forgotten border river
If you stop on the way, take a
deep breath and look around, you see a wild, deserted and
forgotten land. There are ruins, scarps, terraces and most
of them have signs of a life going on here in the past.
Well, there are still some lonely farm houses in the lower
part of the valley, but not in the upper part. There used
to be many water mills along Dragonja river. You can still
see ruins today.
In winter time, when there is
usually snow in almost whole Slovenia, it is possible to
have a nice bike ride here in Primorska region (near the
sea). The temperatures can reach up to and over 10 degrees
Celsius even in January.
In general, the Slovenian
coast line is quite densely populated and as such it is
not that nice to visit with a mountain bike. The valley of
Dragonja river is an exception. There are a lot of
possibilities to explore the valley on a bike. Don't let
the described trail limit you in any way!
It is worth mentioning that
mornings are quite cold in winter, since sunshine comes
late into the valley. Described trail goes along Dragonja
river and crosses it six times! There shouldn't be any
problems with crossings, since there are enough big rocks
in the river to walk on. Altogether there are nine
crossings over the water, so it is better not to ride this
trail after heavy rain, since water level can get too high
in the rivers.
Dragonja village can be
reached from Portoroz via Secovlje border crossing (4 km)
or from Koper - go in direction of Dragonja border
crossing or look for signs for Buje (Croatia). Starting
point is a small bus stop in SE of Dragonja village.
The trail goes along the
valley, upstream Dragonja river. In the first part, there
is a nice macadam road up to Skrline, where Pinjevec or
Rokava river flows into Dragonja. After crossing Pinjevec, you
continue upstream Dragonja on partly quite rough cart
track. Further up, there is a nice singletrack waiting for
you! From Skrline on, the valley is deserted and wild. You
can have a look at ruins of water mills and other
different buildings. Because orientation is difficult in
this area, the Road book is reset to zero at the point,
where power lines cross the valley. You climb out of the
valley via Truske village. The last part of the climb onto
the crest is on local asphalt. But that doesn't bother
much, since the road is not busy at all and is very
scenic. There is a nice view from the crest, to the Alps,
Trieste, Koper and also to Croatian Istra. All the
villages that you go through (Truske, Borst, Labor) are
worth a closer look. From Labor you descent back to
Dragonja valley on quite rocky and rough cart track (nice
DH!). You return to the starting point via Skrline the
A) You can ride only
the loop of the trail (from no. 7 to no. 44). The starting
point is Skrline in this case. You get there from Koper
via Marezige and Zupancici.
B) If you don't want to
ride the same way back, you can climb up the western crest
over Dragonja valley, e.g. up to Kostabona and along the
crest back to the starting point.
C) If you are running
out of time, you can shorten the trail - at no. 24 go left
on a rough cart track (quite demanding uphill) directly
towards Borst (you come back to described trail at no.