The Castle Bike Trail
Within the framework of the cross border strategic project Interreg Italia-Slovenia MerlinCV, a new themed cycling trail has been set up in the municipality of Pivka and in part of the municipality of Ilirska Bistrica.
The route called the “Castle Trail” connects the Park of Military History with Ravne mansion, the village of Narin and Šilentabor above Zagorje, then splits into three branches; the first leads in the direction of Upper Pivka past the Kalc Castle to the village of Bač, the other two in the direction of the valley of the Reka river – to the villages of Podtabor and Ratečevo Brdo.
- The Park of Military History. The starting point of the Castle Trail is the Park of Military History, a museum and tourist centre offering visitors an insight into the rich military historical heritage of Slovenia.
- Ravne Castle. Ravne Manor was built in the 16th century on the ruins of Ravne Castle, which was first recognised in history in 1313. It was owned by various noble families – Raunach, De Leo, Hohenwart and Marenzi.
- Narin. In the tourist village of Narin, groups can see the display of farming traditions and taste various homemade delicacies at the tourist farm Pri Andrejevih.
- Šilentabor. From Narin, the path rises to Šilentabor (751m), where the Raunach nobles from the nearby Ravne manor built a castle in the 15th c. Together with the counter Turkish camp, this represented the largest fortified system in Slovenia.
- Kalc Castle, erected at the beginning of the 17th c., is famous for its owner, the poet and politician Miroslav Vilhar. In 1869, an all-Slovenian camp was held here, attended by as many as 8,000 people. Today, only the tower is preserved from the mighty fortress.
- Bač. The route from Kalc Castle continues to the ecological tourist farm Pri Požarju in Bač, where visitors can taste homemade food and enjoy unspoiled nature.
- Podtabor. The village of Podtabor lies below a precipitous rock, where the karst landscape transforms into a valley of impermeable flysch. Podtabor Castle once stood here, which Valvasor wrote about.
- Ratečevo Brdo. Part of the Castle Trail also leads to the Janezinovi tourist farm in the village of Ratečevo Brdo. The quiet surroundings allow visitors plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the natural environment, and they can also participate in various activities.