Due to its dynamic topography, the Lenart route is among the more demanding routes. While the roads are narrow, passing cars are a rare occurrence, so it’s a pleasant ride. The same is true of the main roads.
Leaving the church in the centre of Lenart – the route’s starting point – you’ll pass the settlement of Varda on your way to Jurovski Dol. After the first few kilometres, take a short break to view the Church of St George; once you’ve crossed the Globovnica stream, the challenging climb to Spodnji Gasteraj awaits. Your efforts will be rewarded with views of Slovenske Gorice, which you can enjoy all the way to Zgornja Velka, where you’ll also find the highest point of the route – the Church of Our Lady of the Snows, situated at 402 m above sea level.
On the way, you will have crossed the Velka valley, which for cyclists means a short, steep descent followed by an ascent. Another descent and ascent – characteristic features of this route – await on the way to Trate; in Lok, you’ll head back to Lenart by way of Lokavec and Rožengrunt, and along the way you’ll have a chance to take in views of the plains along the Mura on the Austrian side. At the tourist farm in Rožengrunt, have a snack to boost your strength; you’ll need it for the demanding ascent to Sv. Ana – or St Anna; it’s also home to a church of the same name – that awaits following a light descent of several kilometres. After a winding descent, a light ride through Froleh and Spodnje Žerjavce and Zgornje Žerjavce awaits before you reach the goal Lenart. In Spodnje Žerjavce, you’ll encounter a kilometre or so of gravel road; don’t worry, it’s adequately reinforced and accessible to cyclists. It will probably be paved in the near future.
Map: Free PDF download of Cycling map With a bike through Maribor and surroundings, mark 13.
Key points of interest along the route:
- Lenart, the largest town in central Slovenske Gorice,
- The Church of St Lenart, considered the finest example of Late Gothic in Slovenske Gorice,
- The Church of St George in Jurovski Dol,
- The Church of Our Lady of the Snows (once a famous pilgrimage site),
- Cmurek castle in Trate,
- Kapralov Castle.