I have fallen in love with a bicycle tour I have yet to take. It begins in a country whose people became the victim of tasteless jokes about their supposed lack of common sense and ends along the banks of the Danube, Europe’s longest river. In between, you cycle a land of hidden treasures, rich cultural diversity, and landscapes like you’ve never seen.
I am, of course, talking about Cycling Krakow to Slovakia Plus! Budapest. Because I was an English major and poetry is one of my favorite ways of relating to the world, I have chosen to capture my declared love for the tour in four (non-rhyming) stanzas.
1. City of Medieval Wonder
The tour begins in Krakow, Poland, the former seat of Polish royalty for centuries, the site of Europe’s largest medieval plaza, and a city that stands intact, having been spared World War II bombings as a result of its strategic location as outpost for the Nazi Holocaust campaign. We stay here two nights and at least one more would be desirable so you have time to absorb its remarkable architecture, food, and history.
Cycling between countries is always a thrill but our entrance into Slovakia is unique among ExperiencePlus! tours. We travel a bike and pedestrian path along the Dunajec River Gorge. No cars. Just rock, water, paved path, and your lovely bicycle. Slovakia boasts miles of bicycle routes and this final section of Day 4 is a wonderful introduction to the natural beauty that will greet you in the days ahead.
3. World Heritage Preserved
This tour introduces you to more than five United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites. Designation is based on the outstanding value the site’s cultural and natural heritage has to humanity. From town centers and salt mines to castles, churches, Budapest and even the banks of the Danube, the sites and places you’ll visit offer a window into a past that deserves to be known today.
4. Where Cycling Legends are Born
Slovakia is home to Peter Sagan, seven-time Tour de France green jersey winner. The country celebrates his skill and prominence as one of the world’s top road racers with much-deserved joy. If the history, culture, and scenery you’ll experience on this tour aren’t enough to sweep you off your feet, then perhaps delighting in the experience of riding in the shadow of this cycling giant will be the spark that ignites your passion for touring Slovakia.
To be perfectly clear, this 13-day Level 4 Plus! tour is not for the faint of heart. There is much climbing to be had. But time has taught me that anything worth experiencing comes with a little – and sometimes a lot – of physical effort. This is one such tour. And, if time and effort are in shorter supply for you, consider the Level 3, 8-day version instead.
Cycling Krakow to Slovakia Plus! Budapest runs just once in 2022: June 17-29. If you prefer the shorter 8-day version, the tour ends June 24. Since the tour is beginning to fill, we recommend declaring your interest today, whether by penciling-in or submitting a reservation.
Because, if carefully curated daily rides that venture into the heart of national parks, explore river valleys, follow ancient trading routes, and showcase history like you’ve never seen, you won’t want to miss one of the most rewarding and beautiful cycling journeys you may have never considered – until now.