ROAD BIKEPACKING IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS ACROSS ITALY AND SLOVENIA
Imagine a bright green forest, a thin strip of asphalt along a cycle path, and your bike loaded with everything you need.
A 600 km long adventure awaits you, crossing Slovenia and Italy: the most exciting borders to discover on a bike.
Departure from Udine, in a land rich in history, culture, food and wine, heading towards Slovenia, the green heart of Europe.
This will be more than just a bikepacking event.
It will be a journey where you can explore unique places with hundreds of other like-minded enthusiasts on a carefully constructed route that will make you feel alive.
Follow the routes thanks to a fine-tuned GPS route, 100% tarmac. Ecstasy from the first to the last kilometer.
The routes will be a single stage that you can divide up as you see fit. No fixed time.
No assistance from the organizers. No personal assistance in tow. It will just be you and your bike.
Enjoy the adventure with no stress.
There are no final rankings or unnecessary distractions.
We believe that traveling by bike changes people.
It changes their perspective on life, the environment, and the world.
But we believe it should be fun, stress-free, and create lasting memories for a lifetime.
We are travelers like you, looking for traffic-free, quiet roads that take us to beautiful places.
The Grand Escape is this desire: a series of road events where there is no competition and speed at all costs but a fulfilling life experience.
In The Grand Escape events, there are no fixed times, checkpoints final rakings, or outside interference.
You can experience this dream route on your terms, at your own pace.
More than 160 km of bicycle paths that will make you forget the existence of cars.
You will hear only the sound of the wind and, very often, the sound of water flowing past you in the river.
Carefully chosen back roads will take you to iconic places where you will feel Alive.
You’ll have a perpetual smile on your face as you watch around to fully take in the nature that surrounds you.
Mountains, forests, meadows, alpine streams, and snow-capped peaks: you will experience an adventure on your road bike to tell your friends about for the years to come.
But there will not only be nature because you will enter inside historical centers rich in culture, such as Lubljana and Udine, and charming towns where time seems to stand still.
Embark on a journey that guides you along the Tagliamento, Europe’s last wild river. Cross bridges and cycle along roads running adjacent to this incredible natural spectacle, where its winding paths and robust currents echo the thrill of your adventure.
Feel the rush of the river’s free-flowing waters, mirroring the freedom and exhilaration of your journey. Marvel at the stunning biodiversity it supports, underscoring the river’s crucial role in the region.
Your adventure with The Grand Escape isn’t just about pedaling. It’s about immersing yourself in nature’s raw beauty and forging a deep connection with the landscapes you traverse.
By the Tagliamento, you’ll experience the essence of bikepacking – a blend of adventure, freedom, and respect for nature.
Embark on an extraordinary journey with The Grand Escape as you traverse a stretch of the renowned Alpe Adria cycle route, from Udine to Tarvisio.
This pathway, built on an old railway track, offers a unique cycling experience free from the interruptions and dangers of vehicular traffic.
As you glide along this traffic-free route, you’ll be enveloped by the breathtaking beauty of the Italian mountains.
You’ll cross charming old railway bridges, pedal through captivating tunnels, and marvel at the canyons and crevices carved by the mighty river.
This journey not only offers a gentle yet consistent incline, making it a delightful ride for all, but also allows you to fully immerse yourself in the serenity of your surroundings. Experience the freedom and tranquility of cycling in the heart of nature, untouched by the bustle of traffic.
The Alpe Adria cycle route is more than just a path; it’s a journey through time, a tribute to nature and engineering, and an unforgettable chapter of your Grand Escape adventure.
Immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of Triglav National Park, Slovenia’s only national park nestled within the Julian Alps. Experience a captivating journey through an alpine landscape rich in biodiversity and stunning geological features.
Your route takes you through the charming town of Bovec, nestled in the Soča Valley, and over the legendary Vršič Pass, Slovenia’s highest road pass.
This thrilling mountain pass, with 50 hairpin turns and breathtaking panoramic views, provides an exhilarating challenge that is sure to be a highlight of your journey.
Witness the stunning alpine vistas and the emerald-green waters of the Soča and Tolminka rivers, contrasting beautifully with the surrounding mountains.
Feel a profound sense of tranquility as you ride along the park’s winding paths and experience the magic and majesty of this unique natural paradise on your Grand Escape adventure.
Embrace the stunning beauty of Slovenia’s iconic Lake Bled.
Nestled amidst the Julian Alps, its crystal-clear waters reflect the surrounding peaks, offering a breathtaking view.
In the lake’s heart lies the picturesque Bled Island with its charming 17th-century church, a vision straight out of a fairytale.
Don’t miss the medieval Bled Castle, perched high on a rocky cliff, a testament to Slovenia’s rich history. Nearby, explore the Vintgar Gorge or enjoy the tranquility of Triglav National Park.
Take a moment to savor the famous Bled cream cake, a delightful local treat. Lake Bled is more than a stop on your journey – it’s an unforgettable highlight of your Grand Escape adventure.
The journey will lead you from charming Slovenian hamlets to the heart of the nation – the bustling capital city of Ljubljana.
The city is a blend of rich history and modern energy, offering a thriving cultural scene amidst its stunning old town.
Known as one of the most exquisite historical centers globally, it brims with architectural splendor and a labyrinth of quaint, narrow streets.
Endless cycling paths meander through the city, making it perfect for exploration on two wheels. And when the day draws to a close, we suggest you take a brief detour to the majestic Ljubljana Castle.
From its elevated vantage point, you can witness the sunset painting the sky in shades of orange and pink, a spectacle that will etch itself into your memory.
Ljubljana is not merely a pit-stop in your adventure – it’s an experience that encapsulates the spirit of Slovenia.
Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Soča Valley, acclaimed as one of the world’s most stunning landscapes.
Deriving its name from the vibrant Soča River that courses through it, this valley presents a mesmerizing tableau of nature’s splendor.
The river’s turquoise waters trace a path through lush greenery, punctuated by cascading waterfalls and majestic mountain peaks.
Yet, the Soča Valley offers more than just picturesque vistas.
As you pedal along the cycling path that meanders through the valley, you’ll traverse under the world’s longest stone arch railroad bridge, a striking architectural feat that further elevates the region’s allure.
Exploring the Soča Valley is not merely about appreciating the scenery; it’s about actively engaging with the heart-stopping beauty that ranks this place among the globe’s most awe-inspiring valleys.
Discover Udine, the charming starting and finishing point for your bikepacking adventure. Located in northeastern Italy, this historic city showcases a blend of Italian, Austrian and Venetian influences in its architecture and culture.
Don’t miss the beautiful Piazza della Libertà, with its Venetian-style loggia and iconic clock tower. Explore the 16th-century Castle, home to an extensive art collection and offering panoramic views of the city.
Udine’s lively atmosphere and welcoming locals make it the ideal location to begin and end your unforgettable bikepacking journey through Friuli and Slovenia.
The Grand Escape is an adventure across borders.
First, you will discover the region, Friuli Venezia Giulia, still unexplored by most.
It lies deep in northeastern Italy and is a little wonder that few people know about.
Quiet roads among prized vineyards are only a handful of miles from the Alps.
You will ride over Europe’s last wild river, the Tagliamento, and its incredible canyons and crevasses.
You’ll pass through tunnels of an old railroad that will light up as you pass.
Every 10 kilometers, this region changes face. First, you will feel like you are in Venice, then Tuscany, and soon after, in the most profound mountains.
Slovenia is a popular destination for cyclists worldwide, but its full essence has yet to be discovered.
Only those who have lived it for years can find all its best aspects.
You will be among Slovenia’s green valleys, diamond-colored rivers, and lofty but welcoming peaks.
Imagine riding on a bridge between the Alps with a giant mountain before you. And then quickly descend through alpine cottages to broad green valleys.
At dawn, you see deer coming out of the Triglavski Park as in the silence among the pines, you climb the legendary Vrsic Pass.
And after admiring all the Slovene and Italian mountains all around you, descend towards Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, with its ancient and modern atmosphere at the same time.
Here you’ll find a throbbing but quiet life in a centuries-old crossroads of people that you’ll also see in its architecture.
Slovenians love biking, and you’ll understand this because of the many asphalt bike paths you’ll find along the way.
The Grand Escape will take you to places that cannot be reached except by bike, all the way to the Soca Valley, the blue river that runs through this beautiful country.
The path you’ll embark upon in The Grand Escape is the culmination of 10 years of adventures in Slovenia.
It’s a route forged from countless rides of discovering the best roads in Slovenia to cycle on.
You’ll ride away from traffic into the soul-stirring serenity of hidden backroads.
We’ve handpicked over 160 kilometers of cycle paths, each leading you through scenery so striking it seems otherworldly. These aren’t just paths; they’re our well-kept secrets, ready to be shared with you.
You’ll glide through landscapes on roads that promise peace and a connection to the stunning nature around you.
Don’t miss the updates about The Grand Escape, all information will be emailed to you.
All participants are REQUIRED to submit a valid “Health Certificate for cardiovascular intensive sport activity (cycling races/events)”.
The medical certificate must expire after 15 November (for the Grand Escape Italy/Slovenia).
If the medical certificate is not compliant, it will be refused and canceled and the member will have to forward a new compliant one.
The medical certificate must be specific for CYCLING. We cannot accept medical certificates issued for other sports such as triathlon, athletics, etc.
Anyone who does not comply with this requirement will not be considered regularly registered and will not be entitled to a refund of the registration fee.
Each participant must declare in accordance with the D.P.R. no. 445 of 28 December 2000 that the documents forwarded by him are true and correspond to the originals in his possession.
Yes, there are a limited spots available for The Grand Escape’s events: the rule is first come first served.
Attention: in the first hours the site could be slow or unreachable due to the large number of people who carry out the registration procedure at the same time, if this were the case, do not be alarmed and wait 15 minutes before accessing the site again.
Nothing at the time of registration. It is enough to complete the procedure. Subsequently it is required to send the medical certificate.
Part 1: Getting to Udine with your bike
By car: Use an approved bike rack and secure it properly. There is a reserved parking area for registered participants (cars only, no campers).
By train: Regional and Intercity trains allow the transportation of mounted bikes. The nearest train station to the starting point is Udine and it’s very close to the starting point. Check Trenitalia’s website and book a spot for your bike.
By bus: In Italy, practically only Flixbus accepts assembled bikes. Always verify with the bus operator and pay any additional fees if required.
Part 2: Getting to Udine with a disassembled or packed bike
By car: Pack the bike and load it into the car trunk. Ensure it’s adequately protected. By train: Most trains allow the transportation of disassembled and packed bikes as regular luggage. The nearest train station to the starting point is Udine. Check the allowed dimensions and weight.
By bus: Similar to trains, most buses accept disassembled and packed bikes as luggage. Verify restrictions and pack the bike properly. By airplane: Airlines allow the transportation of disassembled and packed bikes as checked luggage. Check their policies and pack your bike adequately. The closest airports to Udine are Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport (TRS), Marco Polo Airport in Venice (VCE), and Treviso Canova Airport (TSF). Once landed, use a rental car, or public transportation to reach the final destination. Cardboard / Storage of the box: it is best to find a storage area in one of the main train station such as Venice, Treviso or Trieste.
In Udine you can book your accommodation in ten of the best hotels in Udine, you’ll find the details and the discounts reservered to you by “Udine Chiavi in Mano” in the digital guide sent to the participants.
Ask your hotel, our accommodation partners, about luggage and bike box storage
The Grand Escape is defined as a “no-stop” event in the sense that there are no fixed stops but each participant can freely decide where to stop, to eat and to sleep along the way. Our advice is to study the route before leaving in order to get an idea of the possible stops that you will make.
We have no agreements along the way. The best way to find a place at the best price is to take advantage of the technology and, in particular, use Booking.com and Google Maps. The offers that you will find on these two websites are the best in absolute and we would not be able to get these offers even with a possible agreement.Google Maps allows you to understand where an accommodation facility is and how many kilometers separate you from it while booking.com allows you to book online.
There is no possibility to register in The Grand Escape after the official registration date.
Cancellation – If, for reasons of force majeure that do not depend on the organization but on environmental and / or health reasons at national or international level, the event could not take place, the amount paid at the time of registration will not be refunded but will be considered valid for the next edition. The organization will be entitled, for those who re-register free of charge to the next edition, to a contribution for secretarial expenses and the renewal of the sports card.
Shifting of the event – Furthermore, for reasons of force majeure or other serious reasons, which could jeopardize the preparation of the event or the participation in it by a number of people not less than half of the members, the Organization reserves the right to move the place and / or date of the event within the same calendar year. In this case, the registration fee paid will be valid for the event on the rescheduled date, without any additional costs for the members. In this case, it is not possible to move the registration to the following year’s edition.
Slovenia and Italy are in European Union, so you can cross freely between the two countries.
During the upcoming The Grand Escape, we will not remain idle.
We will consistently be by your side throughout the journey to capture your finest moments.
We will provide you with videos and photographs that will narrate the event for those who weren’t fortunate enough to take part.
These will be cherished memories that we will share with all event participants.
Discover a meticulously organized event that combines adventure and peace of mind.
At The Grand Escape, we believe in providing an unforgettable bikepacking experience that showcases the best of the regions we explore.
Our team has meticulously curated and tested the route for the Alps event, ensuring that you’ll be guided along the most scenic, captivating, and low-traffic roads.
We have been pedaling this territory for years, and our intimate knowledge of the region guarantees that we’ll take you on the finest routes that Friuli and Slovenia have to offer.
Join us on this carefully crafted journey, where every detail has been considered, and let us guide you through the breathtaking landscapes and hidden gems of Italy and Slovenia. Embrace the adventure and immerse yourself in the magic of The Grand Escape.
We prioritize the well-being of our participants. That’s why we’ve partnered with Whip tracking to provide real-time location updates for each rider throughout the event.
Friends, family, and loved ones can follow your journey from the comfort of their homes, ensuring that you’re never too far from their thoughts and support. This state-of-the-art tracking system not only adds an extra layer of safety but also allows you to share your adventure with those who matter most.
We have meticulously selected the safest roads for this event, prioritizing routes with minimal traffic and the best possible riding conditions. Ride with confidence, knowing that your safety is our top concern as you explore the captivating landscapes of Friuli and Slovenia.
The regional cuisine of Friuli harmoniously blends Italian, Austrian, and Slavic influences, tempting your palate with local specialties like frico, a savory cheese and potato dish, and the renowned San Daniele prosciutto.
As you explore Slovenia, you’ll be captivated by its culinary delights that emphasize fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
Discover traditional dishes like žlikrofi, delightful potato dumplings, or the mouthwatering kranjska klobasa, a flavorful Slovenian sausage.
Be sure not to miss the succulent cevapcici, grilled minced meat sausages, perfectly accompanied by the rich and smoky ajvar, a red pepper and eggplant relish.
Throughout your journey, immerse yourself in the unique tastes and flavors that define these enchanting regions, transforming your bikepacking experience into a true epicurean adventure.
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