Tatras to Tokaj

This spectacular journey through Central Europe takes us from Poland to Hungary,  traversing a landscape steeped in tradition, history and fine wines. Beginning our journey in Krakow we head towards the High Tatras. Traversing the quiet country lanes that follow the course of the Hornad River we then head through the Carpathians, the scenery becoming more tranquil and rolling as we head into the warmer climes around Kosice, Slovakia's second city and a vibrant mix of old and new Europe. Continuing south from here we join the course of the Bodrog River as it meanders through a terrain of vineyards and villages towards the Hungarian border. A disused railway then takes us through the famous wine producing landscapes of the Tokaj-Hegyalja region, en route to the picturesque town of Tokaj.


Day 1 (Saturday) Arrival in Krakow
Arrival in Krakow and first overnight stay at a centrally located hotel. After finding your room there is time to stroll through Krakow for a first impression of its historic city center and famous nightlife.

Day 2 (Sunday)  Tatranska Lomnica - Kezmarok  20 km cycling
Today we cross the border into Slovakia, driving to the town of Tatranska Lomnica, nestling amongst the ragged peaks of the High Tatras Range. Taking lunch in Tatranska Lomnica we then begin cycling, enjoying an exhilarating downhill ride to the historic town of Kezmarok. Colonised by Germans during the 13th century the town stood second only to nearby Levoca in importance and its old town still retains a distinctive medieval feel, dominated by the imposing presence of its 15th century castle. The town also boasts a superb wooden church, considered by many to be one of the finest in the entire country.

Day 3 (Monday) Kezmarok - Levoca  30 km cycling
Cycling to the charming old village of Hradisko this morning we have the opportunity to crest the top of nearby Brezova Hill for some spectacular views out across the Tatras. Continuing along the ridgeline we then cycle through a quite breathtaking vista, before enjoying a downhill coast to the historic walled city of Levoca. Abounding with beautiful Renaissance architecture and impressive fortifications, the town presents us with one of the most captivating locations in the entire Spis region. The town's main square is littered with an array of impressive town houses and its Town Hall is amongst the most stunning of this remarkable collection of historic jewels.

Day 4 (Tuesday)  Levoca - Krompachy   35 km cycling
Leaving Levoca behind this morning we cycle through a collection of small villages until we reach the town of Spiska Kapitula, once the religious capital of the region and for some 600 years almost entirely inhabited by clergy. We visit the ruins of the nearby Spissky Hrad or Spis castle, once one of the largest castles in Central Europe and today a UNESCO World heritage Site. From the top of the Gothic Tower there is a spectacular all round view of the surrounding landscape. From here we cycle downhill to the village of Zehra then continuing to the old mining town of Krompachy in the Hornad River Valley.

Day 5 (Wednesday)  Krompachy - Kosice   60 km cycling
Today we journey along the Hornad River Valley, following a network of cycle paths and minor roads, traversing a landscape that takes us through the Carpathians to the town of Kosice. As we cycle through Margecany, the river changes into a substantial reservoir, with high steep banks that are carpeted in wild forest. As we near the end of the day's journey the mountain landscape changes to a more gentle terrain of rolling hills as we enter a warmer climate zone lying amongst the southern boundaries of Eastern Slovakia. Kosice is the country's second largest city, where the old and the new come together in an eclectic fusion of sights and sounds.

Day 6 (Thursday)  Kosice -  Satoraljaujhely  70 km cycling
Passing between the rolling hills of Eastern Slovakia we head first for Slanec Castle this morning, a 13th century Gothic ruin that occupies the hills above the Bodrog River Valley. Passing through a vista of vineyards and villages we cross the Hungarian border.  Our final destination - Satoraljaujhely is the most northern town in Hungary.

Day 7 (Friday) Satoraljaujhely - Tokaj  45 km cycling
Cycling along the Bodrog and Tisza Valleys today, we follow an abandoned railway line that takes us via the town of Sarospatak. We take time to visit the riverside castle of Rakoczi, an imposing edifice that spans some 500 years of the town's turbulent history. After our visit we continue south, following the flow of the Bodrog River towards the town of Tokaj, lying to the west of the confluence of the Bodrog and the Tisza. This is one of the most celebrated wine producing areas in the country and Tokaj makes up part of the expansive Tokaj-Hegyalja region that runs through the southern and eastern fringes of the Zemplen Hills.

Day 8 (Saturday)  Tokaj - Budapest (or Krakow)
At the end of your tour, you can choose between two options: Either train journey to Budapest (several trains, tickets for ca 15 EUR)  or transfer by minibus back to Krakow (no extra costs). We can book extra nights in Budapest or Krakow. 

Tour profile
A cycling tour of medium difficulty. Height differences of 100-200 m occur a few times. We follow the Hornad river valley in the Carpathian mountains and then cycle through the flat Tisa valley in Hungary
 
Dates of tours in 2019:

TTA-1     01.06 - 08.06
TTA-2     06.07 - 13.07
TTA-3     20.07 - 27.07
TTA-4     03.08 - 10.08
TTA-5     17.08 - 24.08
TTA-6     31.08 - 07.09
TTA-7     07.09 - 14.09

Prices*:
self guided tour
1 person sharing twin  EUR 650
1 person in single EUR 780

Included in the basic price: 

  • Transport Krakow-Lomnica and Tokaj-Budapest
  • 7 nights accommodation in good rooms with shower / WC,
  • Half board (breakfast and dinner)
  • Transfer of luggage from hotel to hotel
  • Route description and set of detailed maps

Not included in the price: Travel to Krakow (and back from Budapest), train ticket Tokaj - Budapest entry fees, private payments such as other meals, drinks and tips.

Extra night B&B in Krakow or Budapest  (Hotel*** central location):
1 person sharing twin EUR 44
1 person in single EUR 69

Bicycle rental (per Week): EUR 60
E-bike rental EUR 130

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