The Great Loop of Bieszczady

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9h 30m
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A cyclist in a white T-shirt and black cycling shorts riding on a wide, asphalt road with visible stripes against the setting sun

About this route

An extremely demanding but very rewarding route leading a loop through the Bieszczady Mountains. For 160 km you will observe the Carpathian forests, villages sunk in the woods, many of them non-existent, temples perched on the roadside, chapels and numerous war cemeteries. Because a trip along the Great Bieszczady Loop Road is not only a sightseeing trip but also an immersion in an uneasy history, full of violence and unnecessary death. In addition, you can admire the marvels of industrial architecture and enjoy the landscapes stretching from the hills, which you will ascend with considerable effort by bicycle.

160 km
1934 m
9h 30m
Surface type
Asphalt: 100%
Bicycle type
Road , MTB , Gravel , Trekking
Route markings
Family friendly
Map inconsistent with digital accessibility resulting from the act

Practical advices

When preparing for a route, be sure to check the weather forecast. This will allow you to take appropriate clothing and limit your luggage as much as possible. However, it is well known that the weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared if it gets worse. It is good practice to pack a thin rain jacket that does not take up much space.


Before starting the route, carefully analyse it on a map. Consider whether your skills and equipment are adequate for the level of difficulty of the route.


Download the accompanying .gpx file so that you always have your navigation at hand. To make sure your device doesn't fail you, also bring a power bank, charger or spare batteries. If the weather changes, you may find it useful to have a waterproof case for your electronic equipment.


Be sure to take drinks and food with you on long journeys; you never know when you will get hungry. Remember that a shop or restaurant may be located a long way away. We recommend that you stock up on water, isotonic drinks, energy bars and snacks. This will make sure you don't lose the motivation to continue riding.


The absolute basis for safety is, of course, a helmet. Also, prepare yourself technically. Make sure you have adequate lighting on your bike. Pack a repair kit. Spare inner tubes, a pump, a multitool, all of these things can come in handy in the event of a breakdown, which of course you don't want!


To feel the spirit of the Bieszczady, you simply have to go there!

Route details

Lesko – Baligród – Cisna – Ustrzyki Dolne - Lesko


  • 1
    0 km

    The starting point is the Aquarius swimming pool at 7 Bieszczadzka Street. You'll find a large car park there, and it's also very distinctive. From there, leave and turn right into Bieszczadzka Street. You will pass the bunker of the Molotov Line and the Swedish Barrow, strewn by the invaders during the Deluge. Head south along the San River. You will pass through the village of Łączki. In Hoczew, by the Zdzisław Pękalski Museum and Gallery, turn right. The museum of a living artist is a rare find; it contains a large collection of his works, mainly of sacred themes, executed on wood in the style of icons. The road continues along the Hoczewka River. In Nowosiółki, it is worth stopping at a small chapel with distinct Byzantine architectural influences, and visiting the Knieja Museum of Nature and Hunting with its numerous animal exhibits and photographic documentation of anthropogenic changes in the Bieszczady in recent decades.

  • 2
    20 km

    Still keeping to the river, you will go through Mchawa to Baligród. This is an old village with a very rich, but also tragic and complex history. Its testimony is the subsequent monuments you will come across. First, you can stop at the 1939-1945 war cemetery, where 5700 Polish and Soviet soldiers lie, mostly in nameless graves. Further on, slightly to the right of the main route, is the recently restored Jewish cemetery. You will find burials there dating back to the 18th century. Unfortunately, some of the gravestones were destroyed when the German occupiers used them to pave the square. Further on, in the park on Plac Wolności (Freedom Square), there is a T-34-85 tank, a reminder of the battles for the village and the battles fought in the post-war years with Ukrainian nationalists (those killed in these battles are also commemorated by a monument behind the village). Next to the central square, there is also a chamber commemorating the battles fought here in 1914-1915. The last attraction is the brick Uniate tserkva, now the seat of the Greek Catholic Field Ordinariate of the Polish Army. Continuing on, you will pass by Bystre and the non-existing village of Łubne and reach the village of Jabłonki, located next to the "Cisy na Górze" and "Woronikówka" nature reserves. On the road to Cisna, you will pass the cemetery of those killed in the Great War. 

  • 3
    37 km

    In Cisna, at the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and head north along the Solinka River. After 3 km, in Dołżyca, turn right. Enjoy the nature of the Bieszczady forests and their wildness for the next kilometres until you reach the village of Krzywe, then Przysłup and Strzebowiska. Having passed the Olszyna Łęgowa Nature Reserve, turn right. You will be riding along the Wetlina River, through a valley with excellent views of the Połoniny. You will pass through the village of Smerek. Before the village of Wetlina, you can take a rest at the viewpoint. Next, you will go through the Wyżna Pass and serpentine roads with a beautiful view of Połonina Caryńska, descending to the non-existent village of Brzegi Górne. Follow the Drewnik stream, in Nasicze it forms a beautiful cascade. After crossing the San River, turn right and ride against its flow. In Brzegi Dolne, you will find the former Uniate Tserkva of St. Michael the Archangel. Unfortunately, devoid of furnishings, but with preserved polychromes. Then, the main road through Dwerniczek and Smolnik will lead you to Lutowiska. Beyond the village, you can take a rest at the viewpoint. Leave the village towards the north, passing the non-existent village of Chodak. Pass through Czarny Potok along the regional road no. 896. Continue past the village of Żłobek on your right and pass through the villages of Rabe, Zadwórze and Hoczów. In Jałowe, it is worth visiting the former tserkva. It is one of many Greek Catholic churches abandoned when the Ruthenian population was expelled from here.

  • 4
    Ustrzyki Dolne
    110 km
    Ustrzyki Dolne

    Reaching Ustrzyki Dolne, you may be interested in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Bieszczady Mountains in an 18th-century church and the Museum of Milling and Village Museum with a rich collection of equipment for milling grain and baking a staple food product. A kilometre further, turn left and follow the national road no. 84. At the town square, you will also find the interesting Museum of Nature of Bieszczady National Park with a very interesting exposition with exhibits from the distant prehistory to the present day, as well as a tserkva from the mid-19th century. Follow the road through Ustajnowa Górna and turn left in Ustianowa Dolna, just past the railway stop, and right in Łobozew Dolny, at a characteristic large crossroads, thus reaching Solina. From here you will have a great view of the dry side of the Solina Dam. Stick to roads close to the shore of Lake Myczkowskie. An interesting place is the old bunker of the Molotov Line, located a short distance past the buildings of Bóbrka. In Myczkowce do not forget to see the less-known dam with a crown of 386 m long. It is also worth visiting the miniature park at the Ecumenical Culture Centre, full of models of churches from the area. Keeping on the beaten track, you will reach Uherc Mineralny. Turn left there, onto national road no. 84, heading towards Lesko via the village of Glinne.

  • 5
    160 km

    Drive through the town, heading back to the starting point, still sticking to national road no. 84. You will pass the market square. Note the urban layout and buildings, including the Kmita Castle. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit, to the car park by the swimming pool. Your tour ends after riding 160 km.