Hiking is an activity of medium difficulty, which involves walking along trails or paths for varying lengths of time. The duration of hiking activities vary between short half-day hikes and longer programs lasting several weeks. It is usually an activity where groups of different sizes participate. Hiking and trekking refer to the same thing, however, there is some confusion regarding the term. Trekking refers to longer trips whereas hiking refers to shorter ones.
The difference between each of them lies in the length of the program. A hike might range anywhere from one day to a few weeks, whereas a trek would typically take place over a period of a week or more, often including camping out.
There are many types of hiking, such as alpine, cross-country, desert, etc., depending on the terrain. There are also many types of equipment needed for hiking, such as boots, clothing, sleeping bags, tents, stoves, water bottles, food, maps, GPS devices, compass, etc.
Are there different types of hiking?
There are different types of hiking according to duration, difficulty, and length. For beginners, shorter hikes are recommended. They offer you the opportunity to explore nature without having to worry about too much. On the other hand, long hikes require more training and preparation because it involves walking for several hours every day.
Short hikes usually take place in parks and forests and last less than one day. You walk along trails, cross paths, and climb hills. A hike can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Long hikes cover distances ranging from 20 kilometers to 60 kilometers per day. These trips include camping out, sleeping under the stars, and spending nights in shelters. In some cases, hikers even spend a few weeks living off the land.
In addition to being physically challenging, long hikes often involve socializing with fellow hikers. This makes them ideal for meeting people and building friendships.
What is the best time of the year to practice hiking?
Hiking is one of those activities you can do almost every day of the year. Depending on the region, there are different seasons that are better suited for practicing this sport. For example, some regions like the Alps and Pyrenees are less popular during the summer because of the heat and humidity. In contrast, mountainous areas such as the Andes, Himalayas, Rockies and Appalachians are usually colder during the winter. However, regardless of what month it is, most people agree that hiking is a great way to spend quality time outdoors.
The good news is that many places offer hiking programs throughout the year. If you want to find out whether hiking is something you could enjoy, check out the following list:
1. What is the best time of year to hike?
2. Where are the best hikes?
3. What is the best trail for beginners?
4. How long does it take to hike a certain distance?
5. Which trails are best for families?
What equipment do you need?
If you are planning a trip into the wilderness, there are many things to consider, including what type of gear you will need. Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for your adventure:
• Hiking boots – These are great for walking up hills and across uneven terrain. They are usually very durable and comfortable. You want something that will support your feet well while still being light enough to carry around easily.
• Waterproof hiking socks – A good pair of hiking socks will keep your feet dry and warm even during rainy conditions. If you plan to hike in cold weather, make sure you choose socks that are rated to withstand temperatures down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Rain coat – Make sure you bring along a raincoat that will protect you from the elements. There are plenty of options out there, ranging from lightweight ponchos to heavy-duty parkas. Be sure to check the size chart carefully before purchasing one.
• Windbreaker – When traveling in colder climates, a windbreaker is essential. You don’t want to be caught without protection against sudden gusts of wind or snow. Look for a lightweight option that won’t weigh you down too much.
• Sunscreen – Even though you might think that the sun doesn’t really shine in most parts of the world, it does. Bring sunscreen with you, whether you are heading off to a tropical island or deep within the mountains.
• Headlamp – If you plan to spend long periods of time outside at night, you will definitely need a headlamp. Choose one that is bright enough to illuminate the path ahead of you.
Why do you need a mountain guide to go hiking?
Hiking is one of those activities where it seems like everyone knows what they’re doing—and they don’t. But there are some things that even seasoned hikers forget, such as the importance of having a good guide. A mountain guide is someone who has been trained to help people enjoy nature safely and successfully. Their job is to plan hikes for groups, make sure that participants have the necessary equipment, and take care of everything else that goes into making your hike enjoyable.
A good mountain guide will understand your personal preferences and expectations. He or she will look out for your safety and comfort while choosing the most suitable routes, stopping points, and accommodations along the way. In addition, he or she will know the local flora and fauna, including what plants and animals are dangerous and which ones aren’t. A good guide will also be able to tell you about the history of the area and explain the significance of certain sites. And finally, a good guide will ensure that you have fun during your trip.
Hiking in New Zealand
New Zealand offers something for everyone. Whether you like exploring rugged landscapes, taking part in active adventures, or just relaxing around beautiful lakes and oceans, there’s plenty to do here.
From hiking trails to great walks, we’ve rounded up our favorite places to go exploring in New Zealand. Each destination offers something different, whether you’re looking for an easy walk in the countryside, or you want to take on a challenging hike.
You’ll find everything from short strolls along the coast, to long treks across mountainous terrain. You’ll even find some epic hikes that lead straight into the heart of glaciers.
Whether you prefer walking, cycling, horse riding, or kayaking, you’ll find a range of activities to suit every skill level. So pack your bags, grab your boots, and start planning your next trip to New Zealand.
The Milford Track
I grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, where I learned how to hike the Milford Track. My family and friends thought it was crazy, because we had no idea what hiking even looked like. We just knew that there was a lake called Te Anau, a mountain called Mount Cook, and a big city called Queenstown.
We didn’t know about the Milford Track, nor did we know about Fiordland National Park. But one day my dad told me he was taking us to see his friend’s farm. He wanted to show me some sheep, so he drove us out into the middle of nowhere. After a few hours of driving, we arrived at a small town called Manapouri. From there, we hiked down a road that led to a river. And that’s when I saw the waterfalls. They were so beautiful that I couldn’t believe anyone could make such things happen.
I’ve since returned to the area many times. Each time I go, I find something different. You never quite know what you’re going to see next.
Abel Tasman Coast Track
The Abel Tasman National Park is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations. Located along the North Island’s north coast, it offers some of the best scenery in the world. Its rugged coastline features stunning views of towering cliffs and large bays dotted with sandy coves. The park covers over 11,600 acres of land and includes several islands, including Little Barrier Island.
Unlike many other hiking trails, the Abel Tasman Coast Track is highly accessible, and many local tour operators offer options to enjoy it based on the desired length and ability. Visitors can choose a multi day, lodge-based walk; a full day trip; a half-day trip; or opt for a tour lasting up to 30 minutes, taking a boat from Kaiteriteri to Marahau. Some visitors combine walking with guided sea kayaking or a cruise around the bay.
If you decide to take the whole walk on foot, it will take about five days and cover approximately 32 miles. The track has no major hills, making it suitable for families with young children or those with a limited fitness level, although there are areas where you’ll need to climb steep slopes. There are numerous accommodation choices, including camping sites, backpacker hostels, lodges and hotels.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
A journey into the heart of New Zealand’s wilderness begins here. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the world’s great walks. Its name translates to “the path along the mountain ridge.” This is a true alpine trek, where the terrain changes dramatically throughout the course of the day.
As you begin your ascent up the valley floor, a stunning panorama unfolds. Lake Taupo lies ahead, while behind you, the rugged peaks of Mt. Ruapehu rise above the clouds. On clear days, the view extends beyond the mountains and onto the plains of central North Island.
This is a moderate level of mobility hike, requiring about 8 hours roundtrip. There are no marked trails, so hikers must rely on their maps and compass. If you plan to do the entire trail, bring plenty of water because there are no facilities along the way.
There are three access points for the Tongariro Alpine Trail. They are located at the bottom of the lake (where the road ends), at the end of the gravel road, and at the start of the gravel road. Each location offers different benefits. For example, the end of the gravel access provides the best scenery, but the start of the gravel access offers the shortest route.
You can make the trip in either direction, but we recommend starting at the Mangatepopohu Valley, following the blue arrows on our map. From there, you’ll ascend steadily to the summit of Tongariro, where you’ll find the iconic viewing platform. The descent takes longer than the climb, so pace yourself accordingly.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing passes through the Tongariro National park, which contains several other hikes, including the famous Turoa Eruption Track. Check out our guide on the Turoa Eruption track for tips on how to maximize your experience.
Rangitoto Summit Track
The summit track starts at the end of the wharf. This is where the majority of visitors start their walk. From here it is about 2km up the hill to the crater rim.
There are several options available to those wanting to go further. You can either follow the main trail marked with red dots or choose a side trail and continue along the ridge. The latter option offers some great views of the surrounding area.
If you want to do the whole thing, you can either return via the same route or head down towards the beach. If you do decide to descend, make sure you carry plenty of drinking water and wear sturdy shoes.
**Please note that the weather conditions can change quickly during winter months. Please be prepared for cold winds and rain. **
Before the coronavirus pandemic hit New Zealand, the mountain resort in North Canterbury had become one of the most popular spots in the world. But the area around the peak was overrun with crowds. So how did people manage to find a quiet spot to take their romantic photo?
In 2017, a local photographer named Chris Batey began documenting couples getting married on the mountain — and he says his work has since gone viral. “I’ve seen people flying helicopters into the valley to land on the side of the road,” he told CNN Business. “People are bringing dogs up here.”
There are now 73,000 images tagged with the hashtag #roylake on Instagram. Couples have been known to hire helicopters to fly them to the top of the mountain, but if you’re looking to hike to the top, a high level of physical fitness is required, and it gets cold at night, so bring warm clothes.
The walk takes about three hours round trip, and starts from the Roy’s Peak track parking lot on Mount Aspirinng Road. Parking is limited, so taking the bus or cycling to the starting point is advised.
Mount Maunganui Summit Walk
Climbing to the top of Mt. Maunganui is a lot easier than many people think. In fact, it only takes about 40 minutes to reach the 232-metre summit, and there are two routes up the mountain where you can see the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the white sandy beaches of Tauranga Bay. There are picnic tables at the summit, so you can stop and take a break while enjoying the views of the ocean, the bay, and the city skyline. You can even go swimming at the beach below.
The Routeburn Track is a scenic hiking trail in the southernmost part of the South Island of New Zealand. It runs along the western side of the Southern Alps, starting near Lake Hayes and ending at The Divide, just north of Queenstown. The trail passes through several small towns including Wanaka, Arrowtown, Cromwell, and Middlemarch. It follows the Routeburn River for much of its length.
The route is named after George Routledge & Sons Ltd., a British publishing firm founded by George Routledge. In 1876 he published A Guide Book of New Zealand, which included his own account of walking the entire length of the North Island. He continued to publish books about New Zealand, and the Routes section became a major feature of many editions of his guidebooks.
In 1907, Routledge sold his interest in the company to William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd.. Routledge himself went on to become a noted mountaineer, climbing extensively in the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
Hooker Valley Track
A short stroll down the road from Christchurch city centre, the Hooker Valley Track offers visitors a chance to experience nature at its most impressive. This popular walking route follows the Hooker River – named after William Hooker, one of the founders of the Alpine Club of New Zealand – and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
The track is an excellent day walk for people of all ages, offering plenty of opportunities for exercise, relaxation, and photography. The trail is mostly flat, and the path is well groomed, with boardwalts protecting the fragile environment.
Visitors will find wild flowers scattered across the valley floor during the summer months, creating a beautiful backdrop for photos. The track is suitable for both beginners and experienced hikers alike, and it takes around 3 hours to complete.
Located at New Zealand’s southern most tip, the Rakiura track is a leisurely hike into a beautiful natural environment full of beaches and bush. Visitors might even catch a glimpse a kiwi (New Zealand’s National symbol), while walking alongside the coast.
Like the Abel Tasman, sections can be done with a Water Taxi. One popular option is to take the Rakiura Charters Water Taxi to Port William Wharf, where you’ll find a 30 min flight from Invercargoil. There are plenty of options for getting around, including taxis, buses, ferries, and kayaks.
From here you can either continue down the road, or take another water taxi back to Half Moon Bay.
Lake Waikaremoana Track
Lake Waikaremoaka is one of the most popular tracks in New Zealand. Located just outside Auckland city limits, it offers visitors a chance to experience the rich natural beauty of the region. The Lake Waikaremoaka track is a great way to spend a day exploring the lush forests, waterfalls, and lakeside scenery. This scenic trail takes you along the shoreline of Lake Waikaremoa and provides stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
The Lake Waikaremoata track is mostly flat and easy to follow. However, there are several steep sections where hikers must climb over rocks and logs. Some parts of the trail require ropes and harnesses.
There are no designated campsites on the Lake Waikarama track. Hikers can choose to camp out under the stars or pitch a tent near the car park.
Sentiero degli Dei, Amalfi Coast
The Sentiero degli dei is a must-see attraction in the region of Campania, Italy. This ancient trail follows the coast around the tip of the peninsula, linking the towns of Positano, Ravello, Amalfi and Maiori.
The path runs parallel to the road along the coast, and offers spectacular views of the rocky cliffs and islands of the bay. There are plenty of places to stop and take photos, including the lookout points of La Rocca di Ficuzza and La Rocca delle Corone.
You can walk the entire route in about four hours, taking in some of the most beautiful scenery in southern Italy. If you want to make it even longer, there are many shorter sections that allow you to see much of the area. You could spend several days walking along the Sentiero degli Dèi.
Cinque Terre, Liguria
The five seaside towns of Cinque Terre are among the most popular destinations in Italy. They are located along the Riviera dei Fiori, a stretch of coastline that stretches from Portovenere in the north to La Spezia in the south. The area is known for its beautiful beaches, rocky outcrops, pine forests and small fishing communities.
The best way to see it all is to hike the Sentieri Azzuri (blue paths). These trails run alongside the sea and connect each of the villages, allowing you to explore the entire length of the Cinque Terre. There are three main routes, depending on how many days you want to spend hiking around the peninsula: the Via dell’Amore (love trail), the Sentiero Rosso (red trail) and the Sentiero Blu (blue trail). You can start anywhere you wish, but we recommend starting in Vernazza, where you’ll find the train station and plenty of hotels and restaurants.
Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Dolomites
The Dolomites are one of the most popular destinations in Italy, especially among hikers. Located in Alto Adige/South Tyrol, this stunning mountain range offers some of the most impressive hikes in the world. One of the most famous treks is the Tre Cime di Lavareto circuit, which takes you up to three summits including the highest peak in the region, called Piz Languard.
This route is perfect if you’re looking for something challenging, beautiful and breathtaking. If you want to see the best views of the Dolomites, make sure you take a look at the photos here.
Alta Via 1, Dolomites
The best known hiking trail in the Dolmites region is Alta Via 1. A 120km (75mi), high trail over some of Italy’s finest scenery, it runs over some of the highest mountains in the area – including Monte Viso, Monte Rosa, Monte Zoncolan and Monte della Lupa. With stunning views across the whole of the Dolomites, it’s no wonder that Alta Via 1 is considered to be one of the world’s greatest hikes.
Selvaggio Blu, Sardinia
The Selvaggio Blu hike is recommended for those with mountain climbing experience. This epic route threads the cliffs by the Gulf Of Orosei on Sardina’s East Coast. Trek along one of Italy’s wildest, most isolated coasts with fantastic gorges, cliffs and breathtaking views of the sea. You’ll pass through some of the island’s most spectacular landscapes.
The Valtellina Valley is one of Italy’s most famous wine regions. Its name derives from the Latin word valtus meaning highland. This is because it sits within the highest mountain range in the country, the Alps. The area is best known for its sparkling wines, including prosecco, pinot bianco, chardonnay and chenin blanc. But there are plenty of other things to do here too. From skiing to hiking, cycling to rafting, you can find something for everyone.
Stromboli, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
In the middle of the Mediterranean Sea lies the volcanic island of Stromboli. This small Italian gem offers some of the best views of the entire Mediterranean region. But you don’t just come here to admire the scenery – there are plenty of reasons why you should make the trip to Stromboli.
The volcano is still active today and visitors can see the lava flow while hiking up the steep slopes of the volcano. There are also many caves where you can explore underground. On the way down, you’ll find numerous hot springs, bubbling fumaroles and steaming mud pools.
The best view of the whole area is offered by the Punta della Stella lookout tower. From here, you can enjoy the stunning sunset over the Aeolians and the Ionian Sea.
Monte Bianco and Monte Rosa, Aosta Valley
The White Mountain, Monte Bianco is the highest peak in the Alps and the most famous mountain in Italy. It is located near the town of Courmayeur, in the Italian region of Aosta Valley. This stunning mountain offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area, including Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc. The trail begins at the foot of the mountaintop and climbs up to 2,811 metres above sea level. From there it takes about four hours to reach the summit. The route passes through some of the best ski resorts in the world.
Monte Rosa is the second highest peak in the Alps, and its name “rose” does not refer to the colour pink, but rather to the local word for glacier. The ascent takes around five hours and the trail goes through several valleys and villages, such as Saint Martin de Belleville, where you can enjoy a delicious lunch. You’ll find yourself surrounded by beautiful scenery, including lakes and glaciers. At the end of the day, you can relax in the charming village of Chamonix, famous for its skiing and hiking opportunities.
The Italian lakes are a great destination for those looking for some peace and quiet. They offer breathtaking views, stunning landscapes and plenty of opportunities for relaxation. Whether you prefer to hike along the shores or go for a relaxing dip in one of the many lakes, there are plenty of options.
The Italian island of Sicily is known for many things — it’s home to Palermo, the capital city; the world famous Catania volcano; and the largest active volcano in Europe, Mt. Etna. But one thing people often forget about Sicily is how beautiful it is outside of the touristy cities. There are countless natural wonders throughout the island, including some of the most stunning hikes around. Here are five lesser-known places to explore in Sicily.
Mount Etna – A hike up Etna is a must for anyone traveling to Sicily. The mountain rises above the coastal town of Taormina, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, and provides access to several different trail routes. The best part? You can see the entire island from atop the volcano.
Vendicari Nature Reserve – This nature reserve lies just west of the Sicilian capital of Palermo, and features numerous hiking paths. Hikers looking for something less challenging could opt for a short walk along the beach.
Pantalica Gorge – Located near the southern tip of Sicily, this gorge is a popular spot for trekking and climbing. The area offers visitors scenic views of the surrounding mountains and coastline.
Madonie Mountain Range – These mountains run parallel to the coast, making them perfect for hiking. They offer beautiful scenery, as well as caves and waterfalls.
Cala di Volpe Beach – Cala di Volpe Beach is located south of Messina, and is a favorite spot for swimming and relaxing.
Italy’s most beautiful region, Tuscany, is home to some of the world’s great art cities like Florence and Siena, but there are plenty of lesser known treasures too. Here are three of our favorite hikes you can take while exploring the area.
The Renaissance Ring around Florence is one of the most popular day trips from the city. You’ll pass through several small towns like Fiesole and San Gimignano, where you can stop for lunch and admire the architecture. This easy hike takes about 4 hours and passes through olive groves, vineyards and cypress trees.
This trail runs along the Tuscan countryside between Greve in Chianti and Castellina in Chianti. There are many wineries, castles and historical sites along the way. Most of the route is flat, making it perfect for families. It takes about 5 hours to complete.
Val d’Orcia Hiking Trails
These trails run through the rolling hills of Val d’Orcias, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They’re ideal for those looking for less touristy hikes. One of the best is the “Cascata delle Marmore,” a waterfall near Montalcino.
Corno Grande, Abruzzo
Dominating the rocky landscape of Parco Nazionale dell’Appenine – one of the largest national park in Italy – is Corno Grande, one of the highest peaks in the Apennines range. Abruzzo is not among the most visited destinations in Italy, but it does contain authentic treasures such as the majestic Mount Corno Grande. This mountain offers some of the best panoramic views of both the Adriatic Sea and the Italian Peninsula.
Via Normale is the route that leads to the summit of Corno Grande. You’ll see the famous Gran Sasso dolomite mountains, the Alps, the Tyrrhenian Sea, and even the great white glaciers of the Calderone National Park. Along the way, you’ll pass through villages and towns where life goes on as usual.
Hiking in Poland
From the Baltic Sea to the Carpathians, here are some of the best hikes in Poland.
The Polish landscape offers hikers a variety of trails ranging from easy day hikes to challenging multi-day treks. Whether it’s the mountains, lakes, rivers, or seaside, there’s something for everyone.
In Poland, hiking is often combined with cycling, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, rafting, skiing, horseback riding, and even rock climbing.
Here are some of the most popular hikes in Poland.
1. Tatra National Park
2. Białowieża Forest
3. Lake Manyara
The Bieszczady are among the most spectacular mountains in southeastern Europe, rising steeply above the lowlands around Kraków. They are home to thousands of rare plants, animals and birds, including wolves, bears, lynx, eagles and chamois.
About 12 miles west of Krakow lies the town of Ostrzeszów, where visitors can find hotels, restaurants, shops and hiking trails leading away from the main road. In nearby villages, such as Łukowa Góra, there are still traditional wooden houses and churches dating back to the 18th century.
In addition to the well-marked trails, there are numerous dirt roads that lead off the main highway. These offer access to isolated hamlets and tiny farms, many of which are open to tourists.
To reach the Bieszczady, take the A2 motorway south from Warsaw to Kraków. From there, continue east along the A1 expressway toward Lublin. Exit onto the A3/A4 expressway heading north, and follow signs to Ostrzeszówski Nowy Port.
Trail of the Eagle’s Nests
The eagle’s nest trail runs along the Vistula River from Czestochowa to Krakow. A network of trails crisscrosses Poland, connecting towns and cities across the country and providing hikers with a unique experience. This one takes you from the medieval city of Czestochowa, where King Kazimierz Jagiellończyk founded the town in 1232, to the royal castle of Wawel in Kraków, home to the famous coronation ceremony. You will hike through forests, valleys, and villages, passing castles and watchtowers, along the way.
Chuda Przelaczka Loop, Tatra Mountains
The Tatra Mountains are Poland’s answer to Switzerland’s Jungfrau and Italy’s Dolomites. They’re home to some of the most popular hiking destinations in the country, including the Chuda Przelacza Trail, which runs along the Tatra River. This 10-mile loop takes hikers through the forested hills and meadows of the Koscielisko Valley before ascending to the summit of Ciemniak Peak, which offers panoramic views over the surrounding peaks.
What national parks in Poland have hiking trails?
Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Poland. In fact, according to data from the Polish National Tourist Office, there are over 3 million hikers in the country each year. There are many great places to hike in Poland, including some of the best national parks in the world. Here are four of our favorites.
Parque Nacional Tatarstan, Zakopane – Located in the Tatras Mountains, Parque Nacional Tatarskim Karpatami is one of the largest protected areas in Central Europe. This park boasts 98 hiking trails with an overall rating of 4.5 stars from 2,477 reviews on AllTrails.
Kampinoski Park Narodowej, Biala Podlaska – Kampinoski Park Narudowy features 30 hiking trails with an overall 4.5 star rating. From here you can explore the historical town of Biała Podlaska, where you’ll find plenty of historic architecture and museums.
Parque Nacionale de Gorze, Gorzów Wielkopolski – Parque Nacional de Gorze is located just outside of Gorzów Wlkpoliski and features 27 hiking trails with an overall score of 4.5 stars.
Parque Naciónal del Gran Paradiso, Bolzano – Parque Nacionals del Gran Paradisio is home to 30 hiking trails with an excellent 4.6 star rating. You can enjoy views of Lake Como while exploring the park.
What are the different types of hiking trails in Poland?
There are plenty of things to see and do on Poland’s hiking trail network. You can hike along lakes, rivers, streams, forests, mountains, and even deserts. If you’re looking for something specific, just type it into the search bar above and you’ll be presented with a list of trails that match your criteria.
On AllTrails.com you’ll find 2,331 senderismo trails, 951 correr trails, 865 mountain biking trails, and more. To make sure you don’t miss anything, there are over 3 million photos and videos of trails around the world.
What is the longest trail in Poland?
The longest trail in Poland according to AllTrails. com is R1 Cycling Route – Poland. This trail is estimated to measure 412.0 miles and take on average 149 hours and 14 minutes to complete.
This route starts in Warsaw and ends in Poznan. It covers many different landscapes including forests, mountains, lakes, rivers and even deserts.
1. Tatra mountains: Grześ – Rakoń – Wołowiec
The highest peak of the Tatras, the mountain called Grzeszczak, is located near the village of Grzeszczak. Its height is 2,711 m above sea level. The name of the mountain is derived from the Polish word grzyb meaning “oak”. At the foot of the mountain there are several lakes. One of them is Lake Jadwiga.
In the valley of Jadwiga lies the town of Rakuń. In the area of Rakuń there are many small villages such as Łąkowa Góra, Puszcza Biała, Wojtylice, Zawady, Karpacz, Szklarska Poręba, etc.
Rakuń is one of the most beautiful places in Poland. There are numerous hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, etc. Here you can find everything necessary for spending a pleasant holiday.
2. Tatra mountains: Granaty and Buczynowe Turnie
The second day of hiking along the red trail starts with a short walk to the village of Krasiczna. There we meet up with the owner of the hostel where we spend the night. From there it takes us to the village of Buczynowo, where we start climbing towards the peak of the highest mountain in Poland – the Tatra Mountains. We reach the summit of Granaty, one of the highest peaks of the Tatra Mountain Range. On top of Granaty, we enjoy breathtaking views over the surrounding landscape. Then we continue our journey down the mountain and make our way to Buczynowo. Here we take a break and relax in the nearby thermal baths. After lunch, we climb further up the mountain and reach the peak of Buczynowa. This is the highest point of the entire red trail. At the top of Buczynowa, we enjoy stunning views over the surrounding countryside. We descend again and return to the hostel to rest for the evening.
3. Tatras: Mięguszowicka Przełęcz pod Chłopkiem
The Mięgusowicka Przełecka Trail (MPRT), located in the Tatra Mountains, is one of the most popular hiking trails in Poland. It starts near the village of Łabunie, close to the Polish/Czech border, and ends in the town of Krosno Odrzańskie. This hike takes about 8 hours to complete, depending on how fast you want to go and how many stops you make along the way.
There are several options for getting to the start of the trail. You could take a bus from Warsaw to Łabunie (about 2 hours), rent a car or bike, or hitchhike. Once you arrive in Łabunie you will find a number of accommodation options including hotels, hostels, campgrounds, cabins, etc.
4. Tatra mountains: Gąsienicowa Coomb through Boczań
The trail to Gąsewiczka Coomb through Boczn starts from Kuźnici village. This is one of the most popular trails in the Tatras. There are several options how to reach it. For example, you can go directly by car, or take bus no. 461 from Zakopane to Kuźnicie and follow the signs. In case of heavy snowfall, however, there are some alternative routes. One of them goes through Zawada, where you can find accommodation. Another option is to walk along the river Świniaryja and cross the bridge in Wieliczki village. After crossing the bridge, you will see a signpost pointing to the left towards Boczań. From here, it’s about 2 hours walking through forested areas and meadows. You will pass by beautiful lakes and waterfalls. On the way, you will notice wooden bridges over small streams. At the end of the path, you will reach the hut called Gąsewicza Coomb.
5. Silesian Beskids: from Salmopol to Skrzyczne
The highest peak of the Silesian Beskids – Malinowska Skala – is located near the village of Salmopol. This is the starting point of our hike to Skrzyczny Hut. We start hiking from Salmopol pass (1,939 m). After about 2 hours we reach the summit of Malinowska Skalas (2,099 m). From here it is possible to see many beautiful mountains including the famous Karkonosze, Babia Gora, Pilsko and Velka Fatra. In addition, there are some small villages like Wojnowo, Bąkowice, Zabierzów, Dąbrowica Szlachecka, Tarnobrzeszcze, Chocim and others. On the way back we follow the same route along the river Oder.
6. Żywiec Beskids: Diablak (Babia Góra)
Kasia – Observatorium Podróży. The highest peak of the mountains is called Babia Gora (Old Wives/ Witches mountain), because there are many legends about witches living there. In the Middle Ages people believed that witches lived in caves near the summit. They used to burn witches alive. At the beginning of the 20th century the area became popular among hikers. The most famous hiking trail starts from Krowiarki pass and ends in the village of Sosnowica.
The highest peak is located in the south part of the Beskid Mountains, north of the town of Żywieć, Poland. The mountain consists of three peaks: the highest one is called Babia Guba, second one is called Babia Noga and third one is called Babia Zimna.
There are several theories connected to the mountain’s name. One says that it’s named after Old Wives/Witches, because around the mountain you can find old huts where people used to live. Another theory states that the name Babia Góra came from the legend about witches who lived in caves near the peak. People used to burn witches alive in those days. Today the mountain is very popular among hikers.
Around Babia Góra, the weather can change dramatically. While planning the hike, check forecast carefully. You can start and finish the trip from Krowiarka pass.
7. Żywiec Beskids: Main trail of Beskid Orawsko-Podhalański
The Beskids are the highest mountains in Poland. They stretch across southern Poland and northeastern Slovakia. In Poland, they include the Beskidy Mountains, which are located in the western part of the country. These mountains form the border between Poland and Germany. Their height reaches up to 2,200 meters above sea level.
In addition to the Beskids, there are many other smaller ranges in Poland. One of them is the Beskid Orawszki-Podhalanski. It stretches over 870 kilometers and includes several peaks. Its name comes from the Polish word “Orawa”, which means “river”. The main trail starts in the town of Orzesze, where there is a hotel called Hotel Podhalanka. From here, you can walk along the river Odra and reach the peak of Giewont.
8. Beskid Żywiecki: Wielka Rycerzowa from Soblówka
Wielka Rycerzowka (Great Warrior Mountain) is a beautiful mountain located near the village of Soblówka in Poland. This mountain is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the area and offers a variety of trails suitable for beginners and experienced hikers alike. If you are planning to go there, make sure to bring some warm clothes because it gets quite cold up here.
The best way to access this mountain is from the village of Soblòwka. You need to take bus number 518A or 518K from Kraków. From there, you can either walk to the entrance of the park or rent a bike. After entering the park, you need to follow the signs pointing towards the main path leading to the summit. There are a few options depending on how much time you want to spend on the hike. A good option is to start early in the morning. In my case I chose the route starting from Soblówki.
Once you arrive at the parking lot, you can choose between two routes. One starts off along the ridge and goes straight to the summit. Another one follows the ridges down to the valley where you can find the hut called “Mała Rycerzownia”. Depending on weather conditions, it takes about 2 hours to complete both routes.
If you decide to climb the peak, you’ll need to pay attention to your health. Make sure to drink enough water and prepare yourself mentally. Hiking in winter can be dangerous due to snow drifts, avalanches and ice falls.
In terms of safety, the park is well protected. There are guards at each entrance and patrols during the day. During the night, you can use your cell phone to call the emergency service. Also, keep in mind that the park closes every Monday.
9. Beskid Sądecki: a trail from Rytro to Makowica
Kuba – Sądecki Włóczyk – Makowica is the highest peak of Beskid Sędekki (the Sądecki High Tops). This part of Beskid Sădekki belongs to the Beskidy National Park and is one of the most popular hiking areas in Poland. In the area there are many trails, some of them well marked and others less known. I recommend hikers to start from Rytro, where you can find accommodation and restaurants. You can find information about routes here. For those who want to go further, the best way is to take the path from Rytro to Życzanow and continue via another route to the top. If you choose to do this, please read my guide about the route from Rytro to Makovicka and prepare yourself for the long walk.
10. Beskid Sądecki: Radziejowa from Jaworki
The trail begins in Jaworki, a small town located near the Polish – Slovakian border. The route leads to the highest peak of Beskids – Radziejowa, which is the highest mountain in Poland and one of the most popular hiking destinations. With over 2,500 meters above sea level, the view of the surrounding area is breathtaking. From there, you can continue your journey towards the nearby villages such as Zwierzyniec, Oświęcim, Żelechów, Krynki and finally reach the main city of Zakopane.
11. Pieniny: Wysoka
The Little Pieniny Mountains are one of the best places in Poland where you can go hiking without having to deal with crowds. This range is located about 50 km east of Zakopane, near the town of Sosnowiec. There are several options for walks here – some of them are quite difficult, others easier. But I recommend the following ones:
1. From the village of Góry Błota there is a trail leading along the river Biała up to the peak of Kaczanie Peak (1220 m).
2. Another option is to take the path leading towards the foothills of the Little Pieniny. After 2 hours of walking you’ll reach the highest point of this area – the peak of Kacznica (1310m).
3. A third possibility is the trail leading to the peak of Malinowy Dome (1230m).
4. If you prefer shorter hikes, there is another option – the trail leading to the village of Zielonka. On the way you can see many interesting sights such as the ruins of medieval castles, churches and monasteries.
5. In addition to hiking, you can spend some time here enjoying nature. There are plenty of opportunities for camping, fishing, swimming etc.
6. Last, but not least, you can enjoy the unique atmosphere of the place. Here you can find peace and quiet, and feel like a real wanderer.
12. Pieniny: Sokolica
The second largest mountain range of Poland is situated in the north-eastern corner of the country. Its highest peak reaches 2,908 m above sea level. There are three main ranges within it: Tatra Mountains, Beskid Sądecki and Białowieża Forest. The latter is one of the oldest forests in Europe and home to some of the rarest species of animals such as wolves, lynx and bears.
The biggest city in the area is Zakopane, where you can find many hotels offering accommodation and restaurants serving dishes typical of the region. If you prefer nature, there are numerous hiking paths leading into the forest, including the famous red trail called the Blue Trail.