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Carpathian gems (Little Pieniny & High Tatras)

€595 per person

Тhe third largest mountain chain in Europe proudly extends over 7 countries among which Poland with small stunning ranges form the Polish Carpathians such as the Beskidy, the Gorce, the Pieniny and the Bieszczady mountains. The itinerary of this independent trekking journey combines two of the best and on the other hand – completely different mountain ranges of Little Pieniny and High Tatra mountains. A landscape with distinctive outlook – green valleys, deep gorges, crystal lakes and pebbly ridges will keep your eyes and soul full for a whole week. The rich biodiversity of flora and fauna will amaze you – a high concatenation of wildlife represented by wolves, foxes, lynxes, chamois could be observed from distance or you can meet their footprints on the trails. Bears still inhabit these areas. Interesting and vivid legends and myths represent the local folklore and form highland traditions and lifestyles. The shepherd’s way of living is still very active and developed. A few sites of cultural interest (Krakow, Zakopane, the castle of Niedzica and Debno wooden church among them) will only add more import to this already various self-guided hiking tour.

  • Destination
  • Duration
    8 Days I Difficulty: 3/4/5 (of 5)
  • What is included
    7 nights accommodation (variety of 2-3* hotels and local country inns with en-suite rooms) on B&B basis; Dinners on days 2, 3, 4 and 5; Lunchpacks on days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7; Luggage/people transfers on days 2 and 4; Public bus transfer Krakow-Szczawnica (Day 2) and Zakopane to Krakow (Day 7); Detailed road book and maps in English; Emergency phone assistance;
  • What is not included
    Drinks and other meals; Admissions and entrance fees of any kind;
  • Best period
    mid-June, July, August, September, October
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Day 1 : Arrival in Krakow
Plan your arrival in Krakow - a city that has never been destroyed in the past. Because of it’s exceptional architectural style, the Old Town is under the auspices of UNESCO since 1978. Your accommodation in the city center you can reach by taxi or tram.
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Day 2: Little Pieniny Mountains/Jaworki (two options: 13-16km, 4-5hrs; +500-600m/-500-600m)
The first morning will start with a public bus journey to Szczawnica (appr. 2,30hrs), the main resort in the Pieniny Mountains. A private transfer will await you to get you to Jaworki - a small village with it’s own charm. You can choose among 2 hiking options to warm your muscles for the upcoming adventure. No matter what you choose, the stunning panoramas and to Polish and Slovakian part or Pieniny with the mighty peaks of Tatra at distant will accompany you throughout the day. There are several options to get back to your accommodation.
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Day 3: Across the Pieniny National Park (several options: 15-21km, 5-7,30hr, +900-1100m/-900-1100m)
Take the public bus to Szczawnica. This day will offer a short water adventure by barge as there is no other way to cross river Dunajec and enter the National Park of Pieniny. This green paradise is famous with it’s limestone, eroded through the centuries. The park stretches out at the other side of the border where Poland meets Slovakia. Prepare yourself for a steep climb up to Sokolica (747m). A breath-taking view will open up towards the gorge of Dunajec. Your walk continues to through the main ridge of Pieniny Mountains to the highest peak of national park - Three Crowns (982m). Take your time for rest and admire the scenery and decide how to finish your daily walk. You will be given several options to choose from: descent do Sromowce to Nizne for optional boat ride along river Dunajec (2h15 min on the boat), or extend your hiking by descending to Sromowce Wyzne for an optional boat ride along river Dunajec (3h on the boat).
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Day 4: Transfer for Zakopane (stops at Niedzica Castle and Debno wooden church on the way)
After a healthy breakfast, a private car will transfer you to Zakopane. Your first stop will be the castle of Niedzica - proudly erected above the lake Czorsztyn it takes you back to 14th century and it is a significant place for the Polish-Hungarian relations in this period. Another stop will be the wooden church in Debno - famous with the masterpiece of its polychromes. Тhe whole trip to Zakopane incl. the stops will last approximately 4hrs. Local people often say that Zakopane is the Polish Chamonix - laying in the embrace of magnificent mountain ranges. With its vibrant lifestyle of winter and summer sports, it is also a perfect place to admire the local wooden architecture and taste the unique Polish cuisine. Take your time to explore the town or go for some sports activities such as e-bikes or short hikes in the Pieniny of Spis).
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Day 5: Tatra Mountains hiking trails at your choice (10km, 3hrs, +400m/-580m)
You can choose among several hiking options for the next days:
1) А hike to the green balcony of the Tatras: The trail pass through a forest, large meadows and small peaks showing up amazing panorama towards the High Tatras. Route: Kiełbasówki-Polana Kopieniec-Kopieniec-Psia Trawka-Gęsia Szyja-Polana Waksmudzka-Polana Rusinowa-Sanctuary of St. Mary Queen of The Tatras-bus to Zakopane. (14km, 5-6hrs, +750/-800m);
2): OPTION A: Climbing Grzes and Rakon peaks (17km, 6,30-8hrs, +1000m/-1000m); OPTION B: Explore Koscieliska Valley - one of the most popular trails in Polish Tatras and among the circles of hiking lovers - the most beautiful valley in the Western Tatras. The valley owes its charm not only to its beautiful spots but also to the characteristic forms of limestone (caves, wells, shaped rocks). Some of the caves could be visited which will extend the hike. (11km, 3hrs, +350m/-350m); OPTION C: - Climb Kasprowy Wierch and Czerwone Wierchy summits. You have to use the cabin lift to reach Kasprowy Wierch from where follow the main ridge to the Red Peaks (Czerwone Wierchy). This trek will reveal stunning views to the High and Western Tatras. (13 km, 5,30-6,30hrs, +650m/-1700m)
3): OPTION A: A grand passage through the High Tatras including Zawrat pass. Spectacular vies over thr Tatras, Gаsienicowa Valley with the Black Pond and the Five Lakes Valley. Also a visit to Siklawa Waterfall. Some technical difficulties are present on this trail such as chains and ladders, scrambling is involved too. (20 km, 7,30-9hrs, +1350m/-1450m); OPTION B: It is similar to Option A but instead of crossing Zawrat Pass follows a trail that leads through Krzyżne Pass. That way you will skip the technical difficulties while the descent is more challenging than the one from Zawrat pass. The trek will show you amazing panoramas, unfortunately, you won’t be able to see the Black Pond. 21 km, 7,30-9hrs, +1500m/-1550m); OPTION C:Explore Gasienicowa Valley without passage to Five Lakes Valley (15km, 5,30-7hrs, +1000m/-1000m); OPTION D: An opportunity to climb the highest peak in Poland - Mt. Rysy (2503m). The trek again involves technical difficulties (ladders, chains, scrambling). Mind that 12 km from the total distance of this trek is on an asphalt road (6 km in a way) but a horse carriage can be used (upon availability). (25 km, 11-13km, +1900m/-1900m).
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Day 6: See Day 5 for details
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Day 7: See Day 5 for details
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Day 8: Departure for Krakow
Take the public bus to return to Krakow (2,10hrs ride)

TOUR LOCATION

Price
595 Euro per person in twin/dbl room
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement: 90 Euro
Solo traveler supplement: N/A (min. group size: 2 pax)
Tips
Daily departures between mid-June and the end of October. Variety of hiking options varying from moderate to challenging. Choose as per your physical conditions and weather forecast for the day.
Accommodation
Combination of of 2-3* hotels and local guesthouses with en-suite rooms incl. breakfast; Dinners included on days 2, 3, 4 and 5; Lunchpacks included on days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7; Overnights: 1 in Krakow, 2 in Jaworki, 4 in Zakopane;

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