Zakopane and Tatras Mountains Day Tour from Krakow
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Pass By: Cracow Tours, ul. Krupnicza 3, Krakow 31-123 Poland
Situated by the Vistula river, Krakow is the cradle of Polish culture anda characteristic urban phenomenon. It is the former capital of Poland, the place of coronation and later the burial ground of almost all Polish monarchs. For a long time it has been attracting scholars with the oldest university in the country, artists with the cultural climate and pilgrims with the sanctuaries and holy relics. Since the beginning, Kraków has also been enticing tourists with its atmosphere, monuments, and recently also the memory of Pope John Paul II.
The legendary founder of the city was Prince Krak, the vanquisher of the Wawel Dragon (the effigy of the beast stands at the foot of Wawel Hill). Remnants of the oldest history of the city have been preserved in two mounds dating from the 7th century called the Wanda and Krak mounds. The first historical information about Krakow is contained in a 10th-century note of Ibrahim ibn Jakub. In the book of Muhammad al-Idrisi (dating from the 12th century) Krakow is described as a “beautiful and large city with many houses, residents, markets, vineyards and gardens.” At the beginning of the 12th century Gallus Anonymous depicted
Krakow as a thriving metropolis and wrote in his Chronicles: “Krakow, the capital city, excels all Polish cities.” Krakow was founded according to the Magdeburg law (by Bolesław V the Chaste) on the 5 June 1257. district) was inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Cultural and Natural Heritage
Sites in 1978 as the first of its kind.It is important for the residents of Krakow to cultivate their traditions such as the annual nativity crib contest or the Lajkonik wandering in the octave of the
Corpus Christi (June) from Zwierzyniec to the Main Market Square.
Among the many eminent people connected to Krakow are the Pope John Paul II; the Nobel Prize poets Czesław Miłosz and Wislawa Szymborska; the founder of the avant-garde theatre Cricot-2, Tadeusz Kantor; the playwright Stanisław Mrozek; Stanislaw Lem – the legend of Polish fantasy writing; Stanislaw Wyspianski – a painter, poet, playwright, designer and the author of works such as the stained glass decorating the Franciscan Church; and Dr. Feliks “Manggha” Jasinski– the benefactor of the Japanese collection displayed currently in the Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology funded by Andrzej Wajda.
Stop At: Tatras Mountains (Tatry), Southern Poland Poland
Visiting Zakopane is a perfect opportunity to learn about
the wooden architecture of Podhale highlanders, and to see
the beautiful villas in Zakopane style, which was inspired by
the folklore of this region. It is worth visiting the Koliba villa, housing the Museum of Zakopane Style. Other unique
examples of the Zakopane style include the Pod Jedlami
villa and the charming chapel in Jaszczurówka designed
by Stanisław Witkiewicz, the creator of the Zakopane style.
In the vicinity of Krupowki, a famous Zakopane promenade, there is the grand building of the Tatra Museum devoted to the mountains, the Podhale folklore and the history of the exploration of the Tatra Mountains. You can also find many churches and monasteries in Zakopane. However, most pilgrims go to the sanctuary of our Lady of Fatima in Krzeptowki, which is run by the Pallotines and strongly linked with John Paul II.
Before you travel from Zakopane to the Tatra Mountains, it is worth taking a funicular railway to the top of Gubałowka (1120 m asl). This picturesque mountain ridge emerges from the
north of Zakopane, just on the opposite side of the Giewont peak. Another way to admire the mountain panorama is to
A view on Giewont, photo by J. Gorlach Cable car to Kasprowy Wierch, photo by J. Gorlach 22 23 take a ride on a cable car from Kuznice to Kasprowy Wierch (1985 m asl). The most beautiful lake in the Tatra Mountains is Morskie Oko, lyingat the foot of the highest peak in Poland, Rysy (2499 m asl). The lake can be reached by a 10 km asphalt road, also frequented by horse buses.
The best place to stop by and take a rest after an exhausting hike is a newly built water park at the foot of Antalowka, which offers thermal water baths.
Duration: 9 hours
Stop At: Tatra Museum, ul. Krupowki 10, Zakopane 34-500 Poland
The Dr Tytus Chalubinski Tatra Mountains Museum is housed in a purpose-built building designed by Stanislaw Witkiewicz and Franciszek Maczynski in the Zakopane style and constructed in 1913-22.
One of the oldest regional museums in Poland, it was first created in 1888 as a museum of nature to commemorate Dr Tytus Chalubinski (1820-89), the physician, botanist and great public figure who was enamoured with the Tatra Mountains, uncovered the beauty and originality of the highlanders' culture, and promoted Zakopane. The key champion of the initiative to open such a museum in Zakopane was Adolf Scholtze, the Warsaw industrialist, chemist and devoted naturalist.
The Museum preserves its holdings in several departments. The Nature Department is devoted to the nature and wildlife of the Tatra Mountains, their geology and caves. Among its prized possessions is Tytus Chalubinski's collection of more than 2,700 specimens of moss, nine albums containing 900 species of vascular plants, a unique collection of nearly 140 species of lichen, and numerous herbaria. The zoological holdings, spanning the areas of the Tatras, the Rocky Podhale, the Orawsko-Nowotarska Dale and the Pieniny Mountains, number some 581 exhibits and are particularly noted for the collections of birds, of the Tatra and Podtatrze butterflies, and of the Tatra dragon-flies. The geological holdings include 2,081 specimens of rocks, minerals and fossils from the areas of the Tatras and Podtatrze. Of special interest is a beautiful collection of 96 marine fossils, with ammonites, sea-urchins, molluscs and snails.
The Ethnographic Department preserves objects of material culture, crafts and folk art from the areas of Podhale, Spisz and Orawa. Visitors will see the local sheep-herding and household equipment; costumes, including the precious female attire from the area of Czorsztyn; paintings on glass; decorated metal and leather objects; and embroideries. There is also a valuable collection of folk instruments and metal pins. The Art Department is home to a precious collection of paintings, graphics and drawings, all having the Tatras as their subject, a new occurrence in the Polish art in the first half of the nineteenth century. There is also a large collection of portraits executed in various techniques and presenting the top-most Zakopane artists, politicians, sportsmen, as well as mountain folk. The Museum's patron, Tytus Chalubinski, has a number of portraits by various artists, Stanislaw Witkiewicz among them. There are also several pastels drawn by Witkiewicz's son, Stanislaw Ignacy (nicknamed Witkacy) in his famous "Portraiture Company". Of special note is also a collection of fifty cartoons of the author's contemporaries by Kazimierz Sichulski, one of Poland's most renowned cartoonists, as well as a collection of sculpture by Zakopane artists.
Contemporary art is represented by artists' individual collections, such as that of works by Wladyslaw Hasior. A separate place is dedicated to exhibits related to the history of climbing and skiing in the Tatras and to the Tatra Mountains Rescue Service. On display is historical sports gear, club badges, medals and mementoes of leading sportsmen.
Permanent exhibitions: History: The Exploration of the Tatras; Nature: Nature and Wildlife, Geology and Caves of the Tatras; Ethnographical: Interior of the Highlander's Cottage in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries; Folk Culture in its Many Aspects.
Duration: 1 hour
- Air-conditioned vehicle.
- Local live guide.
- Hotel pickup and drop-off (designated centrally located Krakow hotels only).
- If you are interested in complementary hotel pickup, please make sure to contact the supplier
- no later than 24h prior to your tour.
- Roundtrip transportation is available from designated centrally located Krakow hotels.
- Pls arrange pickup from your hotel or a nearby location when you call to confirm your reservation.
- You are required to wait at the reception 5 minutes before your scheduled pickup time.
- If you do not require hotel pickup, or your hotel cannot be serviced,
- you must make your own way to main tour departure point: the bus park at 7 Powisle Street,
- across from the Sheraton Grand Hotel Krakow.
- Check-in at this location is 15 minutes prior to the booked tour start time.
- Entry/Admission - Tatra Museum
- Food and drinks, unless specified
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
- Comfortable walking shoes are recommended
- Children must be accompanied by an adult
- Near public transportation
- Infants must sit on laps
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- If you are interested in complementary hotel pickup, please make sure to contact the supplier no later than 24h prior to your tour. Roundtrip transportation is available from designated centrally located Krakow hotels. Please arrange pickup from your hotel or a nearby location when you call to confirm your reservation. You are required to wait at the reception 5 minutes before your scheduled pickup time. If you do not require hotel pickup, or your hotel cannot be serviced, or you do not confirm the pickup time & location, you must make your own way to main tour departure point: the bus park at 7 Powisle Street, across from the Sheraton Grand Hotel Krakow. Check-in at this location is 15 minutes prior to the booked tour start time.
- Most travelers can participate
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 50 travelers
This was a great tour. The drive was a bit long but the countryside amazing and the guide Krzysztof Ciacma was awesome. Some much knowledge and passion for the history of Poland, the changing country side, and the Polish culture.
I loved visiting Zakopane! I’m glad we chose to do this tour, I even got to ride a horse and hold a baby lamb!! We did not get to see the mountains though as it was too cloudy. This tour only runs on Wed and Sat so be aware of that when making plans. Also note that the tour guide will take you up the mountain and immediately bring you back down. DO NOT FOLLOW HIM DOWN. There is much more to do up above than there is down below!! S/he won’t let you see all the different booths and shops on the top. We read other reviews and were prepared ahead of time to say no to going back down. We only went back close to the end when it was time for the tour to be over and that was plenty of time to see what was at the bottom.
Fantastic, guide was brilliant the day was sooooo much fun would advise everyone that this trip was a must. Right from being picked up at our hotel until the end of the day it was great