Zakopane is a splendid base for trekking trips in the Tatra National Park, which offers a great diversity of tourist trails both for beginners and advanced climbers. In the park tourist have for their disposal a cable car to Kasprowy Wierch summit and 8 mountain shelters: Polana Kondratowa, Kalatówki, Hala Ornak, Polana Chochołowska, Dolina Gąsienicowa (Murowaniec), Dolina Roztoki, Dolina Pięciu Stawów Polskich and Morskie Oko. You will find more information about Zakopane trails in our two articles: Zakopane Trails for the Beginners and Zakopane Trails for the Advanced Climbers and Mountain Safety Rules.
Winter in Zakopane and Podhale is primarily a lot of well-prepared ski slopes, winter equipment rentals and ski schools. There are many lifts in Zakopane, with various levels of difficulty, so both beginners and an experienced skiers will find something for themselves. During winter holidays for children, group classes in ski schools are also organized - they usually last 2-3 hours, during which children, under the supervision of instructors, improve their skiing skills, while having a great time. After all, skiing is not only about going down the slope. Cross-country skiing is becoming more and more popular, and more and more cross-country tracks are Zakopane’s answer. It is an ideal place for cross-country skiing as it provides varied routes, varied terrain and great views. What is more Ski touring is an extremely popular type of activity that is gaining more and more fans in Poland. Although it has many variations, it comes down to one thing: hiking, reaching peaks on them, and racing down slopes that are not used by cross-country skiers.
Zakopane also has marvellous ice rinks. We especially recommend ice rink located in the Central Sports Center. Olympic Preparation Center in Zakopane is the largest (1,800 sq m) and fastest ice rink in Podhale, enjoying great popularity every year by ice skating enthusiasts. An additional attraction when using the ice rink is the possibility of using the professional ice track located around it. On the other hand Tatra Ice Rink is located in the very center of Zakopane - Górna Rówień Krupowa, in the immediate vicinity of the most popular promenade in Poland, i.e. Krupówki. Its area is as much as 600 m2, so up to 150 people can use it at the same time. Tourists can use the ice rink on their own skates, and for people who do not have skates, a modern professional skate rental service is available, operating during the opening hours of the ice rink.
Snowmobiles are a great winter fun. There are 1 or 2 people snowmobiles, you can drive them on your own or with a guide. Snowmobile ride can last an hour, 2 hours or 3 hours, the activity can end with a bonfire or kulig event. Snowmobiles can be driven both during a day and night. They offer unforgettable snow activities.
Zakopane has two ski jumps Mała and Duża Krokiew. Wielka Krokiew is the most famous Polish ski jumping hill. It was established in 1925. It is sheltered by a forest and is located on the northern slope of the Krokiew mountain, 1,378 m above sea level, from where it got its name. Every year ski jumping competitions for the World Cup are held here. A chairlift leads to the top of Wielka Krokiew. It is open to visitors every day. The ticket price includes a chairlift ride to the top of Wielka Krokiew and a descent. At its upper station there is a café that offers hot and cold drinks, traditional cakes and many other delicacies.
Dog sledding is another snow activity that is usually organized in an original tipi complex at Butorowy Wierch summit. We quite often join it with a bonfire and a bonfire with a meal in the tipi complex. During the one-hour meeting, tourists have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the dogs and sled equipment and choose from 2 to 5 km ride. There is also time to play or take photos with the dogs.
The centre for hot air ballooning is Nowy Targ airport. It is the highest located airport in Poland and is a gateway to magnificent flights to admire Tatras panoramas. The ballooning is possible both in summer and winter conditions. The only conditions that prevent flying is strong winds or fog. Nowy Targ aero club also offers glider and plane trainings as well as sightseeing flights.
Lately, in Zakopane area many thermal water complexes were built. They are new and well maintained and base their offer on thermal waters rich in this area. This is where many winter swimming pool photos are made by tourists. The most popular resorts of this type include: Bukovina Thermal Resort, Bania Thermal Resort, Chochołowskie Thermal Resort, Szaflary Thermal Resort and Zakopane Aquapark. All of them are excellent places to relax and get warm after earlier winter activities.
This type of activity is rather dedicated for professionals. Still ordinary tourists can see Mroźna Cave in Kościeliska Valley that is open to all tourists and has electric lights. Other most popular caves include Dziura, Mylna, Raptowicka, Smocza Jama, Pisana, Śnieżna, Obłazkowa, Czarna, Mietusia and W Szarym. Zakopane is also a great base to take one day tour to Slovakian magnificent caves such as Demianowska Freedom or Ice Caves.
Summing up, Zakopane is a perfect place for all people who enjoy active recreation. It is marvellous destination both for summer and winter holidays and also family or school stay in the mountains. It enchants with magnificent views of alpine type of mountains, its natural environment and scenic beauty. It is also a great starting point to discover the attractions of Podhale region and main tourist attractions in Slovakia. Don’t wait any longer enquire for Zakopane stay in ITS Poland your local DMC!
Author: Agnieszka Szwedzińska