Kraków area

Kraków area

maczuga Herkulesa w Pieskowej Skale
The ravines and plateaus of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland filled with rocky outliers, the gentle hills of the Carpathian Foothills and the green plains of the Vistula Valley all combine to create the diverse landscape of the Kraków region. No active leisure enthusiast will be disappointed.

1. Down the Prądnik and Sąspówka valleys

 Ojców – Grodzisko – Pieskowa Skała – Kalinów – Sąspów – Ojców
18 km, 5 hours hiking or cycling

The route begins in Ojców, leading through the Prądnik valley, along the red Trail of the Eagles’ Nests, and to the magnificent, Renaissance castle in Pieskowa Skała. Interesting sites passed along the way include: the ruins of the Ojców castle, the wooden Chapel on the Water from 1901 and Grodzisko with the church and hermitage of the blessed Salomea. After visiting the castle in Pieskowa Skała, descend to the road and follow the yellow trail, which turns into the forest opposite the famous Mace of Hercules outlier. March all the way to Kalinów and Sąspów, and just below the church from 1670, descend to the bottom of the Sąspówka valley. The trail continues along the beautiful ravine to the Prądnik valley and then back to Ojców. On a bike: take the road from Ojców to Pieskowa Skała, then follow the bicycle trail instead of the yellow trail to Sąspów. 


2. Ojców loop

Ojców – Złota Góra – Brama Krakowska – Ojców
9 km, 3 hours hiking

Begin the trip in Ojców by following the green trail up to the ruins of the castle. The trail leads to the car park on the Złota Góra mountain, where it descends steeply through the forest down to the Sąspówka valley. Once here, enter the yellow trail, turn left and follow the trail’s signs all the way to the exit onto the Prądnik valley. Then climb the black trail leading to the Grota Łokietka, and take the blue trail down to the Ciasne Skałki ravine, and all the way to the rocky Brama Krakowska. Visit the nearby Ciemna cave. Take the red Trail of the Eagles’ Nests from the Kraków Gate back to Ojców. 


3. Kobylańska and Bolechowicka Valleys

Będkowice – Kobylany – Karniowice – Wierzchowie – Murownia
11,5 km,  3,5 hours hiking

Start in the centre of Będkowice and take the yellow trail that descends to the Kobylańska Valley. Once there, take the path below the gradually rising fantastically shaped rocks – Kobylańska Valley is the most popular climbing spot in the Kraków area. Before the first buildings in Kobylany, the trail turns left, passing through Karniowice, where you can see the beautiful 17th century manor. Continue marching to the famous Brama Bolechowicka (Bolechowicka Gate). The stunning rocks create a huge, white, calcareous gate. The yellow trail continues up the valley, and then, bypassing Zelków, to Wierzchowie in the Kluczwoda valley. There, at the foot of the rocks, lies the entrance to the magnificent Wierzchowska Górna cave. By following the trail, you will reach the town of Murownia, situated by the road from Kraków to Olkusz.  


4. By the tallest rock in Polish Jura

Kobylany – Zelków – Bolechowice – Gacki – Wierzchowie – Bębło – Kobylany
27 km, 2,5 hours cycling

The route follows the red bicycle trail. Start in the centre of Kobylany and go up the Kobylańska Valley. Crossing a steep side valley, you will reach the plateau, then pass Zelków and arrive in Bolechowice after going down a steep downward slope. The trail then leads to Gacki and once again climbs uphill, to eventually descend steeply through the forest to the Kluczwoda valley. Continue up the valley, first on a path, then on an asphalt road, and arrive at the Wierzchowska Górna cave. The trail then leads to Bębło and takes you down to the Będkowska Valley on a dirt road. Nearby, you will find another cave, i.e. Nietoperzowa cave, also open to visitors. Follow the comfortable path through the picturesque valley. The last stretch of the route is a very steep climb on an asphalt road to Kobylany.


5. Onto the Racławice Battlefield

Miechów – Nasiechowice – Racławice – Dale – Góry Miechowskie – Kalina-Rędziny – Miechów
35 km 3 hours cycling

In Miechów, where the route begins, it is worth stopping by the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. The old temple of the bożogrobcy order was erected in the 13th century and later converted in Baroque style. The tall tower is topped with a characteristic sphere, which can be seen from many locations in the Miechów area. Leave the town and head south-east on the green bicycle trail – a small road passing through Wymysłów, Zarogów and Pojałowice to Nasiechowice. On the edge of the town you will see the signs of the red Kościuszko bicycle trail, leading from Kraków to the battlefield near Racławice. Continue on the red trail from Nasiechowice to Racławice. After traversing the Ścieklec valley, climb the hill neighbouring Racławice. Once in the village, why not visit some places connected with the famous battle fought here on 4 April 1794, when the Polish army led by Tadeusz Kościuszko defeated Russian troops. In order not to return to Miechów on the same road, cross road no. 783 (Miechów – Skalbmierz) in the centre of Racławice and head on the side road towards the village of Dale. Once there, turn left and go along the buildings until you reach the forest, where you will turn right at the fork of the road. Climb through the forest to the Góry Miechowskie (Miechów mountains), continue along the mountain ridge to Kalina-Rędziny and enter road no. 783 towards Miechów.


6. The churches of the Oświęcim area

Oświęcim – Grojec – Osiek – Nidek – Głębowice – Polanka Wielka – Poręba Wielka – Oświęcim
44 km 4 hours cycling

The route begins in Oświęcim on the yellow bicycle trail and leads along paths amidst an undulating landscape. The first point of interest on the route is Grojec, where you can see a wooden church from the 17th–18th centuries and a palace from the end of the 19th century. While covering the road from Grojec to Osiek, it is worth stopping by the bee-keeping heritage park. Another attraction on the route is the beautiful, 16th century wooden church in Osiek. It is also worth seeing the town’s beautiful 18th century palace, converted in Oriental style in the middle of the 19th century. You will find more 16th century wooden churches in Nidek and Głębowice. Also interesting is the well-preserved classical palace in Polanka Wielka, located in the middle of an old park. Nearby, you will find another wooden church of the Oświęcim area, also from the 16th century. The last of the churches on the track stands in Poręba Wielka and also dates back to the 16th century. Poręba also boasts a classical palace surrounded with an extensive park.


7. In the Carp Valley

Oświęcim – Dwory II – Las – Przeręb – Podolsze – Zator
22 km 1,5 hours cycling

The suggested route is part of the blue-marked Greenways trail. During the trip, you will be passing by the largest fishing ponds in the Vistula valley, which are the main natural attraction of the Zator and Oświęcim area. There is a plethora of water birds living near the ponds. You can also see numerous nests of storks, which vigorously hunt for prey on the vast, humid meadows.


8. To the Mountain of John Paul II

Gorzeń Górny – Ponikiew – Groń Jana Pawła II – Gorzeń Górny
21 km 7 hours hiking

From Wadowice, the hometown of John Paul II, you can take a hiking trip into the Small Beskid. The Pope used to leave from here when going to the peak of the Leskowiec mountain rising over the town. However, we begin out trip in Gorzeń Górny, beyond Wadowice, on the junction of road no. 28 and the road towards Ponikiew. First follow the black trail going up the Ponikiewka valley, then cross the slope of Iłowiec. After entering the yellow trail, climb to the top and continue to the Panczakiewicz mountain pass. Then follow the blue trail, reach the centre of Ponikiew and take the forested side valley to the Pod Gancarzem mountain pass. From here, it is just a short walk to the mountain (Groń) of John Paul II with a PTTK refuge and a chapel, as well as the peak of Leskowiec (922 m asl). The best return road from the refuge is on the yellow trail leading along the peaks of Królewizna and Kamień. The trail will take you back to road no. 28, where the route began.

9. Among the ponds and hills

Wadowice – Inwałd – Andrychów – Wieprz – Wadowice
40 km 4,5 hours cycling

The trip begins in Wadowice on a red bicycle trail. First reach Inwałd, with its unique attraction – the miniature park that presents famous buildings from all over the world. The second stop on the route is Andrychów, from where you will follow the black bicycle trail through Wieprz to the picturesque Przybradz fishing ponds in the Wieprzówka valley. Here you will find the blue bicycle trail, which will take you back to Wadowice. On the way, you will be passing the Frydrychowice ponds located in a valley among high hills.

10. Along the Ridges of Wieliczka Foothills

Wieliczka – Siercza – Dobranowice – Biskupice – Lednica Górna – Wieliczka
25,5 km 2,5 hours cycling

Wieliczka Foothills is a picturesque area, but its undulating landscape means numerous climbs along the way. You will be rewarded with the vast, picturesque landscapes. Start the trip by taking the red bicycle route from the centre of Wieliczka. Pass the Saltworks Castle (zamek żupny) and the entrance to the historic salt mine, and then climb up to Siercza, to go down to the Wilga valley through Pawlikowice and Koźmice Małe. It is now time for a long and steep uphill ride to Dobranowice, another descent into the valley and another uphill ride to Biskupice. It is worth straying from the route for a while to see the Gothic church perched on the top of a hill. From Biskupice, head back to Wieliczka, conquering a few smaller hills and passing through Lednica Górna, known for its original Easter folk tradition (Siuda Baba). Once back in Wieliczka, before returning to the centre, why not see the 16th century wooden church of St. Sebastian.


11. Through the Foothills to Dobczyce 

Wieliczka – Lednica Górna – Hucisko – Dziekanowice – Dobczyce
22 km 7 hours hiking

The trip follows the yellow trail, passing the wooden church of St. Sebastian on the outskirts of Wieliczka. The route then climbs the highest local mountain, Chorągwica, and continues to Hucisko, where you will find the house of Tadeusz Kantor with the huge sculpture of a chair. Before reaching Dobczyce, where the route finishes, it is worth stopping in Dziekanowice by the 12th century church, attractively situated on a steep hill over the Raba valley.


12. Forest wildness

Niepołomice – Leśniczówka Przyborów – Uroczysko Osikówka – Stanisławice

18 km 4,5 hours hiking

Begin the trip in Niepołomice. You can visit the Renaissance royal castle and the Gothic church with Baroque chapels. Start by taking the green trail from the market square. The moment you pass the last buildings, enter the forest and arrive at an intersection with a forest track. Go east by turning left. You will reach Droga Królewska (Royal Road) – the route used long ago by Polish monarchs to go hunting deep in the forest. In Sitowiec, pass a small oak tree planted where the huge Stefan Batory Oak once stood, and a military cemetery from World War I. You will then pass the August oak tree and reach the Przyborów forester’s lodge. Leave the Royal Road here by turning right (south). Climb the hill of Kobyla Głowa and, branching off subsequent roads passing between forests, arrive at the cemetery on Osikówka. Resting here are the Polish soldiers killed in action in September 1939. End the trip by the train station in Stanisławice.


Recommended attractions:
Ojców National Park, with exceptionally beautiful landscape and fascinating historic monuments: the castle in Pieskowa Skała, the ruins of the Ojców stronghold, the Chapel on the Water, and the church and hermitage of blessed Salomea in Grodzisko. 
Kraków valleys, the fabulous Jurassic ravines with impressive rocks Trail of the Eagles’ Nests featuring castles perched upon rocky peaks known as eagle nests, passing castles such as those in Korzkiew, Pieskowa Skała, Rabsztyn. 
Niepołomice Forest, formerly the favourite hunting ground of Polish kings, today features a natural reserve inhabited by the protected European bison (Żubr). 
Racławice, a place connected with the famous, victorious battle of the Kościuszko insurgents against the Russian army.
Wieliczka, famous all over the world for its UNESCO-listed salt mine; a wonderful starting point for the routes within the picturesque Wieliczka Foothills
Wadowice, a town connected with Pope John Paul II and a wonderful starting point for hiking trips in the Small Beskid. 
Wooden Churches of the Oświęcim area located on the Wooden Architecture Route; evidence of the region’s rich history and an architectural delight
Carp Valley, the largest complex of fishing ponds in the Vistula valley, where carp has been bred since the Middle Ages, and a sanctuary of numerous rare, endangered bird species.


Play Play