Discovering Poland’s Hidden Gems: Bikepacking from Krakow to Czestochowa
An unforgettable bikepacking journey between two of most historic cities in Poland - Krakow and Czestochowa. This scenic route not only takes you through picturesque landscapes but also offers unique opportunities to explore some lesser-known marvels, such as ancient castles, the Orlich Gniazd, Ojcowski National Park, and the fascinating Błędów Desert.
Let’s take a closer look at this memorable adventure through two voivodeships, Lesser Poland and Silesia, and the remarkable stops along the way.
This bikepacking trip from Krakow to Czestochowa is just one of the many incredible stages of a larger journey that I want to complete: all the way from Tallinn, Estonia, to Athens, Greece.
The Krakow to Czestochowa stage stands out as an exceptional chapter in this grand adventure, offering a unique blend of Polish heritage and natural beauty.
This part, I had the pleasure to share it with a good friend, who wanted to join me in this journey. Sharing the adventure with a fellow traveler not only added an extra layer of enjoyment and camaraderie but also allowed us to support and motivate each other throughout the trip.
Our bikepacking expedition from Krakow to Czestochowa spans approximately 160 kilometers, crossing through the breathtaking landscapes of Lesser Poland and Silesian voivodeships. This carefully crafted route offers an unparalleled combination of cultural exploration and nature encounters, showcasing the best of Poland’s beauty and history.
You can observe the route that we followed with this interactive map:
Orlich Gniazd and its Castles
One of the most alluring aspects of this bikepacking route is the opportunity to visit numerous medieval castles, part of the Eagles’ Nests Trail (Szlak Orlich Gniazd in Polish).
The Orlich Gniazd Park is an enchanting region in southern Poland, characterized by its captivating castles perched on towering limestone cliffs. This area, steeped in history and legend, stretches across the picturesque landscape between Krakow and Czestochowa.
These stunning fortresses, situated on limestone cliffs, served as defensive structures in the 14th century.
Key castles to visit include: Pieskowa Skała Castle, Ojców Castle, Ogrodzieniec Castle, and Bobolice Castle. Each castle boasts a unique history and architecture, providing fascinating insights into Poland’s rich heritage.
I can recommend the spectacular view from the Olsztyn Castle:
One of the most unexpected and intriguing stops on our bikepacking adventure is the Błędów Desert, located in the Silesian voivodeship. Covering an area of approximately 32 square kilometers, this unique European desert offers stunning landscapes and diverse vegetation. Take time to immerse yourself in the remarkable scenery and appreciate the rare phenomenon of a desert in the heart of Poland.
Ojcowski National Park
Ojcowski National Park, located in the heart of the Lesser Poland voivodeship, offers a refreshing escape from city life. Filled with dramatic limestone rock formations, dense forests, and an abundance of flora and fauna, the park is a haven for nature enthusiasts.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the famous Hercules’ Club - a remarkable limestone pillar that has become an iconic symbol of the park. Also, the Krakow’s Gate offers an amazing view:
Cycling Through Europe - Tallin To Athens UPDATE
After the complition of this joruney, this is the current view on the stages that I have performed already:
The upcoming ones
I am preparing a serie of bicycle trips for the upcoming weekends:
- Warsaw to Radom: one day trip by bike
- Radom to Czestochowa: two days trip by bike
- Warsaw to Bialystok: two days trip by bike
They will serve as prepartion for my bike yearly goal: Tallin to Vilnus by bicycle during the summer.
How to Prepare a Bikepacking Trip?
- Check weather conditions and be prepared for unexpected changes: for this matter, I already released one open-sourced tool that can help you getting to know the typical weather conditions on a certain location.
- Ride within your ability and know your limits: plan accordingly the distance and altitude for each journey.
- Familiarize yourself with local wildlife and how to handle encounters
- Be cautious when cycling on roads, and be visible to other traffic if applicable
What is the ideal pace for a weekend bikepacking trip?
- Short answer: Do it your way
- Long one:
- The ideal pace for a weekend bikepacking trip depends on individual fitness levels, route difficulty, and personal preferences.
- Aim for a pace that allows you to comfortably cover the planned distance while enjoying the scenery and taking breaks as needed. Remember that bikepacking trips are about the journey and the experience, not just the destination.
Code and Analytics
Curious to know how to plot your GPX files in Python?
I have created this repository where I uploaded the files that are generating this map.
For this you just need to use: pandas, gpxpy and folium libraries!
Try me with Google Colaboratory
If you have a Google account, you can run this code by uploading the .GPX file of the route that you want to visualize and avoid any installation in your computer.