Cycling Trail - Budapest to Krakow
Detailed Itinerary - Prices - Dates
This great cycling tour takes you from Hungary through Slovakia to Poland.
Duration: 10 Days / 9 Nights
The ancient Amber Trail led from the beaches of the Baltic Sea south to the Adriatic. Through history the exquisite brown fossil resin has been traded along this route.
The Amber Trail is alive today. People still buy and sell amber; you might find a piece you like at one of the shops or markets on your journey. You will also meet some of the people who live along the ancient route, and learn about their lives, their cultural heritage and their effort to preserve it.
- 6 World Heritage Sites (protected by UNESCO)
- genteel city of Budapest
- old town of Banska _tiavnica
- pilgrimage site of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
- Wieliczka salt mine
- Royal city of Kracow
- the magnificent Danube Bend
- massive Gothic castles
- Kracow amber market
- thermal cave spa
Budapest - Szentendre
Arrival in Budapest, and transportation to Szentendre (12 miles). The town of Szentendre is easy to reach by car on highway 11, or by train (HЙV), by bus (VOLAN), or even by boat on the Danube (MAHART).
Szentendre with its unique atmosphere has two dozen museums, seven churches, 13 galleries, and countless coffee shops and little pubs. The nearby Open Air Museum offers visitors a look at traditional Hungarian village architecture.
Overnight in Szentendre
Szentendre - Esztergom (cycling 38 km/24 miles)
The bicycle route leads along the right bank of the Danube to Lenyefalu, where we take the ferry across to Szentendre Island, and after riding down the whole length of the island we board the ferry again and get on the road to Esztergom. The hard-core cyclist can take an extra trip up the steep hill to Visegrad Castle, where there is a fantastic view of the Danube valley. Esztergom, the historic seat of the Hungarian bishops with its massive castle, is the climax of the Hungarian leg of the Amber Trail.
Overnight in Esztergom
Esztergom/Sturovo - Dudince (cycling 58,2 km/ 36 miles)
The Slovak leg of our journey starts when we cross the Danube from Esztergom to Sturovo. The relatively easy route leads through rolling terrain to the spa town of Dudince, built in the true spirit of Socialist Realism. Even today the spa offers a look back to times not so long ago, and a day spent here is a very interesting experience. Another point of interest is the set of Roman bathtubs, carved out of the travertine rock.
Overnight in Dudince.
Dudince - Banska Stiavnica (cycling 39,4 km/ 25 miles)
Here starts the challenging part of the Slovakia leg of the trip where we get into the Stiavnicky Hills, which is a little rehearsal for the mountainous parts later in the Slovakia segment. Less machine-like cyclists need not panic, however, as the length of the daily rides can be changed according to momentary conditions, and the rest of the day's trip can be taken in a van.
Banska Stiavnica, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with an extraordinarily well-preserved historical center and an ancient legacy of mining, is one of the best stops along the whole Amber Trail.
Overnight in Banska Stiavnica
Banska Stiavnica - Kremnica - Banska Bystrica (cycling 39,5 km/25 miles)
A trip to Kremnica is in the cards today for the active cyclist. This is one of the difficult routes (two long climbs), but there is an attractive shorter alternative available, taking advantage of an enchanting little train ride through tunnels, and with excellent views from Hronska Dubrava to Kremnica.
Kremnica lies in one of the prettiest locations in Slovakia. It sits at the center of the Kremnica Hills in a valley surrounded by 7 peaks. The dominant feature of the town is the Town Castle.
From Kremnica transportation is arranged to Banska Bystrica, with a stop and a look at an important and interesting monument - the wooden church in Hronsek.
Banska Bystrica is the governmental and cultural center of Central Slovakia. The historic center of town is surprising for its size and the quality of the restoration that has done so much to put the town's recent unhappy past behind it.
For those who want a longer rest the bike ride can be cancelled for that day and we will take you by car from Banska Stiavnica to Banska Bystrica, where you can spend the day.
Overnight in Banska Bystrica.
Banska Bystrica - Liptovska Osada - Liptovsky Mikulas (cycling 54 km/34 miles)
Transfer is arranged from Banska Bystrica to Liptovska Osada (30 min.), because the only thoroughfare through the valley is a busy highway. There is a nice stop along the way in the village of Vlkolinec. This is a historical reserve containing the most undisturbed and complete collection of traditional architecture in Slovakia, protected by UNESCO as it represents a unique piece of the world's cultural heritage. After climbing up from Liptovska Osada, we come to the difficult biking terrain of the Low Tatras. It starts out with a 7-mile-long ascent, but the chance for a good view and the beauty of the country are an ample reward for the effort of making it up. The second half of this day's trip will be a less demanding stretch around the Liptovska Mara reservoir, a popular recreation center, and ends in Liptovsky Mikulas, a pleasant historical town, remembered for the story of the famous robber, the "Slovak Robin Hood", Juraj Janosik, whose story is told in the local museum.
Overnight in Liptovsky Mikulas.
Liptovsky Mikulas - Dolny Kubin (cycling 50 km/32 miles)
This leg of the journey leads through the hilly terrain of the Chocsky and Oravsky Hills, and is one of the prettiest segments of the Slovak part of the Amber Trail. It takes us to the town of Malatina, where you can watch rugs being hand-made on an original wooden loom. In the village of Lestiny there is a rare wooden church built without a single nail.
Overnight in Dolny Kubin.
Dolny Kubin - Trstena - Sucha Beskidzka (cycling 55 km/ 35 miles)
The climax of this segment is the view of massive Orava Castle, a huge Gothic fortress, towering high above the river in the village of Oravsky Podzamok. The view from the castle tower is an unforgettable experience. This day's ride ends in Trstene a little town on the Slovak-Polish border, from which transport is arranged to the place of overnight accommodation in Poland in the village of Sucha Beskidzdka.
Sucha Beskidzka - Kalwaria Zebrzydowska - Wielizcka - Cracow
The last day of the bicycle route takes us to the picturesque village of Lanckorona, with a model project for reviving folk crafts, and efforts to preserve the traditional local architecture. The goal of the trip today is the famous Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, another UNESCO-protected site, where the Stations of the Cross consisting of 32 chapels and chaplets end at an imposing Bernardine monastery.
From here you will be taken by car for a tour of the famous salt mine in Wieliczka, and finally to Cracow itself, our destination on the Amber Trail.
In Cracow you'll probably want to spend more than one day, of course: Wawel Castle, the Old Market Square, the Kazimierz Jewish quarter, or the town walls and Royal Way could easily take a day. But then to really soak up the atmosphere of this living city you must get into cafes or pubs, theaters or clubs, and that takes more than a day, too..
Guided: - Contact Us For Other Dates
Self Guided: Contact Us
Guided Tour Prices: (Minimal size of group 4)
Guided price includes:
- professional bilingual guide
- support van
- accommodation in selected hotels and pensions
- buffet breakfast and dinner included
- luggage transfer
- quality bike rental - what bikes we use >>
- private guided tours at chateaux, castles, museums and other select attractions
- special events, including wine tasting and picnics
Unguided Tour Prices: (Minimal size of group 4)
Self Guided price includes:
- accommodation in selected hotels and pensions
- buffet breakfast
- luggage transfer
- information package (route instructions, maps, suggestions)
- transportation by car according to program
- welcome briefing upon arrival
- quality bike rental
- stand-by support
- GPS navigation system
*Single Supplement available*