|Type of tour:||Guided|
|Distance:||24 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Jul 17, Aug 21, 2015|
|Start city:||Ustryzki Dolne, Ukraine|
|End city:||Lviv, Ukraine|
A popular Polish drinking song laments, "The lush green Ukraine I dream of and long for day and night lies far away." But now Ukraine isn't all that far away. Our Ukraine tour fills a gap in the world of cycling tours; no other cycle tour operator offers this destination. Now tourists on two wheels can also discover the Ukrainian countryside for themselves!
Why cycle through Western Ukraine?
So, come join us! We have an ideal 10-day program from/to Krakow covering highlights of Western Ukraine such as the Carpathian mountains and the Dniester River Valley as well as places of cultural interest such as Lviv, Chernivtsi and Kamianets-Podilskyi. We follow the course of the Dniester from the Carpathians to Podolien. And where distances permit we will be cycling between the historical cities. Apart from the first and last days, only one bus transfer will be necessary during the cycling legs of the tour.
Please note: Western Ukraine shares it's border with Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. This tour takes you through parts of Ukraine that are stable and safe, far away from the current areas of unrest on the eastern border.
Learn more about guided tours.
Day 1: Krakow - Ustrzyki
Individual arrival in Krakow. We meet at the Bird Service office in the old town at noon and leave by bus at 2:00 pm for Ustrzyki Dolne (a small town at the Ukrainian border), where we will also be having dinner.We would advise those not able to book a morning flight or the night train to Krakow to come a day earlier and to book an additional night.
Overnight in Ustrzyki.
Day 2: Terlo - Sambir (22 miles/35 km)
After entering Ukraine we will be stopping at the first village after the border, Terlo, to get on to our bicycles. We follow the creek valleys and cycle through the colourful villages of the Carpathian mountains to arrive at the upper Dniester River Valley in Staryj Sambir. Following the river brings us to Sambir, where we check into the recently renovated hotel at the market square.
Overnight in Sambir.
Day 3: Sambir - Drohobych (28-38 miles/45-60 km)
This ride shows a rapid change of scenery. We ride through a flat plain, where the Dniester River once flowed through large swamps and then along old avenues lined by trees onto Drohobych, once the centre of the salt mining industry. Though the second largest city in Lemberg province, this sleepy and provincial city is small but impressive with numerous historical monuments that can be admired on bicycle. We will be staying in the brand new three-star hotel at the outskirts of the city.
Overnight in Drohobych.
Day 4: Drohobych - Truskavets - Dovgoluka (19 miles/30 km)
Our first destination today is the well developed Truskavets health resort with over a dozen mineral springs. We then cycle through dense oak forests to the remote village of Dovgoluka. We will be staying at Shepilska, a modern tourist center, located "in the middle of nowhere".
Overnight in Tovste.
Day 5: Tovste - Zalischyky (31 miles/50 km)
We spend the day in Podolia and get to see a particularly spectacular natural formation of this large region, the "Yar". The word literally means "gorge", and is a brook or river canyon cutting deeply into the red sandstone. After following the course of the Dshuryn River for a while, we cycle past the ruins of Cherwonograd, a former Polish fortification, to reach the Dniester River, which flows through a particularly deep "Yar" here. There was a settlement of Saxons in the large Dniester-Loop once known as "Hinterwalden" (Backforests). They had been naturalized by an erstwhile Polish king. The name of the settlement was translated and later on known as "Zalischyky".
Overnight in Zalischyky.
Day 6: Zalischyky - Chernivtsi (40 miles/65 km)
Up until now we were in the former Kingdom of Galicia. Now we find ourselves in an old border area where the Polish Aristocratic Republic, the Russian Empire and Osmanian Empire once met. The land south of the Dniester, where we will be cycling today, belonged to Romania until 1939. In earlier days it belonged to the historical region of Bukowina, integrated into Austria by Empress Maria Theresa. The capital city of Chernivtsi is an attraction without par. Its stone monuments go back to the "Golden Age" of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy when Chernivtsi (named Czernowitz) was the pulsing capital of the area belonging to the Crown with the eastern-most university of the West.
Overnight in Chernivtsi.
Day 7: Chernivtsi - Kamianets Podilskyi (16 miles/25 km)
We return to the Dniester Valley via wine villages and fruit plantations. In Khotyn one can see a castle up on the cliffs that watched over the former Polish-Turkish border for centuries, high above the dammed river. Our final destination is Kamianets Podilskyi. It is one of the oldest cities of Ukraine and is remarkably located. Smotrych River meanders through a 60 m deep gorge in the limestone of the Podolian Upland. One of its serpentine curves is around a large mountain on top of which the historic town was constructed with heavy fortification walls. Entry to this strategically favourably situated city was made even more secure by a fortress.
Overnight in Kamianets Podilskyi.
Day 8: Kamianets Podilskyi - Lviv (9 miles/15 km)
We take the bus to Lviv, one of the most important cities of Western Ukraine as well as a former capital of Galicia. It is a town dotted with cultural monuments. After a short ride through the green areas on the outskirts there will be a guided tour through the historic center of town.
Overnight in Lviv.
Day 9: Lviv - Krakow
We start on the return journey in the afternoon and expect to be in Krakow, where we will be spending our last night, by early or late evening depending on the situation at the border.
Overnight in Krakow.
Day 10: Departure
Departure from Krakow or participation in another cycling or trekking tour organized by Bird Service.
Zalischyky has one quiet hotel, in which all rooms have their own shower/WC. Apart from this city we will book the best lodgings available of good 2-3 or even 4 star standard. The buildings are new and modern for the most part.
This tour is offered as a full-board tour as the villages do not have public bars or snack bars. This includes: breakfast, a picnic lunch for the road and a warm evening meal.
You can organize your own meals only on the last evening in Krakau as our arrival might be delayed depending on the situation at the border.
Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.
Bikes available to rent on this tour (must be reserved in advance at the time of booking):
Bikes come equipped with:
The bikes are equipped with flat pedals. You may bring your own pedals if desired.
Tour saddles are included, but you may bring your own seat. Please ensure that your seat will fit with a universal seat post.
Please plan to bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene purposes. Helmet rental is not available on this tour.
This cycling tour follows the creek valley in the Carpathian mountains and then cycle through the flat Dniester Valley and Podolien, which is also quite flat to slightly hilly. Height differences of 50-100m occur only a few times when crossing the river gorges.
Approximately 50% of the tour is on dirt or gravel roads; 40% on quiet roads; and 10% on roads shared with traffic. The maximum daily elevation gain for this tour is (400 m), with a 10% maximum percentage grade for any climb on the tour.
Tour start and end
Nearest airport and train station: Krakow, Poland
Please note: you are responsible for arranging travel between the your arrival/departure points and the tour hotels in Krakow.
Tips on getting to and from your tour
Weatherspark.com offers information on average weather conditions at most destinations throughout the globe. Type a destination in the search box, and select "Averages," and you'll find a range of information such as average high and low temperatures, precipitation, cloudy days, humidity and wind speed/direction.
Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
Ukraine, like the rest of the former Soviet countries, has endured years of development and political challenges, some of them still recent. However, it remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world (it regularly ranks in the top 10). There are mountains, beaches, religious destinations, and cosmopolitan cities with rich cultural history.
The Carpathian Mountains are also very popular in Ukraine for their ski resorts, hiking trails, and tranquil, remote villages. The mountains are also resplendent with creeks and streams, as well as hot springs popular with spas. The natural landscape of Ukraine gives ample opportunities for visitors to swim, fish, hunt, camp, and enjoy the outdoors. The remote rural areas of this region are still dotted with traditional, folk-style stone and wood homes and farm structures, as well as ruins of medieval castles and fortresses.
This is your chance to enjoy some of the most picturesque and spectacular parts of Poland, nearby Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine and Belarus by bike. These are areas that are only now beginning to be discovered by tourists. And for those preferring to hike there are well-marked trails and charming mountain huts ready for visitors.
Allow us to introduce you to the best of our cycling tours. We have been organizing active tours for the last twenty years and look forward with our team of enthusiastic staff to making your holiday a memorable one.
Our company started as Polish "Bird Service" in 1990 in Bialystok (NE-Poland) and has gained good reputation as organizer of nature study tours. We still offer a range of tours for birdwatchers and nature lovers, published on the webpage www.birding.pl
In 2000 we moved our office to the heart of historic Cracow and started to offer a range of cycle tours in southern Poland. As state borders are now easy to pass, we also organize cycling events in the nearby Slowakia, Czech Republic and Hungary. We offer ground arrangement for renowned tour companies. Each year clients from a number of countries around the world (mainly Germany, UK, Belgium, USA, even Japan) book our tours directly.
You can cancel at any time prior to the voyage of the booking. The time of receipt of the cancellation notice by the tour operator. We recommend that you declare the withdrawal in writing. In the case of your contract, the organizer can ask for the travel arrangements already a proportionate compensation.
Until the start of the journey, the traveler can be replaced by a third.