Cycle the Baltics
from $3845
Duration: 11 Days
Diverse, richly historic and impossibly photogenic, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have few rivals when it comes to cycling in Europe. This region offers up one fairytale-like scene after the next. Discover a charming cultural tapestry – from the medieval spires of Tallinn and the funky bars of Riga to the Baroque-styled quirks of Vilnius. Throw in some sand dunes, bird-filled forests, glittering lakes and world-class beaches and you might just have the perfect cycling destination.
  • Spanning three countries, this itinerary boasts a great diversity of history, culture and landscapes
  • With its perfectly preserved medieval wall and watchtowers, Tallinn's quaint Old Town is a fantastic place to explore on foot
  • Cycle the famous Route 10, which cuts quite literally across the Baltic Sea, surrounded on both sides by water
  • Park the bike and explore incredible coastal spots along the Baltic – notably Jurmala’s 33-kilometre stretch of beautiful white sand beach
  • Stay in a quaint farmhouse for a first-hand experience of Estonian country life
  • Wander the endless dunes and stunning beaches of Lithuania's Curonian Spit National Park
Day 1 Location: Tallinn
Tere! Welcome to Tallinn. Your cycling adventure begins today with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where the meeting will take place. Your leader will be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have these ready. If you arrive in the city early, grab a city map and head out to explore Tallinn’s medieval old town. With its steep red roofs, spires, pastel-coloured buildings and new restaurants and bars, Estonia's capital will entertain even the most demanding! Cycle distance: none This trip involves a number of vehicle transfers and frequent loading of both luggage and bikes into the support van and trailer. To make this process as quick as possible travellers are expected to assist in loading their bags and bikes.
Day 2 Location: Saaremaa
After breakfast there will be a bike fitting for the group, followed by a short test ride. Drive out of the city towards the port town of Virstu (approximately 2 hours), passing by lush farmland and forests. After crossing over by ferry to the island of Muhu, jump on your bicycle and explore this idyllic Estonian countryside at a close. Stop at the Muhu village museum in Koguva, a remarkable example of Estonian countryside architecture, to learn more about how the local people lived in the past. Then continue along Route 10 which connects Muhu and Saarema islands. The road literally cuts through the Baltic Sea, so take in views of the water on both sides as you go. Tonight, stay in a farmhouse where your hosts treat you to a delicious local dinner. Total cycling distance: – approx. 53kms/33 miles, flat with approx. 100m/330ft of elevation gain
Day 3 Location: Saaremaa
Start early with a drive to the southernmost point of Saaremaa island, the Sorve lighthouse. The route today is flat as you cycle back up the west coast, swapping between quiet roads and bike paths while enjoying frequent sweeping views out over the Baltic Sea. End our ride in Kuresaare, Saarema’s largest town that boasts one of the finest preserved medieval Episcopal Castles in the Baltics, built by the knights of the Teutonic order in the 14th century. It is also home to the Saaremaa Museum, one of the oldest and biggest museums in Estonia. You have ample time to explore the Lossipark, take a stroll down the main street, and sit down for dinner in one of the local restaurants before we drive back to our farmstay for the night. On the way back to your farmstay, stop at the Kaali craters. There are numerous legends related to the site, and evidence of it being used for ritual sacrifice. The craters are estimated to be 4000–6000 years old, and the impact with which the meteor hit the ground to form the craters is comparable to the Hiroshima bomb. Total cycling distance: – approx. 60kms/37 miles, flat with approx. 120m/390ft of elevation gain.
Day 4 Location: Parnu
Drive and ferry back to the mainland before jumping back on the bike at Virtsu harbour, cycling south through a nature reserve down to the tiny coastal village of Varbla. After lunch continue cycling through the beautiful green Estonian countryside all the way to Tostamaa before avoiding the busier traffic by driving the rest of the way to Parnu, Estonia's summer capital and a hub for beach goers, vibrant nightlife and a thriving art scene. On arrival in Parnu, head out for an orientation walk with your tour leader. Spend the remaining part of the day exploring lively Parnu at your leisure. Total cycling distance: approx. 50kms/31 miles, mostly flat with approx. 100m/330ft of elevation gain.
Day 5 Location: Ainazi
Today will be a long but very pleasant cycling day. Take the road that goes along the coast of the Baltic sea and cycle your way down to Latvia. The first village across the border – Ainazi – is your home for the night. If you still have power in your legs, take a stroll on the beach in the evening, or head out to dinner with the group to get your first taste of Latvian cuisine. Total cycling distance: approx. 36kms/22 miles, flat with approx. 50m/165ft of elevation gain.
Day 6 Location: Riga
Start the day with a short drive (approx. 70km/1hr) as we follow the busy coastline of the Gulf of Riga all the way down to Saulkrasti, passing into Latvia along the way. Staring at the iconic Saulkrasti Bicycle Museum we start riding inland all the way to Sigulda, considered to be one of the most beautiful destinations in Latvia, with forested valleys and the picturesque Gauja River completing the stunning scenery. From here we rejoin our support vehicle and drive the short distance (approx. 1hr) to Riga, Latvia’s cosmopolitan capital. On arrival in the city centre your leader will take you on an orientation ride past the Central Market, St Peter's Basilica, House of the Blackheads, the Swedish Gate or the Cat House. Total cycling distance: approx. 40kms/25 miles, lightly undulating with approx. 280m/920ft of elevation gain.
Day 7 Location: Jurmala & Riga
Cycle to the resort town of Jurmala today, a popular holiday destination for Latvians, 33-kilometre stretch of a white sand beach. Come back to Riga in the afternoon and enjoy the city at your leisure. Total cycling distance: approx. 48kms/30 miles, flat with approx. 110m/360ft of elevation gain.
Day 8 Location: Klaipeda
Today is a long driving day as we pass through the pretty Lithuanian countryside, breaking our journey at the famous Hill of Crosses – a quaint pilgrimage site, the origins of which remain a mystery. Afterwards, re-board your support vehicle and continue your journey to the west coast of Lithuania and the beachside resort town of Palanga (total drive approx. 280kms/4hrs). After a long drive it’s time to break out the bikes as we cycle along the dedicated bike path all the way to the former Prussian city of Klaipeda. Klaipeda used to be a member of the Hanseatic League and is the gateway to the Curonian Spit – a long and narrow sand dune peninsula separating the Curonian lagoon from the Baltic Sea. Total cycling distance: approx. 40 kms/25 miles, flat with approx. 90m/300ft of elevation gain.
Day 9 Location: Curonian Spit National Park
Spend the day exploring the unique World Heritage-listed Curonian Spit National Park by bike. This is a spectacular landscape full of beaches, sand dunes and forested areas. The peninsula is only 400 m wide in parts but 98 km long, 52 of which belong to Lithuania, while the rest is part of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. It formed only 5000 years ago by strong winds and currents which constantly change the shape of the landscape to this day. Only recently a whole village was swallowed by the inexorable sand. On your day trip, explore the tiny village of Nida and the surrounding beaches by bike. Look in the distance to see the Russian border. For lunch, perhaps try the smoked pike for which the Spit is famous. Return to Klaipeda in the evening in the support vehicle. Total cycling distance: approx. 63 kms/39 miles, mostly flat with approx. 210m/690ft of elevation gain.
Day 10 Location: Vilnius
Board the support vehicle in the morning and drive east (approx. 260kms/3hrs) to the tiny lakeside hamlet of Kloniniai Mijaugonys where we start our final ride for the trip. Passing by lakes and through scenic countryside we cycle along quiet roads all the way to Trakai, the former capital of Lithuania. He highlight is definitely the impressive 14th century Trakai castle, set on a small island in the middle of Lake Galvė. After paying a brief visit, continue on in the support vehicle to Vilnius (30 km). On arrival, your leader takes you for an orientation tour that covers the old town’s highlights as well as the self-proclaimed artistic 'republic' of Uzupis, an inner-city quarter that declared symbolic independence from Lithuania in 1997. Total cycling distance: approx. 33 kms/20 miles, lightly undulating with approx. 270m/885ft of elevation gain.
Day 11 Location: Vilnius
Your cycling trip comes to an end after breakfast today. There are no more activities planned and you're able to depart the accommodation at any time. There are multiple sights and attractions to visit during your stay in Vilnius, so it may be worth booking an extra day or two so you can fit it all in. Our reservations team will be happy to help (subject to availability). Total cycling distance: none
Dates
Prices
Availability
Departure Date:
16MAY2022
Return Date:
26MAY2022
3995NZD
available
Departure Date:
06JUN2022
Return Date:
16JUN2022
3995NZD
available
Departure Date:
18JUL2022
Return Date:
28JUL2022
3845NZD
available
Departure Date:
29AUG2022
Return Date:
08SEP2022
3845NZD
available
Departure Date:
12SEP2022
Return Date:
22SEP2022
3845NZD
available
Last modified (date)

08 Sep 2021

Trip title

Cycle the Baltics

Trip code

BMXB

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2022

Introduction

Diverse, richly historic and impossibly photogenic, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have few rivals when it comes to cycling in Europe. This region offers up one fairytale-like scene after the next. Discover a charming cultural tapestry – from the medieval spires of Tallinn and the funky bars of Riga to the Baroque-styled quirks of Vilnius. Throw in some sand dunes, bird-filled forests, glittering lakes and world-class beaches and you might just have the perfect cycling destination.

Style

Original

Themes

Cycling

Transport

Bicycle (e-bike option available,subject to availability),Support vehicle,Ferry

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

PHYSICAL PREPARATION There are regular rest breaks each day, however it is important to note that you will be riding over multiple and consecutive days in a climate and terrain that may be unfamiliar. While it can be tempting to start out riding as hard and fast as you can (we get it!) we recommend taking it easy on the first few days while your body gets used to the rides and the climate. As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it. Prepare for the trip by doing aerobic type exercises before travelling - jogging or swimming are some options, though cycling is best. If possible take some extended day rides before travelling, or spend time on exercise bikes in the gym. The more your muscles (and bottom) are prepared for the riding on this trip the more you will be able to enjoy the wonderful countryside and people you meet while riding. Note that an enthusiasm for bike riding and adventure is essential! It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle, both solo and in a group environment. CYCLING DISTANCES: The information listed in the itinerary is a guide to the approximate distances and terrain cycled each day. However, this may vary depending on the physical capabilities of the group, and changes to local conditions. For safety reasons we only cycle during daylight hours, so there may be some early morning starts. We take regular rest breaks throughout cycling days. This trip involves a number of vehicle transfers and frequent loading of both luggage and bikes into the support van and trailer. To make this process as quick as possible travellers are expected to assist in loading their bags and bikes.

Joining point

Rija Old Town Hotel

Lai 49

Tallinn

ESTONIA

Phone: +372 6141300

Joining point description

Rija Old Town Hotel, renovated in 2013, is located in a quiet part of Tallinn's Old Town, yet is only a short walk from the city's main sights such as St Olaf's Church. It offers individually decorated rooms, each with a minibar, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. Built into the original city wall, the hotel combines medieval architecture with modern amenities.

Finish point

Railway Apartments & Hotel

Geležinkelio Gatve 6

Vilnius

LITHUANIA

Phone: +370 68030505

Alternate Finish point

For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.

16 May 2022 (BMXB220516), 06 Jun 2022 (BMXB220606), 18 Jul 2022 (BMXB220718), 29 Aug 2022 (BMXB220829), 12 Sep 2022 (BMXB220912)

Corner Hotel

T Ševčenkos Gatve 16

Vilnius

LITHUANIA

Phone: +370 5 2102361

Alternate Finish point description

Corner Hotel is a modern hotel located in the centre of Vilnius, nearby public transport and supermarkets. Each room has a private bathroom, TV and access to Wi-Fi.

Alternate Finish point instructions

Trains depart Vilnius railway station frequently for Vilnius Airport (airport code VNO). Tickets can be purchased online, on the train or at the railway station. The journey takes 7 minutes. The station is approximately 25 minutes walking distance from your accommodation at Corner Hotel. Upon leaving the hotel, turn right onto Svitrigailos Gatve. Turn left onto Kauno Gatve and follow the road until you reach a roundabout. Vilnius station will be directly across the intersection. Alternatively, we can arrange an airport transfer. Please ask your agent if you wish to add this service at time of booking. If you have purchased a transfer you will be collected at the hotel reception 2 hours and 15 minutes before your flight departure time, however please reconfirm this with your leader. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +37069857526

Important information

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip with the exception of Days 2 & 3 (Guesthouse) 2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike. 3. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home. 4. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker. 5. This trip involves a number of vehicle transfers and frequent loading of both luggage and bikes into the support van and trailer. To make this process as quick as possible travellers are expected to assist in loading their bags and bikes. 6. An e-bike option (at additional cost) may be available on this trip. We have limited numbers of these bikes available and they are an 'on request' basis only. A request does not guarantee an e-bike, only a confirmed bookiing. Please ask your agent for more details at the time of booking.

Group leader

All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Safety

Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.

On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker to help ensure that the group stays together.

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines

FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

Visas

PASSPORT You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets exactly and contact us immediately if there are any errors. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. COVID-19 Entry and Exit Requirements Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip. Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for the most up to date information.You may also refer to our travel alert page for more info https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/travel-alerts Make sure you are familiar with the current border measures and entry requirements as these are quite complex and changing frequently without notice. Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that covers your travels as well as medical or COVID-19 related expenses within the country. RETURN TRAVEL Please ensure you stay up to date with any current testing or quarantine requirements for returning to your home country or transiting through other destinations after the completion of your tour. We are able to help facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid Tour Leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as assist with booking appointments for all travellers who need to be tested. Visas for Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany are not required for passport holders of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities. CROSSING BORDERS With the so called "Schengen Agreement" border controls between many European countries have been abolished. However in special situations passports may still be checked. Passport stamps are no longer issued.

Why we love it

Spanning three countries, this itinerary boasts a great diversity of history, culture and landscapes

With its perfectly preserved medieval wall and watchtowers, Tallinn's quaint Old Town is a fantastic place to explore on foot

Cycle the famous Route 10, which cuts quite literally across the Baltic Sea, surrounded on both sides by water

Park the bike and explore incredible coastal spots along the Baltic – notably Jurmala’s 33-kilometre stretch of beautiful white sand beach

Stay in a quaint farmhouse for a first-hand experience of Estonian country life

Wander the endless dunes and stunning beaches of Lithuania's Curonian Spit National Park

Is this trip right for you

On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker. As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags or cases at home and bring a backpack instead. The areas visited on this trip can be very cold at night throughout the year, especially at the start and beginning of the season. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions, including base layers, hat, gloves, scarf, coat and anything else that you think may be applicable. As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart. This trip is designed to give you a fair amount of free time so you can explore each destination at your own pace. We will, however, take you on regular orientation walks, so you'll be on your feet quite a lot. While this may be tiring for some, it’s the best way to get your head around a place and to set yourself up for further discoveries. This trip involves some long journeys by vehicle (sometimes up to 9 hours). Although this can be a bit tiresome, it's a great way to sit back, relax and take in the passing scenery. This trip involves a number of vehicle transfers and frequent loading of both luggage and bikes into the support van and trailer. To make this process as quick as possible travellers are expected to assist in loading their bags and bikes. To complete this trip it is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.

Health

GENERAL HEALTH All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. TESTING & VACCINATION POLICY From 1st May 2021 we introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia and New Zealand. On trips departing before 1st September 2021, you will need to show one of the below to your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or - Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or - Proof of recovery documentation In addition, if you’re aged 70+ or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination before you can join a trip. MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY From 1st of September 2021 we have introduced enhanced safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands. You will need to show your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit https://www.intrepidtravel.com/covid19 CYCLING HEALTH Riding across unfamiliar terrain in weather conditions that you are not used to can potentially lead to cycling-related health issues. By far the most common issue is that of dehydration. While this is most common on warm/hot days, it is also a factor during cold weather as you continue to sweat. Research shows most riders will typically lose 500-1000 ml of water per hour. While we schedule in frequent rest stops and encourage you to refill water bottles at every opportunity, it is the responsibility of each cyclist to monitor their own levels of hydration while cycling. The key point to remember is not to wait until you’re thirsty but to drink small amounts regularly from the start of your ride. Adding an electrolyte solution can aid in replenishing the salts/electrolytes lost through physical activity. This is especially important on days when you are drinking a lot of the bike.

Food and dietary requirements

VEGETARIANS Vegetarians might find the menu selection in Europe less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own. BREAKFASTS There are some continental breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

Money matters

CURRENCY The local currency in Poland is the Zloty (PLN), however all other countries visited on this trip have now adopted the common currency of the European Union, the Euro (EUR). CASH The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied. You can withdraw local currencies easily at airports, major train stations and most city centres, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning. When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. We recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling. BUDGET Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 400.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €4-€5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs.

What to take

PACKING On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

TAP WATER Cold tap water is generally safe and good to drink so you can avoid the purchase of bottled water by refilling from the tap. It may be better to boil water before use in some areas, please check with your group leader.

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips. • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the trip (our leaders can assist you with this). There are some destinations where you are unable to purchase or hire appropriate helmets locally so you will need to bring your own - please check the 'Important Notes' section to see if this is the case. • Padded bike shorts • Quick-dry jerseys – you can definitely get away with a few cotton t-shirts but having a few light and breathable jerseys will make your cycling a lot more comfortable, especially in warmer/humid climates. • Quick-dry socks • Cycling gloves – not essential but recommended as padded cycle gloves will make your riding more comfortable and can help protect you in case of a fall. • Rain gear – pack a light poncho in case the weather turns when you’re out on the road • Light breathable waterproof/windproof – especially useful for those early mornings or downhill sections when the wind-chill becomes a factor. • Water bottle – we don't provide bottles but all our bikes have one bottle holder fitted (and a second one can be fitted if required). Please bring a cycling-specific water bottle as other types will fall out of the holders. A Camelbak will make drinking on-the-go easier. • Sunglasses – well fitted sports sunglasses help protect against dust, insects and (of course) the sun • Day pack – our support vehicle will carry your main bag, but a day pack for snacks and clothes is a good idea. • Suncream – please bring a high protection factor (e.g. SPF 50) sunscreen as long days in the saddle can really expose you to the sun • Shoes – normal sports shoes can be worn on all of our trips however you may want to consider a flat shoe with a relatively stiff sole as it makes pedalling a lot more efficient. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own cycling-specific shoes however we recommended 'mountain bike' style shoes that have grip on the sole rather than road bike' shoes as you will still be walking around while on the rides (cafe/photo/toilet stops, etc.). For safety reasons we require that you wear shoes that completely cover the toes while riding. • Saddles – are saddles are standard, unisex models –less experienced cyclists may choose to bring your own gel seat cover for added comfort. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring your own saddle – our leader will assist in fitting it to your bike • Pedals – all bikes come with flat pedals. Regular cyclists are welcome to bring their own pedals – our leader will assist in fitting them to your bike As space in our support vehicle/transport can be limited we request that you bring only a small luggage bag with you rather than larger bags or suitcases.

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage While we do accept children under 18 on this trip we do have a couple of rules. From a safety and enjoyment perspective they should be confident and competent cyclists capable of completing the riding part of the itinerary without additional assistance. Minors under 18 years old must always be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. This includes when the minor rides in the support vehicle.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below: Peak Europe: +49 8677 9186 657

Responsible travel

Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller DRESS CODE In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ Intrepid and Bicycles For Humanity At Intrepid, we know a bike can changes lives. Provide a person in the developing world with a bike and it means they can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load. The extra mobility and distance gained from using a bike can make all the difference when seeking medicine or trying to find work. This is why we’ve partnered with Bicycles for Humanity to help provide bikes to communities in Namibia, Africa. Bicycles for Humanity takes bikes we no longer use, repairs them, packs them up and ships them off to the African continent in 40-foot containers. These containers then become bike workshops on arrival – a place of employment, education and business for the communities who receive them. Each of these Bicycle Empowerment Centres are self-sustaining, micro-financed small businesses and a massive step towards financial independence for the community. We also help by donating a portion of each booking of our cycling trips directly to Bicycles for Humanity, as well as using our network of contacts to bring greater exposure to the amazing work the volunteer team do every day at Bicycles for Humanity. We are also proud to have Bicycles for Humanity as a partner of The Intrepid Foundation, where our financial support will go directly towards purchasing containers and shipping bikes to Namibia. Every donation to The Intrepid Foundation from our travellers is matched by us dollar for dollar. To find out more or to make a donation, visit The Intrepid Foundation website.

Accommodation notes

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. FACILITIES Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transport notes

This trip involves a number of vehicle transfers and frequent loading of both luggage and bikes into the support van and trailer. To make this process as quick as possible travellers are expected to assist in loading their bags and bikes. INCLUDED BICYCLE TYPE On this trip we use 2017 Felt 7 Fifty mountain bikes. It is not possible to bring your own bike on this trip due to space restrictions with our vehicles. BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE While we’re confident in the quality and suitability of the bikes we include, we do recognise that sometimes you just need the comfort of your own bike to enjoy the ride. If you are thinking of bringing your own bike on this tour please advise us at time of booking and take note of the below information. If you do choose to bring your own bike please note that we will not being carrying a spare bike for you. SUITABLE TYPE OF BIKE Although the surfaces of the roads we travel on is generally good there are occasionally gravel or potholed sections of road/track. As such, we recommend a 'mountain' or 'hybrid' style bike with plenty of gear selections for easy cruising. Please note that we usually cannot accept tandem bikes on our tours as often they are too large for our transport. In some destinations we are able to make an exception. Please ask your booking agent. For more details on the type of roads we’ll be riding on see the ‘Physical Rating’ information. Please contact your booking agent if you have any questions about the suitability of your bike. BEFORE THE TRIP We recommend that you have a full service of your bike performed by a trained mechanic, to help minimise any issues you may have during the trip itself. Please also ensure that you have specific and adequate cover for loss, damage or theft for your bike under your travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. DURING THE TRIP Your bike will be transported in the same way as our included bikes, usually in the bike support vehicle or on the bike trailer. While we endeavour to take the best care we can, you should recognise that transported bikes do get the occasional bump or scratch along the way. The same applies when we take other forms of transport, such as a train, where we are unable to pack the bikes ourselves.Your bike will also be secured in the same way as our included bikes. Please note this can occasionally be outside (where the bikes are locked together). While our mechanics can usually assist with minor repairs, you are responsible for the safety and upkeep of your own bicycle. This includes conducting regular safety checks of your bike during the trip and cleaning your bike. In addition, any parts that require replacing are your responsibility. Most destinations have access to only limited spares along the way, and access to bike shops can be days apart. Therefore, please ensure you bring any spare parts that you may require (especially specialist parts). In order to reach our destination it is necessary for us to travel via various modes of transportation, including planes and trains. Please be aware that any extra costs involved with transporting personal bikes are your responsibility. This includes (but is not limited to) additional transport costs and customs/import fees. TRANSPORTING YOUR BIKE TO/FROM THE DESTINATION Your preferred airline should have no problem carrying your bike, but many will charge an extra fee. Contact them before departing to discuss their arrangements for transporting bikes. A well-padded bike box obtainable from a bike shop is usually the best method of plane transportation. We recommend that you accompany your bicycle on the flight. Unaccompanied bicycles have been known to spend some extra days in the hands of customs authorities. Please also note that many taxis are not large enough to transport a bike box/bag so you may be delayed waiting for a suitably sized vehicle. E-BIKE OPTION An e-bike option (at additional cost) may be available on this trip. We have limited numbers of these bikes available and they are an 'on request' basis only. A request does not guarantee an e-bike, only a confirmed booking. Please ask your agent for more details at the time of booking. Our Baltics rental e-bikes are the 2017 Kalkhoff Pro Connect B9, which you may request in the following sizes: Small, Medium & Large. Please provide your height at time of booking so the correct size can be arranged. Sizes are limited, so confirmation is subject to availability. INCLUDED OR HIRE BIKES: CONDITIONS OF USE You must not mistreat the bicycle and must return it in the same condition as when you received it (excepting ordinary wear and tear). You should immediately inform the supplier in the case of breakdown or loss. The provider is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the bicycle during the period of hire. You must also make sure that the bicycle is secured when not in use. If the equipment is lost or stolen you may be liable for the replacement value of the bicycle. The bicycle remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, rent out or part possession with the bicycle. You must not use the bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance. We also have a Single Supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights),Guesthouse (2 nights)

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