Mountains are definitely our place on Earth! In the mountains, we look for inspiration when creating new designs, and from time to time, immerse ourselves in nature - which always brings peace and relief after the everyday overstimulation. Last but not least, it is here, 20 km from Zakopane, in the small town of Ciche, where all Oakywood products are made. Although some of you may think Zakopane is nothing more but the most mainstream tourist place in Poland, this charming city used to be the heart of artistic bohemia in the interwar period. Check out our tips for the perfect weekend off the beaten track and visit Zakopane - in person or virtually, from your couch!
5 less traveled trails near & in Zakopane
Koscieliska Valley is one of the most popular walking destinations in the Tatra Mountains. Smreczynski Pond, located around 1.5 h away, is as charming as the famous Morskie Oko - and at the same time, definitely less crowded. Located near Hala Ornak, the lake is surrounded by virgin forest, inaccessible to tourists. This wild and quiet place is a true oasis for all those seeking direct contact with nature.
The Chocholowska Valley is a picturesque area in the Tatra National Park, famous for its beautiful views and gorgeous mountain flowers, which bloom every spring. The 3.5 km fragment of the track is asphalt and makes a perfect spot for parents with small children or those who have just started their adventure with mountain hiking. For more experienced hikers, we recommend a 3-km trail to Grzes - leading to the mountain peak with a beautiful panorama of the Tatra Mountains, including Ornak, Bystra, and the Orava Tatras.
Little Meadow Valley
The trail through the Little Meadow Valley is one of the less crowded but also one of the most beautiful walking routes in the Tatras. An hour away from the entrance to the trail, you will find The Great Glade, stretching for around 1 km, where you can admire the surrounding peaks: Giewont and Wielka Turnia. If you want to continue your walk, you can select one of the routes - to Czerwone Wierchy, the Kościeliska Valley, or the Strążyska Valley.
The trail to Sarnia Skała is long (about 4.5 km) but relatively simple and full of surprises! If you follow Droga pod Reglami (the trail along the forest), you will reach the picturesque Białego Valley - with the spectacular Biały Potok (White Stream). A steep ascent to Sarnia Skała leads to one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Tatra Mountains - where you can spot Giewont, Krokiew, and watch the entire Podhale region.
The Bicycle Trail Around the Tatra Mountains
Do you like cycling trips? We have a special recommendation for you! The cross-border, Polish-Slovakian project Trail Around the Tatra Mountains covers over 250 km of cycling paths in Podhale, Orawa, Liptov & Spisz. Thanks to the website full of useful information, tourists can plan an active holiday in the Tatras - taking into account all regional attractions.
What to see in Zakopane?
Willa Oksza is a department of the Tatra Museum, where you can see the incredible collection of 20th-century art. In the gallery, you will see paintings, sculptures, and photographs of famous artists: Zofia Stryjeńska, Rafał Malczewski, Leon Wyczółkowski. The most important place in the museum is the exhibiton of Witkacy's works. This controversial writer and visual artist, famous for his experiments with the creative process, founded the so-called Portrait Company - in which he painted portraits of his fellow artists, balancing on the border between manufacturing and art.
S. I. Witkiewicz, Autoportret z Tadeuszem Langerem i Bronisławą Włodarską Litauerową, ze zbiorów Muzeum Tatrzańskiego - filia Willa Oksza
The Karol Szymanowski Museum in Willa Atma is a cultural institution with an interactive exhibition presenting the life and work (full of Podhale influences) of one of the most famous Polish composers. In addition to its museum function, Atma is a meeting place for classical music lovers: concerts, workshops, and lectures are often held here.
The history of the Witkacy Theater dates back to the 1980s, and its formula refers to the experimental artistic activities of Witkiewicz in the interwar period. The aim of the Witkacy Theater, inspired by the authorship concept of pure form, is to provide the audience with a "metaphysical experience". Experimental but also deeply moving performances often directly involve the audience in the show.
Oscypek is the most popular highlander cheese - included in the list of regional products protected by EU law. At the Oscypek Museum, you will not only see how this unique product is made, but also learn a lot of interesting information about the Tatra history, folklore, and most of all - you will prepare your cheese according to a traditional recipe!
This small village located near Zakopane is a great choice for all travelers longing for a quiet rest away from the crowds. What's more, Jurgów has a rich history dating back to the 16th century. In this small village, you will find an open-air museum with historic shepherds' farms, a sawmill, a water mill, a wooden church, and an administrator's farm - exposing the everyday life of a wealthy Spisz family from the mid-19th century.
"The mountains are calling, and I must go"
Mountains are a magical and inspiring place. We are faithful to traditional, natural materials from this region and we are proud to write the next chapter in the history of Podhale craftsmanships. We hope you will like our favorite places!