Hiking and cycling tours in the Czech Republic and SlovakiaGreenways Travel Club
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Cycling Amber TrailCycling Amber Trail:
Bicycle tour Budapest - Krakow

9-day / 8-night trip from Budapest to Krakow

Length: 354 km / 221 miles

Self-guided tours:
Every day from April to the end of October

2016 Dates for guided tour:
May 21-29
June 18-26
July 14-22
August 4-12

Terrain: Challenging (one of our most challenging trips; the mountainous parts in Slovakia segment are not for those people whose cycling consists of one week a year.)

The ancient Amber Trail led from the beaches of the Baltic Sea south to the Adriatic. Through history the exquisite brown fossil resin has been traded along this route.

The Amber Trail is alive today. People still buy and sell amber; you might find a piece you like at one of the shops or markets on your journey. You will also meet some of the people who live along the ancient route and learn about their lives, their cultural heritage and their effort to preserve it.

Description: This rewarding route leads through three countries - Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland in the steps of the historic amber trade route. Our journey starts on the Danube River in Budapest, the capital of Hungary and the 'Paris of the East'. The route itself begins in the nearby village of Szentendre about 10 km north of Budapest. Amber trail Budapest - Cracow mapSzentendre is a picturesque little town full of cafes, restaurants, galleries, churches, museums, little shops, and street artists. It is the gateway to an especially beautiful part of Hungary called the Danube Bend, where the river winds between high hills to Visegrad (its castle has a beautiful view) and the historic town of Ezstergom, for centuries the seat of the Hungarian bishops, with a magnificent cathedral (more...).


Amber trail Budapest - Cracow profile

"In August and September, 2001, my wife and I bicycled the Amber Trail
from Budapest to Cracow through the low Tatra mountains of Slovakia. We experienced beautiful scenery while biking up narrow forest valleys to mountain plateaus with splendid vistas, some challenging long ascents following by exciting downhill rolls, pleasant overnight stays at small inns in historic mining towns, and interesting encounters with the local people,. At each end, there were the fascinating cities of Budapest and Cracow. It was one of our greatest bicycle trips."

(Oliver and Meredith S., USA)


  • 6 World Heritage Sites (protected by UNESCO)
  • Genteel city of Budapest
  • Old town of Banska Stiavnica
  • Traditional village of Vlkolinec
  • Pilgrimage site of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
  • Wieliczka salt mine
  • Royal city of Cracow
  • The magnificent Danube Bend
  • Massive Gothic castles
  • Cracow amber market
  • Thermal cave spa

    9-day trip itinerary (Cycling 354 km/221 miles)

    Day 1)
    Budapest - Szentendre

    After arriving in Budapest, you transfer yourself to the small town of Szentendre (12 miles away). This is achievable by bus, train, car or boat. This town has a unique character with 24 museums, 7 churches, thirteen galleries and numerous cafes and small bars. An Open Air Museum close by shows you original Hungarian country life.
    Overnight in Szentendre.

    Day 2)
    Szentendre - Esztergom (58 km / 36 miles)

    Cycling along the Danube to Lenyefalu on the first day leads you to the ferry to Szentendre Island. After crossing and biking through the charming island, the ferry takes you back to the mainland and it is onward to Esztergom. For those wishing for more cycling miles there is a challenging ascent to nearby Visegrad Castle, where a superb panorama of the Danube valley can be seen. The original place of the Hungarian bishops, Esztergom has a massive castle and is the highlight of the Hungarian part of this tour.
    Overnight in Esztergom.

    Day 3)
    Esztergom/Sturovo – Dudince (61,2 km / 38 miles)

    The Slovak part of the tour starts today as we cross from the southern to the northern bank of the Danube to Sturovo. It is fairly easy cycling over rolling landscapes to the town of Dudince, which takes full advantage of the mineral rich waters in the area. This town was built according to the ideas of Socialist Realism and, as a result, is a very interesting place to visit. A highlight in this town is some Roman bathtubs carved out of the travertine stone.
    Overnight in Dudince.

    Day 4)
    Dudince - Banska Stiavnica (39,4 km / 24,5 miles)

    The demanding section of the Slovak part starts here with the Stiavnicky Hills, a precursor to the later mountain stages. If you do not feel like mountain cycling then that is fine. We can always shorten your daily miles or transfer you to the next destination. Finish in Banska Stiavnica, protected by UNESCO, having an extremely well conserved old town and a long heritage of mining. It is one of the best stopovers on the entire Amber Trail.
    Overnight in Banska Stiavnica.

    Day 5)
    Banska Stiavnica - Banska Bystrica (59 km / 36,9 miles)

    Today’s route consists of two parts. First half is hilly, in quiet rural environment, forests and remote villages. Then it is almost flat and the route takes you against the Hron river through vital countryside. On the way to Banska Bystrica, stop in Hronsek to look at the precious timber church listed in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Once in Banska Bystrica you will see that the old part of the town is being well restored and is doing much to overcome the towns upsetting, Socialist past.
    Overnight in Banska Bystrica.

    Day 6)
    Banska Bystrica - Vlkolinec - Liptovsky Mikulas (65,8 km / 41,1 miles)

    Today transportation is organized from Banska Bystrica to Vlkolinec – A UNESCO World Heritage site, it contains the biggest concentration on traditional architecture in the Slovak Republic – precious, old houses built using old crafts and techniques. Having climbed up from Liptovska Osada you begin cycling in the very challenging area of the Lower Tatras – beginning with a seven mile climb. However the amazing views and the sweeping landscape are worth the ride to the top. The rest of the day is easier with a ride around the reservoir in Liptovska Mara. Finish in Liptovsky Mikulas, an interesting town whose museum documents an infamous outlaw Juraj Janosik – the equivalent of Robin Hood in Slovakia.
    Overnight in Liptovsky Mikulas.

    Day 7)
    Liptovsky Mikulas - Dolny Kubin (49,7 km / 31 miles)

    Cycle through the Chocsky and Oravsky Hills, one of the prettiest segments of the whole route. In the village of Lestiny there is a rare wooden church built without a single nail. Evening transfer to Sucha Beskidzka, Poland.
    Overnight in Sucha Beskidzka.

    Day 8)
    Sucha Beskidzka - Kalwaria Zebrzydowska - Krakow (21,2 km / 13,25 miles)

    Today is a short day in order to get you to Krakow eaerlier. The main highlight today is Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, an imposing Bernadine monastery. Transfer by car from Kalwaria Zebrzydowska to Krakow.
    Overnight in Krakow.

    Day 9)

    In Krakow you will probably want to spend more than just one day. Wawel Castle, the Old Market Square, the Kazimierz Jewish Quarter, the town walls and Royal Way are some of the many things to see in this royal city.

    Price of guided tour:
    Group size 4-7 people:
    Group size 8+ people:

    EUR per person (based on twin-bedded room)
    2170 EUR per person (based on twin-bedded room)
    Single supplement: 400 EUR
    Guided tours include: • Professional bilingual guide
    • Accommodation in selected hotels and pensions
    • Support van
    • Buffet breakfast and dinner included
    • Luggage transfer
    • English route descriptions
    • Detailed cycling maps
    • Town maps
    • Global Positioning System (GPS) console with programmed route
    • Quality TREK bike rental
    • Guided tours at chateaux, castles, museums and other select attractions
    • Special events, including wine tasting and picnics

    Price of self-guided tour: 1590 EUR per person (based on twin-bedded room)
    Single supplement: 400 EUR
    Self-guided tours include:

    • Accommodation in selected hotels and pensions
    • Buffet breakfast
    • Luggage transfer
    • English route descriptions
    • Detailed cycling maps
    • Town maps
    • Global Positioning System (GPS) console with programmed route
    • Transportation by car according to program
    • Welcome briefing upon arrival
    • Quality TREK bike rental
    • Stand-by support (cellphone and contact person)

    Time to go


    On the continent in Central Europe the weather is cold with snow in the winter but the summers are lengthy with a lot of sunshine and clear days. Our cycling tours run from the beginning of April to the end of October – the optimum months here for a good bicycle trip. May, June and September are the times to experience the cooler, but still warm and sunny weather. The temperate in the summer can get quite high, so July and August are perfect for sun loving people. April and October are wonderfully changeable and can be chilly. These times are perfect for people wanting to experience the changing of the seasons as they cycle.

    Tourist numbers
    July and August tend to be the busiest times in terms of crowds. We feel it is important to mention this in case you are expecting to see some national monuments relatively crowd free.

    Festivals and events
    Central Europe is rich in festivals and cultural events. Worth mentioning are the local festivals celebrating the grape harvest in September/October - vinobrani. There is much merrymaking by the local residents with consumption of delicious wine. In some areas a folk culture is connected to wine growing and this can particularly be seen during the vinobrani.

    Please see the cultural events page on our site - Topbicycle.com owned by Greenways Travel Club.

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