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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • hotel / mountain huts / pension
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$850USD

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Overview

Trip Code: PPW

Trip highlights


  • explore the high trails of the Tatra range
  • Enjoy a unique protected area of flora and fauna
  • Stay in charming pensions brimming with warm hospitality
  • Discover the charming historic centre of Krakow

In the West Carpathians, walk in Poland's stunning Tatra Mountain range to discover rich wildlife, a unique mountain culture and pretty villages. Reach picturesque viewpoints with 360-degree panoramas of the forest topped Pieniny Mountains and endless lush valleys. See how the Dunajec river weaves its way through the limestone of Pieniny National Park, leaving stunning gorges in its wake. Keep your eyes peeled to spot active wildlife: foxes, lynxes, wolves and bears all still live in this well preserved and protected region. Marvel at the harmony between the rugged wild nature and the beautiful, flower-filled pastures maintained by hillside locals. Encounter the magnificent Niedzica castle, perched on the water's edge and visit the gothic wooden churches of Debno. Learn about the Podhale region's highland traditions from the villagers you meet along the way, particularly in Zakopane, a special town filled with wood and stone architecture as well as a bustling folk atmosphere. Your reluctance to leave the Polish wilderness will be mitigated by the charming city of Krakow, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

On arrival in Krakow make your way to your hotel in the centre either by taxi or by tramway. Krakow has been well preserved and its old town is UNESCO’s listed since 1978. It is a pleasure to discover this historic centre on foot or to relax in the main square, surrounded by impressive architecture and a thriving cultural scene.

Meals:  Nil

In the morning you take a local bus to Szczawnica (2.5hrs), the main resort in the Pieniny Mountains. You will be met and transferred to Jaworki, a charming, small village in the valley of the Pieniny Mountains with a very developed shepherd’s life and beautiful orthodox church. After dropping your bags at your pension, take a circular walk in the Little Pieniny Range. From the ridge you have a marvelous view of the Polish and Slovakian side, with the high peaks of the Tatra Mountains in the background. Walk along the ridge through mountain pastures where sheep are pastured. Their milk is used in the production of the famous local cheese. Return to your pension. Depending on chosen variant: +500-600m/ -500-600m, 13-16 km, 4-5 hrs of walking Note: for great jazz concerts in Jaworki you should schedule your trip to be there on a Friday or Saturday evening in June and September or a Thursday to Saturday in July and August.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, you take a local bus to Szczawnica. The walk begins by crossing the river Dunajec by barge, because of the lack of a bridge. You enter the National Park of the Pieniny Mountains, the oldest polish national park. The park is famous for its characteristic limestone, eroded with the passage of time. This park stretches to the Slovakia border. The climb is steep up to Sokolica (747m), but the views from the top of the gorges of Dunajec are worth the effort. The walk continues along the main ridge of the Pieniny Mountains to the highest peak of national park, which is called Three Crowns because of its characteristic shape. Descend to Kroscienko. From here you have three options. Either (a) return by local bus to Jaworki via the Szczawnica SPA resort or (b) descend directly to Sromowce Nizne and take a rafting trip down the Dunajec River to Szczawnica SPA resort (3hrs). The final descent option includes an extended route down to Sromowce Nizne with the option to raft to Szczawnica. The raft trip is well worth it, taking in a different perspective of the gorges and the dramatic landscape of the river along the Polish-Slovakian border. All options continue to Jaworki by local bus. Overnight Jaworki. Depending on descent option, 15, 15.5 or 21km, +900, +900 or 1100m / -900, -900 or 1100m, 6 or 7.5hrs of walking.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast a private taxi will take you to Zakopane (2-2.5hrs plus 1.5hrs to visit castle and Debno). On the way, there will be a break to visit the castle of Niedzica, built by the Hungarians in the 14th century. It is magnificently situated by the lake. Later on, visit a church in Debno, one of the most beautiful wooden churches in Poland, famous for its polychromes. You arrive in Zakopane around midday. Zakopane is a little bit like a Polish Chamonix; with wonderful mountain views and an undeniable charm with typical wooden architecture. After lunch, take a walk round the town to visit the wooden church and the promenade with the stalls and rambling vendors. OPTION: Short hike in the Pieniny of Spis on the way to Zakopane is possible. It offers a idyllic rural scenery of rolling hills with people working in the fields and great views of the Tatras. Alternatively, take an e-bike trip in the Pieniny of Spis.

Meals:  B,L,D

The Tatra are the highest range in the Carpathians. There are many trails to explore and summits to ascend. We provide in our route book day walks of varying degrees of difficultly including 1 balcony trail, 3 trails in the Western Tatra and 3 trails in the High Tatra. It is also possible to extend your trip to do more of the walks. *Balcony Trail - 14km, +750m, -800m, 5-6hrs walking Options in the western Tatra include:- *Chocholowska Valley and Rakon mountain (17.5km, 6.5-8hrs +1000m/ -1000m) *Caves of Koscieliska Valley (11km, 3hrs, +350m/-350m) *Kasprowy Wierch (Peak) and the Western Tatras (13km, 6.5hrs, +650m/-1700m) - cable car is used on this walk. High Tatra - a more alpine style walk to the col of Zawrat (2159m) (20km, 8-9hrs / +1350m / -1450m) Gasienicowa Valley - an easier option in the High Tatra Five Lakes Valley - also an easier option of the High Tatra without the Zawrat Pass

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning return to Krakow by local bus (2hrs 10min). There are so many great sights to visit in Krakow including the Wawel Castle Hill, the Jagiellonian University, old synagogue, national museum and Town Hall Tower. We also recommend taking a boat trip on the Visula River.

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 4 picnic lunches, 1 restaurant or pension lunch, 4 dinners - breakfasts are generally buffet style and usually consist of breads, jams, meats, cheeses, coffee, tea and juices. Picnic lunches will generally consist of salad or sandwiches, something sweet, fruit and water. Dinner will consist of 3 courses which is generally soup followed by a main meal and dessert.
  • 5 nights in pensions on a twin or triple share basis with shared facilities, 2 nights 3 star hotel on a twinshare basis with private facilities (upgrade to 3 star hotel - supplement applies)
  • Roadbook and maps
  • private transfer on day 2 and day 4
  • Public bus from Krakow to Szczawnica day 2 and from Zakopane to Krakow day 7

  • Travel to and from Krakow
  • dinner day 1, 6 & 7 and lunch on days 1 & 7
  • transfers not noted as included
  • Items of a personal nature including beverages, laundry, phone calls etc
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Entrance tickets to the monuments, museums, castles and National Parks

Grading

moderate  

MODERATE – GRADE 3 This is a self guided walk that is approached in stages of 8 - 21km per day, at a medium altitude. There will be a maximum of 5-9 hours of walking per day (not inclusive of breaks), with long and short options available. As with all of our moderate graded trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, jogging, three or four times a week for at least three months prior to your departure. At any time during summer, weather conditions may be variable and you should be prepared for all conditions including snow, ice, strong sun and extreme winds. Departures before mid June may encounter settled snow on the trails and we therefore do not recommend you travel before mid June if you are not an experienced multi day alpine walker. The ability to read maps is important at any time.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 May to 23 Oct

Notes

DN1
For departures before 15 June, alpine walking experience is required.
DN2
For Jazz lovers, schedule your trip to be in Jaworki (night 2 and 3) on a Friday or Saturday in June and September or Thursday to Saturday in July and August when there are Jazz concerts.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$850USD

Options & Supplements*
  • hotel upgrade Krakow (day 1 and day 7) - twin share ppUSD$50
  • hotel upgrade Krakow (day 1 and day 7)USD$110
  • Single SupplementUSD$160
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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