Krakow’s Vicinity

SALT MINE IN WIELICZKA TOUR

Wieliczka, located 13 km from Krakow, has become famous for its salt mine. The Salt Mine is a unique world monument, and one of the oldest of its kind  in the world. In 1978 it was listed on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites. We invite you to visit the world of underground corridors, chambers, underground lakes, chapels hewn from salt with altarpieces and figures, and original machinery that is hundreds of years old.

The tourist route is 3.5km long and situated 64 to 135metres below the surface.

OJCOW NATIONAL PARK AND PIESKOWA SKAŁA CASTLE TOUR

Ojcow is situated about 30 kilometers from Krakow in the picturesque Pradnik Valley. The Pradnik Valley is among the most beautiful valleys in Subcarpathia. The river flows through a wide gorge among rocks. On its banks rise white calcareous formations. Among them there many rocky ravines and numerous caves. Furthermore, the so-called ‚Route of Eagles’ Nests’, one of the most beautiful tourist routes in Poland, has its origin in the Ojcow National Park.

This route connects a series of old castles which guarded the trade route between Krakow and Silesia. In Ojcow, where the ‚Route of Eagles’ Nests’ begins, are the remains of the Castle of King Casimir the Great.

When we leave Ojcow for Pieskowa Skala we will pass the Chapel ‚On the Waterwhich is suspended over a mountain stream.

The Castle in Pieskowa Skała was built in the 14th century. It was also a watchtower on the trade route connecting Krakow with Wroclaw. The Castle in Pieskowa Skała is the best-preserved fortified residence in the area of the Krakow and Czestochowa Upland. The collection of exhibits displayed in the castle’s chambers includes European art from the Middle Ages to the interwar period.

We help you to discover the beauty of this unique valley. You will see one of the caves. Then a short walk along the main path. On your way you will see picturesque houses traditional for Krakow’s countryside.

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.

PIENINY MOUNTAINS AND DUNAJEC RIVER GORGE RAFTING

If you are tired of the city and want experience nature among woody hillsides, and the wild valleys of the Pieniny National Park, take a raft trip down the Dunajec river. It is one of the greatest attractions in the south of Poland. You experience an unforgettable adventure sitting in a wooden boat and rafting through the beautiful gorge made by nature.  The gorge is surrounded by the limestone cliffs. The route is 18km long and takes a little bit more than two hours.

The boats are operated by the local professional highlanders. While rafting you can see amazing views, forests along the river, limestone rock formations, peaks of the Pieniny mountains.

We visit also the Castle in Niedzica 14th century residence of a Hungarian magnate family and ruins of Czorsztyn Castle – situated on the former trade route. The beautiful castle is situated on the rock over the Czorsztyn reservoir. The fortress offers breathtaking views of Czorsztyn Lake.

Church in Debno –  a 15th century masterpiece of wooden architecture  – is one of the oldest churches in Poland. It was built without a single nail.

We stop for dinner at the traditional restaurant to taste the local specialties.

KL AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU  

Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp – the testimony of European history, World War II, is only 60 km from Krakow. Here the Germans created one of the largest concentration camps for mass extermination of people transported from the occupied Europe. It is your presence by visiting this place that pays tribute to almost 2 million of European citizens who were innocent victims of World War II. 

CZĘSTOCHOWA – SHRINE OF OUR LADY

The shrine is one of the largest  Catholic pilgrimage sites in the world. The monastery, situated on Jasna Góra, hosts the miraculous painting of Black Madonna. The image came to Poland with the Polish army in  the14th century. and was displayed in the special chapel. Then a Cathedral was built around the chapel. The monastery treasury is also worth seeing because of many votive offerings given to Black Madonna.