This superb cycle tour begins from the historic Polish city of Krakow and heads south then south-east into the picturesque Beskidy Mountains, which in turn form a part of the great Carpathian range. The rounded shapes of these sandstone hills, which rise to an average elevation of 1000 metres, provide wonderful cycling terrain. Wild nature and vast forests interlock with the patchwork field patterns which surround charming villages. These ancient Polish landscapes are a continual source of pleasure during the tour. The route has been carefully chosen to take maximum advantage of the quiet minor roads, field and forest tracks, and to limit each days ride to no more than sixty kilometres. You will be able to travel light because all luggage, apart from your immediate needs, will be transferred to the next overnight stop by car.



Arrive in Krakow. Dependent on the time, there will be a guided introduction to Krakow or an evening stroll around the Old Town. Overnight stay in a hotel on the edge of the city.

Cycle out of Krakow across the Vistula river and pass the thousand year-old Benedictine Abbey at Tyniec. We ride on south across the rolling countryside of Pogorze (Piedmont), past old manor houses and churches, to our overnight stay in the small town of Lanckorona, pleasantly situated on a hillside topped by a ruined castle.

Continuing south the hills become mountains as we cross the Glisne Pass (700m) to Rabka. This is a well known health resort at the foot of the Gorce Mountains and there will be time in the afternoon to visit the local folk art museum in the old wooden church, or to take a walk up to the interesting Lubon nature reserve.

The Gorce Mountains, part of the Beskidy ranges, have been designated as a National Park because of their high natural value. It is also a great place for mountain-biking, along forest tracks and paths, and today we ascend a few hundreds metres before dropping down a deep valley to the small village of Koninki for an overnight stay. There is an optional walk in the afternoon along one of the National Park trails.

Another day cycling through the huge forests and charming meadows of the Gorce. The highest point is the Borek Pass (1000m) then we ride along the wild Kamienica valley to Szczawa. The name `Szczawa' derives from the mineral water springs which gush in the vicinity of the village.

From Szczawa we cycle along country roads to Ochotnica, a village strung out along ten kilometres of the valley and which retains strong cultural traditions. At the head of the valley is the Knurowska Pass, which we cross before descending into an area called Podhale, relatively flat country between the Beskidy and the famous Tatra Mountains. Good but fairly quiet roads then take us past the unique fifteenth century wooden church at Debno. After a short steep uphill section we reach Niedzica for anovernight stay.

A shorter cycling day. We begin with a ride a few miles along the valley to the raft harbour. Here we leave our bikes and take the raft trip on the River Dunajec, which flows through the Pieniny Mountains via a spectacular rocky canyon. Following this relaxing experience we travel back through the beautiful scenery of the Pieniny National Park to retrieve the cycles. A twenty kilometre ride through the Park takes us to Kroscienko.

A day at leisure. You can relax locally or your guide can suggest visits to nearby places of interest such as the Homole Gorge or the old health resort of Szczawnica.

This is a long but exciting day's cycling, with an ascent of Przehyba (1175m) in the Beskid Sadecki Mountains. Our destination is Piwniczna, a small town in the valley of the River Poprad.

We cross the river and cycle down this attractive valley for a few miles, on the border with Slovakia, before heading off up the Wierchomla tributary. The ride becomes quite steep as we approach the Wierchomla mountain hut (850m). After a well-deserved rest we ride slowly down through remote hill country to Muszyna, a beautifully situated health resort in the Poprad Valley.

To the Low Beskid Mountains, where the heights are lower and the,gradients more forgiving. This area used to be inhabited by the Lemkowie people, Greek-Catholics who built some delightful wooden churches which we will pass as we follow the country roads to Wysowa, another small health resort.

Cycle north and east through the Low Beskid, encountering many historic places of interest on our way to the mountain hut Magura Malastowska (813m).

For our final day in the mountains we ride north to the beautiful town of Biecz. After a rest and a tour of the town we board the train for Krakow, a four hour journey. Accommodation in a central hotel.

There may be time for sight-seeing or shopping in Krakow before departure. It is possible to leave the tour on Day Ten, again returning to Krakow by train, if time is short or if you would like more time for sightseeing in Krakow, including a visit to the famous Wieliczka Salt Mines.


Our locally operated accommodation consists of two-star hotels with twin-bedded rooms in Krakow and rest houses for most of the tour with two or three-bedded rooms. There are communal sleeping facilities at the Magura Malastowska mountain hut.

Full board, from dinner on Day One until lunch on the final day. During each day a packed lunch will be provided and the main meal will be in the evening.

You will need a mountain bike! Advice about clothing will be forwarded with final tour details. One piece of luggage per person, weighing a maximum of fifteen kilograms, will be transferred by car to each overnight stay. 'City' luggage can be left in Krakow. Bicycle hire may be available in Krakow at a reasonable price.

This tour is graded medium which requires you to be in good physical shape and to have had some experience of off-road mountain biking.

Maximum twenty, accompanied throughout by an experienced Polish guide/tour manager and by a driver assistant.