A Relaxing Vacation – 6 Great Areas Near Zakopane for Stay

From my own experience, I tend to avoid Zakopane during the high season. However, it’s easy to escape the hustle and bustle of Poland’s winter capital. To experience the mountain climate in a more intimate and peaceful atmosphere, you only have to drive a dozen kilometers.

Why So I Avoid Zakopane Center in Peak Season?

I had the pleasure of picnicking in Zakopane in the middle of summer. It may be hard to believe, but at that time there were quite a few tourists and the only advertisements around were for plumbing, coffee and Zakopianka.

Today, Zakopane has much more to offer, such as a shopping mall, a hounted house, two parrot houses, a mini zoo with mice running around a miniature Giewont and Paris, and even Thai massages. Plus the many bazaars selling souvenirs, kebabs, waffles and highlander burgers. I don’t want to sound negative. I love Zakopane.

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↳ Make sure to check out my guide to ALL attractions in Zakopane, so you don't overlook anything interesting: 66 Best Attractions in Zakopane 2023 – What to Do – Interesting Places

Skiing on Kasprowy is a must. I also love Stanislaw Witkiewicz’s wooden churches, Hasior’s gallery, Witkacy’s theater, and having coffee at Samanta pastry shop. Not to mention the wide variety of food, from local to Italian to Swiss.

On top of that, the public transportation network is great. This allows visitors to leave their cars behind and reduce the smog problem.

I recommend visiting in the off-season if you want to escape the crowds in Zakopane during the high season. I visit Podhale at least twice a year, but there have been times when I haven’t been to Zakopane center for two or three years. To avoid the hustle and bustle of the long weekends, holidays and New Year’s Eve, I suggest three destinations and six places worth visiting.

Bukowina Tatrzańska

Bukowina may not be the most secluded spot in Podhale, but it’s still worth a visit. Among the tourist towns in the Zakopane region, Bukowina stands out for its opportunities for peace and quiet. After all, there’s a network of hills, roads and paths waiting to be explored. You don’t have to worry about amenities either.

There are pubs, restaurants, ATMs and shops that stay open late. There’s also the popular glamping destination of fashionable igloo tents. Despite being on a busy road, many people have chosen to spend the night here.

If you are a fan of rural settings and need a break from Zakopane, Bukowina is the place to be. With its small guesthouses tucked away in the hills, you’ll find the perfect place to enjoy complete seclusion in the middle of the mountains. Take a stroll down Leśna Street and you’ll find an award-winning but little-known restaurant serving delicious local dishes at affordable prices. Don’t forget to try the trout and apple pie.

From the outskirts of the village it is only a short distance to the bustling trails to Morskie Oko and the Valley of Five Ponds or the picturesque Oswald Balcer Road. Here you will find the routes to Rusinowa Polana and Gęsia Szyja. The roads to Gliczarów or Łysa Polana offer quiet and picturesque views.

Gliczarów Górny

You will be amazed when you visit this village located between Bukowina Tatrzańska and Biały Dunajec, near the mountain resort of Zakopane. It is one of the highest elevated villages in Poland, far away from noise, smog and commercialism. Its beauty is so remarkable that even its cemetery is considered one of the most beautiful in the country.

Frankly, this village has managed to stay away from the tourist rush, as there are hardly any sights to see here, and the trekking trails start elsewhere. However, there is a wide range of accommodations, two small shops, an inn, and a pub with a great selection of homemade liquors. In addition, the Mountain Naturotherapy Center, which was founded by a refugee from Kielce, is a place not to be missed. Here, in a glass room with an incredible view of the mountains, you can get a wonderful massage or participate in a Tao Yin gymnastics workshop.

Gliczarów Górny is a perfect getaway for those looking for peace and quiet. If you still crave civilization, you can easily get to Zakopane in 20 minutes by car or 45 minutes by bus. Although the bus looks and smells a bit rustic, it has its own unique charm.


Witów is one of the top tourist destinations in Poland thanks to the Chochołowska Valley, which comes alive with colorful crocuses every April and May. You can also take an easy walk to a picturesque chapel that you may recognize from the movie Janosik.

Every Sunday at 1 pm, you can attend an outdoor mass with the local highlanders and then enjoy the famous apple pie with blueberry sauce at the PTTK shelter. The best way to make the most of your trip is to stay overnight and then hike to the higher parts of the Western Tatras. These include Bobrowiecka Przełęcz, Grzesia, Rakoń, Wołowiec and Trzydniowiański Wierch.

Visitors to Witów can admire its traditional inns and restaurants, as well as the 19th-century bell tower and the early 20th-century Church of Our Lady of the Scapular. Emperor Franz Joseph personally authorized the construction of the latter. The village’s representative had to go to Vienna to get the documents. So, come to Witów to explore its fascinating lower parts.


Hidden in the north of Witów is Chochołów. Until 2007, this historic village welcomed visitors from Slovakia through its controlled border crossing, but now hardly anyone comes here. The devil himself would be impressed by the peaceful atmosphere of the village, best described by the saying „where the devil says good night”.

While here, you’ll enjoy a unique architectural experience, as the cottages of Chochołów have been a great source of inspiration for the Zakopane style. No less than 103 of these charming log houses have been listed as historical monuments, including the Chochołów Uprising Museum and two regional chambers.

Locals still use traditional hand-washing techniques to clean the houses before Easter, a process that can cost several thousand zlotys. A visit to Chochołów will give you a chance to admire the beautifully decorated houses, each a masterpiece of 19th century architecture.

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway that feels like the end of the world, Chochołów is the perfect destination. But that’s not all. Chochołowskie Termy is the biggest and best spa in Podhale, with a variety of outdoor pools, sulfur and brine baths, and a stunning glass sauna where you can take in the breathtaking mountain views.


A short trip of about 60 minutes (or even less if you leave from Nowy Targ) will take you to the breathtaking Pieniny National Park. This is a must not only for fans of the novel and TV series Blinded by the Lights, but also for those who appreciate Daria’s favorite story, the cruise on Lake Czorsztyńskie. Don’t miss this amazing experience.

The name of the lake may be deceptive. It was created by building a dam on the Dunajec River, which significantly reduced the damage caused by the 1997 flood. At its base lie the ruins of the village of Maniowy, whose inhabitants were evacuated to higher ground.

Although the reservoir is only two decades old, it looks as if it has been here for centuries, along with the medieval castles of Czorsztyn and Niedzica. For those traveling with children, visiting the ruins and taking a gondola ride may be the most appealing activities. However, it is also worth exploring the area on your own.

Click Play to See the Niedzica Castle From Air View

The best view of both castles is from the meadows above the town. To get there, you can climb up Przedszkolaków Street from the beach and Tawerna Kapitańska side.

On the way from Czorsztyn to Nowy Targ you will pass through the village of Kluszkowce and admire the picturesque embankment of the Stylchyn Peninsula. From here you can admire the majestic Gorce and Pieniny mountains.

The Czorsztyn Settlement is a complex of historic villas and outbuildings from the 19th century, which today serve as an „open-air museum for rent”. There is also a seasonal sailing marina and a year-round Willa Jordanówka guest house. While exploring this route, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the lake, its surroundings and the Tatra Mountains.


On your way back from Czorsztyn to Nowy Targ, you should pass through Kluszkowce – a village with a stunning view of the Gorce and Pieniny Mountains. There you’ll find the Czorsztyn Settlement, a picturesque complex of 19th century buildings. These villas and outbuildings were reconstructed from the flood plains of Maniów, Kluszkowiec and Czorsztyn. They can be rented for weddings, conferences and other events.

You can also visit the seasonal sailing marina and the year-round Willa Jordanówka guest house. On your way to the peninsula, take a moment to admire the magnificent view of the Tatra and Pieniny mountains. Don’t miss the ruins of the 13th century Czorsztyn Castle – it’s worth a visit.

You should hurry to see Kluszkowce. Not so long ago the area was mostly untouched, but now two strange apartment buildings are under construction.


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