The trail of castles and palaces is a perfect idea to combine sightseeing and active tourism in Wielkopolska. Also, one may say it is one of the most representative for our region. You will see not only the aforementioned castles and palaces, but also old windmills, wooden churches and little cozy towns. Te landscape changes every season but the trail is best in spring and early autumn.
The trail of castles and palaces starts in Poznań, in the Poznań Bicycle Trail Hub (on the shores of lake Malta) and makes a loop in the south-western part of Wielkopolska. The trail is 270 km long, however the initial 26 km overlap the Warta Bicycle Trail. This is worth to remember, as the general markings of the trail are green, but those few kilometres have been marked in blue.
Note that the trail goes through a quite densely populated areas, with good and reliable railways network. This makes planning your trip a bit easier, as you can load bikes onto a train and start (or end) your trip in many spots.
What to see?
The trail leads through the Dezydery Chłapowski Landscape Park. There you may visit Racot with the famous stud farm and a beautiful palace, and Kościan, where some points of interest include the town hall, the remains of the fortress walls and a beautiful water tower.
Further to the south the trail leads through Osieczna – the home of the Museum of Windmills – to the city of Leszno and the Rydzyna castle (a good restaurant and a hotel). Not far away lay Turew, with another castle and a really nice garden and Lubin, mostly known for its 900-years-old Benedictine monastery. Finally, when in Gostyń, make sure you don’t miss (well, it’s hard to miss it after all) the Holy Mountain Basilica, with Poland’s largest dome.