Length 23.1 km
Time needed
Time needed 02:00
Največja strmina vzpona[%]
Greatest slope of the ascent: 5 %
Greatest slope of the descent: 5 %
Average slope of the ascent: 7 %
Length of ascents above 5%: 4.80 km
The lowest point of the route: 731 m
The highest point of the route: 310 m
Difference in altitude: 692 m
Poraba kalorij
Consumption of energy for men: 4070 kJ (972 kcal)
Consumption of energy for women: 3316 kJ (792 kcal)
Difficulty: Very demanding
Quality of the surface
Quality of the surface: Mixture
Type of bike: Mountain bike
Short description

A very demanding, though diverse and above all, interesting cycling route from the Sora Plain to the Polhov Gradec Hills, is suitable both for afternoon recreation and day-long cycling trips with several stops. Since it includes an ascent to Katarina Hill and a descent to Slavko's Hut, it is recommended for cyclists in a good physical shape.
The route runs along one of the most beautiful hilly landscapes in Slovenia and is unique for its beautiful views. Besides the beautiful views, you can feast your eyes on the abundant vegetation (especially meadows with lots of field flowers) and cultural and historical landmarks along the route. Culinary delights offered by numerous inns along the way will keep hungry cyclists happy.
The route runs along less busy asphalt and macadam roads as well as cart tracks. It leads from Medvode through the villages along the Sora River, then turns to the valley of the Ločnica Stream where it first gradually and then steeply ascends (below Topol) among the tops of the Polhov Gradec Hills. You will descend from Katarina by a forest cart track to the valley of the Mavelščica Stream, then you will again climb from Slavko's Hut to Golo Brdo Hill, from where you will descend by a road surrounded by pastures into the valley to the village of Seničica and, finally, to Medvode.


Medvode – Goričane – Rakovnik - Sora – Trnovec – Topol – Babni dol – Golo brdo - Seničica - Medvode

Hitting the road from Medvode
The starting point of the route is the car park in front of the library and the town hall of Medvode. Hop on your bike and set out from the car park to the left over the Sorški most Bridge and then straight across the crossroads with traffic lights that crosses Gorenjska Road. Continue to the railway station where the road after Bencak Inn turns right to Goričane. Go through the underpass under the railway to the crossroads before Goričane, where you go straight and below the picturesque manor . Continue cycling parallel to the Sora River through Goričane and Rakovnik to the village of Sora. At the crossroads before the village, at Jezeršek House , turn left to the valley of the Ločnica Stream. Along the narrow valley you will cycle mostly through forests , past some scattered houses and Legastja Inn to Trnovec, where the valley widens a little and the forest opens up. In the valley of the Ločnica Stream you will pass the remains of several mills and sawmills. In Trnovec , near the hamlet of Knapovže, you will see the remains of a mediaeval lead and mercury mine.

Does the slope lead to Katarina or Topol?
Continue the ride through the forest and up the winding road towards the hamlet of Topol. The slope before you is getting steeper and your legs will feel the burn, but just before you give up completely, the forest ends before Topol and the road becomes flatter. You may have wondered where you are headed: to Topol or to Katarina. You will get the official answer on the village limits sign, which reads Topol, but there is another sign that says: "Welcome to Katarina". You will soon pass the elementary school and get to the ridge on which the village is scattered .
Some good inns await you in Topol , and beautiful views of the Ljubljana Basin and the Polhov Gradec Hills open up. You can take a break here before you continue the trip. Roads and paths lead from Topol in various directions , bust most of them lead to the valley; you will make one more climb before the descent, so carefully follow the signposts for Katarina and go uphill at the crossroads. What follows is a short steep ascent along the asphalt road leading to the Church of St. Catherine. Below the top, at Pr' Jur Inn , turn right and continue on the narrow side road to the Church of St. Catherine , which stands at a small terrace below Rog, the top of the hill above the church.

Steep descent to the valley
Go back to Pr' Jur Inn by taking the same path and then turn left towards Topol. You can make a stop at Na Vihri Inn and enter your name in the cyclers' log. In cooperation with the Medvode Cycling Club, the inn organises a whole-year cycling campaign called "60 ascents to Katarina". Cyclists register their ascents by entering their names in the log kept in Na Vihri Inn, and those who make more than 60 ascents in one year get a trophy.
Descend from the inn by the road back to the centre of Topol, where you turn sharply left to the road leading to the village of Toško Čelo. After a couple of hundreds of metres, you will get to a crossroads on a ridge in the middle of a meadow, where you leave the road to Toško Čelo and turn left below Jeterbenk Hill towards Golo Brdo and Slavko's Hut. The road is asphalted up to the first farms, and then it soon turns into a cart track, with short asphalt sections only showing up along some farms. Straight ahead is the cone-shaped Jeterbenk Hill , where a castle of the Hertenberg knights once stood.
Continue along the slope on a sandy path between meadows and farms under 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 tight. One cannot be too careful there. The steep forest road in this part is one of the main reasons why cyclists are recommended to make the "Polhov Gradec tour" counter clockwise; when you look over your shoulder during the ride here, you will be glad that you do not have to cycle uphill. You are welcome to make a stop or two during the descent and take your time to enjoy in the beautiful views of the surrounding landscape and natural features around you . During the descent, you have to primarily pay attention to the road, because it is criss-crossed with drainage channels , which prevent the sand from the steep road to be washed away during heavy rains. The forest road will take you to the meadows in the valley. You will soon get to a crossing with an asphalt road, which is a sign that you are through with the drainage channels. At the crossing turn left through the hamlet of Babni dol and continue the ride to the crossroads where the left branch leads uphill towards Slavko's Hut and Golo Brdo.

First a rest with a home-made meal, then onto Brdo
The nicely renovated Slavko' Hut a bit further along the way is a stop which can be called a very appropriate place to recharge your batteries, if you need to, of course. A home-made meal is certainly welcome, not to mention the traditional "white kidneys" (prairie oysters) the inn has been known for ages. From the terrace below the inn, a wonderful view of the Polhov Gradec Dolomites, which you've just left, opens up.
The asphalt road above Slavko's Hut changes into macadam, and you have to push your pedals very hard on your way to the top . There is however a (semantic) difference in comparison to the ascent to Katarina – if you previously cycled and toiled 'v hrib' (uphill), you now go 'na Brdo' (to the hill), to Golo Brdo (bleak hill). Where the village Brdo (hill) got its name from is completely clear already midway the slope, but why it is 'bleak' you will learn when you get to the top, where you will be met not by forest, but a village surrounded with orchards and meadows and beautiful views on all sides of the world . If you had not made a stop earlier, you will certainly stop for a few moments now and take a look at the surroundings from Brdo.

Only down and to Medvode
From Golo Brdo, the (now again asphalt) road will take you mostly downhill, but you should be careful nevertheless: a fast descent can easily become a too fast descent, because some of the turns are very sharp. In Seničica, you will get to the valley and at the crossroads turn left , and by the main road go through the village, from where a beautiful view of the Sora Plain , opens up again. You will get to the flat stretch of road below the village and go past the remarkable Napoleon's Bridge from 1666. The road then turns left towards the railway, which you should follow until the crossing before the village of Preska, where you turn right and cross the railway track (of course, only if the gate is lifted), and then turn left to the macadam road before the crossroads with Gorenjska Road . It is not permitted to cycle on the very busy Gorenjska Road, which is why a cycling path is made along the parallel macadam road which follows the railway track.
Turn right after the tennis courts and continue straight to the pedestrian road crossing over Gorenjska Road to Seškova Road, then left past the police station, an inn, a pizzeria and towards the bridge over the Sora River. You are almost there! Only one right turn over the bridge and you'll reach the car park in front of the Medvode town hall and library where you started your trip. You can leave your bicycle there and take a relaxing walk along the Sora River, along the path 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 , , after which Medvode got its name (Medvode literally means »between waters«).
Numerous cafes and restaurants welcome you at the end of your trip in Medvode, where you can recharge your batteries.


Church of St. Stephen in Sora
Many churches had previously been built at the place of the present-day church. The present-day church was built in 1884. One of Slovenian first poets, Valentin Vodnik, worked there in the 18th century, while writer Franc Saleški Finžgar worked there in the beginning of the 20th century. A commemorative room was arranged in Sora for the latter.

Remains of the Knapovže lead and mercury mine
In the valley of the Ločnica Stream, the remains of the former lead and mercury mine are still visible. The mining started there already in the 16th century. In the memory of the mining, the locals call the settlement Knapovže (knap = miner). Lead from Carinthia was more competitive, which resulted in the mine's closure. Along the road to Katarina, the remains of the mineshafts can still be seen today.

Topol or Katarina, Brezovica or Sveti Jakob (St. Jacob)?
Topol, which is better known among hikers as Katarina (after the Church of St. Catherine), consists of several hamlets scattered on the slopes below the hills of Jeterbenk, Rog and Jakob.
Jakob's story is similar to that of Katarina. The slope used to be called Brezovica, as is the village under it, but because of the Church of St. Jacob, hikers started calling it Jakob.

Polhov Gradec Dolomites Landscape Park
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.
Pointed dolomite summits are a distinctive feature, which gave the hills their name – the Polhov Gradec Dolomites. Besides dolomites, the Polhov Gradec Hills are also built from pure limestone, various impermeable rocks and a small share of volcanic rocks. As a larger continuous surface, limestone occurs between Toško Čelo and Topol in the Ravnik Plateau, where also karst phenomena can be noticed. Among the peaks standing out among the steep rocky areas, best known are Grmada (898 m) and Sveti Lovrenc Mountain.

Church of St. Catherine, Topol
The church was built at the beginning of the 17th century. Its architecture is characteristic of the early Baroque in Slovenia. The presbytery is one of its special features. The frescos, main altar and the painting of St. Catherine are the work of Ivan and Helena Vurnik from 1919 and 1920, while France Kralj is the author of the altar cross.

Jeterbenk Castle
The castle of the Hertenberg knights, ministers of the Spanheims and the dukes of Carinthia, once stood on Jeterbenk Hill (a non-standard word deriving from German Hertenberg). Ministers were members of lower nobility who performed military or administrative service for higher nobles, and 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, which some people wished for to become a 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 his rule was short-lived, as he was killed in a battle with the Habsburgs in Moravia, and the rule over this part of present-day Slovenia was taken over by the Counts of Gorica who held it until 1335 when it was claimed by the Habsburgs.
In written sources, Jeterbenk Castle was first explicitly mentioned in 1252, and for the last time in 1444 when it had already been abandoned. The original tower-like building at the top of the hill was replaced in the 14th century by a more modern building at the site of a former fortification near the Church of St. Margaret in Žlebe (on the other side of the hill, which you can see in front of you), but it was soon abandoned, perhaps even demolished on purpose. Namely, the knights of Hertenberg were robbers and there is a great possibility that they got hurt during one of the Habsburg punitive campaigns. Besides the aforementioned building, the Hertenberg knights had allegedly erected the Nebovz (Nebojse) tower, which is mentioned in the folk narratives, but its actual location has never been found. The treasure, the knights allegedly hid under Jeterbenk Castle, has also never been found.

Napoleon's Bridge
This is an interesting stone bridge over the Mavelščica Stream below Seničica, where the road turns towards Medno Motel. The bridge was built in 1666 (this year is engraved in the bridge) and it was one of the most important transport facilities on the way from Ljubljana to Upper Carniola at the time. Napoleon himself had nothing to do with the construction of the bridge, as it was built more than a century before he was born, but it got such a name later, because Napoleon's army marched over it.


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

Jezeršek House
This large restaurant mostly serves larger groups for various festivities, business events and celebrations.
Legastja Inn, Trnovec
In the inn in the valley of Ločnica, they offer regional specialities, desserts, vegetarian food and a la carte dishes.

Dobnikar Inn, Topol
Lunch at Dobnikar Inn is almost a rule for many hikers going to Katarina on Saturdays or Sundays. They are never disappointed, especially if they like traditional Slovenian dishes. Prices are reasonable as well. There is usually enough space and the views from the terrace pay off the hikers' efforts.

Vaška krčma Inn
At this inn, they will be happy to serve you with drinks, pastry from their own kitchen (fruit strudels, rolls, etc.) or soured milk.

Pr' Jur Tourist Farm
The inn offers lunches a la carte, but their specialities are homemade sausages, stews, štruklji (dumplings), kmečka pojedina (country feast) and homemade apple juice.

Na Vihri Inn
The inn serves a la carte dishes. Its wintertime speciality are pork sausages, while you can get sauerkraut, sour turnip, buckwheat žganci, matevž (potatoes with beans and cracklings), cheese dumplings, pasta, various meat and vegetable dishes, and homemade desserts all year round.

Slavko's Hut
The nicely renovated Slavko's Hut is a stop that can be called a very appropriate place to recharge your batteries. A home-made meal is certainly welcome, not to mention the traditional "white kidneys" (prairie oysters) the inn has been known for ages. A nice view of the Polhov Gradec Dolomites opens up from the terrace below the inn.

Bencak Inn
Their menu includes home-made Slovenian dishes, game meat dishes, fish dishes and seafood, freshwater fish, vegetarian and grilled dishes.


Dragon from Jeterbenk
Jetrbenk was allegedly the home of a dragon, which was wreaking havoc in the surrounding villages. People feared him. Once, they came up with a way to get rid of him. As if on cue, a cow delivered a stillborn calf in Sveta Marjeta. The villagers cut the calf open, filled it with quicklime and planted it to the dragon. The dragon ate the calf. Because of the quicklime, it became thirsty and went to drink some water. As it was drinking, the quicklime began to boil and the dragon got cooked. This is how people got rid of the dragon forever.

Treasure from Jeterbenk Castle
The historical documents mention the castle at Jeterbenk. The robber knights of Hertenberg got the castle as a feudal estate from the Aquileia patriarchs. The documents tell about the demolition of the castle at Jeterbenk in an earthquake in 1511 while its ruins were probably used as construction material for the Church of St. Margaret in Žlebe. A legend has been preserved in the folk narratives saying that Margaret of Hertenberg had the church built in an attempt to redeem herself for the criminal past of her predecessors. Later she visited the decaying castle, where a treasure had been allegedly buried. She found it, but as she thought of how to make use of the treasure, it plunged back into the valley. It is said that the treasure still lies hidden somewhere in Jeterbenk. In the memory of the robber knights, enthusiastic members of the Žlebe Tourist Society organize an annual hike along the Paths of the Robber Knights.


Festival of Kranjska klobasa (Carniolan Sausage) in Sora
The festival, held in the second half of August in Sora, is becoming more and more important culinary, cultural and entertainment event. The exhibition, evaluation and tasting of sausages is accompanied by various music and entertainment events.

60 Ascents to Katarina
The 60 Ascents to Katarina is an annual cycling campaign organised by the Medvode Cycling Club and Na Vihri Inn. A log is kept at the inn in which cyclists enter their names, and those who make at least 60 ascents to Katarina in one season get a trophy. The campaign concludes in October.

A traditional May Day bonfire is organised at Na Vihri Inn.

Following the Paths of the Robber Knights
The event is traditional, but it does not take place on a day determined in advance like other similar events (for example, the Hiking Trail from Litija to Čatež). The path takes you towards the place where the castle of the robber knights of Hertenberg stood in the Middle Ages.
At the end of the trip between Žlebe and Jeterbenk, the participants enter their names in a book to confirm that they had really walked or cycled the entire path through – and truly, the book has a large number of signatures.


The route goes along less busy asphalt roads from Katarina and further to Babni dol, to where you get along a steep cart track, which has lots of potholes at certain places. Because of the steep slopes, your bicycle must have multiple gears; a mountain bike is warmly recommended because of the cart tracks.
The route is diverse as it is the nature along the way. The landscape along the route can be briefly described as the intertwining of forests, picturesque villages, nicely cultivated land and marvellous views from the tops and ridges of the Polhov Gradec Hills. With some luck or patience you will be able to spot a forest animal one the way, such as deer, squirrel, fox, rabbit and other game animals are permanent residents of these forests and fields.
The route is suitable for cycling throughout the year, except when it snows. There are a lot of good inns and spots in the countryside where you can make a stop, take a rest and work out.