Last updated January 9, 2023
We cycled 2400 kilometers from Lithuania to Greece. After 16 days, starting the trip from Vilnius, we reached Thessaloniki. For us, it is an every-year tradition of gathering in different European places and going for a multi-day ride. Holidays on bicycles enable us to visit exciting sites, try local food and beverages, and meet people. On the way, we visited Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria and got to Greece. In this article, I'm sharing my experience of cycling in Poland.
Cycling in Poland
The current visit to Poland was short. However, I have extensive traveling experience in this country. I often traveled in the North part, visiting cities like Gdansk, Giżycko, and Olsztyn Last year I traveled in the Pomerania region on a tour from Vilnius to Berlin.
These pros & cons done based on my overall experience of cycling in Poland.
Poland is one of the most populated countries in Central & Eastern Europe. You should expect an extremely high amount of vehicles on the roads.
But Poland also has a huge advantage – a very well-developed regional road network. Most of them are tarmac roads suitable for bicycle lovers. You can choose your own route and spin your pedals using small country roads. In such way you will be able to travel from town to town and avoid busy motorways. The last thing you would want to do is to cycle on busy Polish motorways, trust me.
If you are considering visiting the North-East part, you should check out the Green Velo route.
It is the longest marked cycle trail in Poland. In the recent years Polish government built more than 300 km new cycling paths. It comes in to the same Green Velo network.
- Well-developed infrastructure for cyclists.
- A lot of nature, cultural objects, military, and historical heritage places to see.
- Prices are still lower than in other EU countries.
- A lot of local tourists. It can be crowded, especially during the high season.
Green Velo route
The sun was almost at its highest daytime point. We waved goodbye to Belarus and passed over the bridge toward the Polish checkpoint.
The misunderstandings we encountered during the past few days were over. So we were happy to return to the EU again. At least for one day because in the upcoming days, we had Ukraine in the front.
Polish border procedures were simple. A kind lady asked us several typical questions. She was more interested in our destination – Greece than checking what we were carrying.
She turned back to her colleague and shouted with excitement: “look, these guys are going to Greece by bike!”.
“Yup, that’s what we are going to do, Ma’am,” replied one of us with a voice full of happiness and confidence. We have been dreaming of this for so long . At that moment we completely understood how privileged and lucky we were.
Most people we speak to likes to say: “oh, I wish I were with you…”. They have no clue how much physical and psychological effort this may demand.
But I hope our example may give a spark to someone at least start thinking about something similar. And that is fine with me.
We stopped to buy some welcoming beers and snacks at the nearest gas station for lunch. After the break, we found the Green Velo route and continued cycling toward Chelm. That was amazing – a newly built tarmac track dedicated only to cycling tourists. It was marked with signs and also had info stands and rest points.
The weather went better, and the afternoon ride was joyful. Lots of conversations and jokes while you keep spinning the pedals. It was a fun time without any complaints about the traffic and navigation.
We stopped at Hrubieszow with 195 kilometers done this day. For the evening we found accommodation in the town center. It was a typical polish style hotel with fancy decorations. It was a bit above our budget, but they had friendly staff and tasty food. So it was worth it.
If you happen to be in Hrubieszow someday, visit Gniecki hotel.
Leaving to Ukraine
In the morning, we woke up from raindrops breaking into the roof window. Another wet day was waiting for us ahead of four of those previous. But it was only 135 kilometers left to Lviv, so we were okay with it.
I packed my belongings rapidly, ate breakfast, and began cycling. After two hours, we were at the border of Ukraine. We had to cross another newly built crossing point and enter the third country of our journey.
To enter Ukraine, you don’t need a visa. In 2017 Ukraine got into an agreement European Union ensuring visa-free traveling for citizens. And we were the first lucky ones hailing simplified procedures.
It was a different experience than in 2015. We traveled in the Carpathian mountains back then. Entering and exiting Ukraine took hours. Today’s procedure was fast, easy, and transparent.
A tipOn February 2022 24th Russia started a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Due to that, there the border crossing procedures can be different. Check the latest rules before traveling.
Next country – Ukraine.