On one of those not-so-special autumn days, we decided to go for a walk to Lanckorona and Kalwaria Zebrzydowska- two towns around 40km away from Kraków. What was meant to be a relaxing walk after some strenuous workout the day before, turned out to be quite a day-long activity, yet with many interesting cultural elements. We got to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska by train and then walked towards Lanckorona (1h), admiring surrounding villages and the hilly landscape. Having entered Lanckorona through Krakowska street, we saw a cute café, Arka, run by two ceramic artists and decided to stop for a sip of espresso. And a cake. Or two.
Totally recommendable- if it only opened its branch in Krakow, we would be more than happy to be loyal customers. Having reenergized, we moved towards the Market square, famous for its unique wooden houses dating back to 19th century. We walked around and admired the beauty of architecture which these days is hardly to be seen- there is even a little museum in one of the houses which shows the history of the town and region (though mostly in Polish).
Having built some background, we climbed up the path behind the church and got to the castle ruins. Built in the 14th century, for centuries it served as a residence for local gentry and governors of these lands. Since the 18th century, the castle has decayed, turning into some charming ruins surrounded by a thick forest. While walking around, we tried to imagine how it was to live on a hill like this one, hunt in the forests and defend the lands.
We recommend walking down some of the many forest paths with romantic names such as the Alley of Whispers or the Alley of Lovers. For the less romantic one, the castle hill also serves trail runners and mountain bikers.
We then moved towards Kalawaria Zebrzydowska- an object built to resemble the Calvary where Jesus was crucified. Apart from its religious value, the area is unique with its monumental sacral buildings and the Stations of the Cross spread across the horizon. If not for the dusk, we would have walked around for even longer, yet had to head back to the station.
GETTING THERE: With a car or by train from Cracow to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska stop, later by foot.
This is just a brief summary of the PL language version, focusing on key information. We are happy to elaborate upon it, share insiders’ tips, advise- just shoot a comment or an email and we’ll be happy to assist you in exploring Poland!