Facebook link
You are here:

Szlak samochodowy: Dolinki Krakowskie, zamki i wygasłe wulkany

Car trail: the Kraków Valleys, castles and extinct volcanoes

Na zalesionym wzgórzu duży, trzykondygnacyjny biały zamek w jasnym kolorze, z wysokim dachem pokrytym czerwoną dachówką, z tarasem na kamiennych arkadach, z dwoma kwadratowymi wieżami po bokach. Po lewej w niewielkim odstępie kwadratowa wieża  z czerwonym dachem, ze zwieńczeniem ku górze. Niebo błękitne z dużą kłębiastą chmurą nad zamkiem. Pod zamkiem u dołu niewielki jasny budynek wśród drzew.
Krzeszowice Tourist region: Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska
The Kraków Valleys is ideal for small and large adventures. Its proximity to Kraków allows you to explore both the charms of the royal city and the places around it. The following tour will take you to the small town of Alwernia with its Bernardine Monastery, where the extraordinary Ecce Homo painting is kept, to an impressive castle standing on a volcano and to one of the oldest villages in Małopolska.

Piktogram z długością trasy 59 kilometres (Kraków - Krzeszowice 40 kilometres, Krzeszowice - Bolechowice 19 kilometres).

Piktogram z miejscem startowym junction of road no. 780 with Księcia Józefa Street on the border of Kraków and Kryspinów.

Piktogram z dojazdem do miejsca startowego Kraków motorway ring road to the Mirowski Junction, from which one should take the exit according to the Kraków Centrum signpost and enter road no. 780 in the direction of Oświęcim. From the centre of Kraków, access is via Księcia Józefa Street.

Piktogram z mapą trasy

Kraków to Krzeszowice section

Krzeszowice to Bolechowice section


The Kraków Valleys Landscape Park is an area where elements of the Jurassic landscape are protected and is a place for recreation and relaxation. It was here that many outstanding Himalayan climbers started their careers, and filmmakers made many films. The proposed trip leads only to three valleys, but this is a good start and an encouragement to set off on the trail in your way, with a map in hand or entirely spontaneously. Let's go on a journey where many attractions await you.

Before you reach the starting point

Arriving at the starting point from downtown Kraków along Księcia Józefa Street, the first interesting places are already close to the centre. Opposite the tram loop in Salwator, there is the Monastery of Norbertine Nuns and the Church of Saints Augustine and John the Baptist. In its vicinity, on Easter Monday, the traditional Emmaus indulgence takes place, and on the octave of Corpus Christi, Lajkonik sets off from the courtyard to play.

After 3 kilometres, on the right side, Skałki Przegorzalskie / the Przegorzalskie Rocks attracts attention. At their top stands Adolf Szyszko-Bohusz's villa from the 1920s (in the shape of a tower) and a castle built by the Nazis during World War II in the style of Rhine castles from the Romantic period. From its terrace is a beautiful view of the Wisła valley and the Beskidy, and when the visibility is good, of the Tatras.

A little further is the Monastery of the Camaldolese Fathers in Bielany, standing on Srebrna Góra (women are allowed to enter it only 12 days a year) and the characteristic buildings of the Bielany water treatment plant, which began its operation in 1901.

Continuing the journey along Księcia Józefa Street, ignoring the road marking 780, you pass one of the forts of the Kraków Fortress, and after overcoming the sharp bends, you will pass the Srebrna Góra vineyard) (one of the largest in Poland) and the road leading to the  astronomical observatory of the Jagiellonian University in Fort Skała.

On the way to Alwernia

Officially, the trip begins at the starting point indicated at the beginning. When you get there, after leaving the motorway, turn left at the roundabout, and when driving from the city centre, continue straight.

After a while, you leave Kraków, entering Kryspinów, a town known mainly for the vast Na Piaskach Lagoon (Kryspinów Reservoir), where there is a beach and many catering outlets. To reach it, you must turn right at the roundabout, towards Balice, and drive about 800 metres. You continue straight, and after 2 kilometres, you will find yourself in the centre of the town of Liszki, which many people associate with the delicious Lisiecka sausage. According to the traditional recipe, it is produced only in butcher shops in the communes of Liszki and Czernichów. Since 2010, the product has had an EU-protected product certificate.

Piktogram z ciekawostką o szlaku

After driving 9 kilometres from Liszki, you reach Przeginia Duchowna. At the roundabout, it is worth turning left to take a walk to the ‘Kajasówka’ inanimate nature reserve, where a tectonic framework with a large concentration of xerothermic plants is protected, and the Przegińska Cave is located.

Piktogram z informacją o parkingu 700 metres from the roundabout on the left side of the road.

The walking route is 4.8 kilometres long and takes just over an hour to complete.

Another interesting place is located by the road, 5 kilometres away. This is Skały Gaudynowskie / the Gaudynowskie Rocks on the bank of the Brodło stream. Its height reaches 20 meters. There is a small cave and a spring here.

Piktogram z informacją o parkingu please follow the signs leading from the main road.

A little further, in the town of Poręba Żegoty, you will pass the Szembek Palace, whose construction began in the second half of the 18th century but was not rebuilt after the fire in 1945. A moment later, you will find yourself in Alwernia.

Piktogram z informacją o parkingu Parking spaces are located around Market Square.

In the centre are several old oak trees, a well from the mid-19th century, 70 metres deep, and the Chapel of St. Florian, founded in 1853 by the Jew Grunbaum, co-owner of the clay mine in Mirów. According to one version, he built it as a thank-you to the authorities for helping him build a house; he also made it for his Catholic workers.

From Market Square, go for a short walk to the Bernardine Monastery, approximately 200 metres away, passing the Małopolska Firefighting Museum along the way. In the Church of the Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi, which is the Sanctuary of the Merciful Lord Jesus, there is a painting of the Lord Jesus Ecce Homo from 1453, famous for its miracles. The work, painted on canvas and glued to a board, has a turbulent history. Supposedly, it belonged to the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XII, and was in the hands of the sultans and the Austrian emperor, Ferdinand II, until it ended up in Alwernia in 1686.

To the Tęczyński Castle and the Potocki Palace

From the Market Square you continue your journey towards Krzeszowice. Immediately after the viaduct over the motorway, turn right and follow the signs to reach the Rudno Castle. The road is narrow, and you need to be careful.

Piktogram z informacją o parkingu A small square where you can park is located next to the church, and a large, convenient parking lot (paid) is about 300 metres away in the direction of the Castle.

The construction of the stronghold was started in the mid-14th century by Andrzej Tęczyński, and in the 16th century, it was transformed into a Renaissance residence with arcaded cloisters in the courtyard. Subsequent expansions resulted in the creation of one of the largest castles in Małopolska, which in its heyday competed with Wawel. Most importantly, the castle is built on an inactive volcano!

Between the castle and the church there is the private Agate Museum with an interesting collection of stones by Witold Koprucha.

Continue your journey along the road you used to reach the castle, and when it is no longer possible to drive straight, turn right, where the road will lead you through a beautiful forest located in the Tenczyn Landscape Park. You will reach Tenczynek along this route.

Piktogram z opcją wycieczki

In Tenczynek, in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Tenczynek, the Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria, there is a famous image of Madonna and Child, the Patroness of Families, modelled on the painting 'The Deliverance of the Roman People', from the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, also known as the Church of Our Lady of the Snows.

To visit the temple, you must turn right and drive about 500 metres.

You can buy beer brewed here on the right side of the Tenczynek brewery buildings.

At the following intersection, take the road leading to Krzeszowice. Once you are there (8 kilometres from the castle), head towards the centre of the town, turn left at the nearby roundabout and stop at the park surrounding the Potocki Palace.

Piktogram z informacją o parkingu Several parking spaces are located on the left, between the church and the park. An alternative is to stop on the street leading from the roundabout to the park.

Krzeszowice does not have the status of a health resort today. However, the local sulphide waters have been considered therapeutic for over 250 years, and the first patients were registered here in 1779. The Organ Movement Rehabilitation Centre continues the spa traditions. The town is also known for the palace built in the mid-19th century on the orders of Countess Zofia Potocka, surrounded by a vast park. Although the building itself does not look very inviting today, it is worth climbing the hill on which it stands to look at the Potocki estate from a height.

You must visit Market Square. To get there, just walk a few dozen metres along Parkowa Street (it starts at the church near the place we reached). On Market Square, there is the only gladiator monument in Poland, which is a copy of the monument that once stood next to the Potocki Palace, and at the end of Doktora Walkowskiego Street is the Vauxhall Palace, built in the second half of the 18th century as a spa house with games rooms.

It's time to hit the valleys!

A walk in the park is a good warm-up before the longer hikes in the Kraków valleys, which are the purpose of this trip. It's time to visit them finally!

About 4.5 kilometres from the parking lot in Krzeszowice, turn left following the sign leading to Pisary. After a while, you will see a fortified manor on the hill and the remains of a brewery and a farm from the 18th century. Continuing the journey along the main road and, after reaching the intersection (a little over a kilometre from the exit from road no. 79), you turn right to Rudawa, which you reach after covering another 2 kilometres. You turn left towards the church visible on a hill (8 kilometres from Krzeszowice).

Piktogram z informacją o parkingu parking spaces are located between the local shopping centre and the church.

Piktogram z ciekawostką o szlaku

At the beginning of the 20th century, Rudawa became a summer resort near Kraków. Due to its character, it was sometimes compared with the Italian Tivoli, which was the place of residence of wealthy Romans centuries ago.

The first villa, the so-called house with a turret, was built in 1896 by Antonina Domańska (author of novels for young people, including 'The Story of the Yellow Peaked Shoe' and 'King Sigismund's Pages', which is considered the prototype of the Counsellor from 'The Wedding' by Stanisław Wyspiański. He was often in Rudawa, visiting Antoni Procajłowicz, a painter and graphic artist).

Henryk Sienkiewicz lived in the above-mentioned villa from June to July 1908, writing the novel 'Whirls' at that time. A boy, Staś Tarkowski, brought milk to the writer every day. The main character of the novel 'In Desert and Wilderness' received his name and surname.

Rudawa is one of the earliest documented villages in the vicinity of Kraków. According to Jan Długosz, in 1185, it was donated to the Kraków chapter along with the church by Count Jan, called Gniewomir. The local Church of All Saints is considered one of the oldest brick buildings in the Małopolska village; its presbytery was built around 1300. Inside, attention should be paid to relics of polychrome from the 14th century, a Baroque main altar from the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, and a painting of the Virgin and Child from around 1450, which is interlocked with a painting of St. Anna Samotrzeć from 1600.

The temple surroundings are also attractive, surrounded by a wall with a gate, a mortuary, and the so-called clock tower.

In the nearby cemetery, there are, among others, the graves of Colonel Benedykt Zielonka from Niegoszowice, a cavalryman of the Guard distinguished in the Napoleonic Wars and during the November Uprising, and Józef Trzaskowski, a veteran of the January Uprising.

Dolinki Krakowskie: one step to falling in love!

From the parking lot, you go towards Radwanowice, and after 250 metres, you turn right towards Brzezie. You drive along Kardynała Dunajewskiego Street, where there are bunkers built in 1944 by the Germans as part of the B1 resistance line. One of them was renovated by the Małopolska Association of History Lovers ‘Rawelin.’

In nearby Brzezinka, you will see signs directing you to the Będkowska Valley. Using this access option only makes sense out of season because the road is very narrow, and, at its end, there is only a tiny private parking lot. On clear days, especially on weekends, we suggest driving to the parking lot near Kobylany, from which you can reach the Będkowska Valley and the Kobylańska Valley.

To reach it, continue straight and after passing Brzezinka, turn left towards Będkowice. Then, when you get to Kobylany, do not turn right towards Karniowice, but turn left. The road runs in an arc to the right. After a while, a driveway begins at the top, where the parking lot is located (less than 1.5 kilometres from the intersection, 14 kilometres from Krzeszowice). Its layout is not the best – it is long and narrow, and there are problems with free passage.

The descent to the Kobylańska Valley is at the end of the car park. While wandering through it, you will encounter rock formations at every step, as it has the form of a rock canyon. Not only do hikers but also paragliders visit it. Many mountaineers and climbers have trained on the local rocks, and Red Beret commandos have also trained here.

To reach the Będkowska Valley, you need to go back about 700 metres along the road you came from and then turn right, following the signs directing you to the valley into Leśna Street. From here, it is about half a kilometre to the valley outlet. The valley is seven kilometres long. In its central part, there is the biggest waterfall - Szum in the Kraków-Częstochowa Jurassic Highland, also called the Szeroki Waterfall, which formed on a rocky threshold about four metres high.

After visiting one or both valleys, you continue your journey to the Bolechowicka Valley. From the car park, you turn left to a familiar crossroads, where you go straight to the centre of Kobylany; the main road will take you to Karniowice, located on a hill, and then you will descend to Bolechowice (19 kilometres from Krzeszowice).

Piktogram z informacją o parkingu car park is located near the church that is visible on the left; when you reach the centre of the village, you have to turn left.

The Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul was built in 1393 with the foundation of the Bishop of Kraków, Piotr Wysz of Radolin. In the presbytery, there is a Gothic polychrome from the 15th century, and on the main altar is a painting of the Crucifixion of Christ painted by John Tritius, court painter to King John II Sobieski, founded in 1685 by Father Bartholomew Wiesiewicz.

If you want to enter the Bolechowicka Valley, you need to go back along the road you came from and, near the grocery shop, turn right according to the signs. The entrance to the valley is guarded by mighty Brama Bolechowicka / the Bolechowicka Gate, where some of Poland's most distinguished mountaineers trained; a little further on, there is a small two-stage waterfall. The valley is only 1.5 kilometres long and is considered a small wonder of nature.

The valleys near Kraków are ideal for day trips. They are a super idea for a family walk, a bike ride, as well as for cross-country training or rock climbing. We have shown only a part of the charms of those lying to the south. Still to be discovered are the Mnikowska Valley, the Sanki Valley and the Brzoskwinki Valley. It is worth looking into each of them to choose the one that will enchant you and then return.

There are no objects in the selected category.

Related Assets