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Pieniny and Spiš

Pieniny and Spiš

wschód słońca w górach, ciemne zarysy gór, pomarańczowo-złote niebo wśród chmur

Pieniny and Spiš are one of the most attractive tourist regions of our country, they are both worth visiting regardless of the season. Natural values, cultural diversity, a multitude of monuments will allow you to get to know the unusual face of the Małopolska region.

The Pieniny area is located in the central part of the Pieniny Klippen Belt. From the north, the Pieniny border with the Gorce and Beskid Sądecki, and from the south with Magura Spiska. The entire range is 35 km long and 3.5 to 6 km wide. Pieniny are naturally divided by the river Dunajec into three fragments, namely Pieniny Spiskie, the Pieniny Właściwe and Little Pieniny. The highest peak of this mountainous land, formed of limestone, slate, sandstone and conglomerates, is Wysoka (1,050 metres asl).

Spiš attracts history enthusiasts because of its interesting past. The first traces of human presence in this area come from the Palaeolithic period. The subsequent turbulent history of the Polish-Hungarian and Polish-Czechoslovakian border did not spare this area.

The region offers many attractions. A dense network of intersecting hiking trails and several ski stations provide an unforgettable experience for winter sports enthusiasts and hikers. For all those seeking respite, we recommend Szczawnica and Krościenko nad Dunajcem – two high valued health resorts in which you can, among others taste the spring water with healing properties and unique taste. It is also worth taking advantage of the rich offer of cultural events.

Tourist paradise

Since 1932 Pieniny are under protection within the Pieniny National Park, which stretches on both sides of the border with Slovakia. The Pieniny Właściwe range stretches on the protected area, culminating in the Three Crowns massive towering over the Dunajec valley. It is here that you can find extremely rare species of colourful flora and fauna. The rocky environment provides excellent conditions for the life of butterflies with the graceful name Apollo butterfly, and the relict pines in Sokolica make the landscape extremely characteristic.

There are many animate and inanimate nature reserves in Pieniny and Spiš. In the Homole Gorge reserve in Jaworki you can admire a deep canyon decorated with limestone boulders. The White Water reserve will enchant visitors with volcanic rocks and streams creating phenomenal cascades and deep evorsions. In turn, in the Białka River Gorge reserve near Krempachy you can see the rocks of white and red limestone, which hide the famous Obłazowa Cave. These picturesque places were the scenery for several films, such as the “Janosik” TV series or “Karol: A Man Who Became Pope”.  In the Blue Valley reserve, you will find a unique beech old forest, where the oldest beeches are over 200 years old, and in the Wysokie Skałki reserve you can see the last upper montane belt spruce forest in Pieniny. On hot days, to cool down you can opt for a trip to Żary (you can admire from that site the beauty of the Spiš Pieniny), rafting down the Pieniny gorge of the Dunajec river or a walk to the Zaskalnik waterfall.

Remarkable historic places

When in Pieniny, it is worth visiting several historically priceless sites. The rich past of this area can be discovered by, among others, visiting the castle in Frydman – a magnificent fortified manor house that once served as the summer residence of Jerzy Horvath – a Hungarian magnate. The turbulent fate of Niedzica is “hidden” in historic buildings, such as the castle on Lake Czorsztyn. In its medieval walls you can feel the atmosphere of a fortress that once used to be bustling. Near the castle there are also a historic granary and a customs house. The castle in Czorsztyn is another destination for tourists visiting the Pieniny area. It has been partially restored and the exhibitions attract crowds of tourists from all over Poland. In addition to recreation, the health resort in Szczawnica also offers numerous health treatments, and the popularity of this place is getting even greater.

In addition to secular monuments, there are also some noteworthy religious buildings – you cannot miss the church of St Elisabeth in Trybsz, the church of All Saints in Krościenko nad Dunajcem, or the oldest temple in the in the Polish Subtatra region, namely St Stanislaus church in Frydman. Worth mentioning are also: the church of St Catherine in Nowa Biała, the church of St Martin in Krempachy and the church of St Quirinus in Łapsze Niżne, belonging in the 14th century to the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Noteworthy is also the church of All Saints in Kacwin, built in 1313, which was in possession of Lutherans from 1602 and returned to Catholics 30 years later. Built in 1278, the church of St Bartholomew the Apostle in Niedzica, belonging to the group of Gothic Spiš churches, still enchants with stone traceries in the windows of the presbytery. Few people know that there are former Greek Catholic churches in the area – one in Jaworki and another in Szlachtowa. Currently, they are functioning as Roman Catholic churches.

Museum side of the Pieniny

When traveling around the region, it's worth visiting some museums. An absolute must-see is the Museum of the Pieniny National Park in Krościenko nad Dunajcem, where the natural, historical, landscape and cultural values of the Pieniny and its surroundings are exhibited. In the entrance pavilions of the national park we will find interesting exhibitions on various topics, e.g. “Pieniny forest ecosystems” or “Pieniny rock ecosystems”. One of them is in Szczawnica, two in Czorsztyn, and another two in Sromowce Kąty and Sromowce Niżne.
Particularly noteworthy is the Spiš Folk Culture Museum in Czarna Góra, where the buildings of the Korkoszów homestead and the Sołtys Homestead in Jurgów – branches of the Tatra Museum in Zakopane – are presented. Another interesting proposition is the “Sypaniec” regional chamber in Łapsze Niższe and the regional chamber in Sromowce Wyżne presenting the everyday life of the inhabitants of Pieniny in the past. A similar theme is presented by the open-air museum in Kluszkowce, also known as the Czorsztyn Settlement. The private Pieniny Mock-ups gallery in Krościenko nad Dunajcem offers visitors the opportunity to see miniatures of these beautiful mountains. At the Pieniny Museum in Szlachtowa you can see exhibits related to the history of Szczawnica, and at the carriage exhibition in Niedzica – carriage and horse carriages belonging to the former owners of the castle.

No less attractive is the nature exhibition of Tadeusz and Anna Oleś in Krościenko nad Dunajcem. It includes an impressive collection of rare animal specimens from around the world. The author's gallery “Pod Okółkiem” in Krościenko nad Dunajcem presents the paintings of Andrzej Michał Beliczyński made with the use of watercolours and pastels. In the “Krzywa Jabłonka” gallery in Szczawnica we will see folk art and handicrafts of Pieniny artists, same as in the wooden church in Sromowce Niżne, which since 2010 is no longer a sacred object, but acts as a local museum.

Active leisure in Pieniny

Szczawnica and Krościenko nad Dunajcem are recommended as starting points for hiking trips. Tourists can choose routes to the Three Crowns or towards Sokolica, depending on their preferences and skills. The trails start in the centre of the village and lead to Pieniny, Gorce and Beskid Sądecki. The red trail leads to Prehyba (1,176 metres asl) or Lubań via Jaworzyna (1,050 metres asl). The blue trail is also a very interesting route – it runs along the ridge of Pieniny Właściwe and Little Pieniny. The Tatra, Gorce and even Slovak Levoča Mountains can be clearly seen from here. This trail is also ideal for ski tours. After an exhausting walk, you can experience a respite in one of the mountain hostels: Orlica, Trzy Korony and Pod Durbaszką.

You can also admire the mountain panorama by taking the chairlift up to Palenica, from which you can also ski in the winter season. The gravity slide located on the mountain slope is also an interesting spot.

Fans of two wheels fans will find in Pieniny and Spiš many bicycle routes. The bicycle trail around Lake Czorsztyn is an ideal destination for lovers of monuments who, by combining active leisure with sightseeing, will remember the visit to Pieniny for a long time. The Pieniny Road, i.e. the red trail along the Dunajec gorge, can be travelled on foot and by bicycle, which is an additional advantage. The VeloDunajec bicycle route runs along the Dunajec river as well.

“Rally by the Dunajec Valley” encourages competitive cyclists to participate in the fun, which in addition to sports emotions, also provides opportunities to spend time surrounded by nature.
However, this is not the end of the attractions offered by the Pieniny region. Horse riding fans will also find something for themselves with the Transbeskidian Horse Trail running through this area. Szczawnica-Piwniczna is its most popular route. To choose the right walking, horse or bicycle route, please visit malopolska.szlaki.pttk.pl.

Cross-country skiing enthusiasts are invited to Krościenko nad Dunajcem where the boulevards by the Dunajec river have properly prepared skiing routes running alongside. Sports adrenaline can also be found in rope parks, such as ABlandia Amusement Park or Adventure-Sky in Krościenko nad Dunajcem.

Moreover, numerous running events are very popular among sports fans. The youngest enthusiasts can participate in Mini Runs in Szczawnica, which promote a healthy lifestyle among children and teenagers. The competition offers several routes adapted to the age and predisposition of the competitors, so you can choose a distance from 100 metres to even 2 kilometres. Adults also willingly take part in the competition during the Triada run. An interesting fact is the form of the race itself, which in addition to being fast and intense, consists of running up the peaks at night. 

Attractions at the foot of the mountains

One of the most characteristic attractions in this area is undoubtedly rafting down the Dunajec River Gorge, with tradition dating back to the 19th century. During rafting you can admire the Pieniny peaks, including the Three Crowns. For the sake of natural and historical values, the gorge was recognised as a natural monument. Rafters wonderfully amuse their passengers on the way by telling jokes and anecdotes.

An equally interesting experience is a cruise on the “Harnaś” ship on Lake Czorsztyn. Passengers on board can enjoy a cup of coffee while admiring the surrounding natural and architectural monuments.

You can't get bored in Pieniny and Spiš! An interesting experience is participating in the folklore custom of playing music around mojs. During the night before the feast of Pentecost, each of the bachelors in the neighbourhood strive to put a moj (little tree) in front of the house of a maiden. Then they sing songs in honour of the Mother of God and wander the whole village merrily. Disguised as gypsies, local youths collect donations for their “child”, and the girls from nearby houses dance with them to the music they play.

This live folklore is also presented during the inauguration of the Pieniny Summer event. Everyone who stays in Szczawnica at the time has the opportunity to see the traditional costumes of rafters, carriage drivers and highlanders from Spiš and Pieniny. A fair of folk craftsmanship and concerts of highlander bands complete the atmosphere, which for many mountain fans is a priceless holiday memory.

Shepherd culture plays a very important role in the social life of this mountainous region, which is also an interesting opportunity to learn more customs. Every autumn, time comes for redyk, i.e. the traditional return of sheep from the pastures. All the sympathisers of this event can celebrate, among others, in Jaworki, and in the Majerz clearing, they can welcome the shepherd (baca) and his young helpers (known as juhasi) returning from the shepherd's hut.

Muzyczna Owczarnia, which is one of the most popular meeting places for music lovers, is also extremely popular. Concerts and meetings are organised there throughout the year. Another events worth recommending are Ethno-Novo, Autumn in Szczawnica, the Pieniny-Kultura-Sacrum Festival in Krościenko or the Baroque Ancient Music Festival in the Spiš.

Pieniny and Spiš are famous for their wonderful regional cuisine including dishes such as: gałuski dumplings, kołoc pie, plum soup (known as śliwianka), oscypek cheese, kwaśnica (sauerkraut soup) or trout. Several dishes unknown in other regions are a treat for lovers of traditional delicacies.

Another unique attraction awaits you at the Szczawnica health resort, where you can try one of the twelve mineral waters. Some of them are available by the sources without any restrictions, others are served in the “Magdalenka” pump room. Equally valuable are the properties of the “Stefan”, “Maria” and “Michalina” waters available in Krościenko nad Dunajcem.

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Podhale and Tatra Mountains

Podhale and Tatra Mountains

turyści na kamiennym szlaku, wokół skaliste Tatry i zielona, górska roślinność
Podhale and Tatra Mountains are one of the most popular tourist destinations in Poland. Not surprising – Zakopane is for many reasons a town unique on European scale.

Add to this the natural values of the Tatra National Park (beautiful valleys and peaks, picturesque mountain trails), bicycle routes, unique architecture, professional ski slopes and delicious highlander cuisine. And this is just the beginning of the story about the attractions of this region! Podhale is characterized by an attachment to tradition, its inhabitants have a very emotional attitude to folk elements and folklore and you will see the manifestations of the above at almost every step. We invite you to a fascinating journey around Podhale!

Once upon a time…

Podhale is a real paradise for lovers of communing with nature and a Mecca for tourists who love mountain hiking. The region is divided into “Rocky Podhale” (the southern border of which is marked by Zakopane, among others) and “Niżne Podhale”. Along the Polish border, there are Tatra Mountains, protected in the area of the Tatra National Park. The historical capital of the region is Nowy Targ, while the town most important and most visited by tourists is the “winter capital of Poland” – Zakopane.

We can admire the beauty of the Tatra landscape by going on mountain trails, somehow which will be crowned with the conquest of one of the Tatra peaks: Kasprowy Wierch, Giewont or Rysy – the highest peak in Poland (2,499 metres asl). We can admire the beautiful mountain views by using the funicular to Gubałówka, the cable car to Kasprowy Wierch and the chairlift to Butorowy Wierch. Experienced tourists, who already know the Tatra trails by heart, can face Orla Perć – one of the most difficult marked routes in the entire Tatra Mountains. Hiking in the mountains and valleys is facilitated and varied by a network of picturesque Tatra mountain hostels, e.g. the Morskie Oko mountain hostel or the Valley of Five Polish Ponds.

However, mountain peaks are not everything, as Tatras offer also beautiful valleys carved by the streams, climatic caves and transparent lakes. The most frequently visited valleys are: Rybiego Potoku, Kościeliska, Chochołowska, Gąsieniców, Valley of Five Ponds, Roztoka, Strążyska and Białego. When visiting the Kościeliska Valley it is worth to explore the tourist-accessible caves: Mroźna, Raptawicka, Mylna, Obłazkowa and the Dragon's Den. Chochołowska Glade, in turn, is the most beautiful in spring, when it shimmers with purple crocus flowers.

A characteristic element of the Tatra nature are the beautiful streams, lakes (called ponds) and waterfalls. Tatras are also source of several rivers draining both this mountain range and the entire Podhale region: Biały Dunajec, Czarny Dunajec and Białka. The famous Morskie Oko lake, as well as the Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza waterfall, located next to the trail leading to Morskie Oko, both enjoy great popularity. We also recommend the Five Ponds Valley and the Gąsienicowa Valley abounding in ponds, high peaks and rich vegetation. It is especially worth coming to see Wielka Siklawa – the highest waterfall in Poland.

Also noteworthy is the “Bór nad Czerwonem” peat bog reserve in Nowy Targ, which is one of the oldest nature reserves in Poland. The reserve has a special educational and nature trail and lookout platform, from which you can admire the mountains surrounding the Nowotarska Basin.

The brave can take advantage of the tourist flights over the Tatras or Gorce, proposed by the Municipal Airport in Nowy Targ.

Churches and chapels 

Wooden architecture, both sacred and secular, is the region's true showcase, even though there are also some stone and brick pearls. The native inhabitants of the region are famous for their religiosity, which is reflected in the real treasures of construction in the form of churches and wooden chapels.

Let's start the trail of Podhale churches from Nowy Targ, because it is here that we can see the church of St Catherine, which dates back to 1346 and the wooden church of St Anna from the 15th century. Nowy Targ is an excellent base for further trips to treasures of the local architecture, e.g. the Shrine of Our Lady of Ludźmierz located 10 km to the west in Ludźmierz, where you can admire the beautiful rosary garden with the monument of Pope John Paul II. From Nowy Targ we can also head at Czorsztyn and it will be a great choice for many reasons! On the one hand, we can thus appreciate the natural values of the Pieniny Klippen Belt and of Gorce, on the other – see the treasures of Podhale religious architecture. This means primarily the wooden, Gothic church of St Michael the Archangel in Dębno Podhalańskie, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is also listed on the Wooden Architecture Route along with other valuable wooden buildings in the neighbourhood: the church in Harklowa, as well as the church of the Holy Trinity and St Antony the Abbot in Łopuszna. Interestingly, it was in this latter place that Fr. prof. Józef Tischner spent his youth. It is worth visiting the Memorial Room dedicated to this personality, known as “Tischnerówka” and stop for a moment of reflection by the priest's grave at the local cemetery.

While in Zakopane, it is necessary to visit the church of Mother of God of Częstochowa with the Gąsienice family chapel and the Old Cemetery at Pęksowy Brzyzek located next to it, where almost every gravestone is a separate work of art! It is worth visiting the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima in Krzeptówki, built as a form of gratitude for saving the life of John Paul II after the assault in 1981. Let's also go to Jaszczurówka, where you can admire the wooden Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus built in the Zakopane style. It was designed by Stanisław Witkiewicz, who had a huge impact on what happened in the culture and architecture of Zakopane at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. From Jaszczurówka we head north to Bukowina Tatrzańska, where the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is located, and then further to Białka Tatrzańska to see the church of Sts Simon and Jude, the Apostles.

Repository of knowledge

The folk culture of Podhale can be discovered in numerous museums, which are popular tourist attractions for visitors from all over Poland and even from Europe. The Podhale inhabitants themselves are also eager to visit them. This is not an empty phrase: the number of people visiting the local museums is almost twice as high as in the rest of the country. Where should you start? First of all, from Dr Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane. The museum, named after the promoter of Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains, is a real treasury of knowledge about the nature, culture and art of Podhale. Branches of the Tatra Museum are also worth visiting, to name just a couple of them: Museum of the Zakopane Style at the “Koliba” villa, Museum of the 1846 Chochołów Uprising in Chochołów or Manor in Łopuszna.

For those who want to learn more about the history of the region, we recommend the Podhale Museum in Nowy Targ, located in the building of the former town hall and the Museum of Fight and Martyrdom “Palace” in Zakopane, located in the place of executions taking place during World War II. The walls covered with notes of prisoners held in the hands of the Gestapo are particularly shocking. If you think visiting museums is boring, Podhale will quickly make you rethink this attitude. All you need to do is follow the trail of nature and architecture of the region, and start your trip with an extremely modern facility, which is the TPN Nature Education Centre with the largest model of the Tatra Mountains in the country and 4D cinema or the Peatland Promotion and Protection Centre in Chochołów.

A visit to the foothills of the Tatra Mountains is a unique opportunity to get to know the examples of Podhale architecture and Zakopane style. We especially recommend the live open-air museum in Chochołów, where the residents still live in neat wooden huts and walk along ul. Kościeliska in Zakopane. The Zakopane style can be admired by visiting the Czerwony Dwór villa – the Native Culture Centre and villas built on high foundations: Pod Jedlami, Oksza, Koliba, decorated with pazdurs (ornaments on the ridge) and słoneczka (narrow slats). Or maybe a trip following the trail of the regional celebrities? Zakopane invites to biographical museums, such as the Kornel Makuszyński Museum, the Karol Szymanowski Museum at the Atma villa and the Jan Kasprowicz Museum at Harenda hill. An important place in the hearts of the inhabitants of the region is occupied by Sabała – the Homer of Tatras, a singer and storyteller who accompanied with his music and word several well-known personalities during their expeditions to the Tatra Mountains in the second half of the 19th century. A house belonging to his family has survived to this day in Zakopane, it is known as Chata Sabały (Sabała's Hut). We also recommend to see Tischnerówka in Łopuszna – the memory house dedicated to Fr. Józef Tischner.

Art lovers should visit the Włodzimierz and Jerzy Kulczycki Art Gallery and the Władysław Hasior Gallery. In turn, those who want to commune with the contemporary culture of the region are recommended a visit to the Bukowina Culture Centre “People's House”. Following the local technology monuments will lead you to the Printing Museum in Nowy Targ.

And at the end of our “journey” around the Podhale museums, a pearl of the region – oscypek! At the Oscypek Museum in Zakopane, you will not only taste different types of oscypek cheese, but you will also be given the opportunity to prepare your own cheese. Bon apetit!

Active leisure at the foot of the Tatra Mountains

The Podhale region is a real treat for enthusiasts of active leisure – from mountain hikers to lovers of skiing. Something interesting also awaits those, who want to cross the region on a bike or prefer a canoeing trip. Well, mountains mean also mountain trails! The Tatra Mountains have a lot to offer for lovers of hiking, nature and beautiful landscapes. Depending on your level of advancement, we can recommend you: the red trail Toporowa Cyrhla – Morskie Oko, Morskie Oko – Rysy; the yellow trail Murowaniec – Five Ponds Valley, the Droga Pod Reglami trail, the green trail through the Chochołowska Valley, the green trail through the Kościeliska Valley and the Chochołów Uprising Trail (a great alternative to popular tourist routes). Mountaineers who are not afraid of climbing, can try reaching Kościelce, Mnich, Kazalnica Mięguszowiecka and Zamarła Turnia.

Several walking routes are available for also cycling (e.g. Chochołowska Valley to the hostel or Droga Pod Reglami). Apart from the Tatras, special attention should be paid to VeloDunajec, i.e. a 237 km long bicycle route, running from Zakopane to Wietrzychowice, which abounds in extremely picturesque sections, especially on its Tatra and Nowy Targ section. A great alternative is also the Around the Tatras Route, a historical-cultural-natural cycle route with a length of 250 km.

As befits the “winter capital of Poland”, Zakopane and the surrounding area offer a lot of attractions for winter sports enthusiasts. Fans of cross-country skiing can take advantage of the benefits of the following regions: Kościelisko-Chotarz, Gubałówka, the area of ski jumps in Zakopane, the airport in Nowy Targ, as well as Poronin and Białka Tatrzańska. What counts the most for skitouring enthusiasts is the proper snow cover in the Tatras and good visibility to enjoy the beautiful climbs and descents. In turn, fans of skiing and snowboarding will be delighted with the slopes in Białka Tatrzańska and Bukowina Tatrzańska. A stay in the skiing capital is also a great opportunity to take part in a real highlander sleigh ride or a dog sled.

Exploring the Tatra caves, which are numerous in the area, is also an interesting form of activity. However, this is an activity for the few, because it requires specialised equipment and permissions.

Highlander folklore at your fingertips

What interesting can you do in Podhale? There are many possibilities, which results from the exceptionally rich cultural and entertainment offer of this region. Just take a look at the list of festivals and events taking place here! One of the most important is the week-long International Festival of Mountain Folklore, during which numerous artistic performances show the beauty of folk tradition from around the world. Film lovers can go to Zakopane for “Meetings with Mountain Film”, “Review of Films about Art” or take advantage of the repertoire of Summer Cinema in Zakopane. Music lovers will definitely be interested in musical events, among which particular attention should be paid to: Jazz Spring Zakopane, International Festival of Organ and Chamber Music, as well as Music on the Heights – International Festival of Chamber Music. Other interesting events are the Zakopane Literary Festival, Days of Zakopane, Tatra Wici (five municipalities organise events promoting Tatra culture), Highlander Carnival in Bukowina Tatrzańska (which includes kumoterki – a race in small sleighs for couples dressed in traditional costumes. If weather allows, the horse-drawn races are organized by the municipalities of Biały Dunajec, Kościelisko, Szaflary and Poronin. Moreover, there are also Sabałowe Bajania event in Bukowina Tatrzańska (Polish Music Folklore Festival) and the Podhale Fair in Nowy Targ. And if at given time there are no events taking place, you can always visit the BWA Jatki Art Gallery in Nowy Targ, the Witkacy Theatre, the Entertainment Theatre RZT Szymaszkowa or the Municipal Art Gallery named after count Władysław Zamoyski in Zakopane.

Podhale also provides tourists with many other attractions, such as thermal baths, swimming pools and aqua parks, which are abundant at the foot of the Tatra Mountains! One of the are the famous Bania Baths in Białka Tatrzańska, Bukowina Tatrzańska, Szaflary, Chochołów and about the Szymoszkowa Pool. Zakopane invites you to the Aqua Park, to the gravitational slide at Gubałówka, the nearby “Snow Zabawa”, to the chairlift leading to the Wielka Krokiew and “Snowtubing Gigant Zakopane”. As you can see, there are plenty of attractions for both children and adults! When planning a trip to Zakopane, it is also worth looking into the calendar of cyclical ski jumping competitions held here - maybe it will be a good opportunity to see Polish representatives in action.

If you are looking for something for the body and spirit – go for an evening stroll in the main promenade in Zakopane: the Krupówki street. You will find highlander's taverns offering traditional music, local drinks and the flavours of regional cuisine. These include sauerkraut soup, czosnianka (garlic soup), zoproska vegetable soup and bryjka (a dense dish, which is a combination of flour and groat with fat). In regional taverns you will also find main dishes such as potato dumplings known as tarcioki or hałuski, moskole (baked potato and flour fritters) and the Podhale lamb. When visiting Podhale, you absolutely have to taste the regional cheeses: oscypek, bryndza and bundz (from sheep's milk), pucok and gołka (from cow's milk) and żętyca – sheep's milk whey. And for dessert try the famous Nowy Targ ice cream available at the town's market square.

A stay in Podhale is also an opportunity to experience lively, regional culture. Beginning with the Zakopane style introduced in the 1890s by Stanisław Witkiewicz, through numerous groups cultivating folk songs and traditions, to regional, highlander costumes and a characteristic dialect that can be heard only in this place.

How to combine business with pleasure and actively explore Podhale? There are several interesting routes to choose from, of which the Małopolska Wooden Architecture Route deserves special attention. One of its four routes leads through Orava, Podhale, Spiš and Pieniny, giving the opportunity to admire the most beautiful wooden monuments of the region. During your stay in Zakopane, it is worth getting interested in the Trail of Zakopane Style, which can be an interesting adventure not only for architecture lovers. Or maybe you prefer the Oscypek Trail? If you don't know how bundz differs from bryndza it's high time to try regional cheese straight from the shepherd's hut! For enthusiasts of Zakopane, we recommend the Trail of Outstanding Zakopaneers, commemorating celebrities distinguished for the town and the Zamoyski trail (thanks to QR codes placed on the route, you can read about the merits of the count on the screen of your smartphone or tablet). Visitors to the community of Biały Dunajec interested in sacred art cannot miss the Trail of Wojciech Kułach Wawrzyńcok – a Podhale folk sculptor working both in wood and stone.

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