Zakopane – Poland’s most famous mountain resort – is located 100 km from Krakow and is a great place both for a one day trip or few days stay. If you are looking for sport challenges, contact with nature, fine cuisine or unique local folklore, Zakopane has it all.
The town is located in stunning surroundings of the Tatra National Park. The nearby valleys and peaks offer plenty of routes for walking, hiking and cycling.
Zakopane is also famous for its unique wooden architecture, with all buildings beautifully decorated with traditional carvings. In fact, handcraft is one of the local specialties. That is clearly visible in many gift shops and stalls offering hand-made jewellery, woollen sweaters and all kinds of wooden trinkets.
To fully appreciate the local culture, it is also necessary to step into one of the traditional restaurants. With the accompaniment of Highlander music you will taste simple yet delicious local dishes, followed by the “Highlander’s Tea”: tea with local plum vodka.
While in Zakopane area, you have to make a stop in the village of Chocholow. The village consist of traditional wooden houses only and is a living museum of regional architecture. According to the tradition the houses are scrubbed before each Easter, which is the reason of their characteristic fair shade. We encourage you to step into a local artist’s workshop in of the wooden hoots. Here you can watch the artist at work carving wooden pieces of art and take a look at traditional interior of the owner’s private rooms. You are also welcome to visit a typical highlander’s household nearby. In the household you will be able to see the production of the famous regional sheep cheese Oscypek, and of course buy and taste it on the spot.
In warm months we recommend a gentle raft trip down the Dunajec river. While the rafts are navigated by local raftsmen in traditional regional costumes, you can admire the mountain scenery of picturesque limestone formations and wild forest. The raft trip takes 2 to 3 hours depending on the water level and ends in the town of Szczawnica.
Distance from Krakow: 105 km, about 2 h driving one way