Recently, I had the pleasure of taking a great 4-day trip from Jelenia Góra in Poland to Zgorzelec (Görlitz), through the Bohemian Switzerland National Park. We rode with my friend 330 km and walked 23 km, enjoying beautiful views of interesting rock formations, pleasant bicycle trails and several great descents :)
day 1: Jelenia Góra – Liberec by bicycle
At the beginning of the trip, we had to break through the Jizera Mountains to reach Liberec. We rode the first dozen kilometers on flat terrain, but with a view of the mountains, which we soon started climbing.
We traveled mainly on asphalt roads with little traffic, excluding the short fragments along the hiking trails, where we had to carry our bike.
After 30 km from the start, we entered an easy single track, on which we rode to Jakuszyce.
Then we had a quite steep, heavy uphill ride – we had to climb 100 m over a distance of 1.5 km, riding on a gravel, rocky road. But we made it – we reached 980 m (starting from 345 m) and we knew that there would be no more steep climbs that day.
Immediately after the climb, there’s an equally steep and long descent, which would be great on a MTB with a backpack, while on a cross bike with panniers, it required maintaining a slightly lower speed ;)
Soon after, we crossed the border on the bridge over the river and had to climb again over the terrain that exceeded my abilities …
Fortunately, that was the last difficult part. Further, the bicycle routes led along smooth asphalt or good gravel and, usually going gently uphill, on 55 km we reached the highest point of the day – 1003 m.
As we were doing well, we decided to make also a circle around Bedřichov Lake, which, as it turned out, required a short hike ;)
Then it was just a pleasure :) Liberec is located almost at the same height as Jelenia Góra, and the smooth asphalt, sharp turns and very little car traffic made the several-kilometer-long descent into the city great!
day 2: Liberec – Děčín by bicycle
On the second day, we planned an even longer distance and even greater elevation gains. We had to shift gears every now and then, sometimes I wanted to change, but I didn’t have a lighter one. Still, the tour was great. Peaceful roads, mostly on good asphalt and nice rocks along the way, especially the famous Panská skála.
The first large uphill stretch started 12 km from the hostel – almost 4 km long and about 230 m high. Then a few kilometers downhill, another uphill, this time smaller, but on gravel, downhill again and a break by the lake.
7 km further we came across another interesting place to rest – the Ploučnice Gorge, where, apart from an interesting rock, there is a small outdoor bar.
We traveled the next kilometers along pleasant asphalt bicycle routes, passing some interesting rocks along the way, overcoming smaller and larger climbs and enjoying the small descents.
After about 90 km from the start, we reached the most important point of the program – Panská skála in the town of Kamenický Šenov. An amazing hill composed of basalt columns that were formed during the cooling of the lava, according to Wikipedia, about 30 million years ago. Hexagonal or pentagonal in cross section, so even that it is hard to believe that it was not created by man. Especially since up close, the rock looks like concrete ;)
From there, it is only 30 km to Děčín, located near the Bohemian (Czech) Switzerland National Park. First, we enjoyed a long, gentle descent, then we struggled on a long steep climb…
and finally the icing on the cake – over 2 km of downhill slope of approx. 12%, on smooth asphalt, without turns. The odometer showed over 70 km / h. That was great! :D
day 3: on foot in Bohemian Switzerland
That day we left our bikes at the hostel and took the bus to Jetřichovice, where we entered the red hiking trail towards Hřensko. The bus has several stops in Děčín and runs from approx. 6 to approx. 20, approximately every hour. Tickets can be purchased from the driver.
The trail we walked includes the greatest rock attractions of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park: Mariina skála, Rudolfův kámen, Malá Pravčická brána and the most famous – Pravčická brána, the largest natural arch in Europe.
At the beginning, I was delighted with the 20-30 meter rocks, but the best part is in the second part of the trail, behind the village of Mezni Louka. There, the rocks reach, to my eye, over 100 m. As a climber, of course, I regretted that it’s not allowed to climb there and looking at every rock that I was passing, I wondered if I would be able to climb there ;) The views on the trail are beautiful! It was definitely worth putting the bikes away for one day.
day 4: Děčín – Zgorzelec by bicycle
On the last day we returned to Poland, riding through Czech Switzerland and Germany. The whole day we were accompanied by smaller and larger hills, and one of the larger climbs was at the beginning.
10 km of a decent warm-up ;) A few kilometers further downhill in the forest with non-cross terrain. It’s not that bad in the photo below. Here I rode down, but further down the stairs, not ;)
Fortunately, this is the only place like this. Then only asphalt and good gravel, through forests, fields, gorges in Bohemian Switzerland and a few small towns.
In Germany, we passed the Hainewalde Castle…
then Zittau, where there is a beach by the lake and soon we reached the border with Poland. We rode the last 40 km on the Oder-Neiße Cycling Trail, often recommended. The trail runs along a paved road for bicycles only, but only partially along the river itself, which can be seen through the trees. Most of the route runs away from the river, in places on the main road. Nice but not so great :)
Finally, we left the trail for a while to swim in Lake Berzdorfer. We only spent a few minutes in the water, but at the end of a hot day, before a 2-hour train journey, it was a perfect idea :)
I recommend watching the traces on Strava after logging in on the computer (not on the smartphone). You will then see more photos and the places on the map where they were taken.