A nice uphill with increasing difficulty, a summit with panoramic view, a long flowy downhill, garnished with steep and tricky steps and a moderate climb back to finish the loop. You should have some experience to have fun at MataDown 2019
and enough power for the way back.
Every year in August, the summit of Matajur is the start of an enduro race called "MataDown". It goes down, along the chain of hills, to the village of Sorzento (elev. 230m). The route alternates a little bit year by year. The route of the last race is open for public and marked by a special sign. The route of 2019 is described as MataDown 2019
. If some segments of the route will be changed in the next years you should take the new one and follow the signs.
Starting in the village of Livek (elev. 690m). Reaching Livek at Road #903 from the the valley of Soca, there is the football field on your left (and a dirt bike park on your right). Here is a good place to park your car.
Bike into the village towards "Italy" and stay right. Just before the road leaves the village, turn right, and take a small paved road towards "Matajur" or "Avsa". Follow this nice road upwards through the forest, later through the meadows, above Livek. You'll pass the hamlet of "Perati" on your right and later the hamlet "Avsa" on your left.
Soon, the small paved road changes to a dirt road (elev. 890m). Now you are at Livek-Matajur Dirt Road
. This road climbs moderately through the forest up to the meadows of the alms. Enjoy the views there. After passing the highest point of this road near Mount "Mrzli vrh", fork off to Livek-Matajur Doubletrack
(elev. 1.280m). Follow it till the end.
Now you have reached the meadows of the upper mountainside (elev. 1.470m) of Mount Matajur. On your left starts Matajur Southern Traverse
. Enjoy this singletrack and reach the closed alpin-hut "Dom na Matajure" (elev. 1.540m) at its end. On your right you can see the summit. In this direction the Matajur, western summit trail is rideable in most parts. On the summit (elev. 1.645m), there is a wonderful panorama. To the south you can see the Adriatic Sea, and to the southwest, you can see the mountainside and the chain of hills you'll ride down to the plain.
The downhill, MataDown 2019
Follow the signs and don't be afraid: a steep and rocky step, not rideable for everyone, will be followed by a flowy segment. Try to have a break and take pictures or enjoy the landscape. Reaching the Natisone Valley, more than 1.400m deeper, you shouldn't get a new winning time; you should have had some effort and a lot of fun!
The roads back:
From Sorzento, take the road the valley down to San Pietro (elev. 170m). Enjoy an Italian espresso in one of the small bars and continue biking left around the last and smallest hill towards the village of Azzida. There, turn left again, reaching Alberone-valley and join road SP11 towards Slovenia. You'll get a last view to Mount Matajur. First the road SP11 in Alberone-valley climbs moderately. In the second half, it gets steeper and there are some U-bends. Behind the last Italian village, the road is very small and there are only a few cars. The borderline (elev. 590m) is open—nobody will be there. In a few minutes, you've finished the whole loop.