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Poland Trips
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Your Marco der Pole Team

ACTIVE AND NATURE TOURS

Krakow and the Carpathian Forest. Hiking tour to the Low Beskids

Carpathians - a forgotten piece of Europe, which had to be abandoned by its original inhabitants, the Lemkos, as a result of the tragic events of the Second World War and the subsequent shifting of borders. The wild hilly landscapes preserved an indescribable, almost melancholy magic. Former orchards, abandoned wooden Orthodox churches and statues of saints on roads leading to nowhere bear witness to a bygone human presence. Forgotten cemeteries of soldiers killed in the First World War, the numerous dwarf beech trees with their branches curled by the wind and the modest settlements of the Sinti and Roma give this area its unique charm.
This trip is just right for those who long for true silence and spiritual peace, for those who want to escape the hectic and overwhelming stimulus of our fast-paced world for a few days. It is a place for those who seek a contrast to the hustle and bustle of the big cities, like the Polish writer Andrzej Stasiuk, whose chosen home lies in the middle of this landscape. In addition to graceful wooden churches in the mountains and sleepy provincial towns, there are real architectural gems such as the UNESCO World Heritage town of Bardejov with its medieval town center and numerous cultural monuments.

Trip Highlights:

  • Visit to the Roma Museum in Tarnow
  • Dinner with campfire and music
  • Visit to Bartne with its museum-quality wooden Orthodox Church 
  • Visit to a Hucul breeding farm
  • Meeting with an employee of the Roma Institute in Presov


Itinerary:

1st day Krakow - Tarnów - Bobowa - Gładyszów
We start in Krakow and drive first through Tarnów, a picturesque city with numerous sights, including the Roma Museum. We continue on to Bobowa, a center of Hasidism with a synagogue, which is now used again for prayer, and a historic Jewish cemetery. Afterward, we come to our pension near Gładyszów in Beskid Niski, where, in the evening, there we will have dinner with campfire and music.

2nd day Bartne
We will walk along the streams through the forests and meadows of the Low Beskids to our next destination - the village of Bartne with its museum-quality wooden Orthodox Church, which contains an impressive iconostasis, a three-door picture wall. Afterward, we will make a lunch stop in a small hostel above the village. In the afternoon we return to our pension, where, in the evening, a guest will tell us the history of the area and its inhabitants.

3rd day The history and culture of Lemkos
Today's hike illustrates the tragic history of the Lemkos. We hike through once densely populated mountain valleys and see overgrown orchards. Only the statues of saints along the way remind us of the former presence of humans. In the afternoon visit of a Hucul breeding farm. The Hucul is a breed of small, benign and very sturdy horses, known only in this part of the Carpathians. We return to our pension by carriage or on horseback.

4th day The wooden churches of Beskid Niski and Krosno
The most beautiful ornaments of this area are certainly its wooden Catholic and Orthodox churches, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the morning our route takes us to the most beautiful of these churches. We will also visit a small spa town with old wooden villas, and possibly also the petroleum museum. Almost forgotten is the fact that the great career of petroleum in this very area began when a modest pharmacist from Krosno distilled petroleum from crude oil. It was also here that the first oil well in the world was created.

5th day Bardejov - Roma village - Presov (Slovakia) 
Today we explore the Slovakian side of Beskid Niski. Our destination is the beautiful small town of Bardejov, whose architectural ensemble consists of Gothic and Renaissance elements and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An art historian will explain to us the meaning of icons and how to "write" and "read" the icon because according to orthodox tradition icons are "written" not "painted". Afterward, we visit a village of the Roma, who make up about a quarter of the inhabitants of Eastern Slovakia. We will learn more about their life, customs and integration problems from an employee of the Roma Institute in Presov.

6th day Day off
Today we can relax to our heart's content on the meadows, let our feet dangle in the stream or look into the cooking pots of our hosts. For the more active ones, there is a possibility of a hiking or cycling trip to the amazing Beskids.

7th day Paszyn - Nowy Sącz - Łącko - Krakow
We gradually start the way back to Krakow. But ahead of us lies another day between Carpathian landscape and culture. First, we will visit Paszyn, a village of folk sculptors, where we will be able to see and purchase folk art. The next stop is Nowy Sącz, a medieval town that has the charm of a provincial town of the Imperial and Royal Family. Here we will also have a longer lunch break. As a good meal is followed by a good schnapps, we continue to the village Łącko, which is famous for its slivovitz. After a short stop in this village, we will continue our drive in a good mood.

8th day
Return home or extension of the program in Krakow.

Services included:

  • 6 night's accommodation in a guesthouse in the Low Beskid on bed and breakfast basis
  • 1 night's accommodation in Krakow on bed and breakfast basis
  • All transfers as per above mentioned itinerary
  • Private English speaking guide as per the itinerary
  • Entrance fees for all sightseeing
  • Meals as per the itinerary

Services not included:

  • The journey to and from Poland
  • Tour guide 
  • Public transport
  • Insurance
  • Personal expenditure, tips, etc.
  • All other services not mentioned in the itinerary

Price on request.

For more information and active tour planning, tailored specifically to your needs, please fill out our free no-obligation online form. A member of our team will respond via email or phone within one business day.

For individual guests and small groups /up to 10 people/ this trip can also be booked under the particularly favorable travel conditions of our “New opening special offer”. Find out more here.