Bicycle between two of Central Europe's most fascinating cities on this ride from Krakow to Budapest. We'll cross the Carpathian Mountains through a low pass in the High Tatra range as we pedal from Poland, through Slovakia and into the Danube Basin in Hungary. Part of our route follows the ancient "Amber Route" that connected the Baltic Sea with the Adriatic. This historic trade route is perfect for cyclists who love undiscovered regions and pedaling through beautiful landscapes.
Day 1: Tour begins in Krakow
Highlights: Medieval Krakow, Krakow market square, Royal Wawel Castle, Vistula RiverKrakow is one of Europe's most beautiful cities and has been on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites since 1978. It was spared 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 which is home to one of the largest market squares in Europe. You'll want to come and 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. No formal ride today.
Day 2: Bicycle from Krakow to Mszana Dolna
Highlights: Open air skansen (museum village) in DobczyceWe bicycle south and east out of Krakow this morning. About forty-five kilometers out we pass through Dobczyce. On a reservoir of the same name the town has 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. Dinner is together tonight. Daily Mileage: 75 km (46 miles)
Day 3: Ride from Mszana Dolna, Poland along Dunajec River
Highlights: Rolling hills, Pieniny National Park Poland & SlovakiaToday'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 along 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've encountered. Our hotel tonight sits along the banks of the Dunajec River. Dinner is together. Daily Mileage: 70 km (43 miles)
Day 4: Bicycle from Spišská Stará Ves to Stara Lubovna
Highlights: 14th century red monastery of Cerveny Klastor, the Dunajec River, medieval castle in Stara Lubovna and open air museum, wooden Greek Orthodox church of St. MichaelToday we ride through the territory of the Gorals, an ethnic group with a distinct language and mountain culture. We'll stop to visit Cerveny klastor (the Red Monastery) and the National Slovakian Cultural museum on the grounds of the monastery. We continue pedaling through valleys defined by narrow fields, where grass is still cut by hand scythes and carried to the barn in horse-drawn wagons as it has been done for centuries. Our destination is the small town of Stara Lubovna, famous for its medieval castle. Dinner is together tonight. Daily Mileage: 49 km (30 miles)
Day 5: Stara Lubovna - Spišské Podhradie
Highlights: Poprad River valley, UNESCO Castle in Spis and Spišské Kapitula (UNESCO) historical seat of the catholic bishopOur ride today takes us to Spišské Kapitula, the long-time seat of the Catholic church in central Slovakia. The largest Slovak castle, Spissky Hrad, is also on our list of sights today along with the historic town of Spišské Podhradie, our destination. All of these sights along the Poprad River valley are recognized world heritage UNESCO sites. Dinner is together tonight. Daily Mileage: 60 km (37 miles)
Day 6: Spišské Podhradie - Levoca
Highlights: The Chateau of Markušovce, historical square of Spisska Nova Ves and the Medieval town of Levoca.Today's ride continues to be in the heart of the Spis region - known in the past for its wealthy traders, crafstmen and miners. With the silhouette of the Spis castle behind us, we ride by the French Chateau Markušovce towards Spisska Nova Ves, with its historic and stunning old town. Our destination today is Levoca - home to the tallest wooden altar in the world. Daily Mileage: 49 km (31 miles)
Day 7: Levoca - Poprad
Highlights: Historic city of Poprad, and beautiful forests in Slovak Paradise National ParkAs 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. Daily Mileage: 48 km (30 miles)
Day 8: Poprad - High Tatras - Poprad
Highlights: Extraordinary views of the High Tatra MountainsThe High Tatras are the highest mountain group in the Carpathian range. The imposing wall of granite peaks rises to a height of 2655 meters from the Poprad basin and the city of Poprad. These snowy mountains, as they were called in the middle ages, are virtually inaccessible except on foot. We'll take a loop ride today to enjoy views of the mountains and, weather permitting, we'll suggest taking the cable car to Lomnicky stit, the second highest peak in the High Tatras. Daily Mileage: 60-80 km (37-49 miles)
Day 9: Poprad - Low Tatras (Tale/Myto pod Dumbierom)
Highlights: The Low Tatra Mountains (Nizke Tatry) and the largest Slovak national park (Narodny)We head south today, through the Low Tatras, which are characterized by long valleys and deep forests. This is the largest mountain range in Slovakia protected in the nation's largest national park. We pedal around the edge of the park, then over a pass in the middle of the mountains. To the northeast are the High Tatras, to the south are the Slovak Rudohorie (Slovak Ore Mountains). Thanks to strict conservation measures the Low Tatras are the home to some of the few populations of brown bear left in Europe. Dinner is together tonight. Daily Mileage: 78 km (48 miles)
Day 10: Tále - Látky
Highlights: Low Tatras, historic mining area in the Ore Mountains, historic railroad with wooden railsToday we leave the region of the low Tatras today and head up the Hron River valley. We pass through Cierny Balog, home to the historic steam railway museum. At one time this valley hosted the longest railroad with wooden rails in Europe at 132 km. We continue south to the town of Látky for our last night in Slovakia. Daily Mileage: 60 km (37 miles)
Day 11: Tale, Slovakia to Balassagyarmat, Hungary
Highlights: Bicycling the low hills of southern Slovakia into HungaryOur ride today takes us across the border into Hungary after traversing one of the most culturally diverse regions of Central Europe. We leave the forests behind us and begin to get into more field crops, horticulture and a little viticulture. We are in Hungary this evening, and dinner will be together. Daily Mileage: approx 88 km (54 miles)
Day 12: Bicycle Balassagyarmat to Budapest, Hungary
Highlights: The hills of Hungary, Danube river, bike paths into BudapestOur final ride takes us through the low hills of northern Hungary to the banks of the Danube river north of Budapest. We'll follow small roads and bike paths to enter the city, with part of our route on islands in the middle of the Danube. Our hotel is in the heart of Budapest. We'll celebrate our ride with a special final dinner tonight. Daily Mileage: approx 80 km (approx 50 miles)
Day 13: Tour ends in the enchanting city of Budapest
Highlights: Budapest, Parliament building, Fisherman's Bastion, the Danube RiverOur trip ends after breakfast today; take time to explore this extraordinary city.
HighlightsKrakow, Budapest, Riding the hills of Central Slovakia, UNESCO World Heritage sites in Slovakia and Hungary, High Tatra Mountains
Includes"The Usual" plus... Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 13 days, 12 nights accommodation, 8 dinners with beer or wine, 12 breakfasts
CountriesPoland, Hungary, Slovakia
Begin/EndKrakow, Poland / Budapest, Hungary
Arrive/DepartKrakow Airport (KRK) / Budapest Ferihegy Airport (BUD)
Total Distance700-735 km (435-455 miles)
Daily Distance45 - 105 km (30 - 65miles)
What to ExpectDaily climbs over hills with some mountain climbs (especially on Day 9 and 10). River bank bike paths out of Krakow and into Budapest.
Please call 1-800-685-4565 or e-mail us for the dates for this tour.
Click on the "pins" for details about each day's highlights.
City (on route)
City (not part of route, provided for reference)
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 Danube
Heather B., Kirkcaldy, Fife Scoutland
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
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
the thrill of riding through the countryside, particularly of Slovakia, was wonderful.
Jerry S., Palo Alto, CA
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
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.,