Sandomierz Province and Lower San Valley
The Sandomierz Province and Lower San Valley Biking Kingdom is located within the Sandomierz Basin and the Sandomierz Uplands on the border of the Świętokrzyskie and the Podkarpackie voivodeships. The Vistula River flows through the heart of the region dividing it in two. On the right bank of the river is an area of flat land with its boundaries at the Wisłok River in the South, and the San River in the East. The left bank is dominated by the picturesque orchards which blossom in the Spring and bear fruit in the Summer and Autumn. The region is characterized by its numerous loess ravines - the most famous of which is the Queen Jadwiga Ravine, the 500-million-year-old Pepper Mountains, and the vast Sandomierz Wilderness and Janowskie Forest complex which line the banks of the Vistula. The Vistula River gorge views, most notably around Baranów Sandomierski, Sandomierz and Zawichost, take the breath away. A river cruise is an excellent way to access these stunning panoramas.
The region’s cultural heritage is particularly rich and diverse, and is well preserved. The Cistercians (in Koprzywnica), the Camaldolese (in Rytwiany) and the Jews (in Leżajsk and Klimontów), as well as rich magnates like Krzysztof Ossoliński in Ujazd, or the Leszczyński Family in Baranów Sandomierski, and even kings such as Casimir the Great in Sandomierz, all left their marks here. There are many interesting places in the region connected with the cultivation of local traditions. There is Ulanów – an important raftsmen’s centre that can be found on the Polish list of non-material cultural heritage, and Rudnik on the bank of the River San - a worldknown centre of wicker weaving. Medieval Sandomierz, Baranów Sandomierski castle, referred to as “Little Wawel”, the impressive calendar-based Krzyżtopór castle in Ujazd, and the pipe organ in the basilica of Leżajsk (one of the most precious instruments of its kind in Europe), are all mesmerizing examples of the unusual local character.
This biking kingdom doubles as a culinary kingdom, due in part to the numerous orchards and gardens it passes through along its way. In the Sandomierz region, there are over 20 thousand hectares of apple, plum, apricot, peach and cherry orchards. During your ride you will no doubt be tempted by the mountains of fresh fruit and vegetables, juices and salads, preserves and delicious regional dishes made from local produce. A must for wine lovers is the wine tasting in local vineyards along the Sandomierz Wine Trail. The Sandomierz Apple Trail leads through myriad apple orchards, pressing plants and restaurants, which serve the delicious juice. Due to the kingdom’s unique character, there are a lot of events here related to culinary art. This region is the place to gorge yourself on fabulous local produce: plum jam at Powidlaki in Krzeszów, baked apples at the European Apple Festival in Obrazów and the Blossoming Appletree Festival in Samborzec, tomato soup at the Dwikozy Tomato Festival and cheeses and yoghurts at the Time for Good Cheese Festival in Sandomierz.
The Green Velo trail of the Sandomierz Province and the Lower San Valley kingdom is designed to provide cyclists with a safe passage through the picturesque Vistula region and the areas around the San and Wisłok Rivers. The trail passes through some of the most intriguing parts of this region, unveiling its secrets one by one. The trail varies – the Podkarpacie stretch is almost flat, while in the Świętokrzyskie region the landscape is rolling and hilly. The trail mainly follows local roads - which carry low volumes of traffic, loess ravines, and rolling fields and orchards. On leaving the Green Velo trail, other bike routes will take you past Leżajsk, Rudnik and Radomyśl on the River San, Sandomierz, Opatów and Klimontów, where there are restaurant and accommodation facilities aplenty.