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Zakopane, Babia Góra and Belianske Tatras 7

Zakopane, Babia Góra and Belianske Tatras

Overview

This eight-day walking tour will take you to Zywiecki Beskid – the second-highest mountain in the Polish part of the Carpathians. Visit the Babia Góra National Park listed by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve and climb the Devil’s Peak (1725 m). Continue this amazing journey to Zakopane, nestled at the foot of the spectacular Tatra Mountains. Don’t miss the opportunity to walk its trails, dotted with beautiful, crystal clear glacial lakes. Cross the border with Slovakia to the northern part of Belianske Tatras, visit charming little villages like Javorina and Ždiarof and finish your incredible adventure in Poland’s old capital, Krakow.

Click to view map

*This map is only for general reference; detailed route maps will be provided in your pre-departure package.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Krakow

Arrival and accommodation in a hotel in Krakow. Meet our local representative, who will brief you on the walks and give you detailed travel information and maps. You will have the rest of the day to explore the cultural riches of the old Polish capital. Find the world’s largest late-Gothic altarpiece within the darkened interiors of St Mary’s Basilica, and then step out into the sunshine to see the gleaming 16th-century Renaissance Cloth Hall.

Day 2: Krowiarki Pass to Zawoja | 16.5 km

Transfer to Krowiarki Pass (approx. 2 h). Today you will climb Diablak or the Devil’s Peak, the highest summit in Babia Gora Biosphere Reserve (Old Women’s/Witches’ Mountain). It reaches 1,725 meters above sea level and forms a watershed between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea basins. There are several legends about the mountain, most of which feature a devil as one of the characters. This may be a reflection of the fickle, usually very windy, sometimes treacherous weather on the summit. 

  • Walking for the day: 16.5 km, 5-6 hours, ↑1043 m ↓1442 m
  • Accommodation: 3*** Hotel&Spa Jawor (Zawoja)

Day 3: Zawoja to Koscielisko | 20 km

After breakfast, transfer to Siwa Polana in Chocholowska Valley. Walk to Koscielisko through the famous and beautiful Chocholowska and Koscieliska Valleys in the Tatra National Park. Overnight in the small village of Koscielisko, known for its centuries-long history, distinctive folk art, ancient crafts and splendid examples of highlander architecture.

  • Walking for the day: 20 km, 5-7 hours, ↑1055 m ↓1027 m
  • Accommodation: 3*** Hotel Eco Tatry (Koscielisko)

Day 4: Koscielisko to Zakopane | 13.5 km

Today’s goal is to reach Zakopane through Malej Laki Valley and Kondracka Pass. Enjoy the rugged, limestone and dolomite ridges, covered with dazzling evergreens, following the trail twisted through the dark shadows of the towering mountainsides, with views of the brightly-illuminated valleys. Stroll from the charming Strązyska Valley to the picturesque Siklawica waterfall, quite impressive in the spring when the snow melts. The total height of the waterfall is 23 metres.

  • Walking for the day: 13.5 km, 5-6 hours, ↑700 m ↓786 m
  • Accommodation: 3*** Hotel Czarny Potok (Zakopane)

Day 5: Valley of the Five Lakes | 18 km

Walk to the Valley of the Five Lakes (Gasienicowe Lakes Valley). You can easily see the first four lakes (Wielki, Mały, Przedni and Czarny) walking around the mountain hut. The last one, Zadni Staw Polski, requires a longer hike on the blue trail towards Świnica – one of the highest peaks in Poland, 2300 m. Enjoy the crystal clear lakes of different shapes and colours and take in the spectacular views.

  • Walking for the day: 18 km, 5-7 hours, ↑892 m ↓893 m
  • Accommodation: 3*** Hotel Czarny Potok (Zakopane)

Day 6: Javorina to Ždiar | 17 km

Today our driver will pick you up and take you across the border to Slovakia. You will start your hike in Javorina, a charming village in Poprad District in the Prešov Region. Walk to Ždiar, one of the oldest settlements in the Tatras. The culture of Goral people is evident everywhere from the gingerbread-style log buildings and the local embroidery to traditional meals, heavy with cheese. Visit the Bachledka Treetop walk in the heart of majestic forests of the Pieniny National Park, a long and winding pathway at the top of the forest and don’t miss the view from the 32-metre high observation tower.

  • Walking for the day: 17 km, 5-6 hours, ↑975 m ↓1114 m
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse Penzión Ždiar (Ždiar)

Day 7: Belianske Tatras / Krakow | 5 km

Enjoy a short walk in the Belianske Tatras. Although most of the area is not accessible to protect the rare animals and plants, you can still stroll along Monkova Dolina. The main ridge of the mountain is made of limestone and dolomite and differs significantly from the High Tatras. The northern parts of the Belianske Tatras are home to the largest population of the Tatra chamois, and typical flower of the mountains is the beautiful edelweiss. Transfer to Krakow in the afternoon.

  • Walking for the day: 5 km, 1-2 hours, ↑205 m ↓64 m
  • Accommodation: 3*** Hotel Kazimierz (Krakow)

Day 8: Departure

Morning transfer to the Krakow airport or individual stay extension.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in charming centrally located 3*** hotels and one night in a guesthouse in Zdiar. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us, and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

*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 give you the exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included. Picnic lunches can be pre-ordered locally. 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 specialities as well as international cuisine. Try traditional spirits called Horec or Tatra Tea. These are the typical spirits for the High Tatras and are made of herbs. Be careful – they are quite strong.

Difficulty & terrain

Moderate level suitable for fit hikers. On some days it is possible to modify and shorten the itinerary for the less experienced walkers. The trails in the High Tatras are pretty rocky and the terrain can become slippery in rain and fog (read more about difficulty grades). 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.

When to go

The tour is available from May to September. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

The climate is mostly of a mountain and alpine character. Windy weather is typical, and during summer afternoon rainstorms are usual. The average temperatures vary from 14 degrees in May to 20 in August. Highest precipitation occurs in June.

Getting there

Up-to-date FCO travel advice on Slovakia is available here and on Poland – here.

Click to view travel options and route planner

By plane

Recommended arrival and departure airport: Krakow (KRK).

By train or bus
  • Krakow Airport is the largest regional airport in Poland. The airport is located 11 km west of Kraków. The train is considered the best solution from the airport to Krakow’s city centre for its travel time and cost. The train is available from 5:18 am to 12:15 am and has services every 30 minutes. The journey from Krakow airport to the city centre will take 20 minutes, and the ticket fare is approx. €2.5. Cost of taxi from/to airport to the city centre would be approx. 70 PLN (€17).

Included

Included

  • Accommodation in en-suite rooms (as described in the itinerary) with breakfast included
  • Welcome meeting
  • Transfer from Krakow to Krowiarki Pass on Day 2
  • Transfer from Zawoja to Siwa Polana on Day 3
  • Transfer from Zakopane to Javorina on Day 6
  • Transfer from Belianske Tatras to Krakow on Day 7
  • Departure transfer to Krakow airport
  • Luggage transfers between the accommodations when changing hotels – one bag per person up to 25 kg
  • Detailed journey documentation and practical information
  • GPS tracks
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and arrival airport transfer
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • Single room supplement for members of a group
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Guided tour of Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow with return transport
  • Guided tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum near Krakow with return transport
  • Extra nights in Krakow available upon request

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