ZAKOPANE – THE CAPITAL OF TATRA MOUNTAINS TOUR
Zakopane is situated in southern Poland, about 100 km from Krakow, close to the border with Slovakia. It lies in a valley at the foot of the Tatras. Zakopane is only four centuries old. It was founded between the 16th and 17th century as a farmers and shepherds’ settlement. Soon the beauty of the nearby sunny valley with Zakopane was discovered. In the 19th century. Zakopane became famous as a tourist and health resort. Although the resort is known mainly as a tourist and winter sports centre. It also plays an important role in Polish culture.
It is one of the cities where you can see the folklore alive – various kinds of craftsmanship, unique wooden architecture among the beautiful mountains views.
We see the Krupowki Street, a promenade leading through the rows of houses, cafes,and restaurants. A ‘must see’ is the Peksowy Brzyzek Cemetery, where there is a variety of hand-made tombstones carved in wood.
Zakopane is a perfect example of a characteristic style of architecture that was created by the artist Stanislaw Witkiewicz. The motifs and decorations were selected from the Art Nouveau. The ‘Zakopane Style’ is seen in the Jaszczurowka Chapel. Folk ornaments and other decorations were mainly based on the geometrical and plant motifs.
On the way there is a famous Ski Jump has been hosting the ski jumping World Cup competitions since 1980. Gubalowka Hill ,where the funicular takes us, offers the beautiful panorama of Zakopane and the Tatra mountains.
Then we go to the 19th century village Chocholow – 100 houses made of wood, with richly decorated porches similar to each other. If you are lucky you can see the houses washed by the women who live there.
Podhale region is famous of the local specialty as ‘oscypek’– smoked cheese made from sheep milk. It has a typical decorative shaped based on local wood carving tradition.
‘Kwasnica soup’- traditional highlander soup prepared all over Podhale for 300 years.
‘Moskol’ – a flat cake replacing regular bread, baked from potatoes and whole meal flour – 500 years of tradition
All the highlander dishes and more you taste at the traditional restaurant.
There is a possibility to arrange a ride with a horse-drawn carriages (summer) or sleighing party with camp fire.