The southern part of the Green Velo trail passes through the kingdom of the Carpathian Plateau, which is the gateway to the Polish mountains. Along the way, the trail gives views across the nearby Bieszczady Mountains and the Low Beskids. Including the linking trail through Biłgoraj, this loop of the trail is more than 400-kilometres long, which enables riders to plan for bike trips lasting at least a week.
There are three particularly interesting cities on the trail: the borderland city of Przemyśl with the remains of its once-powerful Austrian fortress, Rzeszów – the capital of Podkarpacie, and ultimately Łańcut which takes pride in its impressive palace complex. Contrary to the title of the kingdom (named after the Carpathian mountains), most of the Green Velo trail does not pass through the mountains and in fact follows the River San valley. Here riders have to deal with considerable changes in altitude, especially near the towns of Przemyśl and Dynów. The mountain routes near Przemyśl and towards the Bieszczady Mountains and the Low Beskids (just a few dozen kilometres away), are also well worth considering. Riders should be reasonably fit and bikes will need good brakes for some of the descents. Crossing the River San on the footbridges that serve pedestrians and bike riders alike - some of which like those in Przemyśl, were built especially for the Green Velo trail - is an unforgettable experience.
The multi-cultural city of Przemyśl, one of capitals of the Polish Borderland, is arguably the most interesting city along the route. It is surrounded by the dozen or so military fortresses, which were built by the Austrian Monarchy in the mid 19th century. The forts are well preserved and open for visitors. There is also an excellent fortress bike trail around the city, which is well-signed.
There are a lot of fascinating museums and historical religious buildings of different denominations in Przemyśl, and the Galician architecture of the city centre resembles that of the cities of Cracow and Lvov. The arboretum in Bolestraszyce and the Krasicki Family’s Renaissance castle in Krasiczyn (not far from Przemyśl), are both worth a visit. Amongst the angling hills of the Przemyskie Plateau on the way to Ustrzyki Dolne, riders can discover the Pacławska Calvary monastery complex and the former hunting centre for the party ”aristocracy” of the PRL times, the famous Arłamów. Over the years things have changed in this region... come and see what is left for yourself. There are many other places to visit between Rzeszów and Przemyśl, including Orthodox churches, war cemeteries and the remains of the former residences of noble families. A little way off the trail are places of note, including the Kmita Family castle in Dubieck, the Piątkowa and Ulucz Orthodox churches, Dynów’s provincial buildings, Boguchwała palace, Krosno, Sanok, and the wooden church in Haczów (that can be found on the list of World Heritage Sites); all are particularly worth visiting.
The Green Velo trail then makes its way to Rzeszów, the historic capital of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship, and more recently a dynamically developing city. Here the trail leads along the Wisłok River, leaving behind the hills of the Plateau to the South. Rzeszów is a bicycle friendly city featuring numerous historical sites and traditional Galician buildings in its centre, which are worthy of your attention. Rzeszów market, beneath which, an underground tourist trail leads, is of particular interest. A stretch of the Green Velo trail links the city centre and the railway station, which as well as being an important transport hub, is also a good point to start or finish a journey along the southern part of the trail.
Leaving Rzeszów, the trail turns North-East and leads to Łańcut. The impressive Lubomirski Family palace, situated in a beautiful sprawling park, is particularly worth visiting and the local Carriage Museum is world-famous. Other recommendations include the small town provincial buildings around the market, as well as the old synagogue and the modern sport and recreation complex, situated close to the castle.
From Łańcut the trail heads North in the direction of Leżajsk, and then along the River San valley until it finally reaches Sandomierz. Near Nisko there is a section of the trail linking to Roztocze and Zwierzyniec, which is an interesting additional loop enabling keen riders to cover the southern part of the Green Velo trail as a few-day long bike trip, with its start and finish points in Rzeszów.