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Biking Vacation Poland: Cycling through the Old World​

Activity Level: Easy  |  Daily Mileage: 15 – 35 mi  |  Daily Biking: 2 – 4 hr
Air package plus
10 days from only
Price includes roundtrip airfare.
Land only
7 days from only
Pre-trip Extension:
Warsaw · 2 nights $245

Post-trip Extension:
Krakow · 2 nights $245
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Detailed Itinerary

Please note: For those traveling in 2013, your itinerary may vary slightly from what is presented below. 

Day 1 - Depart U.S. / Fly overnight to Warsaw

Depart the U.S. for Poland. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Day 2 - Arrive in Warsaw

Upon arrival at the Warsaw Airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. VBT's local representative will meet you outside the customs area in your arrival terminal and will be holding a VBT sign. Your representative will help you transfer to your hotel (approximately 30 minutes). The rest of the day is free for you to settle in and explore the city. Choose a restaurant for dinner on your own.

Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 1:00 pm. You may store your luggage with the reception desk. If you are traveling from the west coast, your arrival in Warsaw may not be until late in the evening.

Your hotel is conveniently located in Warsaw's Old Town. Depending on your arrival time, you can stroll along the many cobblestone streets and explore the most beautiful part of the city. 

VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do in Warsaw during your stay.

Day 3 - All guests meet in Warsaw / Meet Trip Leaders / Warm-up ride / Welcome reception

VBT No-Air Package guests: At 8:00 am, all guests meet the VBT representative at Warsaw's Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw (address: Koscielna 12, 00-218 Warsaw; tel: +48 22 5316043) for the transfer to Pulawy (approximately 2.5 hours, including a stop on the way). If you are so delayed that you will miss the morning transfer, then we suggest you take a train to Pulawy. Trains from Warsaw Central train station to Pulawy's Miasto station operate every couple of hours and cost approximately 50 Polish zloty (about $19 USD). From Pulawy's Miasto train station, take a taxi (approximately 30 minutes) to your hotel in Kazimierz Dolny. Cost of the taxi is approximately 65 Polish zloty (about $25 USD). If you are delayed for any reason, please contact the hotel in Kazimierz Dolny. The hotel staff will pass your message on to your VBT Trip Leaders.

VBT Air Package and Pre-Trip Extension guests: Meet the VBT representative in the hotel lobby at 8:00 am for the transfer to Pulawy (approximately 2.5 hours, including a stop on the way). Make sure your luggage is tagged with VBT yellow tags. Meet your Trip Leaders upon arrival in Pulawy. Please be dressed in cycling clothes and ready for biking. 

Our Trip Leaders will hold a safety and bike-fitting session followed by a warm-up ride. Our easy warm-up ride today will take us through some Polish “allotment gardens” before joining the bike path along the banks of the Vistula River. After our short warm-up ride, we will shuttle to the nearby quaint riverside artist village of Kazimierz Dolny where you can take time for a late lunch on your own.

Tonight we get to know our fellow travelers over a welcome cocktail, followed by dinner at the hotel.

Day 4 - Browse the weekly Farmer's Market / Ferry across the Vistula River / Cycle to Janowiec Castle

After breakfast this morning, we walk with our Trip Leaders to the town square, where we shop for today's picnic. You can choose from an array of fresh fruits and vegetables in season and browse numerous stalls of antiques, paintings and souvenirs. From here, we ride along the Vistula River to a small ferry, which will transport us to the opposite bank. From there, we cycle to the nearby ruins of the 16th-century Janowiec Castle. After a short visit at your leisure, join your Trip Leaders for a picnic lunch on the castle's lawn. The afternoon is yours to experience the beautiful countryside by bike. If you prefer, return to the hotel to enjoy the pool and spa or to explore the charming streets of Kazimierz Dolny. Later we learn more about this quaint village and its history and folklore during a unique tour.

This evening, dinner is on your own. Among your options is a unique, Jewish-themed tavern that serves old-fashioned cooking with a kosher twist.

Day 5 - Lunch in a Baroque palace / Pastoral ride to Sandomierz / Underground merchant cellars

This morning, we shuttle south to the starting point of today's ride. After a morning spin, we stop for lunch at one of the most beautiful residences in Poland, a richly ornamented, late-Baroque palace built in the mid-18th century. After lunch we ride to our hotel, located just outside the 14th-century gates of Opatowskaentrance to the picturesque town of Sandomierz.

Sandomierz' location on the banks of the Vistula River made it a prominent town on the medieval trade route that ran from the Middle East through southern Russia and the Ukraine into central Europe. During our included walking tour, we visit the underground merchant cellars beneath the town square. As our subterranean stroll comes to a close, our local guide will point out several restaurant options for dinner on your own. Afterward, our hotel is an easy stroll away.

Day 6 - Loop rides through the “Tuscany of Poland” / Cooking demonstration and mead tasting

We set out today on a ride through the countryside—and discover why this region is often called the “Tuscany of Poland.” As you roll along country roads through fields and past orchards, you'll be astonished by the variety of fruit: cherries, apples, pears, apricots, peaches and more grow in this fertile basin. We return to Sandomierz for lunch on your own and further exploration of this interesting medieval town. This afternoon, you may continue cycling these lovely roads, or relax at our hotel or at a café in town.

This evening, we meet the family that owns our hotel for a cooking demonstration. Using fresh fruit from the orchards you passed today, they will demonstrate how to make a traditional dessert from an old family recipe. After dinner, we sample a local favorite—Sandomierski mead, traditional mead that has been brewed only in this region of Poland for more than 1,000 years.

Day 7 - Transfer to Niepolomice Royal Castle / Cycle through the Niepolmice Forest / Cycle to Wieliczka

This morning, we shuttle to the beautiful Niepolomice Forest. Its name derives from the Old Polish word niepolomny, which meant “impassable,” but today we'll ride lovely paved roads through this sylvan landscape. The forest consists of six nature reserves; the largest is home to the European bison. After our easy ride, we arrive in the lovely town of Niepolomice for lunch on your own and the option to visit the Niepolomice Royal Castle. Originally built in 14th-century Gothic style as a hunting lodge, it was later rebuilt in late Renaissance style. This afternoon, you may take our longer riding option from Niepolomice to our hotel, located in the town of Wieliczka.

This evening is yours to explore Wieliczka. Stroll through the beautiful town and its park, and enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants on your own.

Day 8 - Loop rides to neighboring towns / Tour of Wieliczka Salt Mines with Polish vodka tasting / Farewell dinner

Our ride today takes us to some of the neighboring towns and into the countryside surrounding Wieliczka. We return to the hotel for lunch on our own. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon ride, or simply wander into Wieliczka to admire the interesting architecture and perhaps visit the historic military stables.

This evening, we descend into the Wieliczka Salt Mines for a private tour of the fascinating chambers and tunnels created over the centuries. The mine continuously produced salt from the 13th century until just recently and is one of the oldest salt mines in the world. It was placed on the original list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of the highlights of the tour will be the “Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland” where everything is carved from salt – including the chandeliers. During our tour, we enjoy a Polish vodka tasting in one of the underground chambers.

In the evening, we gather for a festive farewell dinner at the Hotel Grand Sal, where we dine on the savory creations of the hotel's renowned chef.

Day 9 - Train to Krakow / Walking tour and horse-and-buggy ride in the Old Town / VBT No-Air Package ends

We have a later start to our final morning. Enjoy the extra time to return to the Salt Mines and attend Mass in the underground cathedral, or simply relax before meeting the group to walk to Wieliczka's bus stop and begin our short journey to Krakow. Our guide will meet us in Krakow and escort us on a walking tour of the Old Town, followed by a horse-and-buggy ride to our final hotel, the Hotel Amadeus.

VBT No-Air Package guests: Your luggage will be waiting for you at the Hotel Amadeus in Krakow after our included walking tour. Your tour will end at approximately 1:00 pm at the hotel. You should not plan on flying out of Krakow any earlier than 3:30 pm. Travel time to the airport from the Hotel Amadeus is approximately 30 minutes.
Krakow's main train station is a short 20-minute walk from the Hotel Amadeus or approximately 5 minutes by taxi.

VBT Air Package guests: VBT provides City Information in your Final Travel Booklet containing recommendations for cafés, restaurants, museums and transportation in Krakow. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Krakow.

Day 10 - Depart for U.S.

After breakfast this morning*, transfer to the Krakow airport (approximately 30 minutes) for your departing flight**.

*For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder.” VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

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