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Kraków and the national parks of southern Poland


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Introduction

The Carpathian Mountains create a natural border  between Slovakia and Poland. Their highest, central part, the Tatra Mountains, are surrounded by several other mountain groups like Gorce and Pieniny. Crossing three national parks we shall hike during this trip to the most interesting parts of The Polish Highlands. We stay in comfortable hotels and for one night in a mountain chalet. A qualified mountain guide accompanies the group throughout the whole trip.

Day 1: Arrival in Kraków

Accommodation in a hotel in Kraków.

Day 2: Kraków

Our tour starts in historic Kraków - a lively and world famous city in Southern Poland. On the day after arrival we take a guided tour of the city including the Old Town and Jewish Quarter. In the afternoon we will be transferred by charter bus to Nowy Targ, a town that lies at the gateway to Gorce National Park. We shall stay in a hotel with views over this mountainous area.

Overnight stay in Nowy Targ.

Day 3: The Gorce Mountains

Hike to Turbacz (1278 m) with views over the High Tatras and Podhale - a region inhabited for centuries by the Polish Highlanders. We pass through oak and beech forest to reach an isolated mountain chalet at the top of Turbacz which offers simple but comfortable rooms.

Overnight stay in a mounatian chalet on Turbacz.

Day 4: Zakopane

Today we descend to the Knurowska Pass to be transferred to Zakopane in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains. From here we take a walk to Kalatówki mountain hotel which will be our accommodation for the next two nights.

Day 5: The Tatra Mountains

Today you may take either a steep hike up to Kopa Kondracka (2005 m) or descend to town of Zakopane and ride by funicular railway to Mount Gubałówka (1200 m). Whichever you choose, the views will be stunning. This challenging day will once again finish in the Kalatówki mountain hotel.

Overnight stay in the Kalatówki mountain hotel.

Day 6: The Pieniny Mountains

In the morning we descend to Zakopane and after taking a look at its main attractions we continue our journey by bus to Dunajec Gorge, listed by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site. At this point we cross the border with Slovakia and follow the Pieniny Way along the gorge with cliffs of limestone rising high above. Optionally you may take a ride on board a raft along the same route. Our accommodation for the evening is arranged in the spa town of Szczawnica, back on Polish side of the border.

Overnight stay in Szczawnica.

Day 7: Three Crowns

After a good relax in a hotel we start our last ascent of this trip. Our destination is the peak of Trzy Korony (Three Crowns - 982 m). This time we can admire the magnificent Dunajec Gorge from above. After descending again we will be transferred by bus back to Kraków, a perfect end to our trip. Hotel accommodation close to the Old Town will allow participants to explore the city at their own pace during the evening.

Overnight stay in Kraków.

Day 8: Return journey

Return trip home or individual stay extension.

 

 

 

 

Grade: Moderate.

There are 3 days when the major activity is hiking. Day’s walk is between 7 - 8 hours moving at an easy pace. The biggest ascent comes on day 5 when the altitude difference is about 800 metres.

There is an optional, easier hike to choose on this day also.

This trip is meant for people of all ages who are interested in mountain hiking.