Polish Highlands, High Tatras and Krakow
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Overview

Polish Highlands, High Tatras and Krakow

Poland and its southern neighbour Slovakia are separated by the mighty Carpathian Mountains, of which the highest part are the Tatras. At their foot lie several historical regions, among them the colourful Podhale and Spisz. Located south of Krakow the region is inhabited by Gorale - highlanders, an ethnic group of independent culture and dialect. This self guided walking holiday runs through villages and towns located in picturesque valleys and dales. Most of the route follows the Dunajec - a mountain river. During this trip you will get the opportunity to visit two National Parks and three UNESCO world heritage sites, including magnificent Kraków, and many other attractions which are not accessible by car.

Highlights

Itinerary

Polish Highlands, High Tatras and Krakow

Day 1: Arrival to Krakow

Arrival and accommodation in a hotel in Krakow. Meeting our local representative, who will give you detailed travel information and maps. They will also explain the course of the following days as well as answer all necessary questions. In the afternoon you will have a chance for individual sightseeing of the Old Town, Market Square, and the Jewish Quarter.

Accommodation: Hotel Kazimierz

Day 2: Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains

After breakfast a private car tansfer will take you to Zakopane, a lively resort located at the foothills of the Tatra Mountains. In 2 hours you will reach the hotel situated close to the Tatra National Park entrance. After leaving your luggage in the hotel you can take a moderate walk along one of the Tatra valleys. There are several options to choose from, all of which are described in the extended materials you’ll be provided upon booking.

Walking for the day: Approximately 1 to 3 hours hike, depending on the preferred level of difficulty:

  • Easy trail: 7 km / 4.4 miles, 290 meters in total elevation
  • Moderate trail: 16 km / 10 miles, 670 meters in total elevation

Accommodation: Hotel Willa Pod Skocznią

Day 3: The Tatra Mountains

A full dy of hiking in the Tatra Mountains. Among suggested routes are the peaks of Kopa Kondracka (2,005 m), Czerwone Wierchy (2,096 m) and Swinica (2,301 m).

Walking for the day: Approximately 4 to 8 hours hike, depending on the preferred level of difficulty:

  • Easy trail: 19 km / 12 miles, 1 000 meters in total elevation;
  • Moderate trail: 23 km / 14.3 miles, 1 300 meters in total elevation.

Accommodation: Hotel Willa Pod Skocznią

Day 4: Spisz region and Slovakian Pieniny national park

After breakfast a car will be awaiting to take you to the Slovakian side of the Pieniny national park. This day's hike follows a rolling landscape and passes several interesting limestone formations. You will descend to the valley of Dunajec. Accommodation is on the Polish side of the river near the entrance to the Dunajec gorge.

Walking for the day: Approximately 6 hours hike, 10 km / 6.2 miles with 310 metres in total elevation.
Accommodation: Hotel 'Nad Przelomem'

Day 5: Pieniny Mountains

Start of the walk through the Dunajec Gorge. This narrow limestone valley is listed by UNESCO as World Natural Heritage Site. This day’s route follows the so called “"Pieniny Way”" to the spa town of Szczawnica. The route can be optionally done by wooden rafts operated by local Highlanders.

Walking for the day: Approximately 3 hours hike:

  • Easy trail: 14 km / 8.7 miles, 240 metres in total elevation;
  • Moderate trail: 14 km / 8.7 miles, 650 metres in total elevation.

Accommodation: Hotel Batory

Day 6: Beskidy Mountains

The 6th day starts with heading eastwards from Szczawnica and pass a village Jaworki, where a population of Greek-catholic Lemkos lived until the end of World War II. This day's walk leads through a range of mountains called Beskidy and ends up on the peak of Prehyba (1,175 m), where a mountain chalet is located. On the way you may also pay a visit to a nature reserve “Homole Gorge” with interesting rock formations. Overnight stay in mountain chalet on Prehyba peak.

Walking for the day: Approximately 3 - 5,5 hours hike, depends if chosen to do an extra walk in the area:

  • Easy trail: 14 km / 8.7 miles, 640 meters in total elevation;
  • Moderate trail: + extra walk - additional 7 km / 4.4 miles, with 440. meters of elevation

Accommodation: Mountain chalet on Prehyba Peak (Przehyba Peak)

Day 7: Rytro and Krakow

The last walking day's route leads from Prehyba peak to Poprad valley, to a quiet summer vacation area around town Rytro. There it ends the walking part of this trip. A car will transport you from there back to Krakow, where in the afternoon you can once again spend time on individual sightseeing.

Walking for the day: Approximately 2,5 hours hike, 9 km / 5.6 miles on flat walk.
Accommodation: Hotel Kazimierz

Day 8: Departure or Onward Travel

Return home or individual stay extension.

Hotels

Polish Highlands, High Tatras and Krakow

3 star hotels, 1 night in a mountain chalet. Two hotels have spa facilities and a swimming pool. Accommodation was chosen to be close to national parks and trails. We avoid big chain hotels and prefer family run businesses.

Sample hotels: Hotel Kazimierz, Hotel Willa Pod Skocznią, Hotel 'Nad Przelomem'

Meals

Breakfast is always included. With exception of one day where are mountain huts/chalets along the trail which offer simple, hot food and drinks. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in the hotels or from several restaurants in towns and villages where the accommodation is located. Most restaurants offer local specialties as well as international cuisine.

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates it will be replaced with a hotel of equal value and quality level. Exact accommodation details will be provided to you upon booking confirmation.

Travel

Polish Highlands, High Tatras and Krakow

Flights

Arrival and departure airport - Krakow www.krakowairport.pl

Krakow Airport is the largest regional airport in Poland. The airport is located 11 km west of Kraków.

 

Please note that only one airport transfer is included, though additional transfers can be arranged. It is advisable therefore that all party members arrive on the same flight or at least at a similar time.

Flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking. 


Transfers to/from Airports

Arriving from UK

Travelling by train is the fastest way to get to/from the airport to city centre where the first and last day hotel is located (the journey to the city centre takes about 17 minutes). The new Krakow Airport train station is located near the passenger terminal, at the rear of the multi-storey car park. Trains operate 7 days a week.

Tickets and Fares:

  • Krakow Airport - Krakow Main Train Station: PLN 8,00 - 2 EUR.

Departing from Poland

As mentioned above, train is the fastest and best way to get from last hotel in Krakow to the airport.

Cost of taxi from/to airport to city centre is 70 PLN (17 EUR)


Baggage Transfers

Baggage transfer is included and your bags will be transferred by the driver to your next hotel. No luggage weight limit.


Trip Info

Polish Highlands, High Tatras and Krakow

Difficulty Grade: EASY-MODERATE

On some days there is a choice of 2 walks, shorter or longer. Easy - shorter walks and Moderate - longer walks.

Fitness Level

This walking trip is appropriate for beginners and intermediate walkers. There is a choice of 2 walks on some days which allows to adjust walking difficulty to one's experience. The biggest elevation gains are on days 2 and 3 in the Tatra mountains (read more about difficulty grades).

Route Navigation

The route follows unpaved walking trails which are well marked and sign posted. The trails are described in detail in 'tour notes' booklet as well as marked on maps (maps scale 1:25000 - 1:30000). 24 hours emergency phone is available.

When to Go

This trip as available from May until 15 October. Weather is best in June - September. As July and August are the busiest months it is preferable that you book as early as possible. In late October you may encounter some snow in the higher parts of Tatra mountains.

The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your holiday on any date in the season - so please indicate desired starting date when booking.

Weather

The Polish Carpathian mountains lie in the temperate zone of Central Europe. They are an important barrier to the movements of air masses. The average temperatures vary from 14 degrees in May to 20 in August. Highest precipitation occurs in June. On average precipitation occurs on 180 days a year.

What to Bring

Main luggage is limited to airline policy only. On walking days your main luggage is transported by car to the next accommodation. One exception is day 6 when you stay in mountain chalet Przechyba where you can bring only your basic, personal things with you. (The rest of your luggage on the 6th day will be stored for you in a safe place.) For your daily essentials you should bring a comfortable rucksack. Water can be drunk from tap or bought in mountain chalets along the trails which also offer hot, basic meals. In May and October light gloves can also be useful.

Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact us or a reputable outdoor retailer.

  • Good hiking boots;
  • Hiking socks;
  • Several t-shirts (cotton or preferably breathable/fast drying);
  • Packable Waterproof and windproof jacket with hood;
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece;
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation;
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve;
  • Hat/Baseball cap;
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies).

Poland: Country Info

Capital: Warsaw
Language: Polish
Border Countries: Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia
Population: 38 million
Area: 322,575 sq km (124,547 sq miles, about size of New Mexico)
Time Zone: CET (UTC+1), Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Climate: Temperate with mild summers and moderately severe winters
Currency: Zloty (PLN, zł), 1 zloty = 100 groszy
Government type: Republic, parliamentary democracy
Members of: EU, UN, NATO, OECD, WTO and many other
Holidays: 11 days a year
Country Code: PL

Included

  • Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack including:
    • GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road notes
    • maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
    • daily distances and approximate walking times
    • transfer information (airports, bus stations)
    • hotel locations and contact data
    • destination information and background guide to destination’s history, culture and cuisine
  • Accommodation with breakfast for 7 nights:
  • 3 car transfers between accommodation as stated in the itinerary;
  • Introductory meeting with a company representative at the beginning of the trip;
  • luggage transport between places of accommodation (except for Przechyba mountain chalet);
  • 24/7 assistance by phone.

Options and Extras

(please choose when booking)

  • Single room supplement: add 20%
  • You can rent from us a Garmin handheld GPS with preloaded tracks for all walks 
  • Private airport transfers to/from airports

Solo Traveller Supplement

This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost.

Self-Guided+

  • On request, we can provide a private guide (choose when booking).

Excluded

  • Flights and connecting land transfers to first / from last accommodation from/to airports
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program

Extensions

(please choose when booking)

Booking and Payment Details

Our booking process is simple. You will not be asked to make any payments to us before your trip availability has been confirmed. To ensure security for our customers we use logo-2 for ultra-secure online card payment, authorisation and settlement of your order. For details on our booking process, please visit the HOW TO BOOK AND PAY page.


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