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We are planning to cycle through the Baltic Countries and Poland to Czech. Would like to hear from you if you have toured n these areas!
I have quite a bit - though no longer recently now;
single lane highways -q dangerous in terms of oncoming overtaking vehicles straying beyond edge of road where I'd cycle at times- began to be upgraded.
What is it you want to know?
Do you have any specific questions? I'm from Poland and I've done a lot of cycling here.
My wife and I cycled from Poland down to Greece and Turkey Summer 2010 thru Central Europe ( don't call it Eastern Europe - they hate that ) and Balkans. Had very nice time and no trouble at all. Some big roads in Poland can be a bit busy and maybe scary if not used to touring or heavy traffic. But most motorists where polite and gave us plenty of space when passing. Many places we camped in official sites, they were very cheap in Poland, about € 2 - 5 for 2 people and tent. In Poland we also stayed in some perfectly nice cheap pension style places for between € 12 and 20 a double room: Look out for signs saying Wolne Pokojne. Our route took us thru also Czech, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia ( people were so happy to see us there ) Sebia and Bulgaria before Greece and Turkey. We only wild camped a couple of times but mostly used campsites, hostels or cheap hotels and couple times WS. We had not internet connection, if we had we would have used WS hosts a lot more. There seem to be plenty people available. As said before we had good times and we found people very friendly. If we had problems with local language we would ask young women for help in English, they always seemed to speak it more than men. A lot of people would speak to us in German in Central Europe so if you know it that helps.Enjoy your trip. Let us know if you need any more regional specific info.
Thanks for your reply!
How plan is to fly to Helsinki then take the ferry to Tallin. We will ride down through the Baltic Countries and Poland to Czech. Then west to Prague and onto Germany ending in Amsterdam.
So a question. Did you use paper maps? Which ones?
if your path falls to Istanbul, I will be my guest..have a good trip..
Thank you for your invitation! This trip will not lead to Turkey but we have been to your city in the past. Beautiful!!
In Lithuania, Vilnius is a must place to see. Especially Old Town part. Have a great journey!
we did use paper maps but don't remember which. It was 9 years ago and we have a 7 year old daughter now which has little bit scrambled my brain ;-) Think we have a fairly good general map of most of europe then picked up freebies at tourist into places that were more local.
Thanks for your reply. We finally located some Michelin maps!
if you go through Kaunas in Lithuania - would be nice to meet you :) If not - maybe I could help you with information about my country. Just ask what you need :)
Good luck for your trip!
I did two cycling trips in the baltic states, Poland and Belarus 2017 and 2018. It was a great experience. Nice landsscape, friendly people. In Poland try the Green Velo cycling track along the eater border of Poland. If you want to keep of the big roads with a lot of trafic, be prepared for unpaved roads.
Poland is fantastic, I biked there last year and will bike there this year again.
I used http://maps.openrouteservice.org which can produce nice GPX tracks for my Garmin. Avoid big roads (one or two digits), drivers are OK but the traffic is intense, and be prepared for the sand.
Hi Kathy and Tom,
I've been in Poland last year on my ride from Gdansk to Croatia. I mainly followed the Eurovelo 9 - which by the way is not waymarked yet - over Poznan and Wroclaw. I had very nice cities, different landscapes, some lonely, some wide, a few boring, most beautiful. All the way I faced considerate and polite car drivers. Only once I experienced just two of several hundred cars passing by with no safety distance - but this was on a main route, which you don't have to drive (on the B15 between Torun and Inowroclaw and not on the Eurovelo track). In the big cities there are wide bike lanes, but often with little steps at the kerbstones on junctions. People are extremly friendly, especially when you speak at least a few polish words like "Nie rozumiem - jestem z Niemiec" (I don't understand - I am from Germany). Elder people only speak russian, some very old also german, but the younger ones also speak english.
I had no special paper maps other than the free ones given by my automobile (!) club, but a track on my GPS. At the tourist informations you sometimes get free maps of the cities (of course), but also of the region. I also got a Poland-map once, which of course was not very detailled, but gave an overview. If you want to read a bit more about my experiences - although your tour will be more east, I assume: I blogged the whole time, and it's also in english - see: www.radundfuss.net
When you are going back and your heading is Amsterdam, maybe you follow the Rhine? If so, feel free to contact us, when you're coming to Bonn. As long as we are there, you will be welcome!
Hello Tom and Kathy:
I'm not sure but you and I may have corresponded a few years ago through CGOAB about routes in southern Spain. Not sure. Anyhow, I also started in Helsinki 2 summers ago and followed a route through all the Baltic capitals into Poland; ending my ride in Warsaw. Last summer, I began in Budapest, rode north to Warsaw through Slovakia and then looped around to the west to end my tour in Brno, CZ.
The Baltic countries are flat and heavily forested. There are not many roads to choose from. Most cyclists follow the large highways and use parallel roads where they exist. You can jump to the coast for portions of Estonia and avoid some big traffic occasionally. I took a back-country route between Riga and Vilnius which was quiet and remote. It got a little boring in places.
I recommend the town of Augustov, Poland. Cross into Poland with that town as your target and you will pass many beautiful lakes which are great for swimming. Next, head towards the city of Bialystok and explore the villages east of there, along the Belarus border, which have established Muslim communities. It is fascinating to see mosques in Catholic Poland.
Riding west of Warsaw is like riding in Iowa. Not for me.
The southern border of Poland is where the great scenery is. The foothills of the Tatras are challenging but beautiful. And pretty much anywhere in the northeastern sector of CZ is amazing. I'd be happy to provide details if you ask. Also, some local cyclists turned me on to a map app called Mapi.CZ. I found it extremely useful in the sticks.
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