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Natural Wonders

Natural Wonders

dolina Bolechowicka









Dolinki podkrakowskie (Kraków Valleys)

 



             


 

Situated to the north-east of Kraków is a region oft-times dubbed the Switzerland of Kraków. The name is well-deserved: it is a land of valleys and gorges traversed by winding rivers and a kingdom of monadnocks, caves and karst springs. This region is perfect for one-day trips, which will surely please the children. A stroll or a cycling trip through the most interesting valleys such as Będkowska Valley (with the impressive Sokolica rock, a waterfall, a karst spring and the Bat Cave, Kobylańska Valley (with a number of fanciful rocks forming gates, peaks and rock walls) or Kluczwoda Valley (the Zamkowa Rock with ruins of a knight’s watchtower and the Wierzchowska Górna Cave will be reminisced about for a long time. Also, you must visit the remarkable 1.5-metre-long Bolechowicka Valley – a small wonder of nature. Nor can you fail to be impressed by the massive rock gate guarding the entrance to the Valley. Another charming site is the Mnikowska Valley, a karst gorge, which also forms part of the Sanka Valley. It owes its uniqueness to beautiful monadnocks of original shapes, which stretch expansively on both sides.

Kraków Valleys,
the village of Bolechowice is a great base from which you can explore the Bolechowicka and Kluczwoda Valleys. The gateway to the Bolechowicka Valley is situated only several hundred metres from the centre of the village (near the car park). On visiting the Kluczwoda Valley, you can leave your car at the end of the road in the hamlet of Gacki. Setting off for the Kobylańska Valley, it is best to start from the village of Kobylany, while the Będkowska Valley is best traversed beginning at Będkowice (you need to go down the yellow trail to the bed of the valley and wander along the picturesque gorge). The Mnikowska Valley is easiest to reach from the hamlet of Mników – Skałki (where the car park is located).


Jaskinia Nietoperzowa (Bat Cave)

 

 

Situated among the cluster of rocks by the upper part of the   Będkowska Valley, the cave derived its name from the bats, which not long ago sheltered here in large numbers during winter. It is worth paying attention to the dripstone waterfall as you enter the cave and a number of spiral corries along the roof in the deeper parts. The 300-metre cave, which is a private property, can be toured only with the guide on duty at the entrance.

Bat Cave,
phone: +48 12 389 5395, 605467892; opening hours: Mar–Sep, daily 9am–5.30pm; Oct, daily 9am–4pm; tickets: PLN 8, concessions: PLN 6. You can reach the cave on the road from Olkusz to Kraków (route no. 94): you need to pull off the road at the spot by the cave’s advertisement in the village of Jerzmanowice. The car park is situated close to the cave.

Wierzchowska Górna Cave

 

 

 

This largest cave of the Krakowsko-Częstochowska Upland is situated in Kluczwoda Valley near the village of Wierzchowie. Regarded as a natural monument, it is nearly one kilometre long, 700m of which is available for sightseeing. The underground route leads through enchanting chambers and corridors, where apart from the beautiful dripstone forms, you can find an exhibition of Jurassic fossils and the bones of cave animals. Visits are by guided tour only.

Wierzchowska Górna Cave,
opening hours in high season: May–Aug, daily 9am–5pm; Sep–Oct, daily 9am–4pm; tickets: PLN 14, concessions: PLN 12. You can reach the cave via route no. 94. In the village of Biały Kościół you need to pull off the road towards Zabierzów, then take the first right onto the asphalt road towards the village of Wierzchowice, where you will find a car park. From there on, follow the signs on foot (10 min).

 

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