Nowadays, bicycle tourism is the most popular form of the active spending of leisure time, giving an opportunity to explore the most attractive tourist areas of Carpathian Mountains – a region of varied landscape, rich historical heritage, tradition, and folklore. Unique natural and landscape qualities, diverse topography decorated by picturesque valleys of mountain rivers and their tributaries, are excellent for bicycle tourism.
The Carpathian Bicycle Trail, nearly 800 km in length, is not limited within the administrative borders of districts or communes. It combines extraordinary attractions of Małopolska, and thanks to uniform marking and information boards, you can reach the most beautiful corners of the Carpathian Mountains.
The maps, drawn up by professionals and available to tourists (7 sets), will allow you to arrange bicycle excursions by yourself. They include descriptions of the local attractions and show differences in altitudes. Information boards displayed in central points of trail, in total 60 pieces, will help you arrange an excursion.
Participation in regional events and fair can be a very good idea - e.g. “Święto Dzieci Gór” (“The Children of the Mountains Day”) and “Biesiada Karpacka” (“The Carpathian Feast”) in Nowy Sącz, “Odwiedziny u pradziadków” (“A Visit to the Great-Grandfathers”)
in the Sądecki Ethnographic Park, “Jesień Grybowskiej” (“The Grybów Autumn”) or “Łemkowska Watra” (“The Lemkos Vatra”) – where the regional cuisine, music and atmosphere of the Beskidy forests and valleys can be actively experienced.
In addition to the flagship attractions – canoeing down the gorge of the Dunajec River, walking through mountain valleys, sightseeing Orthodox Greek churches in the Lower or Sądecki Beskids, enjoying relaxation in health resorts such as Krynica-Zdrój, Wysowa, Szczawnica, Muszyna, Piwniczna-Zdrój, Żegiestów and the neighbouring regions – the region is full of equally-attractive but less-known areas. These are areas have remained pristine to this day. Here, the residents still live in communion with nature, undisturbed by industry (e.g. the lands of Popradzki Landscape Park and a buffer zone of Magurski National Park).
The multiculturalism of the region can be seen in the names of the area, and also in the visible traces of the Lemkos culture, and German and Polish settlements. Her, you will come across some unique Lemkos names, such as Kiczera, Żdzar, Magura, and Zdynia, or names of German origin, such as Szymbark, Rychwałd.
This is the only place where the tradition of highlanders is so beautiful, with a vivid, almost tangible folklore and life. In natural mountain shelters, you can treat yourself to some oscypek cheese, bundz cheese, drink ewe milk, Krzakówka vodka or Slivovitz.
Regional taverns and inns serve the regional foods of Lemkos, Poles and highlanders. This concentration of a magnificent wooden architecture in the form of Catholic and Orthodox Churches in such a small place is something unique in Europe. In addition to this, there are two synagogues, strongholds, castles, wooden houses, and trenches of the Bar Confederates.
The maps, drawn up by professionals and available to tourists, including descriptions of the local attractions showing differences in altitudes, will allow you to get to know the most elusive parts of the Carpathian Mountains.
You can get maps and descriptions of trails on the webpage www.sot.org.pl or at numerous tourist information centres.
The bicycle trips around the Carpathian Mountains will give you a lot of pleasure and unforgettable experiences.