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Cycling from Vienna to Cracow Itinerary Amber Trail II

Vienna - Brno - Olomouc - Krakow

Duration: 10 days / 9 nights
Distance: 457 km / 284 miles
Daily avg.: 51 km / 32 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

Self-guided / semi-guided / guided tour

Suitable also for road bikes

Day 1
Vienna - Stockerau - Mikulov (72 km / 45 miles)

In the morning meet our representative/guide who will drive you from Vienna to Stockerau where you get the tour briefing, bikes and information materials.

Start cycling through the rolling countryside of Weinviertel (Austrian Wine Quarter) past spa town of Laa an der Thaya to enter the Czech Republic soon after. Wrap up your day in Mikulov with its imposing caste, historic square, the Dietrichstein family tomb and the Jewish cemetery where the oldest tombstones date back to 1605.
Overnight in Mikulov.

Day 2
Mikulov - Brno (57 km / 35 miles)

From Mikulov the cycle route goes through the wine-making region of South Moravia, past the Palava Hills, a Protected Landscape Area and Biosphere Reserve, which will serve as the main panorama during the trip today. You will pass the town of Zidlochovice with its chateau, where the division of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia was negotiated. Before arriving in Brno the journey goes through some less-relaxed
landscape, around the new modern shopping malls and industrial outskirts of Brno, the Czech Republic’s second-largest city priorities.
Overnight in Brno.

Day 3
Brno - Moravsky Kras (44 km / 27 miles)

Go through Brno center, famous for its architecture; historically it was closer both physically and even culturally to Vienna than to Prague. Brno is home of the famous Villa Tugendhat, a 20th-century architectural treasure. Leave the city on a riverside bike path for delightful Bilovice nad Svitavou, the scene of the famous opera ‘Liska Bystrouska’ by Leos Janacek. By now you are gradually ascending into the Moravian Karst, a region of limestone cliffs, deep valleys, and spectacular caves. You might finish today’s short stage with a journey down the underground Punkva River, and a view from the bottom of the deepest natural abyss in the Czech Republic, called Macocha (187.5 m deep).
Overnight in the Moravsky Kras area.

Day 4
Moravsky Kras - Olomouc (60 km / 37 miles)

This part of the trip is the most demanding in the elevation gain going over the Drahan Hills. Your reward will be a visit to Plumlov, a small town with a spectacular, if unfinished, Baroque castle on a rocky outcrop and the opportunity to bathe in the cool, refreshing Plumlov reservoir. Then you get to Olomouc, the second most famous town for historic monuments in the Czech Republic after Prague. A trip to the Premyslid palace or St. Wenceslas Cathedral is an experience not to be missed; the ornate Trinity Column in the square is designated as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Overnight in Olomouc.

Day 5
Olomouc - Teplice nad Becvou (51 km / 32 miles)

After sightseeing around Olomouc the route leads over mild hills to the Becva River, which you follow to Lipnik nad Becvou, with its old town walls, Jewish cemetery and synagogue. Lipnik nad Becvou lies at the southwestern end of the great pass known as the Moravian Gate. High above it lies imposing Helfstyn Castle, unique not only for its great size but also for its rich cultural calendar, dominated by the annual meeting of artistic blacksmithsm, the Hefaiston, at the end of September. Then ride on to the spa town of Teplice nad Becvou, where you have the opportunity to visit the Zbrasovska aragonite cave, or stroll the spa grounds and sip the invigorating waters.
Overnight in Teplice nad Becvou.

Day 6
Teplice nad Becvou - Stramberk (39 km / 25 miles)

From the mineral rich spas of Teplice you travel on to Stary Jicin with its old castle ruins, then on to Novy Jicin with its arcades and Renaissance chateau. From here you
journey just a short distance to the destination Stramberk, a small town famed for its spectacular tower, part of the old Gothic castle. Local culinary specialities include the famous Stramberk Ears, commemorating a bloody incursion by the Tatars in 1241. Stramberk also features a museum devoted to the work of Zdenek Burian, whose paintings depicting the Stone Age are commonly found in textbooks and museums around the world.
Overnight in Stramberk.

Day 7
Stramberk - Cesky Tesin/Cieszyn (66 km / 41 miles)

The first stop of the day is in Koprivnice, home of the Tatra automobile works, which features an excellent technical museum displaying many interesting antique cars. Hukvaldy is another delightful stop on the route, a lovely small town famous for its
ruined castle and also as the birthplace of the composer Leos Janacek. His original home, now a protected monument, houses an exhibition. The route then takes you past Beskydy Mountains on to Tesin, a town divided in two by the Czech-Polish border: Cesky Tesin on the Czech side, and Cieszyn on the Polish side.
Overnight in Cieszyn.

Day 8
Cesky Tesin/Cieszyn – Jaworze - Oswiecim (43 km / 27 miles)

The cycle route on the Polish side leads through farmland and forests to the villafe of Jaworze. Transfer by car from Jaworze to Oswiecim (Auschwitz), the town at a terrible concentration camp of WWII.
Overnight in Oswiecim.

Day 9
Oswiecim – Babice – Krakow (25 km/ 15 miles)

This day allows you to spend more time in Oswiecim. The short, mostly riverside ride is almost flat and finishes in Babice at an interesting outdoor museum of traditional Polish architecture and crafts. Transfer by car from Babice to Krakow.
A longer cycling option (68 km / 42 miles) is available, following the Vistula River almost as far as Krakow, with just a short car transfer to the city center.
Overnight in Krakow.

Day 10

In Krakow you will probably want to spend more than just one day: Wawel Castle, the Old Market Square, the Kazimierz Jewish quarter, or the town walls and Royal Way could easily take a day. To really soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant city you must get into the cafes or pubs, theatres or clubs, and that takes more than a day too...
Just outside of Krakow you could visit the salt mine in Wieliczka, which has been in
constant operation since the Middle Ages. It includes vast chambers ornately carved out
of rock salt.

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