Poland is located in central Europe, and is bordered by Germany to the west, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south, Ukraine and Belarus to the east and the Baltic Sea to the north. Poland’s population of 38.5 million people, makes it Europe’s fifth most populated country. It covers an area of 312, 697 square kilometers. Poland is a very forested country, with 30% of the country covered by forests.
From a cycling perspective, Poland is one of Europe’s best country for cycling. From it’s historic city of Krakow, which attracts over seven million tourists every year, and features many historical attractions such as St. Mary’s Basilica. To the Tatra mountains and Pieniny National Park, where steep climbs and rough terrain favour mountain bikes. The ancient Gothic town of Torun features the intact medieval walls of Chelmo. It makes for smooth road cycling, and is quite flat, so it’s perfect for road and touring bikes.
Popular Bike Tour Destinations In Poland
The Podkarpacieregion is located in south east Poland, it traverses the National Parks in the Eastern Carpathian mountains. There are several cycling trails, which boast incredible views and stunning scenery, as a reward for some tough climbing. There are also several Catholic and Orthodox churches in the region, as well as ancient burial mounds and settlements.
The Greenways Hanza Union Trail runs along the shore of the Baltic Sea, it runs through the Wolin National Park and several popular holiday resorts. This two hundred and sixty kilometer route takes you not only through National Parks, but also through the picturesque fishing villages which dot the shoreline of the Baltic Sea.
The Odra River Trail is 313 kilometers long, it runs along the Odra River – which is partially a border between Poland and Germany. Beginning in the historic city of Wroclaw, the trail runs alongside both sides of the Odra River, and links up with the Greenways in places.
The Eagle Nest Cycling Trail begins in the Polish capital of Krakow, and leads all the way to Czestochowa. It passes through the Jura Krakowsko-Czestochowska region – a region famous for it’s hilly terrain and plunging ravines. The route’s name derives from ancient castles in the hills, referred to as “Eagle’s Nests”. This cycling trail leads to many others in many Polish cities and towns.
The Stork Trail begins in the northeast of Poland. A region well-known for it’s beauty The region varies in altitude, up to as high as one thousand feet. This trail runs along Poland’s border with Lithuania, and it is lined with tiny villages which offer traditional Polish delicacies, such as “sekacz”, or layered cake – and zeppelins (potato noodles shaped like airships).
Gdańsk, the home of the Solidarity movement, once a member of the Hanseatic league, and the largest city of the Kashubian ethnic group. Gdańsk has certainly come a long way from its origins as a fishing village in the 9th century and it is the jewel of a region which ranges from the sand dunes of Slowinski National Park, to the ancient shores of the Vistula River, to the tranquillity of the Zarnowieckie Lake. [/one_third] [one_third]
The region of Lower Silesia is one of renowned beauty. This tour begins and ends in Wroclaw, the region’s capital. Wroclaw is replete with Gothic churches, Flemish style Renaissance mansions, Viennese Baroque palaces & chapels, tranquil parks, gardens, & rivers, and a vibrant cultural scene which enjoys world renown. [/one_third] [one_third_last]
Krakow acts as a magnet for over 7 million tourists each year and is the most visited city in Poland for many reasons. Sitting royally in the region known as ‘Little Poland’ it epitomises the grandeur, romance, and history of one of Europe’s greatest and most beautiful medieval cities and encapsulates the legends, heritage, and culture of Poland as a whole.
Facts About Poland
The name “Poland” originates from a tribe called “Polanie”, which means, “people living in open fields.”
Nearly 35% of the world’s 60 million Poles live abroad. There are several large Polish-speaking communities all over the world, in places like the UK, Australia, Austria, Germany and Brazil.
From 1600 to 1945, Poland has been invaded, and/or has fought for freedom in insurrections – a staggering forty-three times.
90% of Polish youth have completed secondary school education. And over 50% have an academic degree.
In 1989, Poland held it’s first free elections – for the first time in nearly forty years.
The oldest operating restaurant in Europe is located in Wroclaw – the “Piwnica Swidnicka” opened it’s doors in 1295.
The Polish love their candy! It makes up the largest section in any Polish grocery store.
There are 32 letters in the Polish alphabet.
In Poland, the three-course meal begins at around 2PM, starting with a soup, a main course of meat, and dessert.
Nazi-occupied Poland became the only territory in which the Germans declared that providing any kind of help for Jews, was punishable by death. Up to 50,000 Poles were executed by the Nazis for their attempts to assist Jews.