This loop is the mythic ride of Podhale, the Highlands county, and Zakopane area, Poland's largest and most popular mountain resort, nestled between the northern mountainside of the Tatras range, and the Gubałówka hill facing them on the other side. A full description of the route is also available on the portal Rowerowe Podhale, thanks to which I did it using the GPS track.
Gubałówka, with its gentle slopes, is during winter the main ski resort of the area, due to its ideal gradient, wide slopes, and above all stunning views facing the main range. A part of the ridge of this long-shaped mountain has a road, and further east it becomes a beautful track alterning meadows with open views and beautiful forests. Several routes allow to ride down to the river Czarny Dunajec.
Droga pod Reglami is a popular hiking trail (and also biking, being allowed) that runs across all the forehills of the Tatras, at the limit of the national park. This trail is very appreciated as it enables to skip from one valley to another without having to walk on the main road, allowing to make a loop. Despite looking flat on the map, it is quite undulating, and the surface is very stony, which makes it perfect for MTB.
To these two essential fragments need to be added the western and the eastern bits to complete a rectangle-shaped loop. This can be done by taking the main road leading to Chochołowska valley or, more challenging, one can try to cycle up Orawska Magura, next hill in the continuity of Gubałówka sharing the border with Slovakia. Much wilder, trails are not accurately marked neither on the terrain nor the map. Concerning me, I couldn't avoid getting lost. GPS track essential for this bit, especially for finding the little ladder that crosses the river Chochołowski potok.
The loop is completed getting back to the starting point while crossing Zakopane, where the newcomer definitely need to stroll across the streets, admire the old wooden chalets with their remarkable architecture, walk the main pedestrian Krupówki street, and despite the amount of tourists play the game by trying a sample of "oscypek", the local cheese, or listening to the bewitching highlander musicians with their violines, who will unavoidably be met in some corner...
Beware, Zakopane is very popular and traffic jams are almost perpetual during the high season. Same for the road coming from Cracow
If you have the possibility, start in Roztoki, small village a little futher than Witów, on the shore of the river Czarny Dunajec where the loop goes.
Wyświetl większą mapę
When to Bike
As long as not too much mud. Beware, in the forests on top of Gubałówka and Orawska Magura, mud is found even long time after rains.
Turn on the speakers !