Some 80km long, with peaks of up to 2500m, the Tatras are the most spectacular part of the mountain range extending along Poland’s border with Slovakia. They are as beautiful as any mountain landscape in northern Europe, the ascents leading along boulder-strewn trails beside woods and streams and culminating in breathtaking, windswept peaks. The peaks are topped with snow for most of the year, making it a great area for skiing (from mid-Dec to March). The mountains are a protected national park and as such harbour lots of wildlife: if you’re lucky you could glimpse rare species such as lynx, golden eagles and brown bear.

The main base for skiing and hiking on the Polish side is the extremely popular and lively resort of Zakopane. There are good road and rail links with Kraków 60km to the north, as well as several mountain resorts across the border in Slovakia.

Skiing here is cheap, with the premier slopes of Kasprowy Wierch just a few minutes out of town, and plenty of places in the centre to rent equipment. Hikers may want to avoid the 9km path to the lovely but busy Morskie Oko Lake in high season, but there’s no shortage of other, more secluded trails. Świat, at ul. Zamoyskiego 12 (t 693 022 944, w www.swiat.biz.pl), organizes rafting tours (with English-speaking guides) on the nearby Dunajec River. Zakopane’s market at the bottom of ul. Krupówki sells a wide range of traditional local goods, including oscypek (smoked sheep’s cheese) and small woodcarvings. This latter local tradition is intriguingly displayed in the whimsical wooden tombs of the nearby Old Cemetery (Stary Cementarz).

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Poland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 reasons why Poland should be on your radar

7 reasons why Poland should be on your radar

Few countries in Europe have changed as much as Poland over the last twenty years. Most of its cities have undergone a process of reinvention, opening ambitious…

24 Jul 2018 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
An expert's guide: the best places to stay in Warsaw

An expert's guide: the best places to stay in Warsaw

No longer the grey city of Eastern European stereotype, the Polish capital Warsaw is a forward-looking, ebullient and multi-layered kind of place, where gleamin…

19 Jul 2018 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
The 10 best Baltic beach resorts

The 10 best Baltic beach resorts

European beach holidays haven’t always been just about the Mediterranean. A century ago, the resorts along the Baltic Sea were just as likely to attract the E…

16 Mar 2018 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs