Beskid Mountains

Beskid Mountains

Babia Góra
The landscapes of the Beskids will enchant any enthusiast of mountain hikes and active leisure. Beautiful forests, extensive meadows and deep valleys are responsible for the character of the mountains that occupy almost the entire southern part of the Małopolska Province. Each range is a little different and offers visitors something interesting. A dense network of hiking and cycling routes, and even horse riding routes in some parts of the mountains, makes exploring the area a much easier task.


1. To Diablak

Przełęcz Krowiarki – Sokolica – Diablak – Przełęcz Brona – Markowe Szczawiny – Przełęcz Krowiarki
13,5 km 5 hours hiking 

The lonely Babia Góra mountain dominates over the lower peaks and deep valleys, which makes it an excellent vantage point. Thanks to the road running through the Krowiarki pass, climbing to the top of the highest peak of the massif – Diablak (1725 m asl) – is quick and easy, though quite steep. The route leads through the forest along a red trail, climbing steeply up the Sokolica mountain, where you will find an excellent viewing area. Continue for a little longer through the forest, and then enter the thickets of dwarf mountain pine. Conquer numerous degrees of the ridge and you will eventually reach the rocky dome of Diablak. After you’ve admired the panorama stretching from the peak, descend down the red trail to the Brona pass. The signs then leave the ridge, heading deep down into the forest and the refuge on Markowe Szczawiny. Once there, follow the blue signs to the original starting point, i.e. the Krowiarki pass.


2. Around Babia Góra

Zawoja – Krowiarki pass  – Zubrzyca Górna – Przywarówka – Słowacja – Jałowiecka pass – Mędralowa – Klekociny pass – Zawoja
56 km 8 hours cycling

The cycling trip around the massif of Babia Góra is very challenging. The route first leads along asphalt roads: through the highest pass in Polish Carpathian Mountains open to car traffic, the Krowiarki pass (1012 m asl), and then through the southern foothills of Babia Góra. You will eventually reach Slovakia and continue through Oravska Polhora towards the Jałowiecka pass. Return to Poland and climb the steep border trail up the Mędralowa mountain. The stone route then leads to the Klekociny pass, from which you will take a steep metalled road taking you to Wełcz and Zawoja.


3. To Turbacz

Rabka-Zdrój – Maciejowa – Stare Wierchy – Turbacz – Stare Wierchy – Maciejowa – Rabka-Zdrój
25 km 8 hours hiking or 6 hours cycling

It is best to begin the trip on the black trail from the lower station of the Maciejowa mountain ski lift. On the ridge you will see the red signs of the Main Beskid Trail, which you will follow all the way to Turbacz. On the way you will be passing two hostels: the mountain shelter on Maciejowa and the hostel on Stare Wierchy. The third hostel is situated by the summit of Turbacz (1310 m asl) on the breathtaking Długa Pass. Experienced hikers can cover the route in a single day, while others should plan for an overnight stay in the hostel on Turbacz and set off on the return journey the following day. The route can also be covered on a bicycle.


4. To Luboń Wielki

Rabka-Zdrój – Luboń Wielki – Rabka-Zdrój
14,5 km 4,5 hours hiking

Luboń Wielki (1022 m npm), one of the tallest peaks of Beskid Wyspowy (the Island Beskid), rises north of the Rabka-Zdrój health resort. Begin by taking the blue trail from the town. Starting from the district of Zaryte, you will be climbing along the Perć Borkowskiego – a yellow trail leading through the interesting Luboń Wielki reserve, filled with rock debris. There is a small mountain hostel on the top of Luboń. You can return by following the green trail, taking you to the centre of the town.

Nowy Targ  

5. To Turbacz from Kowaniec

Nowy Targ – Bukowina Waksmudzka – Turbacz – Bukowina Miejska – Nowy Targ
15,8 km 5,5 hours hiking

This popular route to the highest peak of the Gorce range leads from Kowaniec (a district of Nowy Targ) along the scenic mountain pastures and glades. The climb starts from the city bus terminus with a green trail, past the ski lifts on Długa Polana. Climb Bukowina Waksmundzka, passing glades with numerous cabins and holiday cottages. The route then leads along the ridge, all the way to the mountain hostel on Hala Długa. On the pasture, you will also find a shepherd’s hut, where you can buy fresh oscypek cheese, while the sheep are grazing on the pasture. Just above the hostel you will see the peak of Turbacz (1310 m asl). The yellow trail is the recommended return. It goes past the Pope’s chapel , the place of famous highland masses by priest and professor Józef Tischner.


6. The mountain pastures of Gorce 

Łopuszna – Kiczora – Hala Długa – Bukowina Waksmudzka – Łopuszna
15 km 5,5 hours hiking 

A less-known, yet equally beautiful climb to the top of Turbacz leads from Łopuszna, a village situated east of Nowy Targ. In the lower part of the town, by the Dunajec river, you can admire the precious wooden 15th century church and the beautiful larch wood manor house of the Tetmajer family from the 18th century. It is best to begin the trip in the Zarębek Niżny – a hamlet of Łopuszna. The black trail leads from here to the Hala Rąbaniska. Then follow the red signs of the Main Beskid Trail, which you follow as you climb the Kiczora mountain (1282 m asl). Go on to Turbacz through Hala Długa. The best way to return is by taking the blue trail, which will take you down to Łopuszna through Bukowina Waksmundzka.

Nowy Sącz, Limanowa  

1. To the Poprad river gorge 

Nowy Sącz – Poręba Mała – Nawojowa – Homrzyska – Czaczów – Maciejowa – Hala Łabowska – Runek – Wierchomla Wielka
55 km 8 hours cycling 

Looking south from Nowy Sącz, you can see the forested ridges of Beskid Sądecki. Begin the route by taking the black bicycle trail in the Nowy Sącz district of Dąbrówki. Continue by crossing the valleys of streams flowing down from the tallest peaks. The subsequent steep climbs and descents will take you to the open ridges and into the valleys with the buildings in Poręba Mała, Nawojowa (an interesting palace of the Stadnicki family), Homrzyska and Czaczów, and eventually Maciejowa. The black signs end in the last town, while a green bicycle trail leads up the valley, to the main ridge. The route continues to go up steeply on an asphalt road, which later turns into a dirt road. You will eventually reach the mountain hostel on Hala Łabowska. You are now on the main ridge of the Jaworzyna range. There used to be huge grazing pastures here in the past used by the Lemkos. Unfortunately, most of them were converted into forests after World War II. From Hala Łabowska continue on the red trail, hiking the Main Beskid Trail, passing subsequent forested peaks. On the highest of these – Runek (1080 m asl) – leave the ridge and take the long descent through the scenic Polana Gwiaździsta glade, and then past the PTTK mountain shelter. You will reach Wierchomla Wielka, from which you will only need to cover a short stretch of an asphalt road going down the valley and to the railway station. Return to Nowy Sącz on the train. Alternatively, if you still have some energy, you can cycle along the red bicycle trail running along Poprad. The route might not be very demanding, but it is almost 33 km long.


2. Along the Łosiński range 

Saint Just pass – Jaworz – Sałasz Wschodni i Zachodni – Limanowa
19 km 6,5 hours hiking

This picturesque route connecting the Rożnowskie lake area with Limanowa runs along the easternmost part of Beskid Wyspowy, i.e. the Łososiński range. During the trip you can admire far stretching views, enchanting hamlets perched high on mountain glades, and just at the beginning of the route, a small wooden church from the 17th century on the St. Just pass. The pass (400 m asl), through which runs the road from Nowy Sącz to Brzesko, is also an excellent vantage point to see the Rożnowskie lake and the Dunajec valley. Get on the blue trail along the low ridge of Jodłowiec, admiring the scenic views of the Sądecka valley and the foothills. Later, after a short stretch on an asphalt road, begin the climb through Skrzętle-Rojówka onto the ridge of the Łosiński range. The trail alternates between forests and scenic glades. The stretching panoramas include Beskid Sądecki and Wyspowy, while with good weather you can even see the Tatras. The highest peak of the range, Jaworz (921 m asl), lies more or less at the centre of the ridge. Further down the route you will reach the peaks of the Eastern and Western Sałasz, from which you can admire some stunning views. From the top of the Western Sałasz, follow the blue signs on the left, going down. Keep marching through fields and meadows of the vast anticline, between the main ridge and Łysa Góra, passing ski lifts. Take a steep descent through the forest down to the fields above Limanowa.

Gorlice, Biecz  

3. In the cradle of oil industry

Gorlice – Sękowa – Męcina Wielka – Wapienne – Wójtowa – Libusza (Biecz) – Kobylanka – Gorlice
42 km (including Biecz 50 km) 4–5 hours hiking

Gorlice was the hometown of the inventor of the kerosene lamp, Ignacy Łukasiewicz, while the surroundings of the city are one of the world’s oldest petroleum extraction regions. Cycling along the green bicycle trail, all the time on asphalt roads, you will be reminded about the area’s industrial tradition by the characteristic pump jacks, still extracting oil. You can also see a few precious architectural gems along the way. In Sękowa, there is a UNESCO-listed wooden church, while in Męcina Wielka and in the Wapienne health resort – wooden Orthodox churches. Beautiful wooden churches can also be admired in Wójtowa and in Libusza. While visiting the latter, make sure to see the private Oil Industry Museum (Muzeum Przemysłu Naftowego). It is also worth taking a small detour to Biecz (via Korczyna, no trail), a beautiful old town with numerous historic monuments. Return to the route on the same road, and then go back to Gorlice through Kobylanka.


4. Around the Klimkówka water reservoir

Uście Gorlickie – Klimkówka – Łosie – Kunkowa – Uście Gorlickie
27 km 4 hours cycling

The red bicycle trail begins and ends in Uście Gorlickie. It lets you go around the Klimkówka water reservoir created as a result of building a dam across the Ropa river in Pieniny Gorlickie. The trail runs mainly along dirt roads and mountain paths. It is worth stopping by the wooden Orthodox churches in Łosie, Kunkowa and in Uście Gorlickie itself, while in Klimkowa, you can cycle down to the lake beach and rest by the water.

Rytro, Piwniczna-Zdrój  

5. To the peak of Wielki Rogacz

Piwniczna-Zdrój – Eliaszówka – Obidza – Wielki Rogacz – Niemcowa – Kosarzyska – Piwniczna-Zdrój
24 km 4 hours cycling

The landscapes of Beskid Sądecki can be admired by setting off on bicycle trips from Piwniczna-Zdrój. The suggested route will take you to Wielki Rogacz (1182 m asl), one of the tallest peaks in the area. Follow the blue bicycle trail: first along the Czercz valley, and then on the side road climbing up the slope on the southern part of the valley. Keep toiling up the ridge and Eliaszówka (1023 m asl), and then continue a gentle ride to Obidza, where you will find a small refuge. There is a steep green bicycle trail leading from Obidza towards Wielki Rogacz. It passes directly below the main peak, and then descends gently to Niemcowa (1001 m asl). From there, you are in for a steep and challenging descent to Kosarzyska in the Czercz valley. The last stretch is on a comfortable asphalt road to Piwniczna.


6. Through the Radziejowa Range

Rytro – Dolina Roztoki Wielkiej – Wdżary – Prehyba – Radziejowa – Wielki Rogacz – Niemcowa – Kordowiec – Rytro
28 km (11,5 i 16,5 km) 10 hours (5 i 5 hours) cycling

This very attractive route to the highest peak of Beskid Sądecki, Radziejowa (1266 m asl), can be covered in a single day only during the summertime, when days are long and our physical condition is really good. A more reasonable thing to do is to plan an overnight stay in the refuge on Prehyba, reach Radziejowa on the second day and descend back to Rytro. The route from Rytro to Prehyba runs along a blue trail, while from the refuge on, you will be following the red Main Beskid Trail.        


7. Around the health resort

Krynica-Zdrój – Góra Krzyżowa – Huzary – Góra Parkowa – Krynica-Zdrój
17 km 5,5 hours hiking 

A pleasant and gentle route running on a yellow trail, along the mountain ridges around Krynica-Zdrój. In the centre of the health resort, begin a step climb to the peak of Krzyżowa with a vantage point situated under a cross. Then walk along the ridge above the ski lifts in Słotwiny on one side, and Czarny Potok on the other. From here you will see Jaworzyna Krynicka and the cableway that climbs to its top. The yellow trail makes a circle around the Słotwiny valley, passing by the peak of Jaworzynka, traversing road no. 75 from Nowy Sącz to Krynica, and then leading to Huzary, on a gentle ridge between Krynica and Mochnaczka. Huzary is a meeting point of many tourist trails. The route still follows the yellow signs. After reaching Góra Parkowa, walk or take the funicular down to the health resort.


8. Cycling in the mountains 

Krynica-Zdrój – Jakubik – Mochnaczka Niżna – Banica – Izby – Tylicz – Muszynka – Wysokie Bereście – Krynica-Zdrój
39 km 6–7 hours cycling 

The route leads along a blue bicycle trail, through the ranges of Beskid Niski and Beskid Sądecki. The trail mainly runs along forest tracks. You will have to cross numerous mountain brooks, as well as conquer some steep climbs and descents. Apart from natural attractions, you will be passing many interesting buildings: wooden Orthodox churches in Mochnaczka Niżna, Banica, Tylicz and Muszynka, a stone Orthodox church in Izby, a historic church in Tylicz, as well as the spa buildings in Krynica. Also interesting are the relics of the fortified camp of the Confederates of Bar situated above Muszyna.

Hańczowa, Wysowa-Zdrój  

9. Ostry Wierch and the small Orthodox churches

Wysowa-Zdrój – Hańczowa – Ropki – Wysowa-Zdrój
21 km 7 hours hiking

The trip leads to the highest peaks of Beskid Niski (Low Beskid) in the area of Wysowa-Zdrój. Take the green trail through the Łopaciński valley. In its upper part, climb the steep slope to the ridge of Kozie Żebro (847 m asl), where you will reach the red Main Beskid Trail. Follow it to Hańczowa, passing the beautiful 19th century wooden Orthodox church. Continue on the red trail through the Ropka valley and in its upper part choose the yellow trail going left. It climbs up to Ostry Wierch (938 m asl), the highest point on the route. Directly below the peak, you will reach the border ridge. The yellow trail ends here, and you will now be following green signs, back to Wysowa, with another Orthodox church.

10. Through the Magura Wątkowska massif 

Schronisko pod Mareszką – Wątkowa – Kornuty – Bartne – Banica – Schronisko pod Mareszką
18 km 5,5 godz. pieszo

Hidden amidst the forests at the foot of Magura Wątkowska, Bartne is a starting point for trips around the eastern, wild part of Beskid Niski. Begin by taking the red Main Beskid Trail from the PTTK mountain hostel located by the peak of Mareszka, in the upper part of the village. Climb to the top of the ridge of Magura Wątkowska, where there is a chapel and a monument of John Paul II standing on the intersection of trails. Then follow the green trail across the tallest peak of Magura, Wątkowa (846 m asl). Pass another intersection of trails, but before you begin to descend on the yellow trail to Bartne, go along the ridge to the Kornuty reserve, featuring interesting rock formations. In Bartne, you can visit the Museum of Orthodox church Art, and then keep following the yellow trail through the Magurycz massif to Banica, from which you will take the blue trail taking you back to the mountain hostel by Mareszka.

11. With Orthodox churches in the backgroud

Schronisko pod Mareszką – Banica – Konieczna – Zdynia – Smerekowiec – Gładyszów – Banica – Schronisko pod Mareszką
44 km 5–6 hours hiking 

The area of Bartne is perfect for cycling trips. A mountain bike will prove most suitable, as the majority of trails run along dirt roads and forest tracks. The suggested route runs on a red bicycle trail from Bartne to the wild mountain valley of Wisłoka, and the spot of the former village of Radocyna, and then to Konieczna. The return route follows a green trail, passing wooden Orthodox churches in Konieczna and Zdynia, while from the stone Orthodox church in Smerekowiec, you will be continuing on a blue trail through Gładyszów to Banice. Once here, return to Bartne by following the red trail.

Recommended attractions: 
Babia Góra , the tallest massif of the Beskids, protected as part of the Babia Góra National Park. 
Rabka-Zdrój , a health resort known as the town of the children, from which you can start exploring the Gorce mountain range. 
Krynica-Zdrój , the pearl of Polish health resorts with beautiful wooden villas; a good starting point for mountain trips or walks around the picturesque surroundings strewn with wooden Orthodox churches located on the  Wooden Architecture Route.  
Sękowa , a village famous for its  UNESCO-listed  wooden church. 
Lesser Beskid , wild and sparsely populated mountains, known as the gentle land on account of their idyllic landscape, where you will find some unforgettable  Lemko Orthodox churches  located in villages lost among fields and forests. 
Military cemeteries  from World War I, which remind about the history of this land and constitute real works of art, often designed by excellent engineers and architects.


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