The Dunajec River Gorge in southern Poland is a well known as a place to go rafting, but it was a mite chilly for that, so I went for the two-wheels-and-no-hypothermia option instead. Oh, and I made a video about it (see below).
Much of the southern border of Poland (with Czechia and Slovakia) is mountainous, or at the very least uppy-and-downy.
The best known range is probably the Tatras. But not far from there is a smaller range known as the Pieniny (“pye-NEE-nih”) mountains. They’re about 50 miles SSE of Krakow, and last November I took a trip out that way.
At this point, the border (with Slovakia) is formed by the river Dunajec, which later becomes a tributary of the Wisła (Vistula in English). This heads through Warsaw, Toruń and Bydgoszcz before disharging into the Baltic near Gdańsk.
Back up in the mountains, the Dunajec carves through the Pieniny via a tasty little gorge. Hence the name – Dunajec River Gorge (Przełom Dunajca in Polish). People generally visit this by rafting through it, biking along the path, or hiking up to one of the viewpoints in the national park, adjacent to the river.
It’s also in these parts that you can find the group of peaks known as the Trzy Korony (Three Crowns). (You can see them in the video at about 4:36).
Anyway, yeah – check out the video:
The nearest town is Szczawnica, which probably looks utterly unpronounceable to anyone unfamiliar with Polish or related languages (it’s “shchav-NEE-tsa”). Not that I can comfortably call myself a Polish speaker, unless parroting the same 10 memorised phrases falls in that category. Okay, so I’m exaggerating a little (but not that much).
It was a good laugh, although if I’m honest being in a tourist town low season is probably even worse than being there high season. I’d rather be competing for a table in a restaurant than have the entire place to myself.
Anyway, I’m probably best wrapping this up before I descend into further unrelated waffle.
Oh and here’s a map to give you a sense of location.
(Why am I explaining what maps do?)
I’m bringing out a mini-guide to Poland very soon, so join my mailing list if you’d like to know about more places like this. The box is at the top of the page on the right. And no, I’m not going to show it to you on a map.
Have you been to the Dunajec River Gorge? Or the Pieniny in general? Are you a fan of river-based activities? Oh, and is it ever acceptable to describe a gorge as gorgeous?