Estonia was where I did my first bike trip. In July 2006 I rode from my place in Viimsi to Paldiski with a couple of friends from Australia. We attempted to follow the number 1 cycling route but had no map and found signage a bit lacking, so we ended up riding on the uncomfortably narrow and busy highway for a good part of the trip. Since then signing has improved and there are more maps and information available.
In general, Estonia is a great place for cycling in summer. There are quiet roads, regular villages and towns, and most importantly it is very flat. The highest point in Estonia (and all of the Baltics) is Suur Munamägi at a mear 318 metres high.
There are about a dozen official sign posted bike routes throughout Estonia. The number 1 bike route is part of the number 10 Euro Velo route which circuits the nordic countries.
The Esto Velo website contains a good amount of info in English. I purchased rough maps of the bike routes from a bookshop and they have come in handy when a sign post had gone astray. These days the routes are clearly marked on the Open Street Maps Cycle Map, which can be downloaded with a bunch of different apps on smartphones.
After a great night’s sleep at Majdač we rode through Solčava uphill along the Savinja river to Logarska Dolina – a beautiful short, flat valley with tall mountains around it. It’s worth it to go just to ride along the valley, but there are accommodation options there if you want to stay overnight.
The entrance to Logarska Dolina
View along the valley in Logarska Dolina
The Savinja river begins in Logarska Dolina as a small creek, and we followed it for the rest of the day along it’s long descent through the upper Savinja Valley. It didn’t take long for the Savinja to grow from a fast flowing creek to a fast flowing river. It had been lovely weather all day, but around Ljubno it started to rain again. We hid from the cold rain in a petrol station (of which all in Slovenia are named “Petrol”) and bought some food and, most importantly, a good road map. The only map we could find in Australia was a 1:500 000 that covered most of the region, so a local map with the camping grounds marked was a vast improvement.
After the rain eased we continued down the valley to the nearest campsite, which was in a small village near Rečica. The guy there offered us a place in the campsite’s hostel for an extra euro each above the camping cost, so we took that. It felt a little like we were guinea pigs for the hostel, because it was a bit dodgy (it didn’t seem quite finished) and we were the only ones there, but it was comfortable and warm. There we ate, drank cheap wine, and were generally quite merry.