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Cycling the High Tatras and Krakow  The Natural Adventure Company

Cycling the High Tatras and Krakow

Overview

The highest central part of the Carpathian Mountains, the Tatra Mountains create a natural border between Poland and Slovakia. During this cycling 8-days self guided trip, you will get to know four geographical regions: Podhale, Orawa, Spisz and Liptow. The major part of the route runs through Slovakia and its beech and spruce forests, deep-blue glacier lakes and alpine meadows spangled with wildflowers. Cycle on comfortable paved and gravel roads, unwind in spa getaways like Štrbské Pleso and Oravice and enjoy the highlander traditional culture and cuisine.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Krakow

Arrival in Krakow. You will have the rest of the day to explore the cultural riches of the old Polish capital. Find the world’s largest late-Gothic altarpiece within the darkened interiors of St Mary’s Basilica, and then step out into the sunshine to see the gleaming 16th-century Renaissance Cloth Hall.

Day 2: Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains | 21 km

A morning car transfer takes you to Zab, the country’s highest village, from where you cycle downhill to Zakopane, passing through the foothills of the High Tatras.

Day 3: Zdiar | 33 km

Today you will cross the border to Slovakia. Cycle through Lysa Polana and the beautiful Zdziarksa Pass with stunning views of Bielskie Tatra Mountains. Overnight in Ždiar, one of the oldest settlements in the Tatras. The culture of Goral people is evident everywhere from the gingerbread-style log buildings and the local embroidery to traditional meals, heavy with cheese.

  • Cycling for the day: 33 km, ­↑704 m ↓672 m
  • Accommodation: 2** Hotel Magura (Zdiar)

Day 4: Štrbské Pleso | 40 km

After breakfast, start cycling towards Tatranska Lomnica with amazing views of High Tatras. Reach Štrbské Pleso, the second-largest glacial lake on the Slovak side of the High Tatras with its 1346 m.                                        

  • Cycling for the day: 40 km, ↑864 m ↓427 m
  • Accommodation: 3*** Hotel Sorea Trigan (Štrbské Pleso)

Day 5: Liptovsky Mikulas | 43 km

Today’s route will be accompanied by the views of the characteristic Krywan Mountain. The role of Kriváň in popular culture was highlighted when a country-wide vote in 2005 selected it to be one of the images on Slovakia’s euro coins. Overnight in Liptovsky Mikulas, the centre of the historical Liptov region.

  • Cycling for the day: 43 km, ↑637 m ↓1336m
  • Accommodation: 3*** Hotel Europa (Liptovsky Mikulas)

Day 6: Oravice | 41 km

Cycling in the Western Tatras, near the Polish border to Oravice, where you will be accommodated in a hot spring complex. There is natural thermal water with beneficial effects and a temperature of 58 °C. It rises from 1611 metres and flows into all pools in Thermal Oravice. Direct entry from the building and pools enables you to bathe in all weathers and seasons.

Day 7: Zakopane | 49 km

In the morning bike to Chochołów, located on the right bank of Czarny Dunajec. The central part of Chochołów called the “pearl of Podhale” is a living museum. It consists of over a hundred historical, often over 100-year-old cottages. The houses have a characteristic bright colour as a result of being washed and scrubbed with soap and water every year before Easter. Continue cycling to your final destination – Zakopane.

Day 8: Krakow/Departure

Morning transfer to Krakow or individual stay extension.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in charming 2/3-star hotels with en-suite rooms, including a spa hotel in Oravice. 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.

Click to view our default hotels for this trip

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included each day. For lunch and dinner, you will have many choices of restaurants and grocery stores in the villages. Once you arrive at your accommodation, you can ask the local hosts about the best places to eat around.

Difficulty & terrain

You will be cycling mostly on comfortable paved and gravel roads, with routes ranging from 21 to 49 km per day, with a possibility to cycle more kilometres on some days. (read more about difficulty grades). The routes are described in detail in the information pack that you are going to receive and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.

When to go

The tour is available from May to September. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options and route planner

By plane

Recommended arrival and departure airport: Krakow

By train or bus
  • Krakow Airport is the largest regional airport in Poland. The airport is located 11 km west of Kraków. The train is considered the best solution from the airport to the city centre of Krakow for its travel time and cost. The train is available from 5:18 am to 12:15 am and has services every 30 minutes. The journey from Krakow airport to the city centre will take 20 minutes, and the ticket fare is 2.5 EUR.

Included

Included

  • Accommodation in en-suite rooms (as described in the itinerary) with breakfast included
  • Welcome meeting
  • Transfer from Krakow to Zakopane on Day 2
  • Transfer from Zakopane to Krakow on Day 7
  • Luggage transfers between the accommodations – one bag per person up to 25 kg
  • Detailed journey documentation and practical information
  • GPS tracks
  • Bike repair kit
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • Single room supplement for members of a group
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights before or after the tour are available upon request

Bike rental

We offer for rent standard hybrid bikes equipped with 27-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.

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