Welcome crocuses to Małopolska

A meadow with flowers called crocuses. Wooden huts and mountains in the background
The warm sunrays are reaching the various nooks and crannies of meadows and glades in the Tatra Mountains more and more boldly, melting the remains of the snow and warming the ground. From the beginning of April, these places are covered with stretches of lighter and darker varieties of purple–blooming crocuses. Although winter is in full swing and vast amounts of snow are higher up in the mountains, spring is just around the corner, and the opening crocuses are one of its most spectacular signs in Podhale. In fact, every glade, smaller or larger, in the Tatras and the Podtatrze Region has been shimmering in purple flowers since the end of March. No matter where we go in April, we will feast our eyes on the charm of more or less developed crocuses. Since who doesn't already dream of a carefree stroll in a light jacket along a country lane or forest path towards the sun? Let's go!


or Crocus vernus (Crocus scepusiensis) is a plant belonging to the iris family. This delightful flower with lilac and purple shades of varying intensity usually consists of six petals. The plant grows to a height of about 20 cm, and the crocus leaves are dark-green, narrow and oblong. In the morning and evening, the flower shrinks to open the inflorescence with the first rays of the sun and shimmer in the spring light. A characteristic of the crocus is the intense yellow stigma, which is used as a culinary dye and more. Most often, the crocus appears in meadows where sheep grazing is carried out, and we can usually see crocuses blooming in clusters with several flowers. Interestingly, the flowers vary in colour intensity, and observant lucky people may come across single white specimens. In Poland, the crocus is protected, so extreme care must be taken when admiring and photographing the flowers, from a path, of course, without entering clearings or meadows. Given the increasing number of tourists and the growing popularity of crocuses, the Tatra National Park has for several years been conducting a campaign entitled "Ani kroku(s) dalej" [Not another step], aimed at sensitising nature observers to be more careful. While admiring the spring beauty of the Tatra Mountain,, let's respect nature and protect it by remembering a few fundamental rules:

  • we admire crocuses from a tourist trail, from a marked path
  • we do not trample, sit or arrange to photograph crocuses as the sprouting plants which are not yet visible may be damaged
  • we do not break off the crocuses as a souvenir – it is worth returning next year to the same or another place and finding the flowers bloom.

For crocuses on the Chochołowska Glade

The most popular place for crocuses is undoubtedly the Chochołowska Glade, which can be reached by a 2-hour walk through the  Chochołowska Valley. From the beginning of April, the Glade is under a veritable siege from crowds of tourists wishing to feast their eyes on the carpet of filigree flowers spreading at the foot of Kominiarski Wierch are drawn here. No wonder it is undeniably the most phenomenal sight of the Tatra Mountains and the most significant symbol of the coming spring. A walk through the Valley that is waking up from its winter sleep is s very pleasant. It is worth being vigilant, as crocuses can sometimes be seen in sunny places after the first few steps, for example, at the exit of the Valley by the Siwa Glade or along the road by the Hucisko Glade. These views, however, are only a foretaste of what awaits us at our destination – the Chochołowska Glade. Crocuses bloom here from the first days of April for about two weeks, depending on the amount of snow in winter. It is an extraordinary sight deeply engraved in everyone's memory, and anyone who goes here once will undoubtedly wish to return. An alternative to walking in the Chochołowska Valley is hiring a bike; you can then cycle faster through flat parts of the Valley and return the bike at the next point. This way, you can turn up in the morning to watch the blossoms unfold in the sunshine, while at midday, you can enjoy the full bloom of the purple heads. The view of the full bloom of crocuses on the Glade is unforgettable, and you can exchange impressions with your hiking companions over a delicious apple pie in the PTTK Mountain Hostel  Chochołowskiej enjoying the view of the purple Glade from the dining room window.

Crocuses not only in the Chocholowska Valley

The popularity of the Chochołowska Valley and the crocuses blooming on the glade make it challenging to choose the right moment for solitary and quiet contemplation of the charms of spring. It is worth remembering those crocuses also appear in other places in the Tatra Mountains, in smaller areas, but they are equally delightful. You can feast your eyes on crocuses in the neighbouring Kościeliska Valley from the very beginning of your walk, as they are in bloom on the Wyżnia Kira Miętusia Glade, the Wyżnia Pisana Glade and right in front of the mountain hostel on the Smytnia Glade. A particularly delightful place is the Kalatówki Glade in the Bystra Valley, where crocuses appear as early as the end of March and form violet carpets at the foot of the Mountain Hostel, with a panoramic view of the still snow-covered peak of Kasprowy Wierch. Flowers also appear on the Glade below Kopieniec, which can be reached from Cyrlha or the Olczyska Valley. A rather large glade with historic shepherd's huts impresses with a density of crocuses in blossom, and an additional attraction is the panorama of the Tatras stretching from Wielki Kopieniec, just 10 minutes from the glade. Those looking for peace can also head for the Waksmundzka Glade at the foot of Koszysta Mountain, certainly one of the more secluded spots. The Rusinowa Glade also sparkles in the purple of crocuses in April, enchanting with fantastic views of the High and White Tatras. It is worth remembering these places if we want to experience at least some peace. Here, we can enjoy more freedom and silence while sunbathing in the spring sun and photographing the crocuses from an unthreatening distance.

Not only in the Tatra National Park

Due to the favourable conditions in the Podhale Region, crocuses also commonly bloom in other places, not necessarily in the heart of the Tatra Mountains within the Tatra National Park. In many open green spaces, crocuses are already appearing. A walk along the Droga pod Reglami path can be delightful. From the end of March, the glades stretching from the forest border are covered with purple flowers, contrasting beautifully with the slowly greening Gubałówka range in the background. A well-known and charming place is a small clearing closer to the city centre called Lipki, which delights with exuberant crocuses blooming against the backdrop of the Giewont massif. The expanse of purple heads stretching towards the alpine valleys is undoubtedly one of the first places where crocuses appear. The sunny slopes of Gubałówka are also home to crocuses, so it is worth planning a walk along the ridge from Harenda through Furmanowa and enjoy the beauty of the slopes in purple bloom from the south and the extraordinary panorama of the Tatra Mountains. Crocuses also bloom in Kościelisko, Witów and Dzianisz, so everyone has time and can easily find the perfect spot for themselves.



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