Cycling Poland to Slovakia
Continue on through Hungary and end in Budapest with our Cycling Poland to Slovakia Plus! Hungary tour which extends this itinerary by 5 days.
There are no upcoming tours scheduled at this time.
There are no upcoming tours scheduled at this time.
What's not included:
See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.
Tour Level Note: Expect climbs in excess of 2,000 feet per day - days 2 and 5 will be over 3,000 feet.
**We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications
Krakow is one of Europe's most beautiful cities and has been on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites since 1978. It was spared from devastation during World War II and retains a multitude of architectural and urban planning examples from the 12th century. The city is dominated by the Royal Wawel Castle sitting on a rise above the Vistula River. Below the castle lies the Medieval city, home to one of the largest market squares in Europe. You'll want to spend at least one extra day, if not two, in Krakow before our tour begins. We fit bicycles this afternoon and will enjoy an inaugural dinner together this evening.
An invigorating loop out of Krakow takes us to the historic town of Wieliczka this morning. Wieliczka is famous for its salt mine, which operated continuously from the 13th century until 2007. Almost 300 kilometers of passageways spread under the town, and the mine boasts an underground lake, and four chapels carved from the salt by the miners. We’ll return to Krakow this afternoon to see more of this stunning city.
We bicycle southeast out of Krakow passing through Dobczyce. This town shares a reservoir of the same name that boasts the remains of a 13th century castle and an open air village of 18th and 19th century traditional architecture. Stop for coffee and lunch supplies before continuing on to Mszana Dolna where we spend the night.
Today's ride takes us to the border between Poland and Slovakia and into the heart of the Pieniny National Park. The Pieniny Mountains are one of many small mountain ranges that make up the larger Carpathian Mountain chain and we will pass right through them as we enter Slovakia on a bike and pedestrian-only path along a scenic gorge. This is a rare opportunity and one of the only no-car border crossings we encounter. Our hotel tonight sits along the banks of the Dunajec River.
Today’s ride heads to the heart of the Spis region, a territory rich in northern Slovakian history. Once known for its wealthy traders, craftsmen, and miners, it’s no wonder that two of Slovakia’s five UNESCO World Heritage sites are located here. We’ll continue pedaling through valleys of narrow fields, where grass is still hand-cut by scythes and carried in horse-drawn wagons. We’ll have two nights in the ancient town of Levoca. once an important town for commerce. Today, Levoca is probably best known as the home of the medieval sculptor Master Paul of Levoca. Be on your best behavior today so as to not end up in the 17th century “Cage of Shame” in front of the town hall.
Our ride today takes us to Spisska Hrad (UNESCO), the largest castle in Slovakia. With the silhouette of the Spis castle behind us, we ride by the French Chateau Markušovce towards Spisska Nova Ves. Enjoy its historic and stunning square and an amazing view of the town from the highest church tower in Slovakia (87 m). All of these sights along the Poprad River valley are recognized world heritage UNESCO sites.
As you ride today you'll have the forests that make up part of the Slovak Paradise national park on one side and the High Tatra mountains on the other side. You'll also ride by the beautiful gothic chapel of Spissky Stvrtok, a church built by Master Hans Puchsbaum, the same architect to build St. Stephen's Catehdral in Vienna.
Our trip ends after breakfast today; take time to explore this extraordinary city.
Lodging: Hotel Wielopole
Meeting time 2 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.Note:
As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.
The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.
We recommend flying into the Krakow Airport (KRK):
We recommend flying out of the Krakow Airport (KRK)
Your trip ends on the final day with a complimentary shuttle drop-off at Krakow Airport at 12:30 p.m.
Reservations are required. Please make your shuttle reservation by emailing us no later than 30 days prior to your tour start date.
For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.
We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.It is rare to find air-conditioning at hotels in this part of the world.
Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!
Your bike will be equipped with: a men's or women's saddle, a quick release style seat post adjustment, rear rack and expandable pack, pump, patch kit, spare tube, cable lock, cyclometer, rear lights, a water bottle cage (or two) and a water bottle (or two) and in some cases a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.
Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.
Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!
But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.
For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com. Tracks are available upon request approximately three to four weeks prior to the departure.
The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.
We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.
We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.
Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.
Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.
We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.
Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.
If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.
By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.
We enjoyed it all, but in particular the Dunajec Gorge was beautiful and it was lovely to do it twice at different times of the day. The finish, riding into Budapest, was wonderful and the special dinner on board the boat whilst travelling along the DanubeHeather B., Kirkcaldy, Fife Scoutland
Jerry and I have just returned from the Krakow to Budapest trip and really had a great time. The scenery was really fantastic, especially the wild flowers, dark forests, and open fields. The final dinner on the boat cruising the Danube was a great way to end the trip.Dick S., Palo Alto, CA
the thrill of riding through the countryside, particularly of Slovakia, was wonderful.Jerry S., Palo Alto, CA
What was your favorite experience on this trip? Eight cyclists - one pack - cycling into Budapest to the hotel. A real buzz.Collin B., Castle Hill NSW, Australia
I especially enjoyed our picnic lunch with spectacular views of the High Tatras, pedaling the gorge between Slovakia and Poland, and the boat dinner cruise of Budapest.Kevin G., Bullhead City, AZ
This was one of the best tours offered by ExperiencePlus. In Poland and Slovakia we daily had long uphill climbs with lovely downhills. This was great biking! The scenery in Slovakia was also outstanding. The forests and the meadows were beautiful, and the changing of the forest colors from green to fall colors added to the spectacular views. Then, cruising up and down the Danube, having dinner and enjoying the lighted night sights of Budapest was a super ending to a great tour!Carolyn and Harold M.,
Mostly flat terrain has just a few rolling hills that rarely require you to change gears. It might contain a bit of climbing, but those climbs will be short and at a very gentle slope with little need for increased pedaling or downhill breaking.
Rolling hills refers to multiple gentle slopes (3-4% grade) with minimal need for changing gears or increasing in pedal power. Elevation gain should be less than 100m per hill and braking may not be necessary to control speed on downhills.
Hilly terrain has repeated hills and some of them may be require more pedal power as it has steeper inclines (up to 5%). You will change gears throughout the day and braking may be necessary to control speed on descents.
Very hilly terrain includes multiple hills on your ride, some of which can be steep or long climbs. You will change gears and need to use your brakes to control speed on your descent.
Mountainous terrain includes one or more sustained (more than 5km) climbs with frequent steep grades (over 7%). Mountainous rides may also feature multiple steep grades (greater than 6%) for extended periods of more than 5km. You will need to shift gears and brake on descents to control your speed.
Based on today's distance and elevation gain (or lack thereof), it will be a very comfortable ride for beginner cyclists, those traveling by bicycle for the first time, or multi-generational groups with a desire for a nice and easy bike tour with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery.
Based on today's distance and elevation gain, this day is ideal for riders newer to bicycle touring looking for a bit of a challenge, or for individuals who desire shorter days on the bike. You will likely be riding on rolling terrain.
Based on today's distance and elevation gain, we suggest riders spend some time in the bicycle saddle before joining this tour so they you can enjoy the views at the top of some of the climbs you'll face.
Based on today's distance and elevation gain, this day is best described as a great day on the bike for passionate cyclists or very active individuals.
This day is not for a casual cyclist but for riders looking to push their limits. Suffice it to say your delicious meal at the end of the day will be well earned!
These are the definitions...
Level 1 tours will be mostly flat and daily distances will rarely exceed 30 km. Level 1 tours are suitable for beginner cyclists, those traveling by bicycle for the first time, or multi-generational groups with a desire for a nice and easy bike tour with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery.
Level 2 tours are a great option for those new to bicycle touring looking for a bit of a challenge, or for individuals who desire shorter days on the bike. The average mileage on level 2 bike tours is 30-50 km on mostly rolling terrain. There will be multiple climbs at 3-4% grade throughout the tour, but only an occasional steep climb.
Level 3 tours are for active individuals (who run, bike, swim etc. on a regular basis) with the desire to cover longer daily distances on the bicycle. These tours are a great workout when you’re riding as you will average 50-70 km daily with total gain of 2,000-2,800 ft. There will be multiple 4-6% climbs throughout the tour.
Level 4 tours are for passionate cyclists or very active individuals. This level tour is great for cyclists looking to stay in shape and pedal hard they travel across regions or countries. Level 4 tours cover 70-90km daily with 2,800-3,600 ft of gain. Cyclists on a level 4 bicycle tour can expect multiple climbs, some climbs might be short and steep (6-8% for 1-3 km) while others may be sustained (6+ Km) at a 4-6% grade.