Skiing, hiking, paragliding, climbing the rocky snow covered peaks or exploring the gentle valleys and its waterfalls, a visit to the Tatra Mountains and Zakopane town is just the perfect place for a getaway. A person may fall short of days here but not activities and the question of getting bored just does not arise.
Tatra Mountains are the highest range of mountains in Poland and lie on the border with Slovakia. These snow covered mountains are also called ‘Alps’ of Poland. Zakopane is the largest town in the neighborhood of Tatra Mountains and famous as the ‘Winter Capital of Poland’. The beautiful panoramas in every direction give a feeling of being in heaven while for sports enthusiasts this place is a paradise of winter sports.
Only 20% of the total area of Tatra Mountains lies in Poland and the highest peak in this area is Rysy which is 2499m high. The mountains can be distinctly divided as – the High Tatras, Bielskie Tatras and the Western Tatras. No matter which mountain one plans to climb, the views offered are equally breathtaking. Though some paths are more challenging than the others, Tatras remain a favorite place for skiing, paragliding, climbing and even hiking. The High Tatras are most attractive with their steep peaks, dramatic views, sharp rocks and crystal lakes. The lower slopes of Western Tatras offer diverse wild life and less explored tracks as they are covered with pine forests. The climb to the highest peak Rysy is an experience in itself and the view from the peak strikingly magnificent, the Sea Eye or Morskie Oko Lake is a highlight here. Right above this beautiful lake, there is another lake Czarny Staw which offers a splendid view of the former. To make the excursion more interesting, there is Kasprowy Wierch with the cable cars. There is also a mountain with a unique shape that gave rise to a surprising belief in the local people. There is a belief that whenever Poland is in peril, to save it a sleeping knight will wake up. The variety of flora and fauna spotted here, prompted to turn the region into Tatra National Park in 1950. Some rare species of lynx, heath-cock, bears, wolves and rare endangered species of Tatra Chamios are found here.
Zakopane is a mountain resort north of ‘Alps’ and the biggest in Europe. This town is on the verge of the Western and High Tatras which makes it centrally located and getaway for the entire area. One can simply go climbing the Tatras from here or stroll around in Zakopane town admiring the ‘Hansel and Gretel’ wooden houses still inhabited by people. The tourist attractions in this area include a chapel dating back to 1800, 19th century Koscieliska Street, and oldest cemetery in the town. The Zakopane style of architecture, Villa Koliba is worth attention. Adventure enthusiasts can try spelunking along with mountaineering and skiing. The local food specialties available here like mountaineer’s potato cakes, grilled sheep cheese are popular with the tourists. This place is also considered miraculous for people suffering from respiratory problems. This place is also a perfect destination for celebrating Christmas, Easter, New Year and other occasions.
The little tourist town of Zakopane amongst the majestic Tatra Mountains gives its visitors many reasons to visit and spend some unforgettable times.