Come ride with us to explore Prague and Krakow – the ancient capitals of the Czech Lands and Poland – and the unique cultures between them. This important route is framed with 6 UNESCO world heritage sites, numerous castles and plenty of little towns and hidden villages!
The tour starts with a pedal from Prague to the Elbe river to follow it upstream. On the way we do not miss the famous Kutná Hora, once the largest silver mine in Europe, nowadays a charming medieval town! Departing the Elbe, the route offers us colorful towns like Litomyšl or Moravská Třebová and mighty castles crowned by the fairytale-like Bouzov. Crossing the wooded and peaceful highlands, we descend to the old Moravian capital Olomouc. Integral to Central European history, this beautiful city is sometimes called ” The Small Prague”. Next we meander to the foot of the Beskydy mountains, enjoying their fantastic panorama before the route introduces us to picturesque towns like Hranice or Štramberk. Entering Poland through the Těšínsko region, we bike this lake-filled land to admire the old town of Pszyna with it’s chateau and open air museum. Recent history obliges us to visit Oswieczim (Auschwitz) with its dreadful WWII history and nearby Nazi concentration camp. From here we continue through gentle landscapes along the Amber trail to the historical capital Krakow to admire its old town and the regal Wawel castle.
DAY TO DAY ITINERARY
Day 1 Prague
Independent arrival at your hotel in Prague. Free day to explore the city centre.
Day 2 Prague – Nymburk – Kutna Hora 42 km by bike
After breakfast you will be transferred by train/car from Prague to Nymburk. On a pleasant and easy bike trail we’ll roll along the river to the spa town of Poděbrady and continue to the royal town of Kolín with its ornate Renaissance synagogue. From Kolin we will leave the Elbe River and bike to one of the UNESCO Heritage sites on our “to-do list” – the old silver mining capital, Kutná Hora. Through the Middle Ages it was one of the most important towns in Europe, extremely rich due to its mines, coin mint and location on trade routes. Thanks to all this we can relax in the cozy old town comprised of fascinating medieval and baroque structures. Crowning it all is the stunning St Barbara’s church – a real jewel of Gothic architecture!
Day 3 Kutna Hora – Pardubice 56 km by bike
Before we leave Kutná Hora we will visit an extraordinary venue – the Sedlec ossuary, whose decorations were created using the bones of more than 30,000 people, making it a curious and macabre exhibition. Just before we return to the Elbe, we can visit a lovely classical-style chateau, Kačina. Rejoining the river we pedal to the Kladruby national stud farm, which has produced exceptional horses for the Habsburgs since the 16th century. In the afternoon we’ll bike along the Buňkov lake, pausing to relax on the beach or even swim . Today’s last stop is the medieval town of Pardubice. A charming, quiet old town with a nice chateau and old lanes, but home of the SEMTEX plastic explosive too. For those looking for something sweet – you’ve found it! – Pardubice is the Czech capital of traditional gingerbread.
Day 4 Pardubice – Litomysl 62 km by bike
As we leave the Elbe river, we meet our first gentle hills and the mighty castle Kunětická Hora. After a pause we reach the river Loučná, following it to the village of Vraclav and its memorial to the Vršovec noble family. Next stop is the town of Vysoké Mýto: Today the hub of bus construction, its much longer history is displayed by a beautiful town square and nicely preserved city gates. Today’s lodgings are in the UNESCO-protected town of Litomyšl, home of a fantastic Renaissance chateau with stunning gardens. Litomyšl is also the birthplace of the renowned composer Bedřich Smetana, a man celebrated every year with a classical music festival – a highlight of the Czech cultural calendar.
Day 5 Litomysl – Moravska Trebova ( 44 km)
This day we say good-bye to Bohemia,crossing the historical border into Moravia as we bike the gap between the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands in the south and the Eagle Mountains in the north. We can admire the Renaissance town of Svitavy with its beautiful square and explore the history of its most famous resident, Oskar Schindler. From here we do have to climb over the Hřebeč range, but our route soons descends easily towards our lodging in the town of Moravská Třebová. This little town has a fantastic Renaissance chateau, one of the best examples in the whole of Moravia.
Day 6 Moravska Trebova – Olomouc (40 or 68 km )
Our day starts nice and easily on the River Třebůvka, still skirting the old border between Bohemia and Moravia, there is a high density of castle ruins, mostly just piles of stones today. But when we do leave the river we meet the biggest of today’s castles – Bouzouv, one of the most romantic places in the Czech Republic. Shortly afterwards we leave the highlands and descend to the River Morava which more or less guides us through the rest of the day. If you are interested in reaching our lodgings more quickly in the UNESCO city of Oloumoc, feel free to take the train; otherwise enjoy the bike route along the meandering river. The ancient capital of the Moravia Empire, Olomouc rewards it visitors with fascinating sculptures, dramatic churches, and a a communist-era astronomical clock.
Day 7 Olomouc – Hranice/Teplice nad Bečvou ( 58 km )
Today we follow the Bystřice river. First we reach the Tršice region with its beautiful views of Svatý Kopeček (Holy Hill). Arriving in Přerov we reach the Bečva river and following the nice bike trail upstream. In Lipník we can admire the town center complete with a castle and extraordinary gardens, or we can make a detour up the hill to the mighty Helfštýn castle. Further upstream we reach the town of Hranice with its Renaissance square. On the other bank of Bečva we can relax in the local spa Teplice nad Bečvou.
Day 8 Cesky Tesin – Osvetim Distance: 79 km
In the morning you will be transferred by train from Hranice to Český Těšín, then we cycle across the border and start the Polish part of our journey. The small roads gently meander away from the mountain views behind you. First stop is the small town of Skoczow where we join the Wisla river. From there on we bike through a land of lakes crowned by the mighty Goczalkowicke dam to the historical town of Pszyna. Here you can visit a nice chateau and the regional museum or the Zubr (European buffalo) nature park.
We will conclude our day in nice historical town of Oświęcim, sadly known for the nearby WWII concentration camp Oświęcim/Auschwitz.
Day 9 Osvetim – Krakow Distance: 73 km
On this last day of our bike tour we will continue along the River Wisla upstream to the historic town of Lipowiec. Here we can climb to a majestic castle ruin or visit the town’s open air museum. From here the route climbs a couple hills to reward us with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. Next stop on the way will be the monastery in Alwera or the cave complex in the protected nature area near Baczov. We will conclude our day and whole tour in the historical town Krakow, known as the seat of Polish kings and archbishops.
TIP: Those wishing to visit the memorial site and museums in Auschwitz Concentration Camp can shorten or skip their bike ride with a train transfer to Krakow.
Day 10 Krakow
Departure after breakfast or extend your stay in this lovely city!
Some short ascents have to be managed, otherwise a fairly route. Daily distances are quite long so a good level of fitness is required. For this reason an e-bike would be a logical choice for this tour if you are a part-time cyclist.
The nearest international airport is Prague, returning from Vienna. There are regular buses and trains into the city centres. In Prague the public bus/tram combination costs only $10 one way.
GUIDED TOUR SCHEDULE & PRICE
Departure Dates 2019: June 9 July 21
|Price per person||CAD||$2350|
This tour includes:
INDEPENDENT TOUR SCHEDULE & PRICE
Departure Dates 2019: Independent tours depart every day from April to October
|Price per person, double occupancy||CAD||$1495|
|Single Room Supplement
|Optional hotel upgrade to premium 3+ and 4 star hotels: $400
Optional dinner plan (9 dinners): $175
This tour includes:
Telephone: 705-949-1710 or 888-297-4786
Station Mall, 293 Bay St., Sault Ste Marie, P6A 1X3
Monday to Friday: 9.30 am. to 5.30 pm.
Saturday: by appointment