Krakow and Dunajec Cycling Holiday
Self Guided or Guided
Start / FinishKrakow / Krakow
Distance149 miles/240 kms
A leisurely cycling holiday taking in fascinating and romantic Krakow before heading south to follow the Dunajec river through the peaceful green valleys and breathtaking gorges of the Tatras Mountains. This scenic cycling holiday is mostly downhill, passing pristine lakes and romantic castles, staying in charming, cosy mountain villages.
Krakow is a fascinating city and has much to offer from the medieval Old Town with its huge market square and bustling streets to Kazimierz, the former Jewish quarter with its rambling lanes and alleyways. Take a stroll along the banks of the Vistula River past the impressive Wawel Castle or perhaps journey out to the museum at Auschwitz, an extremely poignant and thought provoking place.
Following your stay in Krakow you are driven south to the Tatras Mountains where you spend 5 glorious days in the back of beyond, following the course of the Dunajec river as it descends through breathtaking mountain scenery. Don’t be put off by the word ‘mountain’ as the route is mostly downhill and the scenery is stunning. Opt for either the self guided tour, where you guide yourself using the maps and route notes provided or join a group with a local English speaking guide, who takes care of navigation and is also a font of knowledge on local culture and customs. This leisurely cycle tour follows quiet lanes and paths and is suitable for all cyclists with an average level of fitness. There are one or two short climbs but nothing too taxing and much of the route is gently downhill.
Itinerary & Map
This leisurely cycle tour follows quiet lanes and paths and is suitable for all cyclists with an average level of fitness. There are one or two short climbs but nothing too taxing and much of the route is gently downhill.
Day 1: Krakow
Arrive in Krakow and check into your hotel. We highly recommend a stroll through the beautiful old town, a boat trip on the river if you have time and perhaps also a wonder through the narrow streets of the old Jewish quarter.
Day 2: Krakow – Zab by minibus. Zab – Zakopane, 16 to 19 miles/25 to 30 kms
The day starts with a short cycle tour around the city of Krakow. This is followed by a minibus transfer to Zab, 100kms south of the city in the Tatras mountains. The first ride goes up a gentle incline to a ridge above the village from where you can enjoy fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. You then freewheel down the other side to Olcza and then on along the valley to Zakopane. A ski resort in the winter months, Zakopane is a lively place with a distinctive mountain culture proudly maintained by the local population. The timber framed houses create a cosy atmosphere that makes this a very enjoyable place to spend the night.
Day 3: Zakopane – Nowy Targ, 29 miles/46 kms
The morning starts with a ski lift ride to the top of nearby Gubalowka mountain and from here it’s predominantly downhill for most of the day, albeit for a couple of short, easy climbs. After admiring the view from the summit you cycle downhill, through the tiny village of Dzianisz and on along the fertile valley to Chocholow, a village famous for its fine wooden houses so typical of the area. Afterwards cycle along a cycle road on an old former railway towards Nowy Targ, where the Dunajec river is created by the confluence of the Czarny and Biały rivers. Overnight in a lovely hotel on the edge of the town.
Day 4: Nowy Targ – Niedzica, 28 miles/44 kms
Today you head south to the Bialka river, following its course through the impressive gorge near Nowa Biala to Lake Czorsztynskie. In the village of Debno at the top end of the lake you can visit a delightful, wooden church thought to be one of the oldest in Poland. You are now cycling through a region that until 1918 was part of Hungary, and at the southern end of Lake Czorsztynskie you will see the beautiful Niedzica Castle, for centuries a border position between the two countries. The castle, also known as Dunajec Castle is widely considered to be the most picturesque castle in Poland. Overnight in the nearby town of Niedzica.
Day 5: Niedzica – Szczawnica 22 to 25 miles/35 to 40 kms
Today is an amazing experience as you cycle through the stunning Dunajec gorge following the river downstream as it winds its way along the valley lined by pine-clad hillsides. Just after the village of Sromowse you cross the river into Slovakia, stopping at the village of Cerveny Klastor (The Red Monastery) for lunch and possibly a look inside the museum. You then start to cycle along the “Pieniny Way”, a narrow path, open only to walkers and cyclists, carved out of the limestone cliffs and running the length of the Gorge. Stop where you like to admire the scenery, perhaps even venturing into the clear, refreshing river for a paddle or swim. At the end of the Gorge you return to the Polish side to spend the night in the pleasant little spa town of Szczawnica.
Day 6: Szczawnica – Rytro, 34 miles/55 kms
After breakfast you cycle north following the river through a much wider valley. This is very peaceful cycling past old barns and farmyards, through meadows and orchards. Stop for lunch at a guesthouse in Lacko, known for its strong ‘Slivovitz’ – plum brandy. Bid the Dunajec farewell at the village of Golkowice and cycle to Rytro, an old feudal village guarded by a hilltop castle in the Poprad Valley. Enjoy a tasty dinner of grilled trout fresh from the nearby Poprad River.
Day 7: Rytro – Stary Sacz – Nowy Sacz – Krakow, 16 to 19 miles/25 to 30 kms followed by a bus ride to Krakow
The day starts with a short easy ride to the little town of Stary Sacz at the head of the valley. Take a walk or cycle through the maze of narrow streets for a feel of the atmosphere of past times around this pleasant village before continuing on to the nearby town of Nowy Sacz. The ornate houses lining the attractive market square date are from the Habsburg era. A stroll through the town’s quaint streets is very enjoyable. You then board the bus for the 2 hour journey back to Krakow for the last night of your tour.
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast it’s time to checkout and head for home or your next adventure
Dates & Prices
|2019 Arrival Dates|
|Guided tour is not available 11 May & 14 September|
Scroll/swipe to see more
Scroll/swipe to see more
|Deposit per person||£125|
7 x Breakfast & 7 x Dinner
Maps & route information
Transportation: Krakow - Zab
Transportation: Stary Sacz - Krakow
Klezmer concert on the last evening
GUIDED Tour also includes:
Funicular, Zakopane - Gubalowka
English speaking guide
Bike hire (see supplements)
Extra night Krakow, single, comfort (£63)
Extra night Krakow, double/twin, superior (£78)
Extra night Krakow, single, superior (£123)
Bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£55)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£119)
The bikes provided on this tour are modern, alloy framed, hybrid models with 21 speeds and comfortable gel saddle.
The bikes also come equipped with rear pannier, lock and repair kit.
E-bikes are also available in limited numbers and subject to availability at time of booking.
Helmets are not supplied and we therefore recommend bringing your own.
Below you will find examples of the accommodations typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ from those listed below as these are provided for guidance only.
Comfort: Comfortable hotels and guesthouses.
Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.
Some hotels in some countries have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.
Fly to Krakow
- Date - 08/09/2018
- Name - Esther Parris
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - Ally is a great flexitreks representative. It was a please booking my trip with her.
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - A great group of people on the tour with a wonderful guide. Slightly harder than I had expected, but great fun despite that.
- Flexitreks response - Service rating : Thanks Esther - Ally is blushing!
Product : Thanks Esther. We're so glad you enjoyed it and had fun despite it being a little harder than you envisaged.
- Date - 03/09/2018
- Name - Owen Griffith
- Service rating - 4.0
- Product comment - —-
- Flexitreks response - Thanks
- Date - 27/08/2016
- Name - Anonymous
- Service rating - 4.0
- Product rating - 4.0
- Product comment - Had a great holiday, but could you please point out to your clients that this particular trip also takes you over the border into Slovakia on 2 occasions, when I bought my travel insurance it was for being in poland only, technically wasn't insured for being in Slovakia, going down the dunajec gorge was on the Slovakian side, which, incidentally was the most scenic part of the trip, stopped for lunch, didn't have any euros on me, but fortunately accepted polish currency. It just would have been good to know. Unfortunately I had a tumble from the bike on the 2nd last day of the trip, just braked too hard on gravelly bit of road, no one else involved, fortunately, got taken to hospital by ambulance and had leg stitched, couldn't fault the service, even the policeman that breathylised me was polite and curteous. (I DID PASS!) The police had asked our polish guide if I had been drinking, was told no, but did say, 'we could fine her for not having lights on the bike', they didn't, none of the bikes had lights, so everyone could have been fined, perhaps that's something you will need to speak to Bird Services about, although all the cycling was done in daylight, but if delayed for any reason, you could get benighted! I didn't cycle the last morning, but got taken to village where bus was picking everyone up, along with holiday walkers, to go back to krakow, so didn't miss too much. Overall good holiday, good company, good food, and accommodation, but maybe, for me just a bit too much on roads, and not enough cycle tracks.
Please excuse me if you did supply the information about being in Slovakia, as sometimes my skim reading if not always accurate! I will stand corrected if applicable.
- Flexitreks response - My goodness, what an adventure you seem to have had! I am sorry to hear you had an accident but glad nothing was broken. I hope the stitches have been removed and you are on the road to recovery. The police in Poland certainly handle things differently - it was good you had the guide at hand and also the E111 card worked! Thank you for the feedback and constructive comments about the trip. We will certainly update ‘client holiday details’ to advise future clients that they should consider bringing some Euros with them as they will cross into Slovakia and I am sure this will help. We do say that the part of the itinerary where you cycle near the Gorge into Slovakia is quite stunning but again we will try and make this clearer. I am pleased that overall you had a lovely time.
- Date - 04/08/2016
- Name - Derek
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - The Flexitreks team were very helpful and supportive in answering queries raised in a timely manner - cheers.
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - Overall a very enjoyable holiday - suited to a relaxing pace of life (bikes not built for speed) through some scenic countryside.
The route was well selected, with much either downhill or flat - although there are a few sections on more busy roads (cannot be helped) and unfortunately Polish drivers are not very forgiving of cyclist.
The tour company on the ground were responsive and helpful to any assistance required.
Overall the hotels were of a good standard - 'comfort' standard - except for the 1 night when the hotel offered is also used by the 'simple' category.
The food was variable - overall good, although some unusual touches of most note was the desire by the providers for us to eat late afternoon - it seemed to get earlier as we travelled along.
Absolutely no issues with language - the Polish people we met were great - English is understood by many, especially the younger generation.
Overall thoroughly enjoyed the holiday.
- Flexitreks response - Many thanks for the review Derek and we're so glad you enjoyed your holiday overall. Our local supplier is working to source an alternative 'superior' hotel for the night in Nowy Targ and we've also asked that the evening meals be served a little later than you experienced.