Cycling treats

    Cycling treats

    Interested in cycling underground or through abandoned tunnels? Why not?

    We combined a love for cycling with plenty of adrenaline and a large portion of adventure. And the result? A cycling treat like no other.

    Take a bicycle underground

    How about a cycling adventure 700 metres in the underground of Mt Peca?  Underground, between Mt Peca and Mt Uršlja Gora in Koroška, there are rich ore deposits. As a result, mining developed. In the 300 years of the mine’s operation, more than 800 underground tunnels were built. After the mine closed, some underground parts were flooded by water, thus creating magical subterranean lakes.

    Parenzana cycling trail

    The mine is now open for tourists. If you’re curious, you can see it on a small train, and if you’re brave enough, you can take a cycling or kayaking tour. Guides, who are former miners, will take you almost 700 metres deep, in the underground world of Mt Peca, to go through the flooded tunnels of a former mine. Deep underground, you’ll be able to explore subterranean trails all on your own.

    Snapshots from cycling next to salt pans

     

    Those with a spirit of adventure can tour the abandoned mine under Mt Peca by train, while those who are a bit gutsier can explore the subterranean tunnels by bicycle or kayak.

    A ride through abandoned tunnels

    The ‘Parenzana – Route of Health and Friendship’ runs along the coast and through inland areas. Parts of the trail also run through abandoned tunnels. The entire length of the trail is 123 km and it runs from Trieste in Italy, through Slovenia’s coastal areas, to Poreč in Croatia. It’s an easy trail which is popular with families and recreational cyclists in general. It’s suitable for both cycling and hiking.

    It runs on the former narrow-gauge railway that connected Trieste and Poreč with places in the inland areas of the Istrian peninsula from 1902 to 1935 and extends along 123 km. It goes through coastal towns and villages, sometimes right next to the water, other times amongst vineyards and olive groves, and it’s quite a special experience because it occasionally also goes through short abandoned tunnels. The most famous one is the Valeta Tunnel between Strunjan and Portorož. Its length is 550 m. The route is now well-maintained and equipped with signposts; the tunnels are illuminated.

     

    If you are a history and technology buff, make sure to stop at the Parenzana Museum in Izola on your way. You’ll learn about the technical heritage of Slovenian coastal towns.

    Head underground to visit abandoned tunnels. By bicycle, of course!