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The Great Loop of Powiśle Castles

The Great Loop is highly recommended to genuine bike lovers who enjoy longer voyages. The route is 230 km long and it runs mainly along the red-marked Bicycle Route of Powiśle Gothic Castles. The route runs along asphalt or ground roads with little traffic which sometimes change into forest or field pathways.

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Along the Liwa River Valley

The most convenient point to start your trip is in Kwidzyn next to the impressive Pomesanian Chapter Castle, near the cathedral and the Grand Masters’ Vault. The railway connects the town with Malbork and Grudziądz.

Most of the route runs across the picturesque hills of Iławskie Lakeland, to the east of Kwidzyn. During the trip you cross the Liwa river twice: in Górki when leaving Kwidzyn and in a charming village of Szadowski Młyn where you can admire the Liwa lagoon and a former mill. At present the mill houses the University of the Grand Orchestra of Christmas Charity. Then the route runs along the lower course of the Liwa river, downstream from Kwidzyn, along the Wisła valley. There is little traffic along these roads.

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In the Picturesque Lake Land near Prabuty

The route loops the biggest lakes near Prabuty – Liwieniec Lake (a natural reserve) and Sowica Lake with its swimming sites. A nice beach can be also found on Balewskie Lake. However, the picturesque Dzierzgoń Lake is the biggest water area here. The route runs mostly along the lakeside so it is good to have your sunbathing gear with you. There are numerous places worth visiting along this route: monuments of sacral architecture, manors and palaces.

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From Sztum to Biała Góra and Ryjewo

The route runs across two geographical regions which are quite different from each other: the Wisła river valley and Iławskie Lakeland. The eastern part includes Iławskie Lakeland shaped by a glacier into an intriguing landscape, with numerous hills and vast panoramic views. Wide-spreading fields interlace with great forests. From Sztum to Biała Góra the route runs through huge pine forests of Puszcza Sztumska. In the area of Ryjewo the edge of the plateau is also covered with beautiful pine forests with some patches of leafy and mixed forest.

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The Route of Powiśle Churches 

The route runs along the northern edge of the plateau of Iławskie Lakeland and the western edge of the Dzierzgoń river valley. It is an undulating area in its southern part, with hills in the vicinity of Dzierzgoń. The northern section of the route offers unforgettable views. Bicyclists can admire vast panoramic view of Żuławy Wiślane, the city Elbląg and the forests of the High Plain of Elbląg (Wysoczyzna Elbląska). This is mainly an agricultural area, almost without any forests – only some can be found near Waplewo Wielkie. The region is not highly populated and, apart from villages, you cannot find much development in this area.

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Around  Żuławy Malborskie

The route runs across Żuławy Malborskie. It is mainly a plain area situated in the delta of the Wisła river. It has been heavily influenced and transformed by human activities. The bank of the Wisła borders this area from the west, the edge of Iławskie Lakeland - from the south (along the Nogat river) and the High Plain of Elbląg from the east. Once there used to be swamps and floods which have been drained since the Middle Ages. The flat region of Żuławy has its own characteristic features and unique charm. Marek Opitz, a famous photographer of Żuławy, has entitled one of his albums “A Landscape for Connoisseurs.” This landscape is enriched by the characteristic rows of willow trees (willows function as natural pumps because they evaporate considerable amounts of water from the ground through their root system and leaves), the lines of the drainage canals and well-preserved medieval arrangement of roads and buildings.

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The Nogat River Valley Offroad

The route runs in the area of the borderline between Żuławy Malborskie and Żuławy Elbląskie. The southern section of the route (in the vicinity of Żuławka Sztumska) partially runs along the edge of Iławskie Lakeland plateau. The northern section of the route, between Janówka and Ząbrowo, runs across the trackless land and along some pathways across the wild, uninhabited area of the Nogat river valley. Most of this area is a typical flat land of Żuławy. In the past there used to be swamps and floods drained and reclaimed by men since the Middle Ages.

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