Take a raft trip along the Dunajec Canyon, hike through the trails of the majestic Pieniny Mountains, climb to the peak of "the Three Crowns" summit and pay a visit to the medieval Niedzica Castle. Discover the unquestionable beauty of the first-established International Landscape Park of Europe, dating back to 1932.
Visit the breathtaking area of Pieniny Mountains – 24 sq. kilometres of outstandingly-shaped mountain ranges, a home to numerous endemic species of flora and fauna, medieval castles and monasteries, where river rafting down the Dunajec river has been practiced for ages.
The Pieninski National Park covers the area between the Czorsztyn and Szczawnica resorts – the former town being famous for the proximity to Niedzica Castle (erected in 1326, popularly known for its mysterious connotations with the treasure of an Inca princess who would reside there a few centuries later), the latter serving as a spa and skiing resort, offering a number of accommodation and catering facilities to visitors. Located in southern part of the country, divided between the territories of Poland and Slovakia, the park covers a part of the Pieniny mountain range, with the most impressive and picturesque summit – Trzy Korony ("Three Crowns") – reaching 982 meters above the sea level. The breathtaking landscape of limestone peaks, tightly covered by fir and beech, where a considerable number of beautiful, endemic insects may be spotted, is split by the Dunajec river which creates a marvellous, canyon-like gorge – so perfect to admire while rafting down the river with traditionally-clad raftsmen on board. The Dunajec river basin has also had an impressive man-made river dam built at the level of Lake Czorsztyn which is open to the public. It is impossible to overestimate the tourist potential of the Pieninski National Park; its astonishing mountainous landscapes made for hiking and climbing, rich wildlife of more than 6500 species within the habitat it provides, bike lanes, rafting and kayaking facilities at the banks of the winding river of Dunajec, as well as the abundant SPA-offering accommodations located in the area, not to mention its horse riding expeditions and guided tours for history enthusiasts offered by local instructors. It is advisable to devote at least one day to cover the most widely recognised attractions the region has to offer, while a typical stay encompasses 2 or 3 days. If you are interested in spending your holiday in the magnificent mountainous kingdom under the summit of the Three Crowns, feel free to contact us – we will tailor the stay to your expectations.
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The Pieniny Klippen Belt extends over 550 kilometres from western Slovakia to the Laborce valley in the East. The Pieniny Mountains are a distinct mountain range 35 kilometres long and 6 kilometres wide in the centre of this Belt; they lie between the Karpaty Zewnętrzne (Outer Carpathians), which are made up of soft sedimentary rock (so-called flysch), and the Karpaty Wewnętrzne (Inner Carpathians), comprised of hard crystal and limestone rocks. The Gorce and Sądecki Beskid mountains are found to the north and the Magura Spiska lies to the south of the Pieniny range. The Dunajec river ravine divides the range into three parts:
* Pieniny Spiskie – extends between Dursztyn village and Niedzica, with the highest peak Żar (883 metres above mean sea level (ASL).
* Pieniny Właściwe – extends between Czorsztyn and Szczawnica and culminates with the Okrąglica peak (982 metres ASL) in the Three Crowns massif. By climbing this summit, a splendid, panoramic overview of the vast area can be gained and enjoyed.
* Małe Pieniny – extends between the Dunajec river (in the victinity of Szczawnica) and the Rozdziela pass in the east. The highest peak of Pieniny is the Wysoka mountain (1,050 metres ASL).
The most attractive part of the mountain range, from both natural and scenic points of view, is the Pieniny Właściwe range. The peaks here are beautifully jagged and the valleys often form rocky gorges. The northern faces slope gently into the valleys; the southern and eastern picturesque limestone cliffs (which are up to 300 metres high) drop down suddenly to the Dunajec river.
Pieniny Właściwe is divided into three physiographic sections:
- Pieniny Czorsztyńskie (Western) – the least scenically beautiful part of the Pieniny, occupies the area between Czorsztyn and Szopka Pass. It is characterized by forests, meadows and small patches of farmland. This western extension of Pieniny rises up to 902 metres ASL (Nowa Góra) and to 856 metres ASL (Macelak).
- Three Crowns massif – the central part of Pieniny Właściwe, stretches from Szopka Pass in the west to the Pieninski Potok valley in the east. In terms of landscape, it's the most varied and spectacularly scenic part of the Pieniny Mountains. Numerous craggy steep slopes and scree scarps provide habitat for unique and remarkable wildlife species.
- Pieninki – this very picturesque ridge covers the area between Pieniński Potok valley in the west and Dunajec valley (near Szczawnica) in the east. The highest summits of this part rise up to 300 metres above the Dunajec water level (Czertezik – 774 m ASL and Sokolica peak 747 m ASL)