Cycling route Giro dei Tre Confini
Starting point: Tarvisio. However, you can start anywhere along the route.
Tour of Three Borders
The Giro dei Tre Confini - Tour of Three Borders - runs from Tarvisio in Italy via Riegersdorf in Austria to Kranjska Gora, Trenta and Bovec in Slovenia and back to Tarvisio (although you can choose your starting point wherever you want).
You can make a shortcut in the 80 miles/130 kilometer route if you want, by skipping the climb to Mangartsko sedlo - the saddle of Mangart. It's 14 miles/22 kilometer less, but you will loose the most spectacular climb of this tour, so it's basically not a consideration when the legs are still good enough.
Rural and car-free
Starting from the north side of Tarvisio (where there is plenty of parking space above the Via Romana), you instantly encouter a short cobblestone section through the town center, before a briefly pass on the Via Roma. Take a look to the left (you see a bar) and to the right (there's an ice cream parlor) to know what rewards are waiting for you at the end of the day. After this you dive down Via Giovanni Paolo II, where you promptly drive up the slope again before the bridge, to end up on a beautiful, car-free cycle path along the highway. At Coccau the cycle path ends with a choice. Will you take the short route on the motorway through the dark tunnel or do you prefer the slightly longer detour on a rural road with short gravel strips? It's a no-brainer. Safety and natural beauty take precedence over claustrophobic traffic stress. The rural road rewards your choice with the first altimeters of the day. After Coccau you come back to a cycle path next to the motorway, which takes to the border crossing with Austria and continues downwards to Riegersdorf, where the foot of the first real climb is waiting for you.
Hairpin bends with cobbles
The Wurzen Pass contains generally ascending percentages with the steepest mile/kilometer of the day right in the middle of the climb. When you survive this, you will have time to catch your breath before reaching the last part of the climb. This last section is also steep, but maybe not too bad compared to the previous one. The top itself doesn't reward your heroic efforts. So move on quickly, across the border into Slovenia, descend to Podkoren and turn left to the ski resort of Kranjska Gora, where the road starts to rise again. The name Vršič seems to contain a few hairpin bends and that's an omen. The climb itself counts almost 30 hairpin bends, most of which have a strip of cobblestones in the actual turn. The descent to Trenta also has a section with more than 25 hairpin bends, but this section has no cobblestones, which saves considerably on additional braking. The road from Trenta to Bovec consists of a fairly flat section of 15 miles/25 kilometers. You need to be prepared for the next climb the moment you arrive at that one hairpin bend right before passing Bovec.
The Passo Predil is a diptych. Where the first part with percentages of 3 to 4% still allows you to enjoy the beauty of nature, the percentages in part two doubles and quickly turns enjoyment into hard labour. The main choice of the day follows immediately after the viaduct. The slain prematurely turn left here towards the Italian border. Those who want to come home unashamed with tales of bravery and heroism take the road to the right, where the toughest climb of the day awaits. Four tunnels and 22 hairpin bends. Back and forth. One summit with two names: the Klanška Škrbina or Mangartsko sedlo. A breathtaking climb. Back at the viaduct there is a short climb to the last border crossing, followed by a descent of 7,5 miles/12 kilometers to the finish point in Tarvisio. You did it. Italian coffee and ice cream are waiting for you.
This route contains both streets paved with cobbles and gravel sections that can be ridden with a racing bike.
Be careful! On this tour you will encounter dimly lit tunnels. Use your bike lights.
Climbs on the route
Wurzenpass from Riegersdorf
Vršič from Kranjska Gora
Passo Predil from Bovec
Klanška Škrbina / Mangartsko sedlo from Predel Mangart
Regions you cross
Time on bike