From Jurassic limestone karsts to lush valleys, Ojców Nationwide Park provides a peaceable escape.
Krakow has no scarcity of medieval monuments and tucked away bars to discover. However a couple of days in Poland’s compact second metropolis is sufficient, providing you with time to discover additional afield.
Day journeys from Krakow vary from a sobering go to to Auschwitz to an academic journey down Wieliczka Salt Mine.
Nature lovers typically head to Zakopane, on the base of the Tatras Mountains. A two-hour drive away, the tourist-packed city is finest explored on an in a single day journey.
When you’re pressed for time, although, there’s a lesser explored pure marvel proper on Krakow’s doorstep: Ojcowski Nationwide Park.
Right here’s how one can go to its towering limestone karsts, Neolithic caves and luxurious inexperienced valleys.
What to see in Ojcowski Nationwide Park
Limestone cliffs, ravines and over 400 caves make up the numerous panorama of Ojcowski Nationwide Park – typically shortened to Ojców – within the Polish Jurassic Highland.
Overlaying lower than 22 km squared, it’s the nation’s smallest nationwide park and is well explored by bicycle or on foot.
The park is properly signposted with colored trails main the best way to its primary sights.
Comply with in neanderthals’ footsteps in Ciemna Cave
Ciemna Cave bears traces of human settlement courting again greater than 100,000 years.
Polish audio system can study in regards to the cave’s Neanderthal settlements on a guided tour, whereas others can be a part of to admire the stalactites, stalagmites and bats contained in the grotto.
An workplace on the base of the hill sells tickets for PLN 20 (€4.30) for adults and PLN 10 (€2.20) for youngsters.
The steep steps main as much as the attraction will not be for the faint hearted, however it’s properly price persevering previous the cave itself. Greater up, you’ll come throughout an iconic view of the Skala Biala Reka or ‘white hand rock’ – formed like a raised hand.
You’ll be able to catch sight of the Brama Krakowska (Krakow Gate) from the viewing platform at Ciemna Cave, however the towering pure construction is properly price an up-close look.
Additional down the path, you’ll additionally discover King Lokietek’s Cave – the park’s largest. It’s rumoured to have been used as a hiding place for a 14th century Polish king threatened with seize.
Discover castles on the Path of the Eagle’s Nests
On a limestone cliff on the boundaries of Ojców, you’ll discover Pieskowa Skała citadel.
The properly preserved construction is without doubt one of the finest surviving examples of Poland’s Renaissance structure. After wandering its manicured backyard, try the gathering of Polish artwork inside earlier than admiring the panoramic views from the onsite restaurant.
Pieskowa Skała is one among 25 medieval castles and watchtowers alongside what’s often called the Path of Eagle’s Nests.
The chain additionally consists of the 14th century Ojców Fortress, perched proper above one of many park’s primary automobile parks.
Gasoline up on zapiekanka in a picturesque setting
When you get peckish whereas wandering Ojców Nationwide Park, make a beeline for Pod Puchaczówką.
From an unassuming wood shack nestled amongst inexperienced fields and towering rocks, its pleasant proprietor serves up scrumptious ‘zapiekanka’ – open toasted baguette sandwiches – from simply PLN 12 (€2.60).
Attempt the standard mushroom and cheese, topped with recent chives from the backyard and paired with refreshing home made lemonade.
Simply across the nook, you’ll be able to fulfill your candy tooth at Kawiarnia Niezapominajka, a cute cafe serving espresso and cake.
Methods to get to Ojcowski Nationwide Park
Ojcowski Nationwide Park is round 20 km northwest of Krakow. It’s simply reached by automobile in round 40 minutes.
Uber can also be available in Krakow, and a trip to Ojców prices wherever between 75 and 130 zloty (€16-28), relying on demand.
Alternatively, it’s attainable to get the bus to Ojców Fortress for round PLN 12 (€2.60).
Feeling energetic? You’ll be able to rent a bike or e-bike from the town and cycle to the park in below 1.5 hours.
For a peaceable in a single day escape from the hustle and bustle of Krakow, you’ll be able to even keep in a single day in one of many park’s quaint inns and guesthouses.
Ojców Nationwide Park is open to the general public year-round. It’s free to enter however some sights are individually ticketed.