Krakow and Dunajec cycle path
This tour is our proven classic. Poland's most beautiful mountain river Dunajec (pronounced "doonayeats", in Old Polish means "son of the Danube") rises in the High Tatras and flows first through a wide valley, surrounded by picturesque mountain ranges. After that, the stream breaks through the limestone cliffs of the Pieniny Mountains and green Beskids. In this valley we are on paths that are in no way inferior to the beauty of the most famous European riverside cycle paths.
A unique experience is the encounter with authentic and historical folklore, as well as the traditions of the mountaneers living here. The stages are not very long and in addition to the main route there are several ways to make interesting detours. Some sections lead through Slovakia. You will cycle tens of kilometers on asphalt paths, bridges and flyovers built specifically for cyclists. Although the mountains rise around, you can choose the route option almost completely flat, passable for everyone - from small children to retirees. Instead of this weekly trip, you can choose a longer 10-day trip.
Day 1st (Saturday)
You arrive in Krakow and spend the first night in a hotel in the Old Town. After finding your room, there is time for a stroll through Krakow and for a first impression of the Old Town and its nightlife.
Day 2nd (Sunday) Krakow - Zab - Zakopane 25-30 km cycling
Bikes are selected at our cycle hire centre and a short tour of Krakow, a former capital of Poland gets underway. The city that was once the residence of Polish kings is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and boasts a historic architecture which came through the Second World War unscathed. Among Krakow's most important architectural treasures are St Mary's Church with the world-famous altarpiece carved by Veit Stoss; medieval buildings of Jagiellonian University, Poland's oldest university; Wawel Cathedral adjacent to the 11th century Wawel Castle; Europe's largest medieval town square; Kazimierz, the former Jewish quarter; the promenade along the Vistula at the foot of Wawel Castle. On our cycle tour we visit the "Planty", attractive gardens laid out around the Old Town on the site of the earlier medieval city walls.
At about midday a minibus takes us to Podhale. Our destination is the village of Zab, Poland's highest village. The journey takes about 2 hours. The first ride will be to Gubalowka, from where we can enjoy a panoramic view of the High Tatras. Then we cycle down the mountain, past farm carts laden with hay. After a short rest at the point where the Poroniec and Zakopianka streams join the White Dunajec, we ride through the village of Olcza to Zakopane. Our accommodation here is not far from Krupowki, Zakopane's main street, a pedestrian area lined with lively cafés and shops. Zakopane has developed a very distinctive cultural character. The folk culture of the people who live in the Tatras, the Gorale, has been preserved in their music, their songs and their local costume. And the characteristic "Zakopane style" of timber architecture, which developed around the turn of the twentieth century, can be found nowhere else in Europe. During our break we can sample "oscypek", the delicious smoked ewe's-milk cheese made in the Goral houses here.
Day 3rd (Monday) Zakopane - Nowy Targ 46 km cycling, mostly downhill
We take the cable car back to the top of Gubalowka and then cycle down through the village of Dzianisz as far as Chocholow, a village which is now a "living open-air museum" of timber architecture, where we have lunch in the village inn. From here you can take advantage of latest investments: We cycle on an excellent, flat, scenic, dedicated cycle road, that was built on the former railway track. We pass Ludzmierz (with a famous Marian pilgrimage shrine), and arrive to the town of Nowy Targ, the main town of the Gorale mountain people.
Day 4th (Tuesday) Nowy Targ - Niedzica/Czorsztyn 44 km cycling
Today we head south and follow the course of the Bialka, a third mountain river flowing into the Dunajec and see its impressive gorge near Nowa Biala. On the way we can also take a look at one of Poland's oldest wooden churches at Debno, built around 1500, which has an impressive painted interior. We are now in the Spisz region, an area with a rich history and a remarkable folk culture. Until 1918 this area was part of Hungary, and for many centuries it was home to several ethnic groups: Gorale and Ruthenians lived in the villages, Germans in the towns and the Hungarian nobility in the castles. Following the bank of the reservoir, we reach one of these castles at Niedzica and spend the night in a nearby hotel.
Day 5th (Wednesday) Niedzica/Czorsztyn - Szczawnica 35-40 km cycling
This is the most spectacular day of the tour. We follow the river through Sromowce, a village once famous for the flocks of geese that used to be bred here. Soon, at about midday, we cross the border into Slovakia, to the village of Cerveny Klastor (Red Monastery), above which rise the three peaks of Trzy Korony (Three Crowns), the highest point in the Pieniny range. We then cycle along the "Pieniny Way", a narrow ledge open only to walkers and cyclists, carved out of breathtaking limestone cliffs that run the entire length of the Dunajec Gorge. Also very beautiful is the gorge of the Lesnicky Potok, a stream which flows into the Dunajec from the Slovakian side, passing through the sleepy village of Lesnica. You can leave your bike here, take a minibus back to Cerveny Klastor and return with a river raft. The spleding spa town of Szczawnica is a pleasant surprise, with its swiss chalet style architecture. In the afternoon we ride along the elegant promenade in the valley of the Grajcarek and explore the paths in the upper and lower spa gardens.
Day 6th (Thursday) Szczawnica - Rytro/Piwniczna 55 km cycling
The stretch today leads us through what is known as the "green Dunajec Gorge", where the river passes between two ranges of the Beskids. Although there are no limestone cliff walls here, the slopes with their beech woods are still very impressive. We soon leave the main road, crossing the river on a suspension bridge to the right bank and making our way between the paths among the farms of the village of Tylmanowa with glimpses of the old barns, granaries and hen-houses through open doors. We stop for lunch at a guesthouse in Lacko, known for its strong slivovitz, a plum brandy. It is also possible to halt alongside fruit gardens on the valley slopes. At Golkowice we turn into the valley of Dunajec tributary - Poprad. The cycling stage ends in Rytro, an old feudal village at the foot of castle ruins, or further upstream in spa town Piwniczna.
Day 7th (Friday) Rytro - Krakow 15-25 km cycling
After breakfast we take a ride down the Poprad Valley. Late morning is spent exploring Stary Sacz - the historic little town, one of the most beautiful in southern Poland, cycling through the maze of narrow streets for a feel of the atmosphere of past times. Then the new bridge and comfortable cycle path leads to Nowy Sacz, another historic town, with a large market square and art-deco houses. A pedestrian zone with variety of restaurants is a perfect place for lunch. After lunch we return to Krakow (bus journey about 2 hours). Our accommodation for the last night is usually in the same hotel as on the first night, but we will spend the rest of the day in the vivid Kazimierz district, once the Jewish quarter of the city. An evening of Klezmer music brings the tour to a close.
Day 8 (Saturday)
If desired you can extend your stay in Krakow or take part in other tour.
See more photos:
- Cycle paths, landscapes and sights
- New investments 2019
- Fantastic cycle road around Czorsztynskie Reservoir (constructed October 2019)
Dates of tours in 2021:
DRW-0 30.04. - 07.05.
DRW-1 08.05. - 15.05.
DRW-2 15.05. - 22.05.
DRW-3 22.05. - 29.05.
DRW-4 29.05. - 05.06. guided option available
DRW-5 05.06. - 12.06.
DRW-6 12.06. - 19.06. guided option available
DRW-7 19.06. - 26.06.
DRW-8 26.06. - 03.07. guided option available
DRW-9 03.07. - 10.07.
DRW-10 10.07. - 17.07. guided option available
DRW-11 17.07. - 24.07.
DRW-12 24.07. - 31.07. guided option available
DRW-13 31.07. - 07.08.
DRW-14 07.08. - 14.08. guided option available
DRW-15 14.08. - 21.08
DRW-16 21.08. - 28.08. guided option available
DRW-17 28.08. - 04.09.
DRW-18 04.09. - 11.09. guided option available
DRW-19 11.09. - 18.09.
DRW-20 18.09. - 25.09.
DRW-21 25.09. - 02.10.
DRW-22 02.10. - 09.10.
DRW-23 09.10. - 16.10.
|Self-guided Tour:||Guided Tour:|
|Category B: |
5-6 x Hotels***
1-2 x good Hotels**
|1 person sharing twin EUR 580|
1 person in single EUR 690
|1 person sharing twin EUR 720|
1 person in single EUR 830
4-5 x Hotels****
2-3 x Hotels***
|1 person sharing twin EUR 760|
1 person in single EUR 990
|1 person sharing twin EUR 900|
1 person in single EUR 1130
Included in the basic price:
- Transport Krakow - Zab and Nowy Sacz - Krakow
- 7 nights accommodation in twin bedded rooms with shower / WC,
- 7 x half board (breakfast and dinner)
- Transfer of luggage from hotel to hotel
- Specialist English-speaking escort (guided tour) or route description, detailed cycling map and GPS data (self guided-tour)
- Cable car Zakopane-Gubalowka (guided tour only)
- Klezmer concert on the last evening
Not included in the price: Travel to Krakow, entry fees, private payments such as other meals, drinks and tips.
Extra night B&B in Krakow:
|Hotel*** central location (Cat B):|
1 Person sharing twin EUR 44
1 Person in single EUR 69
|Hotel**** central location (Cat A):|
1 Person sharing twin EUR 85
1 Person in single EUR 135
Bicycle rental (per Week): EUR 60
E-bike rental: EUR 130
Surcharge (per person) for special tour beyond the regular departures:
- 2-3 persons EUR 150
- 4-5 persons EUR 80
- 6-7 persons EUR 50
- 8-9 persons EUR 30
- 10 Persons or more - same price as regular tour.