Overview for Polish High Tatras, Dunajec Gorge 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.
Our Polish High Tatras, Dunajec Gorge and Krakow self guided walking holiday in Poland runs through villages and towns located in picturesque valleys and dales. Most of the route follows the Dunajec – a beautiful mountain river. During this walking tour, you will get the opportunity to visit two National Parks and three UNESCO world heritage sites, including the great Kraków, and many other attractions which are not accessible by car. You will walk on forested trails and optionally summit some of the highest peaks in the area.
- Tatra Mountains
- Dunajec Gorge
- Old town of Krakow – former Polish capital
- Wieliczka Salt Mine (optional)
- Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum (optional)
Itinerary for Polish High Tatras, Dunajec Gorge and KrakowGo to top of page
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 or similar
Day 2: Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains
After breakfast, a private car transfer will take you to Zakopane, a lively resort located in 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: Czarny Potok Spa Hotel or similar
Day 3: Tatra Mountains
A full day 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, 4-5 hours, 1,000 meters in total elevation;
- Moderate trail: 23 km, 7-8 hours,1,300 meters in total elevation
Important note about the moderate option (Swinica climb): the path, whose western section forms the second part of our route, is often called a via ferrata, which is misleading since – despite the metal chains, brackets and ladders as well as being comparable to an Austrian/German via ferrata grade 2 (B) – the Orla Perć is NOT a via-ferrata like those in the Alps. There is no cable to which you could clip yourself, which means that you are unprotected unless you clip yourself to the chains.
Accommodation: Czarny Potok Spa Hotel or similar
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 exciting 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, 15 km, 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 3-5 hours hike:
- Easy trail: 14 km, 3 hours, 240 metres in total elevation;
- Moderate trail: 14 km, 4-5 hours, 650 metres in total elevation.
Accommodation: Budowlani Spa Hotel
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 unusual rock formations. Overnight stay in a mountain chalet on Prehyba peak.
Walking for the day: Approximately 3 – 6 hours hike, depends if chosen to do an extra walk in the area:
- Easy trail: 14 km, 3-4 hours, 640 meters in total elevation;
- Moderate trail: + extra walk – additional 7 km / 2 hours 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
Accommodation: Hotel Kazimierz or similar
Day 8: Departure or Onward Travel
Return home or individual stay extension.
Hotels for Polish High Tatras, Dunajec Gorge and KrakowGo to top of page
3-star hotels, one night in a mountain chalet. The mountain hotels have spa facilities and a swimming pool. The accommodation was chosen to be close to national parks and trails.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is always included. With exception of one day, there are mountain huts/chalets along the trail which offer simple, hot food and drinks. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in the hotel or from several restaurants in towns and villages where the accommodation is located. Most restaurants offer local specialties as well as international cuisine.
Travel for Polish High Tatras, Dunajec Gorge and KrakowGo to top of page
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, the train is the fastest and best way to get from the last hotel in Krakow to the airport.
Cost of taxi from/to airport to city centre is 70 PLN (17 EUR)
Baggage transfer is included on all walking days, and your bags will be transferred by the driver to your next hotel. No luggage weight limit.
Poland: Country Info
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
Up-to-date travel advice on Poland is available here.
Trip Info for Polish High Tatras, Dunajec Gorge and KrakowGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Easy to Moderate
On some days there is a choice of 2 walks, shorter or longer. Easy – shorter walks and Moderate – longer walks (read more about difficulty grades).
This walking tour is appropriate for beginners and intermediate walkers. There is a choice of two walks on some days which allows adjusting walking difficulty to one’s experience. The biggest elevation gains are on days 2 and 3 in the Tatra mountains
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).
We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip as available from May until mid-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.
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 rainfall 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 necessary, 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).
Included for Polish High Tatras, Dunajec Gorge and KrakowGo to top of page
- Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road note; maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
- 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 phone assistance by our local office in Krakow
Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements
- Single room supplement: Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
- This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost.
(please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above to see the price of the holiday and the different options and supplements for your desired dates)
Options and Extras
- Half-board option instead of standard B&B accommodation
- 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
(please choose when booking)
- One extra night in Krakow before or after the holiday
- Guided tour of Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow with return transport
- Guided tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum near Krakow with return transport
Gallery for Polish High Tatras, Dunajec Gorge and KrakowGo to top of page
Reviews for Polish High Tatras, Dunajec Gorge and KrakowGo to top of page
We very much enjoyed our holiday. This was a first walking holiday for us and also first time in Poland, both are things we would definitely repeat in the future. We have had a great time and we loved Poland. Every time we have been in a jam, some wonderful person has come up to help. Everyone we have met has been so generous and kind. Everything went very smoothly, with the good clear printed instruction booklet, and the driver was delightful, prompt & efficient. We had a brilliant time. The walks and accommodations were in great locations, excellent food, smooth, comfortable transport and good communication and helpful service. The location of the Krakow Kamierz Hotel was very good too but the annexe room was more outdated than the high quality of the modernised others. Thank you for everything, I would be very happy to book with your company again and hope I may do so. We loved the Tatras area!
We very much enjoyed our holiday. This was a first walking holiday for us and also first time in Poland, both are things we would definitely repeat in the future.
We have had a great time and we loved Poland. Every time we have been in a jam, some wonderful person has come up to help. Everyone we have met has been so generous and kind.
Everything went very smoothly, with the good clear printed instruction booklet, and the driver was delightful, prompt & efficient.
We had a brilliant time. The walks and accommodations were in great locations, excellent food, smooth, comfortable transport and good communication and helpful service. The location of the Krakow Kamierz Hotel was very good too but the annexe room was more outdated than the high quality of the modernised others. Thank you for everything, I would be very happy to book with your company again and hope I may do so. We loved the Tatras area!