- All food is included, except for main meals (lunch and dinner) in Zakopane and Krakow (days 1, 7 and 8). Typical Meals: Breakfasts in Zakopane and Krakow will be a hot and cold buffet. In the mountain hostels a choice of hot or cold is usually available. Lunches will be picnic type including rolls, fruit and a drink. Evening meals in the mountain hostels are plentiful and are usually very filling! The main course will include a selection of meat and vegetables. Vegetarian and special diets can be catered for, but options are limited in the huts - please inform the office of any specific dietary requirements when booking.
- Accom: hotel/lodge
- Serious adventure
- Trek: point-to-point
- Walking & Trekking
- Guided Group
Start at Krakow Airport, where we will be met on arrival by our leader. We then transfer (about 2hrs) by road to our hotel in the folk town of Zakopane, beneath the peaks of Giewont, Kasprowy Wierch and Swinica. The evening is free to explore.
Short bus ride to Tatra National Park entrance; walk past limestone gorges and caves to Ornak, time permitting head to Ornak summit and Raczkowa Pass.
A short bus ride takes us to Kiry (15min from Zakopane) the entrance to the Tatra National Park, from where we start walking. A gentle 90min hike along the Koscieliska valley, with many limestone gorges and caves, brings us to the Ornak hostel, our base for the night. Depending on our time of arrival, there should be time to explore further and climb Ornak peak (1854m).
Tough trek to the summit of Ciemniak with fantastic views; descend the Dolina Kondratowa to the Kalatowki Hut.
A harder day as we leave the hut, and start our ascent east, along the banks of the Tomanowy River, towards Tomanowa Przetecz and then Ciemniak, our first 2000m peak. From Ciemniak we follow the main ridge of the Tatras towards Krzesanica, Malolaczniak and Kopa Kondracka with a spectacular view of Giewont (1985m) and the whole region. To the north we can see Zakopane, to the east Mt Rysy, and the south Slovakia. We descend down the Dolina Kondratowa to the Kalatowki Hotel where we overnight.
Long climb to summit of Mt Kasprowy; descend to the Murowaniec Hut.
Our second long day as we head back up to the main ridge above our hostel. We follow the main trail alongside a chairlift, zig zagging in places to the summit of Mt. Kasprowy (1955m). Traversing along the ridge towards Swinica (2050m) we again have dramatic views of the whole area. From the Swinica ridge we descend from the rocky ridge, past small mountain tarns to Gasiencowa hostel (1500m) where we overnight.
Beautiful day of trekking in the heart of the High Tatras; through the 'Valley of the five Polish lakes' to Roztoka.
This morning we prepare for the most challenging two days of the trip. We recommend that you try and pack as lightly as possible for these days as you will be using fixed mountain chains to assist you on the walk. We begin with a steady climb past Czarny Staw and away from vegetation to the rocky heights of the High Tatras. We cross the 'Eagles Perch' (2159m) around lunchtime before descending back into the 'Valley of the five Polish lakes' with a variety of mountain flowers and grasses, to Roztoki. Approx 7-8 hours walking 16km
Ascend Mt Rysy (2499m) from the Polish side, Poland's highest peak. The splendid views from the top will make the effort more than worthwhile.
Our final ascent and the hardest of the trip! On leaving Roztoki trek via Morskie Oko, we head for the peak of Mt. Rysy (2499m) on the Polish/Slovakian border. This is a very long day with a steep climb (ascending over 1000m), walking and scrambling over difficult terrain, on the Polish side of the mountain, but the effort is definitely worth it. On a clear day the views from the summit of Rysy are simply stunning. We should be able to see over 100 peaks and several lakes including Morskie Oko once of the largest in the Tatras. Return descent to Morskie Oko (your guide can decide to descent the Slovakian side, which is not so steep and considered a safer descent than the Polish side - there are chains to help).
Short descent down the Dolina Rybiego Potoku. Transfer to historic city of Krakow.
Our last day walking as we descend down the Dolina Rybiego Potoku (valley) to the road ahead and our waiting bus. We'll then transfer to the historic city of Krakow, arriving mid afternoon. The rest of the day is free to explore the delights of this beautiful city. The Old Town was added to UNESCO's list of World Cultural Heritage in 1978. Possible places of interest are Krakow's Jewish district, where the film 'Schindler's List' was shot. There are also numerous churches, the castle, the largest market square in Europe and the oldest university in Poland. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants as well as jazz venues.
Free day in Krakow.
A full free day to explore Krakow. Your leader will be able to advise on optional excursions, perhaps to the UNESCO Salt Mine at Wieliczka, and/or Auschwitz Museum.
End in Krakow.