Ljubljana is one of my favourite European cities. The centre with its old town is so cute that it seems like a living room and the quality of life in the city is, from my point of view, one of the best in the world.
And you now what I love the most about it? The short distances. Do you know that in two hours you are in Venice and in three in Vienna? But that’s not what I wanted to say in the first place. Since I am quite an outdoor freak and love to spend most of my free time in nature, Ljubljana is the best. Just outside the centre, you can find yourself in the deep nature. North, south, east, west… you name it… So, the other day I decided to take a cycling tour to the Ljubljana marshes, just a couple of kilometres from the centre. How cool is that!
The Ljubljana Marshes is a unique patchwork of meadows, fields and streams, where the green surfaces meet with the blue sky. River Ljubljanica, the one that flows through the city centre has helped to create the marshes through history.
The Marshes are popular among the citizens for its beautiful nature, rich history with archaeological heritage and famous birdwatching. A natural reserve is dedicated to conserving the unique natural environment of the wetland area. Marshes’ particular ecosystem cools the summer heat and cleans the air, water and soil, and also favours a rich sustainable production of local quality healthy food and the development of environmentally friendly farming and green tourism.
So, I put on comfortable sports clothes and shoes and filled my backpack with a water bottle and some energy snacks. The tour started in Ljubljana city centre riding on the asphalt terrain to the Church of St. Michael at the door of the Marshes, designed and constructed by famous Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik.
Did I mention we were riding electric mountain bikes? They are perfect for exploring Slovenian countryside in groups because of the different fitness levels of participants. Another advantage is enjoying the views and surroundings without a short breath and being too exhausted. In fact, it was really a relaxing trip. The tour runs across almost completely flat terrain and is suitable for beginners, families, and also children.
The tour then continued through the marvellous gorge of Iška river with its mini rapids, sandbanks, numerous pools and steep rocky banks. Another interesting part of the cycling tour was learning about nature since the Ljubljana Marshes are home to several hundred species of birds, numerous colourful butterflies, dragonflies and amphibians.
After less than four hours and 35 kilometres of riding we got back to the city. Happy and pleasantly tired I went to my flat, took a shower, posted some photos of the day on Instagram, and headed to the Wine Tasting – another must – do in Ljubljana.
Author: Živa M. Brecelj