Our Spain trip in June was incredible (did we tell you about staying in a castle? And the FOOD?? And the incredible support crew??? And RIDING, including successfully climbing Angliru??? WOW! ). Here’s a link to photos, though they don’t even begin to capture the experience…
(Let me know if you have any problem accessing them!)
And we’re going back for more! Next year it will be mostly Slovenia (Undiscovered! Julian Alps! Climbing! Relatively economical!), but starting in Austria and possibly traveling through a bit of Italy and/or Germany.
Here’s the plan:
Trip is confirmed for July 15 to July 25. So we will theoretically fly in to Salzberg (excited even to type that!!!), Austria and out of Ljubljana ("lyoob-lyAH-nah" according to WikiTravel or El-jub-el-jana as I initially guessed! Can’t get that out of my mind now…!), Slovenia.
ROUGH itinerary is here:
Janine/Chico 2020 Austria & Slovenia tour:
Day 0 - early arrivals / pick up at the Salzburg airport
Day 1(July 15) - Arival to Salzburg / warm up loop to Gaisberg
Day 2 - Salzburg > Gosau
Day 3 - Gosau > Zell am See
Day 4 - Zell am See > Großglockner > Lienz (2 nights in Lienz)
Day 5 - Day off / hiking
Day 6 - Lienz to Pressegger See
Day 7 - Pressegger See > Vršič > Bovec (2 nights in Bovec)
Day 8 - Bovec > Mangartsko sedlo > Bovec
Day 9 - Bovec > Bled
Day 10 - Bled > Ljubljana
Day 11(July 25) - end of the tour / transfer to the Ljubljana airport or other local destination
And here is the preliminary overall Strava map https://www.strava.com/routes/21069343
Rest assured there will be plenty of challenge! Aigars, our tour leader, is going to spend a week or so ‘exploring’ along the route, in October, before he finalizes the route. He does an AMAZING job of finding the most grueling – oh, I mean SCENIC! – byways and detours. He plans to have the exact route for us in the next month or so.
He has said to expect long climbs but not as steep as we encountered in Spain (so, less of the +11%, more in the 6 to 10%). That said, Mike and I are still planning to rent his bikes with the awesome low gears!!! They are great bikes, we were TOTALLY happy with them. Plus, no hassles with shipping/assembling/packing your bike, AND they do all the maintenance/cleaning (heaven forbid it should rain…!).
Mike and I have our tix already. Due to the challenges of getting frequent flyer tix (oh darn), we are leaving on Saturday, July 11 and arriving on Sunday, July 12. So if we have a bad first day, we won’t be able to blame it on sleeplessness! After the tour, we’re planning to rent a car and explore/hike around “ElJubl” till we depart from there on Tues Aug 4. Would love it if any of you want to join us – the Julian Alps are calling!
Prices: This might not be FINAL but it will be very close. Aigars gave me an estimate of $4450 for 11 days (double occupancy, all on-bike support, MOST ALL food, local transportation), which is comparable to this year’s price. Bike rental will be ABOUT $500 per bike for the trip.
OK, I know you’re sold! ;-) What next? I’ve made a spreadsheet so you can sign up. If/when you are ready to commit, just go ahead and sign up! Those who have said you’re in, I put your names down… you can fill out the other details. The important thing is that we are limiting to 15 total, and after this year’s great trip, I think it will fill up (maybe fast). So if you want to sign up, do it ASAP! And if you have a friend who would like this kind of riding, and that you’d want to spend 11 days with, feel free to invite them. Around the new year, Aigars will let us know the deposit amount and payment schedule. Last year we paid about half up front and the other half the week before the trip started.
Here’s the signup spreadsheet:
If you have any questions at all, just drop me a line! Hope to see you on the trip!
Janine Rood, firstname.lastname@example.org