The winter capital: Zakopane
It is a city located in the Southern Poland, at a long valley of the Tatra Mountains, visited by many tourists every year. The city is located 1 kilometre above sea level. It offers a beautiful panoramic view of the nature of Poland.
Zakopane is one of the most popular skiing resorts. Its highest mountain peak is called Kasprowy (1987 metres). Those who dislike skiing can go hiking in the mountains or ride a bicycle during the warm season. There are all sorts of cycle trails in Zakopane, depending on your wishes and abilities, i.e. from green to black trails. Those who decide to go hiking in the mountains will also have a variety of choices; from very simple trails to very complicated ones that require a special preparation of the hiker.
You can reach this highest mountain peak on foot or by skiing.
Those wanting to go skiing can use a funicular and get from Kuznice to Kasprowy Wierch. The approximate ascendance duration is 20 minutes. The price of a one-time ticket is 55 PLN. There will be a funicular at the peak which will take you from the skiing trail to the peak of the mountain. There will also be skiing equipment, a rental point, and a cafe.
Those wanting to climb to the highest peak have to start doing so from Kuznice (you can even use horses for a section of the trail). The start of the mountain hiking trail is blue; it is considered to be a difficult trail. The trails part at the COS-PZA Betlejemka station. From there you can continue hiking on the yellow or the black trail. After hiking on one or the other trail for good 40 minutes you will be able to reach the Kasprowy Wierch peak (1987 metres) by a funicular (a one-time ticket costs 20 PLN) or you will be able to continue hiking and reach the peak in about 20 minutes. The entire hike is about 5 hours long. From Kasprowy Wierch you can hike on the complicated green trail or you can take the funicular to get to Kuznice (a one-time ticket costs 55 PLN, the descent duration is 15 minutes) from where you have started your hike.
It is the largest and fourth deepest lake in the Tatra Mountains. It falls into the territory of the Tatra National Park. The lake used to be called Rybie Jezioro (Fish Lake) because of the large amount of fish in it. And the name Morskie Oko (Eye of the Sea) came from the legend, stating that the lake and the sea are connected by an underground canal.
A hike to the Morskie Oko starts at Pelenica Bialczanka. It is a hike on a simple red trail. First, you will reach the Morskie Oko lake (duration 2.20 hours), later – the Czarny Staw pod Rysami lake. Further, the complicated red trail to the mountain peak Rysy (2499 metres) will start. The peak is between the Poland and Slovakia border. Those who do not want to hike can get from Pelenica Bialczanka to Morskie Oko by horses.
The mountain of Gubalowka (1123 metres) is one of the most visited and the most popular mountains in Poland. It can be easily climbed with children or by people of reduced mobility because there is a funicular at the foot of the mountain, located in the heart of the city. When you ascend the mountain you will be able to spend time in cosy cafes, to buy some souvenirs, and to admire the beautiful view of the Tatra Mountains and the panoramic views of the Gorce, Pieniny and Beskid Mountains.
The ascendance and descent by funicular costs 22 PLN, a one-way ticket costs 17 zloty. You can also climb the mountain on your own.
- If you go to Kuznice by car, nearby you will be able to find a parking lot, 20 PLN per day;
- For those going to the mountains by foot the entrance to the park from Kuznice costs 5 PLN;
- You will find many small grocery shops in Zakopane, the cheapest one of them is Biedronka;
- The locals in this region keep sheep, so do not leave Zakopane without having tried the hard smoked sheep’s milk cheese first. Its price depends on the size and it ranges from 1.5 to 12 PLN;
- There are many places in Zakopane where you can find lodging for the night; there are even women along the road, holding signs, offering accommodation (like the entrance to our Palanga). We lived here: Apartament M5 Zakopane
- For a meal, we suggest going to Marzanna family cafe, which has a very interesting interior, delicious food and affordable prices. You can find it here: Marzanna