The Małopolska region for active lifestyle lovers
Visiting the neighbouring cities, admiring the beautiful sites, tasting the delicacies of the Małopolska region cuisine are a must when you stay in the Małopolska region, but for many people they can only complement active forms of leisure. Those will find many attractions in the region.
Lower and higher mountains on foot
In the Małopolska region, every hiking enthusiast will find a trail suited to their abilities. We invite you for pleasant, peaceful walks, as well as high-mountain excursions with a thrill on the stretches over the precipices.
You can walk in the hilly areas of the northern and central part of the Małopolska region or go hiking in the Beskids, e.g. in the charming, vast areas of the Beskid Sądecki and the Beskid Niski or located near Kraków the Gorce and the Beskid Wyspowy.
The rich network of trails means that staying in one place, it is possible to wander a different trail every day. For those who prefer long-distance trips, we would like to remind you that the Małopolska region has 200 km of the Main Beskidzki Trail marked in red (its total length is over 500 km). A walk along it allows you to get to know almost all the mountain ranges of the Małopolska region, a diverse culture, and admire fascinating views.
Equally interesting is the 320 km long Main Trail of the Beskid Wyspowy. It runs through the most popular peaks in this mountain range. When ascending individual peaks, you have to go down from one to the very town to get to the next one. This is the charm of the Beskid Wyspowy, hence the name of the trail "Beskidzkie Islands". Many tourists are attracted by the picturesquely situated and famous for the Dunajec River Gorge, the Pieniny Mountains.
In the Tatra Mountains the charming Droga pod Reglami valley, accessible to everyone, as well as high mountain trails for the most persistent hikers with chains and chilling chasms await. Climbing the Rysy or crossing Orla Perć provide breath-taking views, but are a challenge even for the most experienced tourists.
Running through Kraków
A trip to Kraków should be considered by enthusiasts of jogging, both those who only jog for health benefits, and amateurs of greater challenges, such as marathon runners. The former have many running areas at their disposal, e.g. around the Błonia (a large meadow in the city centre), the boulevards on the Vistula River or in Kraków parks. Others can take part in one of the runs taking place in Kraków - the Cracovia Marathon, the Night Run (10 km), or the Three Mounds Run (the route is about 13 kilometres long and runs between three Kraków mounds and is the only mountain run in the world held in the city!).
In the Małopolska region there is no shortage of picturesque areas available for amateurs of two wheels. Sunday cyclists or families with children will find short, not very demanding trails here, while long-distance riders and those who like challenges can set off on a long journey. New bicycle trails are constantly being created, the necessary infrastructure is supplemented, and the marking and surface of bicycle trails are improved.
When planning a trip, you can choose thematic trails, those that allow you to get to know the immediate area or with attractions for the whole family. Want some examples? Here you go, starting from the easiest to the most difficult:
• The Raba Valley from Gdów to Gdów - a 10-kilometre trail, almost halfway along roads without car traffic, with a difference in elevation of only 40 m.
• From the Chechło Lagoon through the Dulowska Forest to Rudno - one of the easiest bicycle trails. Along the way, you’ll find numerous places to rest with benches and tables, and by the Chechło Lagoon, a beach and a recreation centre (playgrounds, toilets, pier).
• Around Mogielica (the trail around Mogielica description) - an interesting example of an easy loop for mountain biking, which even beginners can go on, because it is completely run along wide, compacted forest roads. The trail has a gentle slope, and steeper sections are short enough to be travelled with a bike.
• the Bicycle Eagles' Nests Trail - a must for every intermediate biking fan. One of the oldest and most beautiful Polish tourist trails connecting Kraków with Częstochowa, winds its way through the nooks and crannies of the Krakowsko-Częstochowska Jura, passes by the fourteenth-century fortified castles.
• From Dębno to Sromowce along the Czorsztyńskie Lake - picturesque views, the proximity of the lake and the natural areas of Natura 2000 - these are the greatest advantages of this option.
• From Tarnów to Ciężkowice - the nearly 100 km long trail runs through the Ciężkowicko-Rożnów Landscape Park. The effort put into overcoming it will be rewarded when visiting Ciężkowice and the Skamieniałe Miasto wildlife reserve, a reserve where in a beautiful forest you can admire large sandstone rocks with fanciful shapes.
• An Enclave of Active Recreation in the heart of the Gorce Mountains - network of trails (total length: 36.2 km) on foot, cycling and skiing in the Gorce and the Beskid Sądecki ranges. On the trails, we will find 4 lookout towers, several gazebos, information boards and prepared resting places.
The Małopolska region is also a paradise for skiers. Here, winter lasts the longest, and 150 km of ski slopes and nearly 60 ski stations and ski resorts await lovers of winter sports. Everyone will find a slope tailored to their skills and preferences. Let us add that the Małopolska region holds two Polish winter records, it is here that the longest illuminated ski slope (Jaworzyna Krynica ski station) and the longest 4-seater chairlift (Wierchomla ski station) are located.
Lovers of cross-country skiing will certainly not complain about the lack of options here. They can use professionally prepared trails and wander their paths in solitude. Everyone will find a trail adapted to their skills and current shape in the Małopolska region. There are also ski touring options in the region. Lots of trails allow you to go out of the valleys to mountain ridges, reach new peaks, and then descend into the valley, using the rich infrastructure of ski stations, numerous bicycle paths or forest roads running along the slopes. People who are not in the greatest shape can eliminate the ascents using the lifts and only start the hike from their upper stations.
Rock and mountain climbing
The topography makes the Małopolska region a dream destination for climbing enthusiasts. There are many climbing trails in the region marked out in different types of rocks. In the north, in the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, limestone and dolomite rocks, the Beskids and the Carpathian foothills are made of sandstone, and the Tatra mountains are made of crystalline and granite rocks.
In the Tatra National Park climbing is possible in strictly defined places, mountaineers must comply with the regulations related to nature protection and remember to sign the Climbing Books available in shelters near the climbing areas or online.
It is true that the law does not require those practising rock climbing or mountaineering to have special permissions, but these activities should be attempted only after completing specialized courses that allow you to acquire appropriate skills, teach you how to care for your own safety and that of other climbers.
The most important thing is to respect nature, follow the rules in force in protection areas and comply with the restrictions introduced by private owners of some rocks.
On the water - canoeing, sailing and rafting
Fans of water sports and activities will also find plenty of attractions in the Małopolska region. There are many rivers in the region that can be used for canoeing, waters for sailors, and there are also options for rafting enthusiasts. Water reservoirs, where you can sail, are scattered throughout the region. The Chechło Lagoon lies to the west, and to the south, there are the Czorsztyńskie Lake and the Rożnowskie Lake. In the east there is the Klimkówka Lake. Even in Kraków itself, there is a sailing club on the Bagry Lagoon. Rafting can be recommended for those who prefer to experience stronger emotions. Rafting on the picturesque gorge of the Dunajec provides a lot of adrenaline, it also allows you to enjoy the charms of nature. Quieter fragments alternate with places where the current accelerates, larger waves appear, and adrenaline spikes. Amazing views and the changing current of the river guarantee the highest level of emotions and unforgettable memories. Lowland sections can be recommended for those who prefer a leisurely canoeing trip downstream the Dunajec in the vicinity of Stary Sącz or Wojnicz, rafting on the Raba river from Gdów to Bochnia or the Skawa river near Wadowice.
This is not all that the Małopolska region has to offer to enthusiasts of active leisure. In the region, you can also spend a nice time on a horse's back. The region has a rich equestrian tradition. This is where the małopolskie horse breed, bred since the end of the 16th century and used by Polish heavy cavalry during many battles, comes from. It is impossible not to mention the Hucul horse breeding in the Małopolska region.
The extensive and varied landscape is ideal for horseback trips along countless kilometres of trails and routes of the Małopolska region. Especially that there are horse boarding stables, small stables and agritourism farms and large studs along the way.
In, located only 9 km from Kraków, Włosań you can start your equestrian adventure or improve your skills.
Trip to the Gładysz Hucul Horse Stud in Regietów will certainly be an interesting adventure not only for children, but for all horse lovers, because the calm and friendly hucuł is a great "family" horse. The stud invites all for horseback riding lessons in the fabulous area of the Beskid Niski. For horse riding enthusiasts, we recommend the Transbeskidzki Horseback Trail. Its total length is 600 km and it takes 14 days to ride it. In the Małopolska region, the trail runs through the Podhale, the Pieniny, the Beskid Sądecki and the Beskid Niski. The 100 km long Starosądecki Trail of Mountain Equestrian Tourism in the Beskid Sądecki is equally beautiful.
Fun active rest
When looking for a place to practice various types of sports and spend time actively, it is worth considering the Małopolska region. There are plenty of opportunities and attractions in the region, both for beginners and those more advanced. The Małopolska region is waiting for active tourists!