Pieniny Things to Do

  • Raft on the Dunajec
    Raft on the Dunajec
    by evaanna
  • Czorsztyn Castle viewed from Niedzica
    Czorsztyn Castle viewed from Niedzica
    by evaanna
  • Niedzica fortress
    Niedzica fortress
    by pikuu

Most Recent Things to Do in Pieniny

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    Rafting trips on the Dunajec

    by evaanna Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Polish raft on the Dunajec gorge
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    It's one of the most beautiful and enjoyable trips that you can take in Poland. On the Polish side you get on the raft, which consists of five boats put together, at Katy. There are also some Slovakian rafts setting off from the other bank of the Dunajec. The Polish raftsmen are local people dressed in their national costume or at least wearing white shirts and the characteristic flat black hats with a band of seashells. They are mostly good-natured and jolly and, if you speak Polish, you can enjoy their stories and jokes. They are very skilful and know the river well so the trip is quite safe. On my first trip on the Dunajec, however, one of the two raftsmen dropped his pole into the water, which, luckily, was picked by the other man at the back and handed to him.
    You cross the most interesting parts of the Pieniny National Park, on your right you see Slovakia, on your left the Polish Pieniny Mountains. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous: the sheer rock faces and the lush vegetation, the views change with every bend, simply unforgettable! The trip ends either at Kroscienko or Szczawnica, where you can take a bus to get back to your car.

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • National/State Park
    • Rafting

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    Czorsztyn Castle and Reservoir

    by evaanna Updated Feb 3, 2009

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    Czorsztyn Castle viewed from Niedzica
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    I have never visited Czorsztyn Castle. When we were in the area, it was just a ruin and dangerous to explore. But reconstruction work has been going on since and it is now apparently worth visiting. Admission 4 zl, concessions 2 zl. The castle sits on top of a hill overlooking what looks like an enormous lake. Only ten years ago there would have been a valley there with a few villages, but then a dam was built on the Dunajec and the area was flooded, forming a reservoir. In spite of many protests from the villagers it had been the right decision. The very same year the dam was launched (1997), a terrible flood came, which would have devastated many more villages in the area, possibly with a loss of life. The reservoir also brought many more visitors to the area, thus helping the tourist industry develop. And not only the local people seem to have benefited from this investment but also the wetland birds. You can now see whole colonies of herring gulls, great crested grebes, barnacle geese, herons and many more species in the area. Common terns can even nest on a small purpose-built island.
    We have recently re-visited the area so I'm going to write a separate page on the nearby village and castle of Niedzica sometime soon.

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    • Birdwatching
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Castles and Palaces

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    Slovakia for one day

    by pikuu Updated Jul 26, 2007

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    Renovated centre of Poprad
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    3 km form Niedzica is located small border crossing point (I don't suppose you need big one except you driving hundred tones truck:). So It's highly recommended to organize one day (or longer) Slovakia trip.

    I was in Slovakia without any plan. So I will not describe here exact route because you will think I'm crazy first going 60 km inside the Slovakia then back almost to the borderline and after again drive to the central part of this country :)

    Undouptedly on your travel list have to be the city of Poprad (60 km from Niedzica) with its nice and renovated old centre. There is almost nothing more pleasent than drink the local beer in the pub garden and observe the life circulating around.

    From Poprad is only 15 km to the resorts of Slovakia Tatra region: Stary Smokovec and Tatranska Lomnica. From Slovakia side (different than in Poland) mountains grow out almost from the lowland level up to two thousends meters (the highest peak Gerlach is 2655 m.) so the view is much more spectacular. Slovakian Tatra is the excellent area for ski fans (winter) and hikers (spring/summer).

    Next You can visit pictoresque city of Stara Lubovna (40 km from Smokovec) with its castle on the outskirt hill.

    Finally, going back, You must stop in Cerveny Klastor (Red Monastery) lonely place situated just below the Pienniny most known top Trzy Korony and only 10 km from Niedzica. The monastery legend tells that here lived Brother Ciprian famous herbalist and botanist but also the pioneer of aviation. Traditional stories say that he flied from surrounding peaks using machines similair to the modern hang-glider.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Historical Travel

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    Oscypek tasting

    by pikuu Updated Jul 26, 2007

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    Sheeps in Pieniny

    This Polish specialite is usually connected with Tatra region. But the Pienniny oscypeks are also good or even better.

    This cheese (this is not a cottage cheese) is made from mix of sheep and cow milk, formed in the shapes of small barrels (spindle-shaped) or something like a dumpling and smoked. So first advice: Oscypek sold in autumn/winter time are false products made only from cow milk. Only from May to October lasts the season for fresh sheep milk. And only from spring to the beginnings of autumn you can buy real oscypek.

    My favorite recipe is fried small piece of this cheese (fat addition not necessary) sometimes served with cranberry sauce. Mniam!! (Polish yummy). There is nothing better during the summer eveninig than very cold beer and fried oscypek.

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    • Food and Dining

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    Active Pieniny

    by pikuu Updated Jul 22, 2007

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    Fishing, sailing.....

    Rafting is the most known way of relax in Pieniny. But this is different activity than rafting done in mountainous river in Alps or Wild West. You are travelling in wooden raft controlled by Pieniny highlander in local costume. You don't have to wear a helmet and use some paddle. It's more like travelling in Venice gondola.

    Rafts set out from Sromowce and finish in Szczawnica (18 km, 2:15, ticket: 39 zl) or Kroscienko (23 km, 2:45, ticket: 48 zl)

    Pieniny National Park is also superb area for mountain hiking. The best route is from Kroscienko to the peak called Trzy Korony (Three Crowns) and next to Sromowce. View from Trzy Korony to the gorge with Dunajec river far below is really magnifcent.

    In Pieniny you can also go for active fisihing (it's good area for fly fishing) or check your biking skills using bike routes.

    Czorsztyn Lake is great area for sailing (especially for beginners), kayaking and simply swimming.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Rafting

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    Czorsztyn castle

    by pikuu Updated Jul 19, 2007

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    Czorsztyn castle

    From the Niedzica (other side of Dunajec) Czorsztyn Castle looks like a big ruin. But when you are inside you are very suprised.

    Interior is much better preserved. You can visit historical exhibition, wander from tower to walls, chambers and top level terrace with amazing view for Pieniny, lake and Niedzica castle.

    Visiting: tuesday-sunday from 10 to 15; summer months (may-september) everyday from 10 to 18. Entrance fee is 4 zl (about 1 Euro).

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

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    Niedzica castle - robbers, Incas and Dunajec river

    by pikuu Updated Jul 16, 2007

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    Lazy afternoon with the castle in background
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    Built in 14th century on the Dunajec riverside, this castle was the propriety of Hungarian magnates up tp Second World War. It has a stormy history. In XVIth century was the place of battles during Hungarian election. After it the castle was conquered by the robber-knights invading monasteries, villages and traders.

    With this fortress is connected the legend about... South-Amercian Incas treasure. One of Niedzica owner Sebastian Berzeviczy during his overseas journey married Umina - daughter of Inca sovereign. They lived in the Niedzica castle in 18th century and left hidden somewhere here the map with the clear pathway to wonderful treasure.

    Now you can visit very well-preserved castle with the exhibitions of traditional weapon, clothes, interior design. But the Niedzica fortress is above all superb point-of-view for Czorsztyn Lake and Pieniny National Park.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces

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    From Niedzica to...

    by pikuu Updated Jul 13, 2007

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    Tatra mountains  - perfectly visible from Niedzica

    When You see all the Pieniny showplaces You can jump to the nearest well-known tourist destinations.

    There is 40 km to Zakopane - the most known Polish winter resort and to Tatra Mountains magnificient area for mountain-hikers.

    Going east you can visit Krynica (80 km): other excellent ski and health resort famous for its ski runs and mineral waters.

    Only 30 km from Niedzica is located the village of Lacko - well known in Poland for its traditional vodka production. The alcohol from here is made using juicy plums. Perfect, but not for greenhorns :)

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Castles in Pieniny - lesson about war and economy

    by pikuu Updated Jul 12, 2007

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    castles: Niedzica & Czorsztyn ruines (background)

    Niedzica and Czorsztyn Castles are excellent evidences of connection between military and economy. Niedzica castle called "Dunajec" was built in 14th century and was the propriety of Hungarian aristocratic famillies. What for did they construct such a fortress? It's simple. Because of the north-south trade track and Dunajec river passage. The castle had to guard Hungarian businesses and let them widespread towards the Polish kingdom.

    Simultaneously Polish sovereign Kazmierz WIelki (Casimirus the Great) founded on the other side of river Czorsztyn castle. It had to look after Polish affairs.

    This sort of situation lasted for dozens next years - both castles located vis-a-vis, observed themselves. They were rivals but at the same time partners - one couldn't exist without the other.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

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    Climbing Sokolica and Trzy Korony

    by evaanna Updated Dec 30, 2005

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    View from Sokolica in the Pieniny Mountains
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    If you make the effort of climbing one or both of these mountains, you will get a fantastic view of the Dunajec, winding its way down in the green field-striped valley. The hike is not difficult at first but the final part, though short, is quite steep and accessible for the fit only. There are steps and barriers at places but queuing on them, as you often have to do, cannot count as pleasant. You must watch out for falling stones or pieces of rock as well and be very careful once you get to the viewing platform not to knock anything off yourself.
    Admission to the viewing terrace on either of these mountains costs 4 zl, concessions - 2 zl.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

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    Hiking in the Pieniny Mountains

    by evaanna Updated Dec 29, 2005

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    Hiking in the Pieniny
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    The Pieniny are a national park where it is best to move only along marked trails. You can start your hike from one of the entrance pavillions at Szczawnica, Sromowce Katy, Sromowce Nizne, Czorsztyn or Kroscienko. The pavillions house tourist information centres where you can get leaflets, maps, guidebooks and obtain information on all aspects of sightseeing in the Pieniny. Next to two of them there are even small botanical gardens displaying the flora of the Pieniny Mountains. Admission to the park is free. Hiring a guide or joining a guided tour is recommended if you want to know more about this marvel of nature, its unique flora and fauna and avoid unnecessary detours. Actually, it is said that if you stray from the marked trail you increase the risk of being bitten by the common adder, although I doubt it if adders can read the signs.

    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    Rafting on Dunajec

    by AniaPL Written May 29, 2004

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    Dunajec river

    The mountaineers from Pieniny offer you a great adventure - rafting on Dunajec. It will take you from 1,5 up to 3 hours depending on the water level in Dunajec. But it is worth it. You will see the great nature, mountains and if you are lucky you can see some wild animals. In Pieniny there are over 14 000 kinds of animals, which means, 1/2 of all kind of animals in Poland.
    he temperature of water betweenn 6 and 14 C

    Related to:
    • Rafting
    • National/State Park
    • Mountain Climbing

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    Read Your Journey...Part 5.

    by coceng Updated May 16, 2004
    Part 5 : Pieniny

    Before venturing into The Dunajec, it's vital for you to know what you can see along the Dunajec River...Click to enlarge the texts on the left. Scroll down below for photos ! END OF TEXT ! The last leg of the journey that I took with Marek, from 12.2 km to 14.2 km...; We stopped at Szczawnica. Although we could continue for the next 3 more kms to Kroscienko.
    Beautiful sceneries, histories,the flowing water....are all comprised of the texts ( 5 of them...) on the left....Scroll down.......
    The last text....always remember WHERE you read first about your journey along The Dunajec River ! I scanned the texts from the fold-out postcards that we could buy near the river rafting entrance/office.

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    • National/State Park
    • Backpacking

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    Read Your Journey...Part 4.

    by coceng Updated May 16, 2004
    Part 4 : Pieniny

    Before venturing into The Dunajec, it's vital for you to know what you can see along the Dunajec River...Click to enlarge the texts on the left. Scroll down below for photos ! Continue with the 9th km to 12.2 km...
    Beautiful sceneries, histories,the flowing water....are all comprised of the texts ( 5 of them...) on the left....Scroll down.......
    Please continue reading...Learn a bit about The Dunajec River yet ?

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    • National/State Park
    • Budget Travel

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    Read Your Journey...Part 3.

    by coceng Updated May 16, 2004
    Part 3 : Pieniny

    Before venturing into The Dunajec, it's vital for you to know what you can see along the Dunajec River...Click to enlarge the texts on the left. Scroll down below for photos ! Next would be the 6.5th km to the 8th km...
    Beautiful sceneries, histories,the flowing water....are all comprised of the texts ( 5 of them...) on the left....Scroll down.......
    Learning more about The Dunajec River...even before you reach there!

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    • Budget Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Backpacking

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