Challenge level: 4 out of 5
|23 September - 29 September 2023||On Sale|
Cycle from the sparkling Adriatic Sea to the paradise of the Alps on this exquisite two-country challenge for the charity of your choice.
Kicking off on the idyllic Italian island of Grado, we’ll ride from the sea to snow-capped peaks and cross the border to the forests, lakes and green capital city of Slovenia.
Our hilly yet heavenly route will take us up and down through spectacular mountains and swooping valleys, past lush, alpine meadows, chocolate-box local settlements and the mystical Triglav National Park.
We'll conquer challenging climbs for unsurpassed panoramas and enjoy two nights at the crystal clear Lake Bled, famous for the tiny island and castle at its heart.
Our adventure will finish with a free day in the amazing capital of Ljubljana, one of the world’s greenest cities. Boasting no traffic and a number of outdoor cafes, bridges and flower beds, the city centre makes the perfect place to celebrate our success!
We first meet as a group at the airport in London, where we catch our flight to Bella Italia!
Touching down in Venice at around midday, we transfer across the causeway to the beautiful island of Grado. With sandy beaches on each side and a medieval maze of streets at its heart, Grado makes the perfect place to commence our adventure.
Our local ground team meets us at our hotel, where we have time to settle before our bike fitting and an exciting briefing from our challenge leader.
We close the evening with a welcome dinner of delicious Italian cuisine and catch a good night’s sleep before our cycle starts tomorrow.
It may be our first day in the saddle but this is no easy warm-up ride. With around 100km to cover, we rise early for breakfast and a stunning day’s cycle.
This morning, we enjoy an idyllic, flat route with views of the sparkling Adriatic Sea, before our challenge hikes up in the afternoon, taking us north through the mountains.
We pass through the spiritual capital of Friuli, Udine, where a striking variety of Venetian arches, Grecian statues and Roman columns welcomes us, along with the fresh, local cuisine the town is renowned for.
Pressing on, we pedal further into the mountains on a route that is breath-taking in every sense of the word. We encounter some tough climbs and steep terrain, but the alpine panoramas are more than worth it.
Finally, we find our hotel in the charming province of Carnia. Here, surrounded by fir forests, dramatic valleys, snow-capped peaks and crystal-clear lakes, just a stone’s throw away from Austria, it’s hard to believe we started the day at the seaside!
With legs already feeling like spaghetti, it’s time to tuck into an exquisite, well-deserved dinner and rest for the night.
After breakfast at the hotel, we jump on our bikes to tackle a shorter distance but with tougher climbs.
Winding our way through the mountains, our route keeps us captivated with expansive views across the forested valleys below. As we gain height cycling through still more remote landscapes, we conquer steep terrain with more snow-capped peaks to admire, at an altitude of 670m.
At last, we reach the town of Tarvisio, which could be something out of a fairy-tale, with narrow streets and towers overlooking the valleys on every side.
Here, we spend the night at a hotel in the historical town and enjoy a final Italian dinner, before we cross the border to Slovenia tomorrow.
More majestic mountain scenery makes today’s route a dream. Bidding Bella Italia goodbye, we leave Tarvisio after breakfast and cross the border to Slovenia.
Barely over the border, we pass the enchanting Triglav National Park, one of Europe’s oldest National Parks, famous for its myths and legends. This setting of pristine nature and magnificent peaks seems closer to a magical world than it does to Earth, after all. Keep your eyes peeled as we pass the park, as we might just spot the legendary Zlatorog, the mysterious gold-horned chamois!
We end the day just outside the National Park at the famous Lake Bled, nestled in the Julian Alps. We find our accommodation in the romantic town of Bled, situated on the lake and proudly named the second-best place in sustainable development in Europe.
Here, we settle down for our first Slovenian dinner.
The town of Bled and of course, its stunning lake are too idyllic to leave straight away, so we take a day off to make the most of it!
Feel free to spend today relaxing by the lake and/or taking a boat to the tiny island at its heart and its majestic, 17th-century baroque church. You may also want to wander the picturesque streets of the town or visit the medieval castle overlooking the lake and town. As the oldest castle in Slovenia, it attracts visitors from all over the world and is well worth exploring yourself.
This morning, we’re also delighted to be organising an optional cycle challenge. The spectacular views over the lake and surrounding forests will enthral you every pedal of the way. You’ll then have the afternoon free to rest your legs by the lake or at our accommodation.
To give you maximum flexibility on your free day, lunch isn’t included, so please arrange your own meals. Why not take this opportunity to taste the delicious local Bled Cake at one of the local cafés? We then meet again at the hotel for our evening dinner and final night in Bled.
We’ve made it to the last day in the saddle! Heading South East, we savour every moment in this alpine paradise. Again, we face an undulating route with a few climbs, but with the toughest behind us, it’s nothing we can’t handle.
Fuelling up with breakfast, we journey through lush meadows and past the stone bridge and sparkling, clear waters of Lake Bohinj. Towering mountains gaze upon us, as we follow the valley floor past a river and then pedal up through the forest.
Our climb rewards with an exhilarating descent through the forest to the medieval town of Skofja Loka, dominated by its remarkably well-preserved castle. We see more signs of settlements, amidst farms and forests and at last, reach our finish line in the amazing capital city, Ljubljana.
Named the European Commission's Green Capital of Europe in 2016, Ljubljana centres itself around the leafy-banked river. With no traffic and a number of outdoor cafes, bridges and flower beds, the city centre is a joy to explore. Ljubljana is famous for its cuisine and tonight, we toast our achievement over a delicious celebration dinner and a very well-deserved night’s rest.
Today is free for you to spend as you wish in Ljubljana before we meet in the late afternoon for our flight back to the UK.
This gives you the awesome opportunity to amble the beautiful streets and the colourful Central Market, visit the 900-year-old Ljubljana Castle and explore the Prešernov trg Square with the Franciscan Church.
Lunch and dinner are not included on your free day, so you can take your pick of the numerous cafes that all boast an incredible menu.
At the end of the day, we meet back up as a group and transfer to the airport for our flight back to London. Touching down in the evening, we part ways and you make your own way home.
If you would rather stay in Slovenia for a little longer, please get in touch at least fourteen weeks before the challenge begins and we will be more than happy to arrange this for you.
Pay the registration fee (£349) and challenge costs (£1,650) + airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £120).
Pay the balance
Pay the registration fee (£349) and airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £120), and fundraise £3,300 or more for your chosen charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
This cycle is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part in this challenge will have a low level of fitness when they sign up.
We will be tackling long distances and some steep terrain on this challenge, so we strongly recommend you train. Once you sign up, we'll send you a fantastic free training plan, which builds up over time and will set you up for success. Remember, the more you train, the more you'll enjoy the real deal!
This adventure is the perfect motivation to get fit, explore the stunning countries of Slovenia and Italy, meet an amazing group of people and make an impact for the charity that means the most to you.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and lifelong friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for Cycle Italy to Slovenia 2023. Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow cyclists on your training and fundraising.
You may also want to reach out to the other participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.
Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join the ride.
16 and 17-year olds may participate if given permission by Dream Challenges. Please get in touch with us to discuss this. Simply email email@example.com and we'll be happy to help.
There will be around 35-40 participants and you'll no doubt make a bunch of awesome new friends!
Your non-refundable registration fee of £349 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
Your challenge costs of £1,650 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose sponsorship) cover:
*Accommodation is included on a twin-sharing basis. If you would rather pay for a single supplement and have a room to yourself, we can arrange this for you for an additional cost. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
In addition to paying your registration fee (£349) and your challenge costs (£1,650) or raising your Minimum Sponsorship target (£3,300) you will need to budget for:
A cycle helmet is essential and must be worn at all times. Cycling shorts are also recommended and everyone will need their own water bottles or a camel back-type hydration system.
Apart from that, no specialist equipment is required. We will supply you with a list of everything you will need to take before you go.
Cyclists will have the use of 18 or 21-gear bikes and we suggest you bring the saddle or gel cover you are used to riding on.
We stay in comfortable, three-star class hotels throughout this challenge.
*Please note, accommodation is included on a twin-sharing basis. If you would rather pay for a single supplement and have a room to yourself, we can arrange this for you for an additional cost.
Please email us at email@example.com if you would like to do this at least fourteen weeks before the challenge starts.
Yes of course! If you would like to extend your stay in Slovenia, we can arrange this for you. Please get in touch at least 14 weeks before the challenge by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation.
Dream Challenges has a policy that provides appropriate cover for this type of activity and also covers you for COVID-19. We will send you the details once you have registered.
You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity cycle in Italy and Slovenia.
Currently, UK citizens don't require a visa for Italy or Slovenia, but we will let you know if this changes before our challenge.
The Dream Challenges team is here to help you achieve your challenge and we will support you all the way.
We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.
Once you have registered, we will send you a realistic training plan to help you get fit for the challenge. The programme builds up gradually as the event gets closer.
During the cycle, we'll have a UK doctor with expedition medicine training from the get-go and at all times throughout the challenge, along with a team of outdoor remote first-aid trained challenge guides.
We’ll have an event leader, plus a UK doctor with expedition medicine training, who will be with you the whole time. We'll also have a team of outdoor remote first-aid trained challenge guides.
Certainly. Our hotel accommodation is included in your challenge cost on a twin-sharing basis.
However if you would prefer to have a room to yourself and pay for a single supplement, we'll be happy to arrange this for you at an additional cost of £250. Please note, this is NOT included in your challenge cost).
If you would like a single supplement, please get in touch by emailing us at email@example.com or call us on 01590 646410 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm).
We will encounter a range of terrains on this challenge, from quiet roads to tracks and cycle paths. We will also tackle some steep ascents and descents as we ride through the mountains, so please bare this in mind while training for the challenge. With spectacular mountain panoramas and a team of fellow cyclists by your side, you'll find these a joy.
As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.
We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.
NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home