Krakow Valleys - secrets of people and nature

Szklarka Valley
Gardens of rest, recreation, communing with nature and the processes shaping our Earth. They are surprisingly gentle, and it is hard to believe that this is where the most outstanding high mountain climbers in the world started their careers. Ojców National Park and the Podkrakowskie Valleys Landscape Park protect the most valuable parts of the region.

The Krakow Valleys are at your fingertips and are an attraction on their own. They are easy to reach from both Krakow and Silesia. They are easy to move around with a baby in a stroller. You can fall in love with them and even become addicted to them. It is a place of many possibilities that can be visited spontaneously or with a map. Follow the yellow trail starting in Chrzanów and ending at the Castle of Pieskowa Skała or choose the opposite direction. It is over 80 kilometres of picturesque route, which can be divided into weekend stages or treated as a starting point for a day trip outside the city. Are you ready for the trip?


Visit the Chinese maharaja from the Bolechowice Valley

It is always cooler here, and it smells like moss and free wind. Peace, the climate and wild nature have drawn townspeople to this place for ages, helping them to relax in the Krakow Valleys, and healing their heads exhausted by noise and bustle. It is a perfect place for a walk with children, more or less intensive running or cycling, learning about nature, but also if you’re looking for a large dose of adrenaline.

The greatest Polish climbers marked the climbing routes on the rocks of the Krakow Valleys before the world heard about them. Today they have their followers. The struggles of daredevils on climbing ropes becomes an additional attraction of this exceptionally diverse park.

It's in the Bolechowice Valley that in 1993, Wojciech Kurtyka, a well-known climber, climbed the road of the Chinese Maharaja without belaying. According to experts, to this day it is the most spectacular event in Jurassic rocks, because the road is one of the most difficult in all of Poland. Kurtyka is the author of the climbing thriller "Chinese Maharaja", which takes place right here. The 30-metre-high rocks of the Bolechowicka Gate can be seen almost at the entrance to the Valley, divided into the Abase Pillar and the Pillar of Penitents.

Attractions of this place include charming waterfalls.


Visit Horpyna and bear hunters in the Będkowska Valley

The Wild Fields in Ukraine, where the action of the novel "With Fire and Sword" takes place, is a symbol of undeveloped and deserted areas, but there were even more inaccessible places there, for example the barranca, where the witch Horpyna imprisoned the kidnapped Helena. While filming Sienkiewicz's novel, the filmmakers found a similar barranca in The Będkowska Valley! Like a few other locations. The shots for the most mysterious scenes were shot in several locations of the Krakow Valleys: Ojców, Pieskowa Skała, near Sułoszowa, and the Bat Cave, located at the entrance to the Będkowska Valley, which was inhabited by humans about 40,000 years ago. The first studies of this place showed that hunters of cave bears lived there. About 400 tusks of these animals have been found here. The cave itself has about 400 metres of corridors, houses examples of a modest dripstone form, and is one of the bats' wintering places. The cave itself and the finds made in it allowed researchers to distinguish one of the cultures of the prehistoric world - the Jerzmanowice culture, which was described precisely on the basis of objects discovered by archaeologists in this place. The culture, traces of which have also been found in England, Belgium, France and Germany, made knives and tips in the shape of bay leaves. The cave is open to the public and there is a parking lot in front of it. The Będkowska Valley, full of mysterious nooks and crannies, begins in Jerzmanowice, is about 8 kilometres long, and has a comfortable path at its bottom.



Visit the holy hermitages and the source of love in the Eliaszówka Valley

The Eliaszówka Valley is named after Saint Elijah, the biblical prophet, who is the model of hermit life. And throughout the valley we find an atmosphere of distance from civilization and respite from everyday life. Above all, the valley slopes are the location of the 17th-century monastery of the Discalced Carmelites, who founded a hermitage here to which no one, except the monks, had access. Surrounded by a high wall, they communicated with the world through a bridge resembling a Roman aqueduct, in parts preserved to this day. It was not until the beginning of the 19th century that the monastery began to host guests, but the atmosphere of seclusion remains. This is where the future saint, Rafał Kalinowski, one of the most original figures of 19th-century Poland, an intellectual, conspirator and participant in the January Uprising, and finally a monk, spent the time of his life. When he came to Czerna, it was the only monastery of this rule in Poland, and there were only three Poles. Father Rafał made Czerna a centre of spiritual life, establishing new and restoring run-down Carmelite monasteries. There are numerous pilgrimage paths around the monastery.

A stream called Eliaszówka flows through the valley, picturesquely meandering among the rocks and flowering grasslands. It is worth visiting the spring of Saint Elijah, because according to legend, whoever drinks from the spring will find true love.


Krakow Valleys

  • Kluczwoda Valley - there used to be a medieval castle here, today a wooded valley with a gurgling stream and clearings for a picnic is also an ideal place for a walk with your toddler.
  • Bolechowicka Valley - you won't regret it if this is where you choose to go. The gorge among the rocky slopes attracts climbers, and lovers of waterfalls and Ojców birch.
  • Szklarka Valley - rural and idyllic, with beautiful Sunny Rocks. At the mouth of the valley there are breeding ponds with trout swimming in it.
  • Racławka Valley - in this valley you will find a place with benches, a bonfire site and a mini geological park.
  • Mnikowska Valley - narrow, full of rock clubs and rock towers. It is worth seeing the altar with a large rock painting of Our Lady of Skala.
  • Dłubnia Valley - for lovers of mills and bicycles. Many mill farms have survived to this day in the Dłubnia river valley. Those who like two wheels can enjoy the bicycle trail,  which is 47.2 kilometres long.



Why is it worth coming here?

  • easy access from the outside
  • for everyone (hiking, cycling)
  • diversity
  • quite good tourist infrastructure
  • alternative possibilities
  • great natural assets



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