Cycling and canoeing in the green heart of Poland. Pilica is a 300 km long river which originates not far from Krakow and flows into the Vistula shortly before Warsaw. The Pilica flows through the middle of Poland, far away from large cities and industrial areas. Wild and with numerous islands, sandy banks and meanders, the river snakes through forests, riparian meadows, small farmlands and orchards. The countryside is predominantly flat. A dense network of what was earlier sandy or stony small country roads has now been newly paved and the smooth asphalt roads with minimal traffic are perfect for cycling. And after advertising the "Dunajec Cycle Path" as Poland's cycling destination we now recommend the "Pilica Cycle Path" as a very simple week-long cycle tour that starts in Krakow and ends in Warka near Warsaw. This tour can be easily combined with our other week-long cycling and hiking modules (Dunajec, Masuria and Sudeten). On the way one can - after cycling - get a different perspective of the river from a canoe.
Day 1: Arrival in Krakow
Arrival in Krakow and first overnight stay at a centrally located hotel. After finding your room there is time to stroll through Krakow for a first impression of its historic city center and famous nightlife.
Day 2: Pilica-Source - Zawada, ~30-40 km/18-24 miles
After the bus ride to Smolen, which takes barely an hour, you get on the cycles on a hill with medieval castle ruins. The first kilometers are downhill through Jura landscapes towards the source of the river. You ride further past fish ponds, through a pretty town, with the same name as the river - Pilica - to your accommodation at Zawada.
Day 3: Zawada - Przedborz, ~65 km/40 miles
The flat and quiet roads run through shady forests for the most part and you will scarcely notice the kilometers flying by. This leg is the longest and ends in the small town of Przedbórz which is next to Przedbórz Landscape Park.
Day 4: Przedborz - Sulejow, ~40 km/24 miles
Once more you pass through tree-lined avenues, narrow fields and fragrant meadows and even gardens in full bloom until you come to a very special accommodation. Your hotel was once a Cistercian abbey built on the extensive grounds of a castle from the Middle Ages.
Day 5: Sulejow - Spala, ~45 km/28 miles
For this leg of our journey you first arrive at the reservoir with many places to go for a dip. After that the open air museum at Pilica is well worth a visit. The largest city on your route is Tomaszów, with 30,000 inhabitants. A network of car-free cycle paths takes one to Spala, a popular forest health resort.
Day 6: Spala - Nowe Miasto, ~45 km/28 miles
Spala lies within a forested area that has been a popular hunting and recreational area since the 19th century: first for the Russian Czars and then Polish presidents. This area also has remnants of recent history - the huge railway bunker at Konewki was the command post "Anlage Mitte" of the German military during World War II. Your overnight stay is at the small town of Nowe Miasto at a guest house located directly at the river.
Day 7: Nowe Miasto - Warka, ~55 km/34 miles
This last leg goes past Wylmierzyce which with its 858 inhabitants and old wooden houses is considered to be the smallest town in Poland. Next you cycle through vegetable fields and orchards. The final destination is the four-star hotel and horse breeding farm "Sielanka" ("idyllic land") at Warka.
Day 8: Departure or extension
Warsaw is only 60 km/37 miles from Warka and is easy to reach with the hourly regional train. The journey takes ~1 hour 20 minutes. Those who wish to stay a day longer can go on the 30-40 km round trip to Vistula valley and the Pilica mouth.
7 nights in 2**, 3*** and 4**** hotels
7x tourist tax
detailed documentation and maps
transfer Krakow to the Pilica source on day 2
self-guided tour - 8 days / 7 nights
arrival every Saturday
route (1)-(2): ~280-290 km/174-182 miles
easy tour through flat or gently undulating countryside, ~70% is on asphalt and the rest on dirt roads
how to get there
by car: motorway to Krakow
by train: station Krakow
by plane: airport Krakow
possible on request
possible on request
The Pilica River is a paradise for canoeing. We can organize a canoe ride for you. Don't hesitate to contact us.
some of our bike tour suggestions