Jump to content
Jump to footer
Book now
To the online version
At Lake Czorsztynskie with Niedzica Castle in the background

Dunajec Cycle Path

Along Poland’s most beautiful mountain river

8 Days / 7 Nights
At Lake Czorsztynskie with Niedzica Castle in the background

Many of the most beautiful cycle paths run along river valleys flanked by mountains and hills. These rides, parallel to foaming river waters, are gentle and pleasant and it is not surprising that every year thousands of cyclists follow cycle routes along the Mosel, the Rhine or the Danube. Similar routes can be found in other Alpine countries as well - but are there any in Poland? The answer to that is a resounding 'Yes!' One of these rides follows a spectacular route along the river Dunajec, from Podhale (the plateau at the foot of the High Tatras) to the towns of Stary Sacz and Nowy Sacz - an adventure you can now experience for yourself.

Itinerary at a glance

On the Dunajec Cycle Route, you can enjoy impressive mountain panoramas, traditional cuisine, and insights into folk culture. The wooden church in Debno, the castle in Niedzica, and the knight's village of Rytro are just some of the stops along the tour.

You arrive in Krakow and spend the first night in a three-star hotel in the Old Town. After finding your room, there is time for a stroll through Krakow and for a first impression of the Old Town and its nightlife.

Bikes are selected at our cycle hire centre in the middle of the Old Town our tour of Krakow, a former capital of Poland gets underway. The city that was once the residence of Polish kings is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and boasts a historic architecture which came through the Second World War unscathed. At about midday a minibus takes us. Our destination is the village of Zab, Poland's highest village. The journey takes about 2 hours. The first ride will be to Gubalowka, from where we can enjoy a panoramic view of the High Tatras. Then we cycle down the mountain, past farm carts laden with hay. After a short rest at the point where the Poroniec and Zakopianka streams join the White Dunajec, we ride through the village of Olcza to Zakopane.

We take the cable car (excl. approx. € 5) back to the top of Gubalowka and then cycle down through the village of Dzianisz as far as Chocholow, a village which is now a "living open-air museum" of timber architecture, where we have lunch in the village inn. Following a short climb, we enter the valley of Cichy Potok ("the quiet stream") and continue further downhill along a quiet path, through Ciche, Stare Bystre, Ludzmierz (with a famous Marian pilgrimage shrine), to the town of Nowy Targ, the main town of the Gorale mountain people. We spend the night in a stylish hotel located on the green outskirts of the town.

Today we head south and follow the course of the Bialka, a third mountain river flowing into the Dunajec and see its impressive gorge near Nowa Biala. On the way we can also take a look at one of Poland's oldest wooden churches at Debno, built around 1500, which has an impressive painted interior. We are now in the Spisz region, an area with a rich history and a remarkable folk culture. Until 1918 this area was part of Hungary, and for many centuries it was home to several ethnic groups: Gorale and Ruthenians lived in the villages, Germans in the towns and the Hungarian nobility in the castles. Following the bank of the reservoir, we reach one of these castles at Niedzica and spend the night in a nearby hotel.

This is the most spectacular day of the tour. We follow the river through Sromowce, a village once famous for the flocks of geese that used to be bred here. Soon, at about midday, we cross the border into Slovakia on the newly built bridge for pedestrians and cyclists. After cycling to the village of Cerveny Klastor (Red Monastery), above which rise the three peaks of Trzy Korony (Three Crowns), the highest point in the Pieniny range, we have a meal and visit the local museum. We then cycle along the "Pieniny Way", a narrow ledge open only to walkers and cyclists, carved out of breathtaking limestone cliffs that run the entire length of the Dunajec Gorge. Unlike the tourists on wooden rafts being steered down the river by Gorale we can stop at any time to take photographs or even to bathe in the river. Also very beautiful is the gorge of the Lesnicky Potok, a stream which flows into the Dunajec from the Slovakian side, passing through the sleepy village of Lesnica. You can do a little shopping here before it's time to head back into Poland. The little spa town of Szczawnica is a pleasant surprise, with its cycle-friendly separate lanes for cyclists. In the afternoon we ride along the elegant promenade in the valley of the Grajcarek and explore the paths in the upper and lower spa gardens.

The stretch today leads us through what is known as the "green Dunajec Gorge", where the river passes between two ranges of the Beskids. Although there are no limestone cliff walls here, the slopes with their beech woods are still very impressive. We leave the main road soon, crossing the river on a suspension bridge to the right bank and making our way between the paths among the farms of the village of Tylmanowa with glimpses of the old barns, granaries and hen-houses though open doors. We stop for lunch at a guesthouse in Lacko, known for its strong slivovitz, a plum brandy.  It is also possible to halt alongside fruit gardens on the valley slopes. At Golkowice we leave the Dunajec and ride to Rytro, an old feudal village at the foot of castle ruins. On our last evening we have a dinner with grilled trout fresh from the river.

After breakfast we take a 15 km ride through the Poprad Valley to Stary Sacz, although you may prolongate the tour and cycle upstream the river to spa town Piwniczna. Early afternoon is spent exploring Stary Sacz - the historic little town, one of the most beautiful in southern Poland, cycling through the maze of narrow streets for a feel of the atmosphere of past times. After lunch we return to Krakow (bus journey about 2,5 hours). Our accommodation for the last night is usually in the same hotel as on the first night, but we will spend the rest of the day in the quiet Kazimierz district, once the Jewish quarter of the city. An evening of Klezmer music brings the tour to a close.

Departure or extension

Route information


Most of the tour is flat or gently downhill. Some parts of the route are not in the river valley. There are five gentle climbs with 50-140m height difference. After a short climb mostly follows a nice and long downhill part into the river valley.

Prices & Dates

Category A: 3*** and 4**** hotels

Category B: 2** and 3*** hotels

Prices per person in EUR

Services & Information

Further details about this tour


  • Accommodation in your selected category
  • Breakfast
  • Luggage transfer
  • Detailed travel documents 1x per room (German, English)
  • 1 Transport Krakow-Zab and Stary Sacz-Krakow
  • 1 Klezmer concert on the last evening
  • GPS-data
  • Service hotline (English)

Optional extras

  • Half-board evening meal (mostly multi-course, sometimes outside the property, payable with voucher)

Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Krakow Glowny train station
  • Krakow airport

Things to note

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price!
  • Ride with the mountain railway on the 3rd day is not included!
  • Further important information according to the package travel law can be found here!
  • This tour is a partner tour.


Stefanie Rudinger

"I look forward to making your vacation dreams come true."

Stefanie Rudinger
Travel Specialist
One call to vacation bliss
Monday - Friday: 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Call now
One click to vacation bliss
I am looking forward to your message!
Contact form

4.67 out of 5 stars

3 ratings
Load more

Other tours that might interest you

Book now Book
You now receive special conditions when you book a trip.