Author Topic: Poland, Tatras. advice please  (Read 1184 times)

Jac

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Poland, Tatras. advice please
« on: 11:10:11, 14/07/17 »
Hi All
We're off to walk in the Polish Tatras in a couple of weeks staying in the huts. These we have booked.

We fly into Krakow then need to get to Zakopane, where we've a hotel booked for the first and last nights.
Coming back we need one night accomodation in Krakow so we can get to the airport for our earlyish flight home.

Any advice/information/suggestions gratefully received re travel, what to pack or not to take, suggestions on accomodation in Krakow in fact on absolutely anything that might be helpful.

Thank you
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

photonut

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #1 on: 18:27:19, 14/07/17 »

Hi Jac,

When you arrive into Krakow airport there are three options for getting into Krakow itself.

1. The airport train shuttle - cheap as chips

Turn right out of the airport and there is usually a small bus that will take you to the station.  If not don't panic as it's only a 5minute walk anyway.  After having turned right, just keep walking and you will see the station on your right after about 200m or so.  Once on the train find the guard/ ticket collector and ask for a ticket.

2. The bus - even cheaper than chips a mere 4zloty last time I did it if my memory serves me right

The bus leaves from right outside the airport front (exit airport and turn right, walk about 50 steps and bingo).  You need to purchase a ticket before you travel at the machine, at the bus stop.  Someone will help you, if you ask, with getting the right ticket - most people in Krakow will happily speak English too.  Once on the bus and ONLY when the bus sets off, make sure you validate your ticket in one of the ticket punching machines.  The reason I say this is because your ticket will be valid for 40mins from the time you punch it.  Guess how I know about this  :D

3. Taxi - not as expensive as UK but still in comparison to bus or train, expensive. It really will only cost about 10GBP to get into Krakow.  It isn't expensive in Poland... as you will discover.

Getting to Zakopane:

1. Bus (coach) - preferred option and cost me 21 Zloty (3GBP) return!  Buses go very regularly from the bus station which is located just behind the railway station (Cracow Glowny).  Buy a ticket before you travel in the bus station concourse.  Once in Zakopane (about 1.5hrs travel time) the bus station is outside the main town but it is not a long walk and it is very picturesque!

2. Train - this takes an absolute age to get to Zakopane and although not an arm and a leg for the ticket, it is much more than the bus.  I can't remember the frequency of the trains but I think every other hour and on your return you need to head for the Bialystok trains, but I would advise the bus option personally.

Can't help with accommodation other than Trip Advisor or Booking.com that's who I have used before. The only place I stayed was the Radison Blu on the edge of the Planty (Park which runs all the way around the town center).  Very nice hotel but geared for tourists and charges accordingly  :(

As for eating in Krakow, there are so many places it is untrue.  I tend to walk to the south of the town and head for Kazimierz.  There are lots of small restaurants and places to eat.  You can get a pretty good impression from Trip Advisor.  I have eaten here:


https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g274772-d1749958-Reviews-Restauracja_Starka-Krakow_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland.html


The food and service was excellent.... Ooooo and I got a free Polish Hazelnut Vodka... gorgeous!!


Many of the eateries around the main square in Krakow are a little more expensive, but it still won't break the bank!

These websites may help:

https://www.inyourpocket.com/krakow/krakow-airport_36403v
http://www.krakow-info.com/transpor.htm

Zakopane is much smaller and I was only there for a day, but you won't struggle to find what you need there.

I'm sure you will have an amazing time in Poland.  I have been numerous times and I love it.  It is cheap to eat, drink and travel (if you know how) and the people can't do enough for you.  [/size]If you have any questions then PM me and I will try to help more if I can.

Hope this helps
Cheers
Lee
« Last Edit: 19:08:12, 14/07/17 by photonut »

Jac

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #2 on: 23:43:07, 14/07/17 »
Thanks, Lee. That is hugely helpful.
Have you walked in the Tatras when you've been there?
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

Innominate Man

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #3 on: 00:49:18, 15/07/17 »

As for eating in Krakow, there are so many places it is untrue.  I tend to walk to the south of the town and head for Kazimierz.  There are lots of small restaurants and places to eat.  You can get a pretty good impression from Trip Advisor.  I have eaten here:


https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g274772-d1749958-Reviews-Restauracja_Starka-Krakow_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland.html


The food and service was excellent.... Ooooo and I got a free Polish Hazelnut Vodka... gorgeous!!



And if anyone wants to try this in this country - my recommendation is the 'Barbikan' in York. Polish & Eastern European food, freshly cooked and good helpings.... and they have also been known to throw in the occasional free Polish vodka (hazelnut was my favourite)  O0
Because of our experiences there it has made us think that Krakow could very well be a great place to go. Hope you enjoy Poland and looking forward to your TR.
Only a hill but all of life to me,
Up there, between the sunset and the sea.  Geoffrey Winthrop Young.

photonut

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #4 on: 18:51:06, 15/07/17 »
Thanks, Lee. That is hugely helpful.
Have you walked in the Tatras when you've been there?

Hi Jac,

No I didn't do any walking in Poland at all, in fact it was a February when I visited Zakopane and knee deep in snow everywhere.  Very nice to look at the mountains though.

Cheers
Lee

glovepuppet

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #5 on: 13:42:11, 16/07/17 »

1. The airport train shuttle - cheap as chips

Turn right out of the airport and there is usually a small bus that will take you to the station.  If not don't panic as it's only a 5minute walk anyway.  After having turned right, just keep walking and you will see the station on your right after about 200m or so.  Once on the train find the guard/ ticket collector and ask for a ticket.

Getting to Zakopane:

1. Bus (coach) - preferred option and cost me 21 Zloty (3GBP) return!  Buses go very regularly from the bus station which is located just behind the railway station (Cracow Glowny).  Buy a ticket before you travel in the bus station concourse.  Once in Zakopane (about 1.5hrs travel time) the bus station is outside the main town but it is not a long walk and it is very picturesque!



Lee's advice, especially those quoted above, is good - best options in my opinion, and I've done it half a dozen times myself!  O0


As for walking from Zakopane, there are lots of options. A system of minibuses runs to all the main areas (Morskie Oko, Chokolowska Valley, Kuznice, etc) and cost a few zloty - these go from assorted stops on the roads out to the destination - someone in town will be able to help if you can't find the one you are after, and once you get used to it, it's dead easy!


The walking is good, and all abilities are catered for. If you are walking for a week and using huts, then I imagine that you are on higher mountain paths. If you need any more specific advice, I'll do what I can to help. Otherwise, the Cicerone guide to the Tatras is a useful companion.


https://www.cicerone.co.uk/product/detail.cfm/book/887/title/the-high-tatras#.WWteDITyvIU


Whatever you do, have a great time. It's a wonderful area!  :)

photonut

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #6 on: 09:13:14, 15/12/17 »
Hi Jac,

How was the trip to the Tatras?  Did you manage to negotiate the Polish transport system ok?

Cheers
Lee

Jac

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #7 on: 10:54:50, 15/12/17 »
Hi PNut
Feeling very guilty that I haven't done a TR
It was fantastic and thanks to you and the incredibly helpful bus drivers we had absolutely no problems with buses or trains - polish people are just amazingly courteous. As we would have had an hours wait for the direct bus from the airport into Krakow the driver of another bus took us on his bus a lovely route through the leafy suburbs where few tourists would bother to go then wrote down the numbers of the next buses we could catch and made sure we knew exactly which stop to go to to catch them. The driver of the coach to Zakopane dropped us as close to our hotel as he could and gave us detailed walking directions (actually they weren't quite correct but the kindness was there and we enjoyed the extended walk). In fact everyone we met was polite, helpful and friendly, even the lady who, after we'd queued for an hour in 40C, gently and patiently instructed us on the train times back to the airport and was just so lovely that we all just burst into laughter when she eventually made us understand that we could buy tickets on the train so hadn't needed to queue at all!!
The walking was great, the mountain refuges excellent though quite busy and had we not booked well ahead we would have been sleeping on the floor or outside on the ground with many others instead of in comfy beds, food was good too though saukraut soup for breakfast did defeat me. And, of course  absolutely superb scenery, but ......... highlight for me .....we saw a bear just 10 feet away.
A few pics;
view from our bedroom window, Morskie Oko

'Black' tarn above Morskie Oko

Rosebay willowherb meadows

Harebells. Lots of these of a beautiful deep blue

Who walks up must walk down

One of the refuges (hardly a hut!)

No room in the Inn. A group of danish walkers having a lie in. No tents allowed.

And we fiinished in style with a ride in one of the horse 'taxis'.
[imghttps://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/20914753_1451177754930463_4873992601198928207_n.jpg?oh=cd468a03b95886735c031d3ef493bf2e&oe=5AD22E1C][/img]
« Last Edit: 11:25:12, 15/12/17 by Jac »
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

photonut

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #8 on: 20:27:33, 15/12/17 »
Hi Jac,

Wow.. those photos are stunning!!  Plenty of time to provide us with a TR :D

I'm pleased to hear that our info was of use and I couldn't agree more... the Polish people are so courteous and helpful.

I think you may have just inspired me to take a walking trip to the Tatras myself next year.

Cheers
Lee

Jac

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #9 on: 09:02:15, 16/12/17 »
Hi Jac,

Wow.. those photos are stunning!!  Plenty of time to provide us with a TR :D

I'm pleased to hear that our info was of use and I couldn't agree more... the Polish people are so courteous and helpful.
I think you may have just inspired me to take a walking trip to the Tatras myself next year.
Cheers
Lee

You do need to book the refuges way ahead if you want a room/bed. We started booking about now for August!They don't turn anyone away but as there are no tents allowed in the national park it is sleeping on the ground outside (as in my pic) or if it rains just dossing down on the floor in the refuge (both of which options you pay for albeit not much) They were crowded, particularly when it rained one night, though never rowdy (those civilised, polite Poles again) so I would try to go earlier than we did.
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

glovepuppet

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #10 on: 14:04:26, 18/12/17 »

Hi Jac


Glad to hear you had a great time in the Tatras - as mentioned before, we love the place as it is so beautiful and relaxed, and the people so friendly.


We were lucky enough to pop over for a few days a couple of months ago - see link below for TR, which might bring back a few memories:


https://www.traillynx.com/single-post/2017/11/03/Polish-Perfection


It's definitely a destination more walkers should consider!


GP  O0


« Last Edit: 14:20:01, 18/12/17 by glovepuppet »

Jac

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #11 on: 22:28:23, 18/12/17 »
Ah yes - good memories and it led me on to your 'Peaks of the Balkans' item - that looks really interesting. Were any of the paths very exposed? I love walking in the mountains but am not too happy on rocky edges.
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

glovepuppet

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #12 on: 08:11:48, 19/12/17 »
Ah yes - good memories and it led me on to your 'Peaks of the Balkans' item - that looks really interesting. Were any of the paths very exposed? I love walking in the mountains but am not too happy on rocky edges.


Hi Jac


As far as I remember, the paths on the whole were good, and without any exposure. The decent from the Valbona pass into Rrogram is a bit steep in one or two place, otherwise trails are generally well-graded and not clinging to the sides of cliffs, and i don't recall any chains or other protection!


So I'd go as far as to say it would probably suit you down to the ground. The only thing to remember is if you do the whole circuit (or visit more than one country) you need to organise some basic paperwork and gain permissions beforehand.


Cheers


GP  O0

Jac

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #13 on: 08:30:32, 19/12/17 »
That sounds ideal. I was thinking of a small group with a guide as we have done the Lycian Way and most of the St Paul's Way in Turkey and enjoy staying in basic accomodation. O the R L Stevenson in France we self guided and stayed in small hotels.
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

glovepuppet

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Re: Poland, Tatras. advice please
« Reply #14 on: 09:02:09, 19/12/17 »
That sounds ideal. I was thinking of a small group with a guide as we have done the Lycian Way and most of the St Paul's Way in Turkey and enjoy staying in basic accomodation. O the R L Stevenson in France we self guided and stayed in small hotels.


If you do decide on the PoB, I know of a couple of companies that could help organise a small group guided trips - let me know (maybe PM) if you'd like their details.