Bike tour from Bialystok to Riga.
24.06.1997 - 04.07.1997.
(All names of the cities are written in the original spelling.)
24.06. Bialystok - Augustów
25.06. Augustów - Druskininkai
26.06. Druskininkai - Varena
27.06. Varena - Vilnius
30.06. Vilnius - Kaunas
01.07. Kaunas - Nida - Juodkrante
02.07. Juodkrante - Klaipeda - Palanga
03.07. Palanga - Liepaja
|24.06. Bialystok - Augustów
We start with a train from Bialystok to Ossowiec (direction Elk), to avoid the traffic on the road from Bialystok to Augustów. From Ossowiec we go by bike on the country road through Goniadz to the East (direction Dabrowa Bialostocka). After about 20 km we turn left to Dolistowo Stare and continue our trip through the Biebrzanski National Park (partially gravel road, but a very still and nice place) to Bialobrzegi and farther on the main road to Augustów.
|25.06. Augustów - Druskininkai
We start in the north-east direction to Sejny. The route leads almost continuous through the primeval forest of Augustów. The traffic is low. From Sejny we continue the trip to the check point in Ogrodniki. The country becomes hilly and the traffic grows stronger. The most of the cars are from Lithuania and White Russia. On the check point the polish frontier guard says, that this is only a motor vehicle crossing point (a joke?), but we are allowed to pass the border. On the Lithuanian side we get only stamps in our passports. We continue our tour to Lazdijai. Just behind the check point starts a bike road (almost till Lazdijai)! From Lazdijai we bike to Druskininkai. The country is quite hilly. The road condition is good. The traffic is relative low (the most of the cars are private cars).
|26.06. Druskininkai - Varena
We start in the North (direction Alytus). The route through the National Park is in a very good condition. The country is quite hilly. Now and then we must overcome quite steep and big hills. The traffic is low. After about 30 km we turn left to Merkine. From the hill in Merkine we can enjoy a beautiful panorama outlook over the Nemunas River. We turn back to the crossroad on the main road and go in the north-east direction to Varena. The road condition is good. The traffic is low.
|27.06. Varena - Vilnius
We start in the North to Vilnius. The traffic grows from kilometre to kilometre stronger. After about 30 km, near Piriciupiai, we turn right and leave the main road. The road is narrow, but it leads through the forest, it's tarred and almost without traffic. After about 11 km we turn left to Baltoi Voke, and continue our trip in direction Vilnius. It is an interesting road. It leads through few villages and crosses few times the Voke River. The arrival in the city is terrible. The traffic became very strong and they are a few very steep and big hills. It would be easier to take a train (for Example in Mereslenai or Valciunai), and go by train into the centre of Vilnius, but for that we had to leave our planned route.
|30.06. Vilnius - Kaunas
For this trip we take a train. We can take our bikes into the train without problems. We have only to buy a special ticket. The wagons are spacious. We have no problems to find a place for our bikes.
|01.07. Kaunas - Nida - Juodkrante
For this trip we take a speedboat. It is possible to take a bike into the speedboat. We have only to buy a special ticket. It's recommended to buy the tickets the day or few days before, because the luggage place is limited. It's possible to buy the tickets in the traffic-free zone in Kaunas. From Nida we bike along the Courland Lagoon to Juodkrante. The road condition is good. The traffic is low. The cars require a special passing card to enter the lagoon.
|02.07. Juodkrante - Klaipeda - Palanga
From Juodkrante we bike in the North along the lagoon. The passage from the lagoon to the mainland is possible with two ferries. The older of them (northern) is suitable for bikers. First - it's free in mainland direction, and second - it docks near the old town. Klaipeda seems to be little and ugly in compare with Vilnius or Kaunas. From Klaipeda we bike to Palanga. The biking on the highway is not very restful because of the traffic. Because of missing of an exact road map we could not find an alternative route.
|03.07. Palanga - Liepaja
From Palanga we bike in the North to the border with Latvia. The road is in a good condition. The traffic is low. The passing of the border by bike is possible without problem. On the Latvian Side the road becomes bad (although still tarred), but the traffic decreases. The road leads almost continuous through the forest. In Liepaja the road becomes more bad (a lot of road holes).
Liepaja - Riga
Because of missing the time we cover this route by bus. The pick up of the bikes is possible and does not cost much (about 0,75 Lat ~ 1,5 USD).
The route to Bialystok we covered by bus. We could take the bikes with us, but for a quite high price (10 USD, the half of the person price per bike), but we were lucky to get a bus on the whole. We always contrived to find an accommodation at the place we preferred without booking. We did not have a tent.