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Zakopane - Ideal Place for Hiking

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Zakopane, picturesquely situated at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, attracts visitors not only in winter with the best skiing conditions in Poland, but also during the rest of the year. The wide choice of trails aimed for both inexperienced hikers and experienced climbers makes Zakopane and the whole Podhale region a hiking centre. The visitors who do nof feel like ascending the rocky peaks of the Tatra Mountains can choose from a considerable variety of strolling destinations.

One of them is going on a tour of Zakopane to see the major tourist attractions (Krupowki Street, The Museum of the Tatra Mountains, etc.) and historical monuments of the city (the Old Graveyard in Koscieliska Street).

zakopane hikingIt is also possible to combine the city walk with a short stroll by taking the funicular up Gubalowka (the most popular hill of Zakopane). It is here that one can taste the regional highlander cuisine and get sun-tanned enjoying the magnificent panorama of Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains from the sun-deck.

From the centre of Zakopane one can also go on a 5-hour walk at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. The walk is worth recommending as one can enjoy the city cultural attractions (e.g. ''Atma'' Villa - Szymanowski's Museum), the beauty of the Tatra passes (Czerwona Przelecz, Przelecz Bialego) and the serenity of the sacred monument (St. Albert's Hermitage in Kalatowki).

If you feel like getting away from the city, it is a good idea to walk through the valleys of the Western Tatras. On the way you can enjoy the unrivalled beauty of such picturesque valleys of the Tatra Mountain as Dolina Malej Laki and Dolina Koscieliska with the Pisana Clearing (Polana Pisana) regarded as the most scenic sites in the Tatras.

In the Tatra Mountains there are more easy walking trails. Most of them lead through such picturesque valleys as:

  • Dolina Bialego is situated along the Bia³y Potok (the White Brook) in the Western Tatras. It is the 2.5 km long valley with picturesque rocks and the typical vegetation of the lower part of the mountain range (spruce, fir and beech trees).
  • Dolina Strazyska in the Western Tatras is regarded as one of  the most interesting valleys of the lower part of the mountain range. It is situated not in the main ridge of the Tatra Mountains, but in the Giewont massif. Perfect for short walks.
  • Dolina ku Dziurze with the Dziura Cave – though tiny, the valley is interesting from the geological point of view. It is 1.6 km long. The Dziura Cave (Hole Cave) at its end is also called ''Zbojecka Cave'' as one of the famous Podhale oulaws is believed to have found shelter here.
  • Dolina za Bramka – The valley is short (2 km long) but charming,. It is picturesque, especially in the autumn. The trail goes along the Za Bramka Brook (Potok za Bramka) with the slopes on both sided  built of limestone and dolomite.

''¦cie¿ka nad Reglami'' (''Nad Reglami'' Path) is often referred to as the most beautiful hiking and walking route in the Tatra National Park. It is the trail which leads through a few valleys of the Tatras: from Dolina Malej Laki (the Little Meadow Valley) through the Strazyska Valley to Dolina Bialego (the Bialego Valley). As the name suggests the trail goes above ''regle'' – the lower parts of the ridge of the Tatras, thus, the typical plants for this altitude can be seen on the way. The whole length is about 17 km (6-km walk altogether).

If fit for longer walks, one can also combine the exciting cable-railway ride to Kasprowy Wierch, the most frequently visited peak of Poland, with the stroll to the tarns of the Tatra Mountains (Dolina Stawow Gasienicowych, Czarny Staw Gasienicowy).

Another option is walking to the Eye of the Sea (Morskie Oko), which does not demand any real mountaineering experience as the route mainly goes along the tarmac road.

As mentioned above, there is a wide selection of trails in the Western and High Tatras which are only fit for experienced hikers. In some part special ladders and chains are provided.

Altogether, there are 250 km of marked routes. As they lead through valleys or high mountains, their levels of difficulty differ. Thus, one can choose the length, the difficulty and the terrain he/she feels fit for. Nevertheless, tourists should bear in mind that most of the walking trails are situated within the Tatra National Park. Thus, the rules of the National Park need to be followed no matter which route is taken.

 

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Map of Zakopane

Map of Zakopane

Zakopane Map | Map of Zakopane Poland

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