Krakow and Dunajec Cycling Holiday

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.

Dunajec River - Szczawinca

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 for much of the way it follows brand new cycle paths.

You’ll enjoy incredible mountain views and visit traditional alpine villages along the way. Clear alpine lakes, ancient castles and towering peaks will also vie for your attention and you will love the stunning ride through the pristine wilderness of teh Dunajec Gorge itself.

Opt for either the self guided tour, using maps and route notes 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 route follows cycle paths and quiet lanes 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.

Krakow and Dunajec Cycling Holiday

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.

Dunajec River - Szczawinca

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 for much of the way it follows brand new cycle paths.

You’ll enjoy incredible mountain views and visit traditional alpine villages along the way. Clear alpine lakes, ancient castles and towering peaks will also vie for your attention and you will love the stunning ride through the pristine wilderness of teh Dunajec Gorge itself.

Opt for either the self guided tour, using maps and route notes 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 route follows cycle paths and quiet lanes 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

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 : Arrive 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
32 miles/ 50 kms

The morning starts with a cable-car 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.

From here you begin to follow a suberb new cycle path that follows the route of a disused railway line. After passing through Ludzmierz, with its famous pilgrimage shrine, the cycle path leads you to the town of Nowy Targ where you stop for the night.

Day 4 : Nowy Targ – Niedzica
28 miles/ 44 kms

Today you follow the cycle path alongside the Dunajec River the village of Lopuszna. From here you switch to a quite road that leads you south to the Bialka river and then follows 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 a spectacular ride with many sights that will live long in the memory. The Dunajec river guides you first to the small village of Sromowce and then a little further on to Cerveny Klastor (Red Monastery) above which you can see the impressive Trzy Korony, (Three Crowns) of the Pieniny mountain range.

You then leave the asphalt behind and begin to follow the Pieniny Way , a narrow path, only for cyclists and walkers, that follows the river on its journey through the the stunning Dunajec gorge. Thick forested hillsides plunge down to the river on either side and the only sounds are the bird-song, the burbling river and the crunch of your tyres on the gravel. Stop to admire the scenery and if it’s hot you might even be tempted to paddle or swim in the clear mountain river. The river makes up part of the border between Poland and Slovakia and during your journey through teh gorge you will actually be cycling in Slovakia

At the end of the Gorge you return to the Polish side and 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 – no surprise that this area is also known as “Green Dunajec”. 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 follow a quiet road 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
10 to 16 miles/ 15 to 25 kms plus minibus

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. In the evening you are invited to enjoy some Klezmer music bringing the tour to a close.

Day 8 : Krakow - end of trip

After breakfast it’s time to checkout and head for home or your next adventure

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 21 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

Helmets are not supplied and we therefore recommend bringing your own.


Accommodation

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.

Kraków: Hotel Wyspiański

Zakopane: Hotel Biały Potok

Nowy Targ: Góralski Raj

Niedzica: Hotel Polana Sosny

Szczawnica: Hotel Nawigator

Rytro: Willa Poprad

Kraków: Hotel Wyspiański

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Kraków: Hotel Amadeus

Zakopane: Hotel Belvedere

Nowy Targ: Hotel Casa

Niedzica:  Hotel Lokis

Szczawnica: Hotel Szczawnica Park Resort & Spa

Rytro: Hotel Piwniczna

Kraków: Hotel Amadeus

Local taxes

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.

Getting there

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