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Cycling in Lithuania, Belarus and Poland

Cycling in Lithuania, Belarus and Poland

Overview

Explore on two wheels the borderlands of Lithuania, Poland and Belarus, characterised by gentle hills, sandy plains, vast primaeval forests, crystal clear lakes and deep river valleys. The tour starts in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius and finishes in the Polish capital Warsaw, both famous for their old towns designated World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The tour takes in the Čepkeliai – Dzūkija National Park with Druskininkai Resort in Lithuania, the visa-free Grodno region with Augustow Canal in Belarus, the beautiful Masurian Lakeland with Wigry and Biebrza National Parks in Poland. Experience a wide variety of towns, villages and countryside and experience the best of these different countries, especially Belarus, which still remains a blank spot on the map for many foreigners. Now you have a chance to fill up this gap!

The tour is fully supported, meaning that there will be a minivan with a bike trailer accompanying you all the time (except Grodno), so in case you get tired or need any kind of assistance you can call the driver at any time and get the help and support you need. This way you can enjoy the trip to the fullest, no matter if you are a keen cyclist or a beginner enthusiast.

Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Vilnius

Arrival on your own at the hotel in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania for more than 600 years. Depending on the time of your arrival, you will have the rest of the day for exploring the cosy old town, listed as a UNESCO cultural site. Private airport transfer available upon request.

Day 2: Vilnius – Trakai Insular Castle – Druskininkai Resort

After breakfast a guided tour of Vilnius Old Town. Afternoon trip to Trakai, the former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Here you may visit the famous 14th-century Gothic island castle built on a small island in Lake Galvė. Start your first cycle ride through picturesque countryside on gentle hills, then transfer to Druskininkai which is one of the best climatic and thermal springs resorts in Europe. Arrival and overnight in Druskininkai.

  • Cycling for the day: 35 km
  • Minibus transfer: approx. 125 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel Regina or similar

Day 3: Čepkeliai – Dzūkija National PAN Park

Morning transfer to the Čepkeliai – Dzūkija National PAN Park, the largest park in Lithuania overgrown with pine forests (90% of the territory) and one of 13 wild PAN parks in Europe. Here begins your cycle route which goes through a few ethnographic villages. En route, you can also visit Grūtas Park, famous in Lithuania for being the place where all unwanted statues of Lenin were taken to and exhibited after Lithuania regained its independence from the Soviet Union.

  • Cycling for the day: 43 km
  • Minibus transfer: approx. 45 km
  • Accommodation: Dorpat or similar

Day 4: Druskininkai – Liškiava – Grodno

Morning ride on a picturesque road along the Nemunas River. Today’s cycle route passes through Liškiava famous for its 17-18th century Dominican monastery ensemble with an impressive church on the Nemunas river bank. In the afternoon transfer to Grodno in Belarus, the regional capital and attractive place for those, who are fond of history, culture and architecture (Grodno is a visa-free region for foreigners). Arrive in Grodno, check-in at the hotel.                                                  

  • Cycling for the day: 32 km
  • Minibus transfer: approx. 70 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel Slavia or similar

Day 5: Grodno

After breakfast, a guided tour will reveal you the historical old town Grodno, located on the steep bank of the Nemunas River. The most interesting sights of Grodno include a Cathedral Basilica of St Francis Xavier, Kolozhskaya Church of St Boris and St Gleb (12thC), Old and New Castles, Great Choral Synagogue, Sovetskaya Street, Soviet Square and others. In the afternoon free time for shopping and sightseeing on foot in the Old Town or going for a cycle ride around the city and its extensive parks at the Nemunas River.                             

Day 6: Along Augustow Canal

After breakfast transfer by minibus outside Grodno. Today’s loop cycle ride will start from a soviet style village and lead you on a country road towards the Augustow Canal which was built in the 19th century to connect water basins of the Nemunas and Vistula Rivers. This Canal is protected as a historic monument. Continue cycling along the canal on paved roads and forest trails. En route, you can explore several locks and weirs which were renovated 10 years ago.

  • Cycling for the day: 63 km
  • Minibus transfer: approx. 11 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel Slavia or similar

Day 7: Augustow Town & Canal

Morning bus transfer to Poland. Start our cycle ride from the town centre of Augustow, a small but appealing town, the gateway to the Suwałki region at the Netta River and Augustow Canal bearing the town’s name. Today’s cycling leads you to Wigry National Park along several lakes and Augustow canal using an extensive network of cycle trails. Arrive in Gavrych Ruda and check into the hotel for 2 overnight stays. Optional dinner at the hotel.

  • Cycling for the day: 53 km
  • Minibus transfer: approx. 100 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel Nad Wigrami or similar

Day 8: Wigry National Park

Today’s circular cycling route leads you on marked trails around Wigry Lake which is the largest, one of the deepest (73 m) and most beautiful in the Podlasie region. En route you can explore a former Camaldolese monastery with a church and 17 hermitages, built by the death-obsessed Camaldolese monks in 17th century. Visiting Suwalki Town on the Green Velo route might be of interest for long distance riders (extra loop of 15 km/9 miles).

Day 9: Biebrza National Park

Transfer to Biebrza National Park which protects vast and relatively untouched areas with a unique variety of plants, rare wetland birds and mammals such as Elk and Beaver. Today’s cycle route leads you along the GreenVelo route to Goniadz, where you will stay for overnight.

  • Cycling for the day: 48 km
  • Minibus transfer: approx. 35 km
  • Accommodation: Bartlowzina or similar

Day 10: Goniadz – Warsaw

The morning is dedicated for the final cycling ride along the Royal Route (Polish: Trakt Królewski) through Biebrza National Park and then transfer by bus to Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Check-in at the hotel followed by a guided tour of Warsaw Old Town.

  • Cycling for the day: 39 km
  • Minibus transfer: approx. 180 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel Metropol or similar

Day 11: Departure

Departure on your own after breakfast.

Hotels

Accommodation is in charming 3-star hotels with en-suite rooms. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Sample hotels*: Hotel Tilto, Hotel Regina, Dorpat, Hotel Slavia, Hotel Nad Wigrami, Bartlowzina, Hotel Metropol

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will give you exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included on each day. For lunch and dinner, you will have many choices of restaurants and grocery stores all along the way. Once you arrive at your accommodation, you can ask the local hosts about the best places to eat around. An additional half-board supplement is available in case you want to include dinners to your meal plan.

Travel

Up-to-date FCO travel advice on Lithuania is available here, on Belarus here, and on Poland here.

Fly

Recommended arrival and departure airport: Vilnius airport, Kaunas airport, Warsaw-Chopin Airport and Warsaw-Modlin Airport (RyanAir only). 

Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance WorldNomads

We strongly recommend protecting the cost of your trip and other non-refundable travel expenses with travel insurance. Our Signature Travel Insurance allows you to insure all of your expenses. While a Signature Travel Insurance policy can be purchased at any time, purchasing a policy within 20 days of making your initial trip deposit gives you the widest range of policy options, including a Cancel for Any Reason coverage. For complete peace of mind, we also recommend enrolling with Global Rescue, the worldwide leader in field rescue, evacuation and security extraction services.

Read more and get a quote online

Trip Info

Difficulty Grade: Moderate

We grade this trip as Moderate, with routes ranging from 32 to 65 km per day, mainly on low traffic roads and cycle paths each day with a possibility to cycle more kilometres on some days like Day 3 (Dzūkija National Park in Lithuania), Day 5 & 6 (Grodno Region in Belarus) and Day 8 (Wigry National Park in Poland) (read more about difficulty grades). The terrain is flat most of the time except a few rolling roads with some gradual hills on the first riding days in Lithuania. Have in mind that you can get on the support vehicle in case you get tired, or you can rent an E-bike, so the trip is practically suitable for everybody.

Bike Rental

In case you would like to rent a bike from us, we can offer you our standard hybrid bikes equipped with 24-speed Shimano derailleur gears or our E-bikes with Bosch driving system, 7-speed Shimano Nexus hub gears. Both options come equipped with waterproof back pannier and handlebar bag with a plastic cover for GPS/smartphone.

Route Navigation

We provide individual information package upon arrival, including city guides, maps, programme and route description. We can also provide GPX files with all the tracks, which you can load on your smartphone app or GPS device. The road signage is good so navigating between the towns is quite easy.

When to Go

There are guaranteed departures in 2021 on 21st June, 19th July and 23rd August. The tour can also depart on any other date from June till August for a group of minimum 6 people. For groups of less than 6 people, we can also design a custom itinerary (upon request).

Weather

The climate is slightly continental, with cold winters and mild, moderately rainy summers. Winter temperatures are cold, with average highs around 0 °C (32 °F), while in summer the maximum temperatures range around 20/22 °C (68/72 °F). In the summer the temperatures are mild during the day and cool at night. Typically, August is a bit rainier than June and July.

Vilnius WEATHER

What to Bring

Main luggage is limited to 25 kg. On the cycling days when changing hotels, your main luggage is transported to the next accommodation. For your daily essentials, you should bring a comfortable rucksack or panniers which you can mount on your bike rack.

Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.

  • Several t-shirts (synthetic or preferably breathable/fast drying);
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood;
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece;
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation;
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve;
  • Helmet;
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies).

Included

  • 10 nights stay in hotels, including all taxes
  • Breakfast daily
  • Transfers as per itinerary by air-conditioned minibus
  • Luggage transport as per itinerary
  • Guided tours in Vilnius, Grodno and Warsaw (any entrance fees are payable individually)
  • Special permission for entrance to Grodno Region in Belarus (visa-free region)
  • Emergency contact numbers for our local English speaking representatives
  • Individual information package (city guides, maps, programme and route description)
  • GPS Tracks

Supplements

  • Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
  • This holiday is also available for solo travellers on the guaranteed deprtures
  • Optional extra nights before or after the tour

Options and Extras

  • Bike rental (standard trekking bike or E-Bike)
  • Helmet rental

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Airport arrival/departure transfers
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not explicitly mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

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Cycling in Lithuania, Belarus and Poland
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by Chester on King Ludwig Way

Delightful moderate walk building up slowly to an interesting climax over the days. Varied and friendly hotels. Kirchberger in Wildsteig deseerves... Read full review

We are a retired couple of 73 and 70 years old. We enjoyed the trip very much. The trip was well organised; all went smooth, the accommodation... Read full review

This holiday not only had erupting volcanoes, fabulous hospitality and a plethora of dramatic landscapes to walk in, it also featured gorgeous... Read full review

We had a really great holiday and appreciated the good organisation from your company. Everything went to plan, very well organised and good... Read full review

We just completed the Catalan Coast and Mountain week-long self-guided walking tour. February was perfect in the off-season! [The] itinerary... Read full review

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