“Six days spent point to point trekking in the Polish High Tatras incorporates sublime scenery and serious scrambling with the rewards from Mt. Rysy totally beyond compare.”
Tatra National Park | hike the Koscieliska Valley | attempt Ornak summit and Raczkowa Pass (time permitting) | trek to the summit of Ciemniak | descend the Dolina Kondratowa | summit of Mt. Kasprowy | Valley of the Five Polish Lakes | trek in the heart of the High Tatras | summit of Mt. Rysy (2499m) from Polish side | descend the Dolina Rybiego Potoku | free day in Krakow | Optional sites in Krakow, include: Wieliczka Salt Mine and Auschwitz Museum |
Description of Poland walking holiday in the High Tatras
A Poland walking holiday is all about trekking the Tatras, and the High Tatras at that. This magnificent mountain range, part of the Carpathians, takes you as high up as 2499m on Mount Rysy, which we will endeavour to scramble and summit as part of this trip. Rysy may be the highest point, but there are plenty of highlights before that trek, which takes place on day six of this nine day holiday.
The Tatra National Park is the base for this holiday, although this is a full on hut to hut, inn to inn style walking holiday, spending three nights in small, locally owned guesthouses or hostel style accommodation, and five nights in mountain huts. This enables us to really explore the national park in depth, enjoying such natural heritage as the limestone gorges of the Koscieliska valley, the Valley of the Five Polish Lakes or the banks of the Tomanowy River.
Peak seekers will not be disappointed on this holiday either where, as well as Mt. Rysy, you will have a chance to summit Mount Ciemniak, follow a chairlift route up to Mt Kasprowy and take on the lofty heights of Eagle's Perch' pass (2159m) where you get to used fixed chains to support your climb. After all of these trekking trophies, your final reward is a day spent in Krakow, the historic and UNESCO World Heritage Site city which is a great place to finish this Polish adventure. One that is aimed at walkers of good fitness levels as we walk six out of nine days, averaging about 15km in high mountain terrain every day.
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Thanks to more than 250kms of hiking paths and the stunning scenery, this area can get busy during the summer and although September and October are a bit fresher these months are recommended if you fancy having the well-signed trails all to yourself.
Small group. Average group size 12. Minimum age 18.
Challenging. 6 days point to point trekking at max altitude 2499m.
1 night pension, 2 nights hotel (both en-suite), 5 night mountain huts in 8 - 10 person dorms.
Accommodation, transport, listed activities and tour leader.
All breks, 5 lunches, 5 dinners.
Lone wolves welcome. Supps for single hotel room applies.
Small group holiday
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.
We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!
Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.
Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.
Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.
“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.
“The accommodation will be basic” Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.
“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.
“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson
Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando
Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.
Responsible tourism: Poland walking holiday in the High Tatras
Environment/ Activity: This trip offers the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful and pristine natural environments Poland has to offer, e.g.: Ornak summit, Raczkowa Pass, Mt Kasprowy, the 'Valley of the five Polish lakes' and ,of course, Poland’s highest mountain- Mt Rysy. We are extremely aware of our roles as stewards of this area and are dedicated to the maintenance of the environment. Our tour leaders are strict with disposal of litter and encourage the re-use of water bottles in order to minimise the plastic waste.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Accommodation and Meals: Throughout our visit our local operator ensures that our visit benefits the local communities we visit by choosing accommodation that is on a smaller scale and traditionally run to help support the local economy and communities. For the most part of this trip, guests will be based in remote mountain huts in the High Tatras. These establishments are not often frequented by tourists and are locally run and staffed which not only ensures this rather isolated community benefits, but also a level of authenticity and area expertise for those travelling with us. All produce and supplies for provided meals are also locally sourced, and we encourage supporting local, traditional restaurants in Krakow and the small, picturesque town of Zakopane.
Local crafts and culture: Much of the trip is located in the mountains, but we still find opportunities to celebrate Poland’s rich culture and traditional crafts. Our tour leaders will encourage you to try regional specialities, supporting smaller businesses on the trail. For example, there are shepherds’ mountain huts which make and sell their own cheese- Oscypek is a delicious smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk exclusively in the Tatra Mountains. There is also the chance to explore the culture of Krakow on day 8, where we can organise trips to the UNESCO Salt Mine at Wieliczka, and/or Auschwitz Museum. The entry fee to both of these sites is an integral contribution to their upkeep and so can be seen as a direct benefit for local culture.
Group Size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.