Pieniny Mountain Explorer

Highlands Poland: (IT-POL02)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/Poland_Pieniny_Mountain_Explorer.aspx

Introduction
Highlands Poland
Pieniny offers incredible horseback riding opportunities with wonderful views of the Tatras Mountains. Discover this region from the saddle, crossing vast natural meadows and beech and pine forests. The vast grassy plateaus are the result of human activity, clearing the great forests to breed sheep. Those plateaus are perfect for unforgettable canters!

The Pieniny region also has a number of beautiful villages with wooden buildings where the locals maintain a rich folk culture originating from ancient pastoral and agricultural traditions.

Accomodation


Accommodations
This is a stationary ride, so all nights will be spent at the same location.

Description
You will be accommodated in your guide's family run guest house. The accommodation style is basic but very clean and with a warm and friendly atmosphere. Each room has its own bathroom and bedding is provided (make your own bed). There is free Wi-Fi available at this property.



The guest house is located in a magnificent area, close to Homole Ravine and the White Water Valley which are considered to be the biggest attractions of the Pieniny Region.

Room Occupancy
Single rooms are not possible for this trip.



Meals
All meals are included on the trip from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8.
The food served during the trip is cooked by Teresa (your guide's wife) and features delicious typical home-style Polish food.

Continental breakfast typically includes a selection of bread, cold meats, cheese as well as eggs and/or sausages with coffee or tea.
Dinners generally start with a soup and are followed by a filling main dish.

Alcoholic drinks are not available as the guesthouse does not have the appropriate license. However, you are welcome to bring your own.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to vegetarian diets with prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


Children ages 12 to 18 are welcome with their guardians.

Riding Experience
You should be confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops). 

Horses
The horses we work with are well trained and experienced in mountain wandering. They are used to a traveler's life, and are strong and brave. The Malposki is a Polish horse breed developed in the 19th century in Lesser Poland. It was developed mainly from native Polish horses crossed with Thoroughbreds and Arabians. Malopolski horses generally stand from 15.3 to 16.2 hands.

Equipment
Saddle Bags are provided but typically only suited to carrying the following items, due to space: rain coat and rain proof over-trousers, water-bottle, extra sweater, camera and a small bag with personal items. Luggage is transferred by a car.

Staff
You should know that your riding guide only speaks very basic English. However, he is very professional and always makes sure everyone is safe. He is also very communicative and usually, riders are able to understand him (and the opposite) during the horse trips.
The driver responsible for your transfer will help you communicate on your arrival and will give you a detailed plan written in English. We also give you a number of English speaking representative who will help in case of any difficulties.
It might be possible to book an English speaking representative for bigger groups (to be confirmed - extra fee).

Itinerary


Sample Itinerary – subject to changes

The program given below is a draft that may be modified or amended subject to technical causes, imponderables, safety reasons or weather conditions. 

Day 1: Arrival
You will be picked up from the Krakow airport and transferred to Jaworki - a small village in the heart of the Pieniny mountains (about 2hrs drive from Krakow - 120 km). Jaworki is known for its church, dating from the 18th century, that has traces of the Lemks culture - old inhabitants of this region.
On the way, we will stop to visit Szczawnia (6 km from Jaworki) – a small town, picturesquely located along the Grajcarek River, between the Radziejowa peak and the Male Pieniny mountain range.
Szczawnica is a health resort, specialized in treatment for allergic and respiratory conditions. We will visit the Mineral Water Bar, beautifully located on Dietl Square, where you can taste six types of mineral water. You can take a nice walk admiring original architectural style of the spa buildings and of the villas (some of them dating to the start of the 19th century, some of them renovated). You will also have the opportunity to see Dworek Goscinny (Guest Manor) - today a magnificently designed art and cultural centre.
There are also two beautiful parks in Szczawnica: The Dolny (Lower) Park, designed as a botanical garden with different plant species and the Gorny (Upper) Park, with different sculptures.
After a nice walk in the parks, you can take a break and drink a coffee on a nice terrace of the Café Helenka, with the view on the on Dietl Square.
Then, it is time for us to reach Jaworki where we will meet the guide and horses. In the evening, a welcome dinner will be served.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Jaworki


Day 2: Male Pieniny Ride & Dunajec River Rafting Trip
After breakfast, we saddle the horses and get ready for our first ride. We will climb on the hills of Male Pieniny, offering a lot of open spaces with a panoramic view on the Tatras and other surrounding peaks. We will ride along the borderline shared with Slovakia, following beautiful montain meadows on which local highlanders still pasture sheep.  We will also have the opportunity to see Trzy Korony (Three Crowns mountain, 982 m above sea level) and Sokolica mountain (747 m above sea level). Then, we come back to the stables for lunch.
In the afternoon, you will take part in the raft down Dunajec River. A minibus will take you to Sromowce Wyzne (23 km, 30 minutes) where the adventure will start: rafting down the gorges of the Dunajec on traditional wooden rafts piloted by Flisacy (raft sailors) dressed in traditional costumes. The gorges of the Pieniny are some of the most beautiful river gorges that can be found in Europe. The water channel impresses, twisting among mountain slopes. The rafting excursion takes around 2-3 hours (15 km) and ends in Szczawnica. Then, a minibus will take you back to Jaworki, where dinner is waiting for you.
Riding approx. 3 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Jaworki


Day 3: Przechyba Mountain Ride & Free Time
This morning, we will head in the direction of the Przechyba Mountain, following beautiful forests of the Radziejowa mountain range. In the Pieniny Mountains, the most commonly found type of wood is the Carpathian beech as well as the European beech and Silver fir. If the weather allows, we will stop for a picnic. In case of rain, a lunch will be served at the guest house.
After lunch, you will have some free time. We strongly recommend you to visit the Homole gorge. It is a deep canyon with steep walls reaching up to 120 m in height. The canyon is very picturesque and very popular. The trail crosses the stream many times with metal bridges and endless stairways. Once at the top, you reach open spaces with a panoramic view. Then, you can either come back to the village on foot or by a chairlift.
Riding approx. 3 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Jaworki


Day 4: Wysoka Mountain Ride & Free Time
For today's ride, we head towards Wysoka Mountain (1050m) - the highest peak of Pieniny. The summit is made of red limestone and, although it is not accessible on horseback, we will admire beautiful panoramic view of the region and the nearby Homole Ravin. Depending on the weather conditions, we will either have a picnic lunch or head back to the guest house for our meal.
After the lunch break, you will have some free time. You can bike or, if you wish, we can also arrange a visit of Niedzica castle (27 km from Jaworki, about 40 minutes by minibus) for an extra fee. The castle was built between 1320 and 1326 and is very well preserved. It is now an interesting museum, located on a hill, with views over the dam on Lake Czorsztyn and on the ruins of Czorsztyn Castle located on the other side of the lake. Niedzica Castle is considered to be one of the most picturesque castles in Poland. The legend says that there is a map of the Inca treasure somewhere hidden with information on some secrets of the Inca gold.
Riding approx. 3 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Jaworki


Day 5: Piwniczna Village Ride & Free Time
We start the day with our usual breakfast and then ride in the direction of the Piwniczna village. We will follow the Grajcarek River and then, we will wander through fields and meadows enjoying interesting panoramas on the Pieniny and Tatras mountain ranges. We will also see White Water and Black Water Valleys. Then, we will reach Pokrywisko mountain, hosting an old village that was deserted due to the “Operation Vistula” (a codename for the 1947 forced resettlement of Ukrainian minority including Boykos and Lemkos from the south).
Once back at the guesthouse, you will have free time to rest… or to visit the Musical Sheep Yard (Muzyczna Owczarnia) in Jaworki – a very special concert hall with a unique atmosphere and an original interior. Each year, it hosts concerts from Polish and international artists.
Riding approx. 3 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Jaworki


Day 6: Full Day Ride
A wonderful day is ahead us. We start our ride by crossing the border with Slovakia and ride through the woods and open spaces with wonderful views over the neighboring Tatras Mountains. There will be many opportunities for long gallops on beautiful meadows. For lunch, we will cook some sausages on the open fire.
In the evening, it’s time for our farewell dinner.
Riding approx. 5-6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Jaworki


Day 7: Departure 
After breakfast, we transfer you to the airport or to downtown Krakow.
Meals included: Breakfast

Non-Riders
Non-riders are welcome to join this trip. They can go hiking and biking around the guesthouse. There are also many attractions to see in the surrounding area.


Rates and Dates for Pieniny Mountain Explorer

Rates include:

Accommodation, All meals, Transfers from/to Krakow (airport or hotel), 18 riding hours, Dunajec River Raft Trip & 7 days of bike rental

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20217-day trip, AP€940$1120
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.19

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2021 Transfers included from Krakow Airport or train station 0 $0
2021 Single supplement 125 $150
2021 Non-rider 760 $905

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 04/10 - 04/16 7d / 6n 7-day trip, AP 2 /10 Expired
A 2021 05/22 - 05/28 7d / 6n 7-day trip, AP 2 /10 Reserve
A 2021 06/19 - 06/25 7d / 6n 7-day trip, AP 2 /10 Reserve
A 2021 09/04 - 09/10 7d / 6n 7-day trip, AP 2 /10 Reserve
A 2021 10/16 - 10/22 7d / 6n 7-day trip, AP 2 /10 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Entrance tickets and possible excursions (Niedzica castle, concert tickets...), Gratuities & Insurance (mandatory for liability and accident)

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Pieniny Mountain Explorer (IT-POL02):

For any booking affected by the coronavirus pandemic, we offer the possibility to postpone your trip to a later date.

Guests should bring their own masks - it is mandatory. Otherwise, we do not have any special requirements from the guests.

On the COVID situation in Poland which may affect our clients, we have the following update.
- EU citizens are allowed to enter Poland freely without quarantine
- Quarantine (Home isolation lasts for 10 days) applies to persons who are crossing the border of the Republic of Poland which constitutes the external border of the EU
- As of December 28th, obligatory quarantine is not required of persons who have been vaccinated against COVID-19
- It is mandatory to cover your mouth and nose in public places
- Hotels are open for a limited list of professionals
- Gastronomy - only takeaway is permitted

A full list of limitations is available at https://www.gov.pl/web/coronavirus/temporary-limitations


For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: Kraków
Airport: Kraków airport (Balice)
Transfer: Kraków airport or train station

Climate:
                                                Jaworki area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

32

35

44

55

64

68

72

72

63

54

41

34

Average Low Temperature (°F)

19

21

27

35

43

49

52

50

44

36

28

22

Average High Temperature (°C)

0

2

7

13

18

20

22

22

17

12

5

1

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-7

-6

-3

2

6

9

11

10

7

2

-2

-6

Source: NOAA


Seasons

Poland is a temperate climate country. Winter can be quite cold (-15 to -5 Celsius degrees) and quite snowy especially in the mountains. However, due to the climate change, soft winters are more and more frequent and the level of snow cannot be guaranteed. Spring is usually sunny, warm and sometimes hot, by mid-May frosts happen from times to time. Summer is usually hot, sometimes very hot (over 30 Celsius degrees) and lasts from June until August. Rains happen all over the year and storms are not that rare especially in July in the mountains. Autumn is rather warm and dry and lasts for two or three months (September - November). This is when Poland becomes full of warm sunny colors, the reason for calling this 'The Golden Autumn', and is especially beautiful in September and October in the mountains.

Rain falls throughout the year. The most pleasant times to visit Poland are late spring and early summer (May-June) and late summer and early autumn (September-October), when it is still warm and the crowds of tourists have either not yet arrived or already gone home.

What To Bring:
Saddle Bags are provided but typically only suited to carrying the following items, due to space: rain coat and rain proof over-trousers, water-bottle, extra sweater, camera and a small bag with personal items.

What we suggest to take for the trip:

1. Clothes and personal things:
  • light clothes to be covered by warm clothes - all sports utility
  • good quality rainproof clothes, including a rainproof blouson or a waterproof coat and pants (No ponchos, plastic or cycling capes allowed. The Clients will not be permitted to wear these for riding)
  • long riding boots or paddock boots with half or full chaps (footwear with a heel)
  • comfortable riding wear (britches/jodhpurs), jeans are not suitable unless you typically ride with jeans & chaps
  • riding whip/crop & gloves
  • riding hat (mandatory- you must bring your own as we do not have any to lend)
  • bath towels
  • toiletries (shampoo, soap, etc.)
2. Special things to not forget:
  • flashlight
  • sun protection - cream and hat or a bandana
  • a flask or a plastic bottle
  • personal first-aid kit (example content: medicines that you take on daily basis subject to the particular health problems, medicines necessary to clean and secure small injures or grazes, sun protection for your skin and mouth, something in case of stomach problems that may be caused by a change of eating habits or headaches, something that relieves from muscle pains, something against insects' bites and post fact medicines)