Let's have it behind us and agree on one, the most important fact in the first sentence: The Świętokrzyskie Mountains have as much in common with the mountains as a guinea pig with a pig. We might as well be talking about the Kashubian Mountains, for example - at least from the perspective of a road cyclist.
The largest hill in the area is the Holy Cross, and the driveway to it is 4.6km with an average of 5.3% ... well, on bezribia even a fish something there.
Swietokrzyskie Province of Creme de la Creme.
Some time ago such a website was created - https://swietokrzyskiecycling.cc/. Deep down, I dream that every region would have one. Simple info, several routes, maps, signs of difficulty, length and elevation - nothing more is needed. She noted that the famous Świętokrzyskie is perhaps not one and the same patted loop each time.
Because for the uninitiated, Świętokrzyskie consists of this: you get up on Saturday morning, taking advantage of the lack of traffic jams in the morning, press (of course, according to the law) with a bicycle in the trunk of the national seven to Bodzentyn, there you go a 120-kilometer loop with 1500m elevation and for dinner you check in home.
I even had this blog entry on this blog: ŚWIĘTOKRZYSTKIE - LAND OF JEWELS, MARKS AND CONCRETE TUPOLEWS.
This time, I have an alternative in which preparation helped Kacper (that is, he marked it out and I picked it up by email). It's better, period.
The second most important information of this entry after the fact that the mountains are not mountains is the fact that this creme de la creme Świętokrzyski is certainly not the best loop that can be drawn in the province, and I suspect that it is not even the best loop in the area. What I am sure about is that it is the essence of the whole area, providing a fairly varied experience and if we have one day, this is what we want to go through. There is a high hill here, there are forests, there is a dam, there is a place crowded with tourists and a bit forgotten by everyone.
Less than 170km and some 2100-2400 meters vertically is just enough to fill one day - taking into account 2 hours of travel from Warsaw, 2 hours of return and probably 7-8 hours of driving, depending on the number of stops. If I wanted to pat 2000 meters vertically in Warsaw, I can see in my head such alternatives as: 100 x Agrykola, 84 x Lipkowska at Góra Kalwaria (and every jackdaw at the top ?!), 77 x dam in Dębe.
Proposal? If you live in Warsaw and you have the whole day off, you have 3 options: a trip to Warka or another Sandomierz, a detour of Kampinos, a trip to the Świętokrzyskie Mountains. Looking at these options, despite the fact that Kampinos is beautiful, and the apple pie in Warka tasty - the last option seems to make the most sense.
How to get there?
Very simply. You can park your car under the store, in front of the wedding house in Wzdole Rzędowy, then follow the trail from this entry, stop for ice cream in Nowa Słupia, get to the car, go to John Burg in Kielce for a hamburger (in the large set there is an unlimited salad bar, and in it potatoes ... were before Panda's visit), return home with excess calories. If you are a laugh, you can pee on the way in the town of Złota Woda, and then in the town of Kałków ... do something different.
If you are less ambitious or the ice stop (and the one in Kałków) took more time than we expected, the route can be easily castrated for entering the Holy Cross - on the map it looks like such an unnecessary protrusion. On one hand, we lose the largest driveway of the route, but on the other ...
Well, a visit to Świętokrzychach and bypassing the Holy Cross is like ... I don't know. Like riding Ośka upside down (such a famous Warsaw loop - there are rumors that people tried to ride it upstream and they never came back). How to get to Góra Kalwaria and not stopping for a coffee in Góra Kawa. Like replacing an inner tube and not tightening the Presty valve. Like a visit to Majorca and bypassing Sa Colobry or to Tenerife and bypassing Teide.
The difference is that nothing is lost, because there is not much except the uphill ramp. Not a special view, lots of people, a fair under the church ... It is also not such a driveway that you can boast of it anywhere.
What do we gain for this? For example, we can play the game "in how many minutes someone will remind me on Strava that I didn't enter". I recommend, it's even funny. Just like the first time I missed the cross, it ruffled me a little, so when I visited Panda, even she found it funny to see such a comment at home.
Description of nature
I honestly admit that the more we move away from the Świętokrzyski National Park itself, the better it gets - especially during the holidays. However, this is quite a popular tourist destination, especially for people who are a bit lazy and school trips (walking routes are generally easy), so although the side roads that lead the loop are extremely empty, sooner or later we will visit a place that resembles a classic wakacjowisko.
The southern part of the route is already a different state of consciousness. An old lady, surrounded by geese and cows, climbs in the bra itself, to a nice gentleman with a belly covering his half tractor, on which he sits in his pants. Behind them, a bunch of children are sitting on the trailer. Images like from Eastern Europe movies and it is perfect. If you like peace, animals and rural atmosphere, you will feel at home.
And of course Kałków with llamas, goats, concrete Tupolew, strange buildings, etc.
Somewhere along the way, a host of people gathering strawberries in the field ... and basically not much more about the route itself can be written. I admit that I have been preparing quite a long time for an entry about this loop and its surroundings. I had an ambitious plan to sit for a week in Bodzentyn, drive, take pictures, and color the map like in Rzeszów. Only it never succeeded. Whenever there was time to go to Świętokrzyskie, it took a moment to realize that this time could be used better - go somewhere else. And here we come slowly to the sad heart of this post.
Because almost always, after traveling some routes, someone will ask:
Is it worth it?
And what should I answer?
I always thought it was worth it, very much. Even I made the entrythat great and so on. One day a colleague from Rzeszów asked me if it really is worth it and then I understood that after all, I blog on the blog from the perspective of a man living in the center of Warsaw, and this is read (apparently) by people from all over Poland.
I will write that it's great and the guest will go from Bieszczady to Bodzentyn ... and then look for me. So the answer is:
Of course. Not worth it. It depends.
Because if someone asks if it's worth Norway, I'll tell him to drop everything and drive. Or so less ambitious - Jesieniki, the same - drop everything and go. Rzeszow? Sure, maybe not for everyone, but it's worth it. But the Świętokrzyskie loop? Well.
GENERALLY NOT WORTH.
For anyone who lives outside of Mazovia, such a trip will not bring much to life. Looking at the map of Poland, I quickly come to the conclusion that from virtually any region of our country at a given time can be found in a place that I think will be more interesting. This loop is worth a special recommendation, only if you are a classic inhabitant of Mazovia and you are planning a trip for one day or possibly a weekend.
... and that's basically what I have to say about Świętokrzyski, it's still private. You know how it is - the editor pays me from the poem (or more precisely from the length of the text, so I write stupid things and paste a lot of photos). I could try to produce something here about views, strawberry fields, hills and make descriptions of nature, but I can't. I leave it to the pictures.
because there is little complaining in this entry.
I wouldn't be myself if I didn't complain about something. We decided to come to Świętokrzyskie for the whole weekend. Arriving on Friday evening and returning at the end of the day on Sunday, unfortunately, extends the ride by 30%, but it is still a decent 150-180 minutes (unless of course someone kills us on a dual carriageway between Radom and Warsaw). Arriving for the entire weekend brings such advantages that you do not have to hurry. In the morning you can get up at human time, and in the evening you do not go tired. Finding meaningful accommodation anywhere in Poland, at the last minute in summer, is a drama. We quickly discover that agritourism is clogged and we are doomed to hotels. Here is a curiosity that we did not know about ourselves: not counting Zgorzelec, where we spend the night driving a car to Italy, we never slept in a hotel in Poland (i.e. we never paid for it ourselves). The choice is on Ameliówka hotel - why? Because streamers lead to it (and there is a promotion on Booking).
As part of the madness we also choose a room with a higher standard with a view of the mountains. You can see a comparison of ours and ordinary ones in the pictures above. Close enough ...
In addition to a slightly different design, size and class, we also get many other attractions for free. A disco a few walls away and the noise of drunken Englishmen up to 23. View of the parking lamps, which in combination with the light curtains makes it like in Molde (day to night). From Instagram we quickly find out that this is all normal in nearby hotels. Then the lady from the reception explains to me that we would see the mountains if we lived higher, not on the first floor ... but we will not, because there are colonies. Simple.
I'm not assertive again.
In the evening I also decide to record streamers from the sky. Somehow I missed that the sensors in the drone turn off at night, thanks to which at some point I hear the sound of mown grass at a height of about 30 meters and a red-green star falling from the sky. Since then, I know that not all parts are needed for the drone to fly.
In addition, on Saturday evening it starts to rain so that it is almost impossible to go.
On Sunday I am sick enough that we return earlier and the whole week, including a long weekend I spend in bed :-) ... so ask me again, is it worth it?
If you live in the Warsaw area and don't know what to do with one full day - go to Świętokrzyskie. If you have more time, consider something further - after all, such, let's take it, Karkonosze, maybe even twice as far (temporarily), but you will still be able to get there at a reasonable time if you leave on Friday after work.