• default style
  • blue style
  • green style
  • red style
  • orange style
FacebookTwitterGoogle BookmarksRSS Feed

The Gorce National Park

Slideshow Image 1

The Gorce National Park was established in 1981 and covers an area of the central and north-eastern part of the Gorce Mountain Range. In terms of volume the Gorce National Park is still in 17th place among Poland’s 23 National parks. Its area is slightly more than 7000ha. The greatest natural resource of the Carpathian Mountains is forest, where trees can live to a mature age, and the natural regrowth rate is very good making the area well populated with a variety of vegetation.

Specific to the landscape of the Gorce National Park are the high-altitude clearings that are a remnant of the pastoral activity that has been present in these mountains. In the spring, they bear beautiful carpets of crocuses, delighting all with their delicacy and charm. When walking in the Gorce Mountains you can come across "nestled" little cabins falling into decay, once these little charming cabins were used by local shepherds living in the mountains while caring for their sheep, but now are just forming part of the charming landscape. When wandering in the higher ranges of the Gorce Mountains, you can enjoy a magnificent panorama of the Tatras, Pieniny, Beskid Sadecki, and even the Babia Gora mountains.

The Gorce National Park, consists of three types of protected area's: Strict (about 3 600ha of the park), active (more than 2 800ha) and landscape (about 530ha). In addition, since 1997, the park has been surrounded by a protective zone or buffer zone, an area of more than 16 000ha.

The Gorce National Park has been included in “Natura 2000," mainly due to the presence of rare species of birds. Soon, the park and its buffer zone will also be included as a part of the Special Area of Conservation Habitat, which has been called "Mainstay Gorczańska”

Due such a wide variety of landscape and the large forest areas in the Gorce National Park, you can observe many interesting species of plants and animals. In the Gorce mountains there has been confirmed the presence of more than 900 vascular plant species, 25 mosses, 450 grade and 116 lichens and liverworts. Over 85% of these species are only found in the Gorce National Park.

The Gorce Mountains are covered by 95% forest, and this is essential, for the inhabitant wild life that lives in the park, such as wild boar, deer, roe deer, otter, badgers and stoats. Of the 185 species of vertebrates that live in the area of Gorce National Park, 21 of these are registered in the Polish Red Book (endangered species in Poland). These include: Carpathian newt, Black grouse, White-backed woodpecker, Three-toed woodpecker, Capercaillie, Golden eagle, Eagle owl, Doormouse, Scotoma, Brown bear, Dewberry, Lynx, Wolfs and Wild cats. In the Gorce national Park, there are as many as 130 different species of birds, among them as many as 100 nests in the park.

In addition to vertebrates, there are more than 1,000 species of invertebrates, including 23 endemic species occurring only in this area.

Location and Other Attractions in the Area

px

The Gorce Mountain range runs from Nowy Targ to Krościenko, the most common points to enter this mountain rage is from Rabka, Nowy Targ, Northern banks of the Czorsztynski Lake and Krościenko.

Distances to the Gorce National Park from:

Krakow:66km (Rabka)
Zakopane:20km (Nowy Targ)
Oświęcim:90km (Rabka)

Other Attractions in the area:

px

The Dunajec River rafting, this is one of the most famous attractions in Poland. This attraction is not located in the Gorce, but is close by. Read more...

px

The Family Theme Park in Rabka - Rabkoland is the biggest amusement park in Malopolska, and a place for the entire family to enjoy.  Read more...

px

Nowy Targ or New Market is famous for its markets that are held here twice a week, being one of the largest outdoor markets in Poland. Read more....

px

The Rope park in Kluszkowce along with the winter and summer activity center, based in Kluszkowce on the northern bank of the Czorsztynski lake. Read more...

 

The Gorce Mountains may not be as popular as the Tatra’s and the Pieniny Mountains, but this fact is seen as a great positive by many. The Gorce National Park is still in many respects wild and mysterious, and the crowds of tourists who flock to the more popular mountains, have not thoughtlessly degraded the natural beauty and richness of the Groce Mountains. The Gorce Mountain range is a place for connoisseurs, people who seek peace and quiet, who want to feel lost among nature. To experience this you can walk along any one of the hiking trails where you can feel alone and in touch with nature. Among these are hiking, trekking, cycling, horse riding and skiing trails. Especially noteworthy are the walking trails, designed for family tourism. They are developed for a less strenuous approach, and yet allow for close contact with the nature in the park. In addition, the park has created a network of 10 trails, where you won’t only be delighted by the beauty of the local nature, but also be familiarized with the culture and history of this region.

Gorce 1 Gorce 2 Gorce 3

The Gorce National Parks whole area is located in the Malopolska province and within the two districts of Nowy Targ and Limanowa.

Most areas within the Gorce National Park are open for tourists without any charges, there are however a few areas that require payment.

These routes are:

a) the stream valley trail on the section Hucisko - Olszowy Potok,

b) the trail in the valley of the river Hucisko - Poręba Górna,

c) the blue trail on the section river Hucisko - Czoło Turbacza,

d) the green trail on the section Polana Tobołów - Obidowiec,

e) the nature trails: "Dolina potoku Turbacz" "Na Turbaczyk" "Wokół doliny Poręby".

Fees are collected in the period from 1 May to 30 October and are as follows:

  • Normal admission ticket - 2.00zł,
  • reduced - 1.00zł
  • 3-day ticket:

  • adults - 4.00zł,
  • reduced - 2.00zł
  • 10-day normal Ticket:

  • adults - 16.00zł,
  • reduced - 8.00zł
  • * Eligible for reduced fees are school children and students, pensioners, the disabled and active-duty soldiers.

    The fees are exempt for: Children under the age of 7 years, people who are authorized by the Director of the Park to conduct scientific research in the field of nature conservation, schools and students holding classes in a national park in the field agreed with the Director of the Park and  people going to places of worship.

     

    FESTIVALS & EVENTS

    Krakow Historical Center -Market place, churches, The Wawel Castle and much more...
    Slideshow Image 1

    Centuries ago, surrounded by monumental walls, and now a green park belt. Krakow city center is somewhat protected from the urban bustle of the everyday city life. There is always an opportunity to experience the unique charm that surrounds the historical center of Krakow, whether it be by night or day. No matter what your interests are or how you like to spend your time, be it by visiting one of the innumerable churches, which in this part of the city are literally on every corner, sightseeing the world's largest geological museum under the main market square, or just walking down one of the many small charming alleys. However Krakow city center is not only the main market square, cloth hall and surrounding streets, but also the Royal Wawel Castle - historic seat of Polish kings, Jagiellonian University - the oldest Polish university with the famous Collegius Maius. Also we cannot forget about the former Jewish district of Krakow. Today Kazimierz draws thousands of tourists with its charming narrow streets, centuries-old synagogues and countless cafes and restaurants that shine with character, where you can relax and enjoy the local specialties of Krakow.

    Krakow Market Square and Old Town

    Krakow Market Square was the largest medieval market in Europe. It was located where the main market square is today covering an area of 200x200 meters. For centuries, the market square has been the heart of Krakow, as it still is today. It is true that one can no longer find merchants there offering charcoal or fresh pork, but today it has become a meeting place for great cultural events and the center point for tourists to start exploring Krakow’s many attractions.

    The center point of the main market square today is the Cloth hall, a beautifully restored build. The cloth hall is situated along the former street that was reserved for the most influential merchants of that time. Today, however, the cloth hall is home to small-market stalls that are located on the ground floor selling mostly local handcrafts as well as amber and other traditional souvenirs to the visiting tourists. The National museum has a branch on the 1st floor of the building where you can find a permanent exhibition of Polish artwork.

    Recently, in late 2010 a unique underground museum was completed, an attraction that is unique even on a global scale and according to the builders this is the largest of its kind in the world. The exhibitions located under the main market square, was created using the very latest technology and is put together to give visitors an unforgettable insight into Krakow’s history.

    Krakow Small image Krakow Small image Krakow Small image


    St. Mary’s church is one of the main focal points of Krakow’s old town, with its two towers that overlook the old town and the surrounding areas. Visitors can hear the bugle called out every hour from the top of the highest tower to commemorate the Tatar invasion. The main alter of St. Mery’s church is the largest Gothic alter in Europe, and it took the creator 12 years to complete, namely Veit Stoss.Read more....

     

     

    Collegium Maius

    Collegium Maius is the oldest university building in Poland. Initially, this was a one house building that Wladyslaw Jagiello gave to the University, but over time the University has been enhanced with new buildings. Jagiellonian University is one of the oldest universities in Europe and the Collegium Maius is its core. This University is worth a visit.

    The Royal Wawel Castle

    Wawel Hill was a place of great strategic importance and defense long before the appearance of the Royal Wawel castle, surrounded by wetlands and with an ideal view of the surrounding area. Initially, the first settlements where members of the Wislanie tribes and by the turn of the eleventh century the limestone hill now known as the Wawel hill was chosen as the seat for the Polish king and the first bishop of Krakow. With time the development on the Wawel hill began to grow. More and more new buildings added over time created a beautiful and very rich complex. Unfortunately, after the great fire of 1595r, the castle declined and the king at that time decided to move the Polish capital to Warsaw. During World War II, the Wawel Castle was occupied as living quarters for Hans Frank - governor of general IRzeszy II. Somewhat thanks to this function the Royal Wawel Castle survived the Second World War almost intact. In the second half of the twentieth century, the buildings on the Wawel hill underwent numerous repairs and reconstructions that have led to their currant appearance. This can be enjoyed will strolling among the finest works of art and culture.


    Sightseeing is offered mainly on four preset routes throughout the castle: The Royal State Rooms, The Royal Private Apartments, The Crown Treasury and Armory, and The Wawel Cathedral and Royal Tombs.
    In addition, whilst visiting the Royal Wawel Castle, you should visit the "Royal Garden," the Dragon's Lair, climb the tower of the cathedral, where you can admire the giant Bell “Zygmunt" and see the beautiful views of the surrounding areas. Read more...

    Krakow Small image Krakow Small image Krakow Small image

     

    Kazimierz

    Kazimierz is the former Jewish district of Krakow. It is hard to believe today that before the Second World War, there was about 65 000 Jewish people living in this very successful and prosperous enclave of the city. Located just outside the old city walls opposite the Royal Wawal Castle, Kazimierz was by many thought of as the Jewish capital of Europe. The Jewish population in Krakow contributed to about 25% of the total population of Krakow at the turn of the century.

    To this day, Kazimierz has preserved in many ways its manifestation, which can be experienced by visiting this beautiful part of Krakow. Today, you can still see the New Cemetery, Temple Synagogue, New Center for Jewish Culture, The Isaac Synagogue, The Synagogue, High Synagogue and Cemetery Remuh. A walk-through Kazimierz is a tribute to its former residents, who due to the extermination by the Third Reich were removed from their homes, and much of their culture destroyed and plundered. Furthermore, while in Kazimierz, a visit to the Schindler's museum and Schindler's factory that was made famous worldwide by the film, Schindler’s List is an unforgettable experience. Read more...

     

     

     

    Read more
    Wieliczka Salt Mine -Longest Productive Salt Mine in the world.
    Slideshow Image 1

    The Wieliczka Salt Mine is the only plant of its kind in the world. This is why UNESCO World Heritage naturally added this mining complex to the UNESCO list as one of the first 12 sites picked from around the world. It is the only mine to of maintained productivity consecutively from the middle Ages to the present time. Wieliczka Salt mines are forged in a land of salt, the passages, chambers, lakes, and the smaller tunnels connecting the main mining shafts have a total length of about 300km and are located on nine levels, reaching 327 meters deep into the earth. The tourist route is about 3.5 km long and takes about three hours to complete. Along the way, you will see chapels carved from Salt, underground lakes, countless stalagmites, stalactites, exhibitions including salt life like status and exhibitions of the original mining equipment used throughout the time the mine has been in operation. To get down to the level of the tourist route you are first faced with the descent, where you will be required to overcome 380 steps down the long stairway, reaching a depth of about 135 meters underground, luckily the tourist rout will bring you back to the exit where the mining elevator will take you up to the surface again. Using the mining elevator shaft is a great attraction, not just for kids, and a good way to finish your tour of the Wieliczka Salt mines!

    The museum is open to visitors every day of the year, except January 1st , Easter day, 1st of November, 24th and 25th of December.

     

    Location and Other Attractions in the Area

    px

    The Wieliczka Salt Mines are located just outside of Krakow in Wieliczka. You can travel here from Krakow by using public transport or joining one of the many tour groups that are organized from Krakow.

    Distances to the Wieliczka Salt Mines from:

    Krakow:10km
    Zakopane:106km
    Oświęcim:67km

    Other Attractions in the area:

    px

    Krakow Historical center is located just over 10km away from the salt mines and holds a wealth of attractions for most travelers. One of the newest attractions is the underground museum. Read more...

    px

    Less famous, but also well worth noting is the Salt mines in Bochnia that are located some 30km to the east of the Wieliczka Salt mines. Read more...

    px

    The Ojcowski National Park is located about 30km away from Wieliczka to the north of Krakow. The Ojcowski National Park is the smallest national park in Poland, covering a total area of only 2145ha. Read more....

    px

    Kazimierz is today a well-known and very popular district of Krakow, once it was an independent city. For many this was the Jewish capital of Europe before the second world war. Read more...

     

     

    The Wieliczka Salt Mines can be visited every day:

  • 7.30 - 19.30 (from 1 April to 31 October)
  • 8.00 - 17.00 (from 2 November to 31 March)
  • Holy Saturday opening hours are 7.30 to 14.00, and on 31 December: 8.00 - 14.00

  • Ticket prices for individual tourists are as follows:

  • Normal ticket: 39zł
  • Reduced ticket: 35zł
  • Family ticket: 133zł (2 pers. Adults + 2 children aged 4 to 16 years)
  • Children under 4 free tour.
  • Read more
    Auschwitz & Auschwitz Birkenau -Nazi extermination camp in Poland
    Slideshow Image 1

    Auschwitz is a place that stays long in the memory of those how visit. Auschwitz and Auschwitz II Birkenau are places that form a warning against the human aggression displayed in the acts that have taken place here. The facts speak for themselves, in 1940. Nazi Germany assumes control over the camp, which was originally used as a Polish army training camp, after the occupation of Poland it was used as a prison for Polish prisoners. Later being transformed into the predominantly Jewish extermination camp of Auschwitz Birkenau.

    The number of victims in Auschwitz is estimated at 1.1 to 1.5 million people. After converting this into the length of time the camp existed it gives a frightening number of more than 1,000 victims per day, many people were often forced into hard labor for as long as their body could withstand the extreme conditions that they were exposed to, this would normally end in a cruel death. Others never even got to stay in the camp and were sent straight to the gas chambers upon arrival in Auschwitz. In the last weeks before the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazi occupants in an attempt to destroy evidence of crimes and blurring of the human torture that had been committed started the systematic destruction and removal of evidence in the camps.

    Despite these efforts, many of the barracks where the men, women and children were detained under inhumane conditions have been maintained along with much condemning evidence of the cruel acts that have taken place here. The area of the camps was after the war protected and converted to The State Museum of Auschwitz and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. The area of Auschwitz and Auschwitz - Birkenau, which was a continuation of the first camp, covers a vast area that we cannot fully appreciate before experiencing it with our own eyes. There are kilometers of barbed wire, guard towers, countless barracks both standing and just the crumbled shells left behind after the destruction before the camp's liberation and of course, the gas chambers.

    Tourists have often said that being on vacation is a time that they do not want to spend on something so depressive. However, a visit to Auschwitz can be looked upon as a time to reflect the other side of the coin, and you can fully appreciate what you have, and that we now live in a time of freedom, in a free country. Even though the events of Auschwitz seem so distant in time, it really happened recently, only a little over half a century ago. The numbers are slowly declining, but there are a few people that have seen and experienced Auschwitz for what it was and there are still many that have lost close family in the events that have taken place in these camps.

    Auschwitz small images 1 Auschwitz small images 2 Auschwitz small images 3

    The museum is open to visitors every day of the year, except January 1st, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (24th& 25 December).

    Opening hours for the museum:

  • 8:00 - 15:00 from December to February
  • 8:00 - 16:00 in March and November
  • 8:00 - 17:00 in April and October
  • 8:00 - 18:00 in May and September
  • 8:00 - 19:00 June, July and August

  • Tours Starting times:

  • English: 10.30 a.m., 11.30 a.m., 1.20 p.m.
  • French: 12.20 p.m.
  • German: 12.20 p.m.
  • Italian: 12.20 p.m.
  • Spanish: 12.20 p.m.
  • Location and Other Attractions in the Area

    px

    Auschwitz & Auschwitz Birkenau are located in the Polish town of Oświęcim. When traveling to Auschwitz by car you will find small brown signposts that will guide you to the Museum. If coming by public transport, then ask your driver before you enter the bus, if they will be going to the museum as many buses from Krakow do go directly to the museum.

    Distances to Auschwitz & Auschwitz Birkenau from:

    Krakow:68km
    Zakopane:128km
    Oświęcim:2km

    Other Attractions in the area:

    px

    Sucha Beskidzka is a very attractive little tourist town. One of the most famous attractions here is the Renaissance castle, now known as "The Little Wawel" it was built from 1554 to 1580... Read more...

    px

    Zator is a small town about 20km from Oświęcim on the road number 28 towards Nowy Sącz. If you are driving to Krakow, then you will leave the road number 28 in Zator. Read more....

    px

    Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is a very important pilgrimage site in Poland, situated about 30km south-west of Kraków center. It was created as a faithful duplicate of Jerusalem. Read more...

    px

    Krakow historical city center is located 70km to the east of Oświęcim and can be reached by public transport from the parking place in front of the main museum of Auschwitz. Read more...

     

    Read more