Poland:The Tatras Mountains | Langdale Guided Walking Holidays

From the natural majesty of the Tatra Mountains to one of the most beautiful cities in Europe – this walking adventure in Poland promises fascinating cultural exploration and breath-taking mountain scenery.

We begin our journey in the picturesque town of Zakopane at the foot of the Tatra Mountains - the highest range in the Carpathians. The mountains form a natural border between Slovakia and Poland, making the Tatras the first cross-border European National Park, home to world-renowned walking trails and climbing routes.

Separated from the rest of Poland for centuries by impenetrable forests, Zakopane developed its own unique folklore. Our itineraries are created to provide a real insight into the Góral culture – with its unique gastronomy, traditional folk music, characteristic wooden architecture, and colourful costumes still proudly worn today by friendly locals. There are also a multitude of art galleries and museums, with The Tatra Museum celebrating the rich local traditions that are still very much alive on the streets of Zakopane today. In addition, there is also the Kulczycki Gallery, which features the work of some of Poland’s more recent prominent artists.

  • Walking through the Kościeliska Valley
  • Stunning treks through the Tatra Mountains
  • Hiking to Morskie Oko – The Tatras’ most beautiful lake
  • Cable car journey to Kasprowy Wierch
  • Visiting Auschwitz–Birkenau or Wieliczka Salt Mine
  • Guided walking tour of historic Kraków
  • Sampling regional Polish cuisine

Kraków

We take to the streets of Kraków - one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and a UNESCO World Cultural and Heritage Site – to discover its rich cultural heritage of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. From the Wawel Cathedral - the coronation and burial site of the Polish Kings - and the Royal Castle on the banks of the Vistula river, to Kraków’s Grand Square, the Rynek Główny. This is the largest square in of all Europe’s medieval cities and the perfect place to pause and soak up the amazing atmosphere of its cafes, art and historical buildings including St. Mary's Basilica, the famous Renaissance Cloth Hall and the Gothic Town Hall Tower. Kraków is also home to the Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest in the world.

Day 1: Sunday 16th September: Fly to Kraków, Transfer to Zakopane

Arrive at the airport under your own arrangements for the flight to Kraków, with check-in two hours before departure time.

On arrival we transfer by private coach to Zakopane. Check into the Hotel Belvedere, Zakopane at your leisure.

Dinner in the hotel. Overnight Hotel Belvedere, Zakopane

Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere

Meals: Dinner,

Day 2: Monday 17th September: Walking Through The Koscieliska Valley

Our minibus takes us to the start point of today’s walk, to be collected again at the end of the trail.

The Kościeliska Valley is often held up as one of the most beautiful valleys in the Tatra Mountains. We will be heading along a trail through wooded glades and sheep pastures to the mountain hut on the Ornak Clearing. The distance to the hut is 6km, from which there are a few possible routes. We either return down the trail just taken or walk to Wąwóz Kraków (Kraków Gorge), a wild rocky limestone canyon. This journey is an additional hour, as well as a bit of a scramble with metal chains and ladders (although stunningly scenic) or, we visit the beautiful Smreczyński Pond. As this is our first day, 12km may just be about enough for most.

Walking: 12km approx. Moderate

Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 3: Tuesday 18th September: Morskie Oko Trail

We are driven by minibus to the start point of today’s walk and collected again at the end of the trail.

Morskie Oko is the largest and most beautiful of the Tatra lakes. Surrounded by mountains - a huge crater, known as “The Eye of the Sea”.

Rather than taking the main trail to the Lake (approx. 7km) we plan to take the much more scenic option through the Bialka Valley, passing the beautiful Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza waterfalls, through the wooded Dolina Roztoki (The Roztoka Valley) and up towards the Dolina Pięciu Stawów (The Valley of Five Lakes, 1670m).

This is a stunning route with spectacular waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes along the way. There’s a bit of a climb, not too difficult, but steep, to reach the Swistowka Pass, 150 metres higher. From there, we follow a descending route towards Morskie Oko, where we find an incredible vantage point over the lakes waters. We arrive at the lake with time to linger and enjoy our picnic lunch. Return to the hotel from Morskie Oko by horse and carriage.

Dinner and overnight Hotel Belvedere, Zakopane.

Walking: 17km approx. Moderate

Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 4: Wednesday 19th September: Sleeping Knight Walk

The profile of the Giewont Massif resembles a “Sleeping Knight”, which local legend says will awake when Poland is in dire need. Giewont dominates the whole of Zakopane and on top of the mountain stands a famous cross, erected over 100 years ago in dedication to Jesus Christ, from the Highlanders of Zakopane.

We start today’s walk from the hotel, walking towards the picturesque Dolina Białego (The White Stream Valley), from where we enjoy a gentle climb to reach Czerwona Przełęcz (Red Mountain Pass), between Giewont and Sarnią Skałą (Deer Rock). After around two hours walking it is then just a few minutes to the top of Sarnią Skałą (1377m) with a few metres' scramble just before the top from where there are spectacular views of the awe-inspiring huge rock face of Giewont and the whole Zakopane Valley below.

Descend into the Dolina Strążyska and from there it is around half an hour to get down to the valley and mountain hut for optional refreshments. At this point we have the option to walk to the nearby Siklawica Waterfalls at the foot of Giewont (15 minutes). Then about 45 minutes easy walking to the entrance of the valley and another 30 minutes along the edge of the forest and the Tatra National Park to get back to the hotel.

Distance: a

Dinner in the hotel. Overnight Hotel Belvedere, Zakopane.

Walking: 8km approx. Moderate

Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 5: Thursday 20th September: Cable Car and Walk from Kasprowy Wierch

Our minibus takes us to the cable car station, to be collected again at the end of the trail.

Kasprowy Wierch is the only mountain in the Tatras accessible by cable car. Today we’ll take the cable car to the top (1987m), and hike east towards Przełęcz pod Kopą Kondracką (the Kopą Kondracką Pass) – about a 1.5 hour's walk along the ridge of the Polish-Slovak border with far-reaching, panoramic views over the valley. Descending from the pass we enter the huge meadow of Kondratowa Valley at the foot of Giewont, from where we’ll continue down to Kuźnice. Should the weather turn against us, we have the option to take one of the more direct trails back down.

Dinner tonight is at Czarci Jar - The Devil's Gully – where we can enjoy regional specialities while fiddlers play toe-tapping tunes. The traditional tavern is delightfully located next to a stream and small ravine, just 10 minutes' walk from the Belvedere.

Overnight Hotel Belvedere, Zakopane.

Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 6: Friday 21st September: Transfer to Kraków, (optional) Visit Auschwitz

Check out of the hotel and head for Kraków, visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Auschwitz–Birkenau is synonymous with the inhumanity of the Holocaust. It was here that the Nazis established their largest concentration camp. The camp has been preserved as a memorial and is now a World Heritage site. The prison blocks that survive have been turned into a museum, charting the history of the camp and of persecution in wartime Poland.

As this visit may not appeal to everyone, an alternative visit can be made to the famous Wieliczka Salt Mine.

Check in and overnight at Hotel Colombus, Kraków. Dinner in local restaurant

Accommodation: Hotel Columbus

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner,

Day 7: Sunday 23rd September: Free Time in Kraków

Options for today include a visit to Oskar Schindler’s Factory, formerly used to advance the wartime experiences of Kraków under Nazi occupation in World War II. This visit is then followed by an opportunity to further explore Kraków or take a visit to the historic Wieliczka Salt Mine.

Dinner in a local restaurant.

Overnight at Hotel Colombus, Kraków

Accommodation: Hotel Columbus

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner,

Day 8: Monday 24th September: Travel Home

Transfer from the hotel to the airport by private coach.

Meals: Breakfast,

Hotel_Belevedere

Hotel Belvedere, Zakopane - a traditional luxury 4* hotel located within easy walking distance of the centre of Zakopane in the quiet White Stream Valley. Tastefully decorated it offers a warm and friendly service. Rooms have all the facilities you would expect of a 4* hotel. There is also a stunning spa, aqua and thermal centre, perfect after a long day’s walk.

Novotel Kraków Centrum, Kraków – a modern 4* hotel situated in the city centre, opposite Wawel Hill and just a few minutes from the Old Town. Leisure facilities include a swimming pool, sauna and Jacuzzi.

Options Price p.p Notes
Holiday inc. flights £1,450 Based on two sharing a twin/double room, includes economy flight departing from London Gatwick
Single Supplement £150


The Standard Price Includes:

  • International economy class return flights
  • Airport transfers by private coach
  • Transfers between Kraków and Zakopane
  • Hotel accommodation with full facilities
  • Meals shown in the itinerary
  • Welcome reception
  • Visit to ‘Wieliczka’ Salt Mine or Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Local English-speaking guides for visits to places of interest
  • Entrance fees to places of interest & Tatra National Park
  • Qualified mountain guide in Tatra Mountains
  • Cable car to Kasprowy Wierch
  • Transport in connection with the walking programme
  • Return from Morskie Oko walk by horse and carriage
  • Accompanying tour leader
  • ATOL Protection Contribution (APC)

Not Included:

  • Drinks and Gratuities (optional)
  • Travel insurance
  • Any Government taxes, airline or fuel charges that may be introduced after the publication of the brochure.

Please Note: For reasons of safety, weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances, it may be necessary to make changes to the programme without advance notice. Every effort will be made to avoid this if at all possible.

Outbound

Sunday 16th September: Fly to Kraków, Transfer to Zakopane
Arrive at the airport under your own arrangements for the flight to Kraków. Check-in two hours before departure time.

London Gatwick Deaprture:

  • Depart London Gatwick: 09:20
  • Arrive Kraków (BST+1): 12:50

Flight time: 2hr 30

Manchester Departure:

  • Depart Manchester: 12:40
  • Arrive Kraków (BST+1): 16:15

Flight time: 2hr 35

Flight times are the latest known and subject to confirmation by the airline. All flight times are local time.

Return

Sunday 27th September: Depart Kraków and Return to UK
Private coach transfer between hotel and airport.

London Gatwick Destination:

  • Depart Kraków (BST+1): 14:50
  • Arrive Gatwick: 16:20

Flight time: 2hr 30

Liverpool Destination:

  • Depart Kraków (BST+1): 11:15
  • Arrive Liverpool: 12:55

Flight time: 2hr 35

Flight times are the latest known and subject to confirmation by the airline. All flight times are local time.

September Weather

Average Temperatures
19 C° high
9 C° low
Average Rainfall
45 mm / month
14 days / month
Average Sunshine
5 hours / day

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