Krakow has an exceptional location on the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. The surrounding rocky towns are very easy to reach from the city center. There are many places for recreation, walking or climbing. Here are at least some beautiful, rocky valleys: Będkowice, Bolechowice, Karniowice, Kobylańska Valley, Ojcowski National Park, and also Zakrzówek, an exceptional swimming pool with turquoise water, surrounded by limestone cliffs. The pond is located near Ruczaj, only 15 minutes from the center.
From Zakrzówka, you can walk along the rocky hillside above the town to the Podgórze district, where you will find, among other things, the legendary Krakow Hill and an old quarry, which, according to historical documents, was used as a labor camp in 1942. The road to the cement factory reveals a lesser known and less popular face of the city. Old gravestones appear underfoot, already swallowed up by the path between the trees. They probably belong to the victims shot on this site during World War II.
Krakow and Swimming Pools
In summer, but not only during hot days, it is definitely worth visiting the lakes and ponds located in various parts of the city. Bagry – a large swimming pool with natural but also public sandy beaches, Kryspinów – a dam near the airport, which offers sandy beaches, fireplaces and sunset among the spruces. Both locations have a rental shop with water sports equipment, restaurants and bars. A lesser-known natural swimming pool can be found among the rocks in the Zabierzów area.
Nearby is the beautiful and vast Wola Forest and other, slightly smaller forests: the forests in Zabierzów and Rząska (small villages just outside the town). Wolski Forest in the western part of the city is a wonderful place for anyone looking for peace and quiet. There are hiking and cycling trails. In some places you will come across limestone rocks and ravines. At the edge of the forest is Pilsudski Mound (Kopiec Piłsudskiego), built after World War I from the soil of the battlefields. Pilsudski Mound is the largest mound in Poland.
The forest path through the picturesque valley leads to another mound, which bears the name of General Kościuszko. The hiking trail leads directly to the Vistula River to the city center and the Salwator district. In the center of Krakow and in the suburbs, you can stroll through many parks, such as Jordan Park (Park Jordana) or Bednarski Park in the Podgórze district (Park Bednarski). Another frequented place are Krakow’s vegetation – the alleys leading from the Main Square (Rynek Główny) to the Kazimierz district.
Exploring the City
There is a whole host of carriers to choose from: public transport (MPK), buses, rail (PKP), rapid suburban rail (SKA). For those who want to get around in a healthy way, avoiding traffic jams in the streets and crowded buses, Krakow offers cycling paths, scenic routes (for example, the path on the Vistula embankment towards Tyniec Abbey), bazaars and equipment rental shops with attractive prices.