One of the most picturesque and spectacular regions in southern Poland. It is a mountain range on the border between Polish and Slovak, crossed by the river Dunajec creating the famous ” Pieniny Gorge” (in polish – Przełom Dunajca).
How to get there? The best – by bus. From Cracow – it takes around 2h and costs 20 pln regular (with students card should be less) From Katowice – it takes around 4h and costs around 30 pln. Tip: the best is to go to Cracow and from Cracow take a bus to Szczawnica because it will be the fastest way. From Cracow, buses are almost every hour.
We’ve prepared a list of the biggest attractions, activities and most beautiful places that are absolutely worth seeing. S
Rafting on the Dunajec River – one of the biggest tourist attractions
Travelling on a raft is a unique encounter with wildlife, unchanged for millennia – one of the greatest tourist attractions in Europe. At the same time, it’s the best way to explore the Pieniny National Park. Dunajec carved in the limestone rocks a gorge called the Dunajec Gorge. The tradition of rafting on a wooden raft built of narrowboats joined together dates back to the first half of the 19th century. During the trip, rafters tell about the Pieniny, citing legends about Janosik and showing the most interesting places on the route. All the time we are accompanied by beautiful views of the surrounding peaks. The route starts at the marina Sromowce Niżne and ends in Szczawnica or in Krościenko.
OPEN HOURS: April 1rst – October 31rst
May – August: 8.30-17.00
PRICE: 63 PLN
Homole Gorge – The most beautiful canyon in Poland
It’s a deep canyon with very steep walls reaching up to 120 m in height and about 800 m in length. Located in the Little Pieniny (pol. Małe Pieniny). Its name comes from the Russian word homoła, gomoł, which means oval – is related to the shape of the valley.
The gorge is considered one of the most beautiful in Poland, the Kamionka stream flows along its bottom creating attractive cascades. Is attractive at any time of the year. The gorge was known as a treasure hunt site from the 15th century.
OPEN HOURS: every day
PRICE: 1,50 PLN
If you like mountain climbing, Pieniny is the perfect place for you! Routes leading to the tops are not difficult, while the views are spectacular!
Most popular peaks are :
- Sokolica – vertical rock walls fall straight into the Dunajec, and on the edge of the abyss grows probably the most famous pine in Poland, whose photo appears, among others, in all school textbooks. After descending the summit, another attraction awaits us – a boat crossing through the Dunajec. Due to the attractiveness and minor difficulties, the route is very busy during the season.
- Trzy Korony – Three Crowns is the most important symbol of the region, apart from Sokolica, a very attractive place and visited in large numbers. Five peak crags create a characteristic rock crown. The highest of them is Okrąglica, 983 m long, on which there is a viewing platform from which there is a magnificent view of the Pieniny and the Dunajec Valley, Beskid Sądecki, Gorce, Magura Spisska and the Tatra Mountains. In good weather, you can also see Babia Góra. Hiking trails from Czorsztyn, Sromowiec and Krościenko lead to the top.
- Wysoka – Wysoka, Wysokie Skałki (Slovak: Vysoké Skalky, 1050 m) – is the highest peak of the Pieniny, located on the Polish-Slovak border. Formerly the peak was called: Pamiarky, Kiczera – these were local names used by the Lemkos living in the area. The southern slopes belong to the Slovakian Pieniny National Park, while the north-western slopes belong to the Wysokie Skałki nature reserve. The summit offers beautiful views of the Tatra Mountains, Babia Góra, Przehyba and Radziejowa Range, Magura Spiska and Pieniny. The mountain belongs to the Crown of Polish Mountains.
The castle in Niedzica and the legend of the Inca princess
Also known as the Dunajec Castle is a medieval stronghold built at the beginning of the fourteenth century by Kokosz Berzevicze. The castle on the Polish-Hungarian border (at the time) has a very turbulent history. Among the numerous owners who ruled it, one should mention the Horváth family, which transformed it into a magnificent Renaissance residence. The last owners were the Salamon family, who ruled it until 1943.
There is a very interesting legend associated with the castle about the Inca treasure hidden here, apparently, in 1946 the Inca kipu was found here.
Several films were shot at the castle in Niedzica, including “Janosik” and “Holidays with ghosts”.
Currently, it houses a historical museum.
OPEN HOURS: May 1rst- September 30th, 9 – 18.30
PRICE: 14 PLN
A beautiful place – ideal for walking and cycling. The entire trail leads along with the rafting and the Dunajec gorge. From Szczawnica to Czerwony Klasztor the road (so-called Pienińska Road) is about 9 km long, most of which run on the Slovak side of the border. Along the way, in the place of greatest narrowing is a rock called “Janosikowy Skok” or “Zbójnicki Skok”, according to legend, Janosik, escaping from the Hungarian gendarmes, jumped here Dunajec, and the trail of the imprint was imprinted on the rock. In addition, this narrowing was once used by robbers to perform jump tests. Janosik was supposed to examine candidates for his team here.
OPEN HOURS: every day
TIME: walking one way c.a 2,5h, 1h by bike