- Beautiful and idyllic landscape of the green balcony of Tatras
- Splendid views for the Tatra Mountains
- National Park of Ojców, with karst landscape (caves, cliffs)
- Contacts with the locals still cultivating old traditions
- Visiting the most interesting places (castles, wooden churches)
- Zakopane – Polish most popular mountain resort
- A day in Krakow, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe
- Comfortable accommodation and delicious food
We will ride a bike through 2 historical and ethnographic regions: Spiš and Podhale. First days we spend in the region of Spiš located in north-eastern Slovakia, with a very small part on Polish side. As a whole the region is situated in the eastern foothills of Tatars. Many visitors consider it as one of the most interesting regions in Polish mountains. Spiš offers the most spectacular panoramic views of Tatras. We can find here strong folklore tradition, beautiful towns, mountain ranges of Pieniny and Magura Spiska and medieval castles. Mosaic of the golden fields, green mountain meadows makes the landscapes very idyllic. From tourist perspective, Spiš still awaits to be discovered, but as a consequence we can avoid crowds and its hassle. Second part of our cycling route covers Podhale. The region located in the northern foothills of the Tatra Mountains. It is also characterized by strong traditions of folklore, which was brought there mainly by Polish settlers from the Lesser Poland (Polish: Małopolska) with its capital in the Royal city of Krakow and partly by Transylvanian settlers coming here in the 14th –17th centuries. Podhale region is particularly famous for sheeps’ milk made cheese (so called “Oscypek”) and their music. The term Podhale literally translated means: “below the mountain glen”. Our last cycle ride takes place in the Ojcowski National Park. It is Poland’s smallest national park, with an original area of 14.40 square kilometers. Karst topography of soluble bedrock characterizes the park, which in addition to two river valleys contains numerous limestone cliffs, ravines, and over 400 small caves. The area is also noted for its rock formations, the most famous being Hercules’ Club, a 25-meter high limestone column.
Day by day:
D1: Arrival in Jaworki
From the airport we will be transferred to Jaworki. Jaworki is a charming, small village in the valley of the Pieniny Mountains with a very developed shepherd’s life and very beautiful orthodox church. Our pension is very comfortable, with the architecture typical for the region. In case of morning flight there should be time for a short walk into one of the beautiful valleys around Jaworki. Walking through pastures where sheep are pastured we have a first chance to taste and see how is made the famous local cheese called Oscypek.
D2: First day of cycling
Our first day of cycling. First section goes in deep valley of Grajcarek River, between the ranges of the Litlle Pieniny and Beskid Sadecki. After 7 km we stop to see popular resort of Szczawnica. We reach Dunajec River, Poland’s biggest mountain river. The river is known especially of it’s gorge in Pieniny Mt. We take the path along the gorge and across the border. The river meanders through the high rocky cliffs of the Pieniny. We reach Cerveny Klastor (Red Monastery)where we can admire beautiful view of the Three Crowns in the Pieniny Mountains. We continue our ride along the meanders of Dunajec River till we reach the lake of Czorsztyn. Sightseeing of medieval castle in Niedzica at the lake. 2 nights in Niedzica or in the closest area. For the strongest there is a possibility of an uphill ride for a pass of Osice, which offers amazing views of the region. We can see the Ranges of Magura Spiska and the Tatras in the background, mosaic landscape of the Spisz and the lake of Czorsztyn. There wait for us a crazy return downhill ride at the lake of Czorsztyn.
D3: Second day cycling through Spis
Second day in Spis, Today we take a circular ride around the range of the Pieniny of Spis. There are many interesting places around this small range. We ride at the Lake of Czorsztyn till the village Debno. There is one of the most beautiful wooden church in Poland (UNESCO). After visiting we continue our ride. Now we cycle along wild Białka River, on the way we see interesting villages, we stop also on the gorge of Białka. In Trybsz we can admire another wooden church, with the polychromie from XV century. From the pass of Łapszanka we can admire one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the Tatras. Later we ride down to Łapsze Niżne and in the vally of the River Łapszanka we return to Niedzica
D4: On the way to Zakopane
Today we have a short bus transfer to the city of Nowy Targ, the capital of Podhale. We cycle to the south through the Podhale. Most of the way is an uphill ride to the range of Gubałówka, which offeres spectacular view of the Tatras and the valley of Zakopane. On the way we see the monastery and sanctuary in Ludzmierz, many of villages with local houses, Ząb – the highest located village in Poland and Gthe range of Gubałowka. We ride through rural area with well developed shepherds life and mosaic landscape. We finish the ride with the downhill to Zakopane, where we spend 2 nights in comfortable local pension. Zakopane is the most popular mountain resort in Poland. It is known from the wooden architecture (“Zakopane Style”), highlander music and folklore, Krupowki Street with the restaurants, pubs, souvenirs, street arts.
D5: The balcony of the Tatra
Today we have a short and easy ride at the balcony of Tatra. We take the scenic railway to Gubalowka Peak (1120m), offering great views towards the Tatra mountains. We enjoy the views and ride down through pastoral area and small villages with local architecture and interesting wooden churches. Our ride is 27 km long and end in Zakopane. Afternoon time to explore the atmosphere of the city
D6: Ojcow NP
After breakfast transfer to the northern Krakow, where we start our last ride. We take a circular ride through the hilly landscape and the NP of Ojców, where we can admire the karst topography. We will see all of the most interesting places of the park (cliffs and gorges, limestone columns, castles on the cliff). Late afternoon we reach Krakow, where we spend 2 nights.
Free day in this fascinating city. The Old Town was added to UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Heritage in 1978. Possible places of interest are the Krakow’s Jewish district, where the film ‘Schindler’s List’ was shot. There are also numerous churches, the castle, the market square and the university. There are also plenty of cafés and restaurants to enjoy.
D8: End of a trip