water level of the Sava River by more than 20 metres, creating the Zbiljsko jezero Lake, which therefore is not as old as you might have thought. Installed capacity of the power plant with two Kaplan turbines is 26 MW.
During the construction of the dam, a bronze hatchet head was discovered there, which is an evidence that this area was populated already in the Bronze Age. Important routes between the present-day Primorska and Gorenjska regions went across the area in the Roman times.

Church of St. Thomas the Apostle in Zgornje Pirniče
The Church of St. Thomas the Apostle is a Gothic church, which was thoroughly reconstructed and extended in the 17th century. Next to it is the modern parish Church of the Assumption of Mary, which is embellished by statues of the Twelve Apostles, the work by the local folk artist Brigita Juvan.

Church of the Holy Cross in Spodnje Pirniče
The parish Church of the Holy Cross was built in 1874 at the place of a 16th century church. The Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes was built in 1884. It has a cross-shaped floor plan, and a domed ceiling with support beams. There are two altars by the high wall with a triumphal arch. The main altar is made of stone, while the wooden sculpture on it depicts the crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist; St. Helen is on the left, and Charles Borromeo is on the right. The stained glass windows have been brought to the church from the Ursuline Church in Ljubljana.

Birth house of Franc Rozman - Stane in Spodnje Pirniče
The birth house of Franc Rozman - Stane, the legendary commander of Slovenian Partisans, is located in Pirniče. Born in 1912, Rozman was a fighter in the Spanish Civil War and a captain in the Spanish Republican Army. During the Second World War, he was the commander of the High Command of the Slovenian Partisan Army. He was killed in 1944 in an accident while testing weapons.
His birth house has been turned into a small museum.

Birth house of Jakob Aljaž in Zavrh
One of the greatest Slovenians, Jakob Aljaž, was born in 1845 in the small village of Zavrh under Šmarna gora Hill. He was a Roman Catholic priest, composer and mountaineer, but above all he was a nationally conscious Slovenian. He is remembered as a patriot who was aware of the dangers of the German dominance. At the top of Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia, he bought some land with his own money and in 1895 erected the famous tower, named after him, which became a Slovenian national symbol. Amidst the competition of the Slovenian and German mountaineering societies in the Julian Alps, he wanted to show with this act that Triglav was a Slovenian mountain. His song 'Oj, Triglav, moj dom' (Oh, Triglav, My Home) is one of the most popular Slovenian folk songs, not just among mountaineers but all Slovenians.
To mark his birthday, Medvode celebrates its municipal holiday on 6 July. The Municipality of Medvode bought his birth house and renovated it as a cultural monument.

Old Castle in Smlednik
The castle is situated atop the hill at the place where there once was a prehistoric fortification and later a Roman fortress. The castle was first mentioned in 1136 in connection with a knight named Ulrik. The original Roman castle included a mighty free-standing defensive tower, surrounded by a moat. During the Late Gothic period, the tower was enclosed by a platform, and during the following centuries, residential buildings and defensive towers were built. The castle was later not rebuilt, so it represents the design and development of a medieval castle in Central Slovenia in its purest form.
Its position was carefully selected to enable strategic supervision of the road towards Italy and boats across the Sava River. Long ago, the skilful authorities knew how to take advantage of such locations in order to gain income from various taxes. You know how it goes: "for covering costs", "for the protection against robbers", "for ..." – there are as many excuses and reasons as you please. The money was flowing in, and if was not flowing, it was at least dripping. A considerable amount was accumulated gradually which enabled them to live a comfortable life.

Kalvarija (Stations of the Cross) in Smlednik
The Stations of the Cross with its fourteen Baroque chapels and three crosses at the top was erected as early as in 1772 in a straight line between the castle and the Blood Shrine in the plain near Valburga. The chapels decayed significantly during the decades after the Second World War, but they were recently so nicely renovated that the village is justifiably proud of them.

Lazarini Castle
The Valburga Manor or, as the locals call it, Lazarini Castle, is a characteristic Renaissance building. It was built in the 17th century when the Counts of Andechs, owners of the Old Castle in Smlednik, admitted to themselves that climbing up the steep hill perhaps did not contribute much to the residents' well being and health that it would be worth doing that every day, so they decided to build a new home on the plain. And they did. And what a manor it is! There is a 200-metre wild chestnut tree alley in front of it, a park with a garden behind it, and beautiful frescos with fantastic images from the Greek mythology in its interior. The manor is truly beautiful. Some more interesting facts: until the end of the Second World War, it was owned by the Lazarini barons, then it was nationalised and returned to the owners' descendants in 1991. In the winter of 2007, someone set it on fire, which ravaged the most beautiful hall – the Knight Hall.

Zbiljsko jezero Lake
The lake was created in 1953, when a hydroelectric power plant was constructed near Medvode and the Sava River was dammed. The village of Zbilje then became a popular picnic destination, while numerous water sports events took place on the lake in the past decades, which resulted in the development of extensive tourist and recreational infrastructure by the lake in Zbilje and nearby Dragočajna.

4 mačke Café, Medvode
The café located just by the Sora River offers a wide range of desserts, drinks and ice cream.

Harlekin Pizza Restaurant and Spaghetteria/Pr' Kral Inn, Verje
You will be served home-made Slovenian dishes, Italian dishes, pizzas and fish in a home-like atmosphere.

Mihovec Inn, Zgornje Pirniče
It is one of the oldest inns in the area. It is known for its Slovenian, Mediterranean, game meat and vegetarian dishes.

Evergreen Restaurant at the Smlednik gold course
The restaurant in the prestigious environment of the golf course is known for its dishes with a touch of Tuscany, flavours of Provence with a pinch of the Mediterranean and the nostalgia of our grandmothers' cuisine.

Zorman Inn, Valburga
Besides drinks, visitors are offered snacks and, of course, Slovenian cuisine adjusted to the season. In the winter, the offer includes home-made blood sausages, bratwursts, buckwheat žganci, matevž (pureed beans with cracklings), jota (bean and sauerkraut soup), veal stew, tripe, etc.

Stari grad nad Smlednikom Restaurant
Besides drinks, the restaurant offers to the visitors of the old castle a series of Slovenian home-made dishes (ričet (barley porridge and beans), mushroom stew, žganci, tripe, veal stew, various steaks, Sunday lunches, veal roast, roasted pork ribs with sautéed potato, fried chicken) and home-made desserts (cottage cheese štruklji, apple strudel).

Hotel Kanu, Smlednik
Besides the accommodation facilities and hospitality services, hotel guests can also find refreshment in a swimming pool or play beach volleyball, tennis on artificial turf or beach badminton, all of the above is free of charge.
The hotel also operates a boat called St. Lucia, on which the guests can enjoy in a delicious dinner or lunch while taking a tour of Zbiljsko jezero Lake.

Dotik Restaurant, Zbilje
A wide assortment of pizzas, salads, risottos, pasta, steaks, cold and warm appetisers, polenta, hot sandwiches, pancakes, desserts and cocktails. They also have a outdoor terrace where they serve Ronnefeldt Leaf Cup teas, hot chocolate, freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, non-alcoholic beverages, warm drinks, coffee, beer, energy drinks and spirits, whiskey, bitters, cognac, liqueur and wine.
You can also relax in a lounge, sunbathe in a sun chair, take a shower in the summer, or enjoy a weekend evening with a DJ.

Jezero Restaurant, Zbilje
The Jezero Restaurant pleases its guests both with traditional Slovenian dishes and dishes from various foreign cuisines. A wide range of meat and vegetable dishes will satisfy every taste. The assortment of drinks is also great.

Sidro Restaurant, Zbilje
The Sidro Restaurant is located on the shore of Zbiljsko jezero Lake. It serves numerous types of fish dishes, stews and barbeque, warm and refreshing drinks. It is possible to rent a picnic spot for more than 200 persons. The location is well maintained and supplied with hot and cold water, a coal and an electric barbecue, refrigerators, a freezer, and sports equipment.

Gustl Inn, Zbilje
The staff will gladly serve you pizzas, home-made Slovenian dishes, game meat dishes, fish dishes and seafood, freshwater fish, vegetarian and grilled dishes.

Stan Restaurant (and bicycle workshop), Medvode
They are known for their excellent Illy coffee and delicious Cha teas. They daily prepare excellent home-made desserts and hot sandwiches. Their chocolate shop produces unique, hand made products made from high-quality chocolate, which are also suitable as gifts. In the restaurant garden, children can play in a "dwarf land".
An interesting note for cyclists – the restaurant building includes a bicycle workshop in the basement.

Old Castle above Smlednik
There is a folk story saying that a long time ago the castle was owned by a passionate gambler. Gambling is an expensive habit, but he was wealthy enough that he could afford such a 'luxury'. When he allegedly played against the devil himself one day, he gambled away all of his possessions, then his own daughter and, finally, his soul. But for everything not to go 'to hell', the smart nobleman thought of a trick and buried his most precious valuables under the castle. When the devil came for what he had won the night before, he had to kiss everything goodbye. In his anger, he allegedly cast a spell on the nobleman's daughter, turning her into a snake and telling her to guard the treasure for eternity. From this follows the warning for those who embark on a treasure hunt: "Be careful not to get bitten by a snake!"

Šmarna gora Race
The race to Šmarna gora Hill is a traditional mass cross-country race, which attracts not only recreational runners, but acclaimed international hill runners as well.

Zbilje Night
It is an international music festival taking place every July by Zbiljsko jezero Lake. It offers plenty of music and entertainment to all generations.

The route runs along less busy asphalt roads and is mainly flat, except for some gentle slopes. The landscape along the route can be briefly described as interchanging forests, picturesque villages and nicely cultivated land.
The route is suitable for cycling throughout the year, except when it snows.
There are plenty of restaurants and spots along the route urging you to make a stop, rest and exercise.