Start Krynica. Krynica is an elegant little town situated about 2hrs 30mins south east of Krakow in the Lesser Poland province. Depending on our arrival time there may be time to wander the streets of this famed health resort, taking time to admire the traditional architecture, or experience a massage or Jacuzzi (optional - payable locally).
This morning we will take a private bus to the village of Wierchomla. On the way we will stop in Powroznik, home to one of the most beautiful orthodox churches in the region, dating back to approximating 1600. We will then start our walk from Wierchomla. Our route starts in the meadows allowing us to admire beautiful panoramic views of the Tatra and Beskidy mountains. Venturing into the forest we will be rewarded with a clearing and mountain refuge where we can rest. After approximately 2 and a half hours we climb the main ridge of Beskid Sadecki. Our target is Jaworzyna Krynicka Mt (1114m), the highest summit in the Krynica region. From there we will take a path down to Krynica. In the evening there is the option to visit one of the local spa centres for a range of relaxing treatments (prices available locally). Approx. walking time 5-6hrs, with an elevation of +700m and decent of - 600m.
Today our goal is the charming village of Jaworki in the valley of the Pieniny Mountains across the mountain ridge. We transfer to Rytro and begin our trek through forests and meadows, on which we'll see a variety of traditional shepherd's chalets and mountain refuges. While walking through the atmospheric forests the views are kept hidden from us until we reach the summit of Wielki Rogacz, which offers a stunning view of the Pieniny and Tatra mountains. From here we descend to Jaworki. Approx walking time 5-6hrs
After breakfast we head for the Male Pieniny Mountains. We start by entering the Homole Ravine, made up of sharp granite rocks and leading us up to the Slovakian border.This section of the walk is not technically challenging but it is steep and if the conditions are wet it can be quite muddy underfoot. From here we descend to reach the Red Monastery (Cerveny Klastor). Built in 1330, it was originally home to Carthusian monks but now houses a museum. From here it is a short walk to the Dunajec Gorge, where we will follow in the footsteps of tradition by rafting down the Dunajec River. The wooden rafts are piloted by highlanders in traditional costume, and do not reach high speeds. From the raft we will be able to enjoy views of Poland and Slovakia before arriving in Szczawnica, a traditional village. We should have time for a walk through the village to admire the regional wooden architecture. Approx walking time 6hrs
Our trail starts near Szczawnica, where we take a barge across the river to enter the Pieniny National Park, famous for its characteristic limestone. After some steep climbing to Sokolica (747m) we can look back with satisfaction over the Dunajec gorge before continuing through the main ridge in the Pieniny Mountains. On our way will have the opportunity to meet local shepherds. We then head on towards the magnificent Niedzica Castle, built in the 14th century by a Hungarian known as Kokos. Depending on our arrival time it may be possible for an optional visit to the castle. In the late afternoon we head to Zakopane, stopping on the way to visit the church at Debno, one of the most beautiful in Poland. Zakopane is a popular tourist destination in the Polish Tatras and a vibrant town. Approx walking time 6-8hrs.
We ascend to the peak of Gubalowka, located in the south of the mountain range and offering great views towards the Tatra mountains. We walk this ridge for about 1hr before descending through the meadows to the village of Witów, passing mountain chalets as we go. We will then take a local bus to Chocholow Village were we will walk the main street to admire the beautiful wooden houses and, if there is time, visit a local sculptor's workshop. We return to Zakopane by local bus for the evening.
Approx. walking time 3.5 - 4 hours, with an elevation of + 400m and decent of -400.
We transfer to Krakow to enjoy a free day in this fascinating city. The Old Town was added to UNESCO's list of World Cultural Heritage in 1978. Possible places of interest are the Krakow's Jewish district, where the film 'Schindler's List' was shot. There are also numerous churches, the castle, the market square and the university. There are also plenty of cafés and restaurants to enjoy.
End in Krakow