The trip takes place in the Pieniny and the Tatra Mountains. These two massifs have very different lie and characteristics. In the Pieniny Mountains we are far from the noise and everyday stress. The mountains are gentle, with grassy peaks, offering impressive views and surrounded by deep, wild forests. This region has strong folklore and highland traditions. The shepherd’s life is very developed, wooden architecture has a magical charm. You will also taste the legendary hospitality and the joy of life of the Poles during night escapades by horse carriage, accompanied by a glass of vodka!
♦ The Dunajec River Gorge – a gorge, characterized by some of the most interesting geological and geomorphological structures and area-specific natural ecosystems with little anthropogenic influence
♦ Niedzica Castle - known as one of the most picturesque castles in the country and adorns the covers of many books
♦ Zakopane - a little bit like a Polish Chamonix, the resort is very dynamic all over the year, with a splendid mountain frame and undeniable charm of wooden architecture
Day 1. Arrival to Krakow
Arrival to Krakow and sightseeing on your own. Krakow was never destroyed in the past. Its Old Town, added to UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Heritage Sites in 1978, is of an exceptional architectural value. Night in a hotel in the centre
Day 2. Krakow - Jaworki
In the morning you take a local bus to Szczawnica, from where you have a private transfer to Jaworki -a charming, small village in the valley of the Pieniny Mountains. Circular walk in the Litlle Pieniny Range. From the ridge you have a marvellous view of the Polish and Slovakian side, with high peaks of the Tatra Mountains in the background. You walk along the ridge through the mountain pastures, where sheep are pastured – they give milk for the production of the famous local cheese.
Walking time: 5 hrs;
Note: for the great jazz concerts in Jaworki you have to be there on Friday or Saturday evening in June and September and on Thursday to Saturday in July and August.
Day 3. Across the Pieniny Mountains
In the morning you take the local bus to the beginning of the trail near the village of Szczawnica. Your trip will start with crossing the river Dunajec by barge, because of the lack of a bridge. You enter thus to the National Park of the Pieniny Mountains, famous for its characteristic limestone lie, eroded with the passage of time. You have to be prepared for steep climbing up to Sokolica (747m), from where you will have a splendid view downhill at the gorges of Dunajec. Your trip continues through the main ridge of the Pieniny Mountains till the highest peak 3 Crowns. Descending to Kroscienko and return by bus to Jaworki for overnight.
Walking time: 6 hrs; Ascent 700m/ Descent 700m.
Day 4. Jaworki – Zakopane
After breakfast a private taxi will take you to Zakopane. On the way you will stop for visiting the castle of Niedzica, built by the Hungarians in the 14th century, and the church in Debno, one of the most beautiful wooden churches in Poland, famous for its polychromes. After reaching Zakopane and having a meal you can have a walk round the town: wooden church, promenade with the stalls and rambling vendors. Your pension is about 15 min on foot from the main promenade, its wooden architecture is typical for the region.
Day 5-7. Trips of choice in the Tatra Mountains
For these three days you have a choice of the following walks:
The Tatras are the highest range in the Carpathians. There are many trails for each. We would like to offer You:
a) Chocholowska Valley in the West Tatras – long, postglacial valley with pastoral glades. Peaks around are gentle and grassy, they offer splendid panoramic views. Medium. From 6 to 12hours of walking
b) Koscieliska Valley - the valley is similar to Chocholowska Valley, but it is shorter and more interesting, possibility to visit caves. Climb to Iwaniacka pass or lake Smreczynski. Easy; 6-7 h, max +/- 600 m.
c) Kasprowy Mt and West Tatra Ridge – cable railawy to Kasprowy Mt, the most popular peak in polish Tatra. Walking on the main ridge of West Tatra mountains and descend to Koscieliska Valley. Exceptional views. Medium, 7h walk, +350, - 1300 m
d) the High Tatra Mountains – hard and very alpin trip, for experienced. The landscape is rather with rocks prevailing at the mountain pastures. When climbing at the pass of Zawrat (2159m), you will go by the Black Lake and the small Dead Lake, and later on through a steep trail, often covered with snow till beginning of summer. Finally, you will reach the pass – railings (cables) are installed in some places of the trail. From the pass you have a view at all the highest peaks of the Tatra Mountains. The descent is very pleasant: through the Valley of Five Lakes and the Valley of Roztoka. +/- 1200 m, 7-8 hours walk
Day 8. Departure
Return by a public bus to Krakow and flight back home.
We recommend trip in the period: June - October
Practical information: It is possible to realize this program from 1st May to 31st October. Still the trails in the Tatra Mountains can be covered with snow until 15th June. The trails in West Tatra valleys and peaks, even covered with snow, are not very difficult. The trail in the High Tatra Mountains is not recommended before 15th June for people not used to walking in the snow. In this case we recommend you the alternative route along the ridge of Gubalowka.
Necessary equipment: sturdy walking boots and walking socks, a small rucksack, a water bottle with at least 1 litre capacity, sunglasses, sunhat, sun cream, rainwear, insect repellent.