The 21st Classic Marathon - Route Outline

Slovenia - Croatia - Austria

20th - 26th June 2009  The 21st Classic Marathon Route Outline


To whet your appetites here is a brief look at our exciting new route that takes the Classic Marathon into is third historic decade.

Day 1: Sunday - Ljubljana to Portoroz (260 km)

A midday start from the centre of Ljubljana precedes an enjoyable afternoon of competition combining scenic regularities with exciting special tests. We are in the heart of classic Slovenian rally territory and the sinuous roads through the densely wooded hills of the Notranjska province will no doubt play their part in shaping the early leader board. Descending from these hills, we are greeted by a superb vista stretching as far as the Adriatic coast. Once onto the plains, it is an easy run along the Autocesta to our first overnight halt in the Adriatic resort of Portoroz (or “Port of Roses”).

Day 2: Monday - Portoroz to Crikvenica (370 km)

Leaving Portoroz, we quickly cross the border into Croatia for a morning exploring the Istrian peninsula. The vine-clad hills of this idyllic region, reminiscent of Provence or Tuscany, hide a maze of lanes - perfect for rallying... After lunch, we drive east into the limestone hills behind Rijeka for further challenging regularities before dropping down onto the spectacular Dalmatian coast where we stay the night in a recently restored 18th Century hotel, once frequented by noblemen from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

 Glorious scenery and great driving roads on the 21st Classic Marathon

Glorious scenery and great driving roads on the 21st Classic Marathon

Day 3: Tuesday - Crikvenica to Rogla (420 km)

From the coast to a mountain top - all in one day! The infamous section from Crikvenica to Ogulin struck fear into the hearts of many rally crews on the old “Liege” rallies. Thankfully our journey to Ogulin is a little less daunting. Following a visit to the fabulous Grobnik Automotodrom for a couple of early morning tests, the route wends its way east through the rolling hills of northern Croatia before we cross back into Slovenia. Having passed through the dense forests of the Dolenjska region, where bears and mythical ghosts are said to roam, the rest of the afternoon comprises a series of testing regularities through the lush farmland of central Slovenia. A final climb brings us to the overnight halt in the ski resort of Rogla.

 Bled Castle overlooks the Classic Marathon finish

Spectacular Bled Castle

Day 4: Wednesday - Rogla to Schladming (400 km)

It’s action from the word “Go” today with a brace of early sections in the Pohorje Massif. We then head north into Austria and spend the rest of the day exploring the Carinthian Mountains - a land full of lofty snow-capped peaks and magical castles. After an unforgettable afternoon’s motoring - climbing to over 2000 metres - through these idyllic mountain surroundings, we arrive in the attractive alpine resort of Schladming.

Day 5: Thursday - Schladming to Bled (390 km)

We have another exciting start to the day planned. What is it? Well, you will just have to join us in June to find out... Further challenging regularities follow as we return south through the Carinthian Mountains into northern Slovenia. An afternoon amidst the stunning scenery of the Savinja Alps precedes a relaxed run to our final destination - the picturesque lakeside town of Bled where we spend the next two nights.

Day 6: Friday - Bled to Bled (220 km)

A final morning exploring the maze of lanes in the forests and foothills of the Julian Alps should provide a fitting finale to this year’s event. We return to the lakeside in Bled for the grand finish and a prizegiving with a difference... After another memorable week of Marathon motoring, there will be many a story to be shared and the party will no doubt continue well into the night.