Tatras Family Explorer

Multi-active family holiday in Poland, Krakow to Zakopane







From $1,140 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Easy cycling and walking in sunny Poland
  • Float down the River Dunajec on a wooden raft
  • Centre-based in a charming Zakopane hotel
  • Summer tobagganing, funicular railway & Polish cooking lesson

Defining Poland's southern border with Slovakia, the rugged peaks of the Tatras overlook a picturesque region that has all the right ingredients for an active family holiday in Poland. Accessed through Krakow, we have time to explore this former Polish capital city, with its impressive main market square and Royal Castle, complete with ‘Dragon Cave'. We also visit the salt mines at nearby Wieliczka, famous for its statues and chapels carved out of rock salt. Then, after transferring to our family-run hotel base in Zakopane, we set out to experience the best of the Tatras, with a mix of hiking and biking and other accessible activities, such as the play park and dry bobsleigh run on Gubalowka Mountain. A free day in Zakopane allows us to explore on our own, to take it easy, or to choose from a number of optional excursions, such as visiting Bielanska Cave or the thermal springs at Poprad or Bukowina Tatrzanska. Then, after hiking the Bear Trail and spending time with the hotel chef, learning traditional cookery skills, our week in Poland is made complete with a gentle morning of rafting down the dramatic limestone gorge of the Dunajec River. The picturesque mountain resort of Zakopane is a brilliant place to spend a week with your family.

Is this holiday for you?

Suitable for children from 8yrs old

This family holiady is the perfect escape for those in need of an inexpensive week away in Europe. The activities are pitched at an introductory level for all the family to enjoy and the holiday has a relaxed feel. With summertime temperatures in the low 20's, the Tatras region has a perfect climate for family adventures. We spend 5 nights at a centrally located comfortable family run hotel in Zakopane and 2 nights in a 3 star hotel in Krakow.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Krakow. A single transfer from Krakow Airport is provided.
  • Visit the Wielicka Salt Mines. Afternoon transfer to Zakopane. Check into hotel for the next 5 nights.
  • Walking tour of Zakopane. Chairlift and walk to Funicular Railway, toboggan ride, return train ride.
  • A day easy cycling through the Chochowska Valley on tarmac and easy trails. Return to Zakopane.
  • Free day in Zakopane. Optional excursions to Poprad, Tatranska Kolina caves or Morskie Oko lake.
  • Morning walk along the Bear Trail in the Tatra National Park. Afternoon free before cooking session.
  • Morning rafting trip down the Dunajec River. Afternoon transfer to Krakow.
  • Departure day. A single transfer to Krakow Airport is provided.
Sun 29 May - Sun 05 Jun Code FPL /01/16/ Adult$1,140 Child$975 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 10 Jul - Sun 17 Jul Code FPL /02/16/ Adult$1,140 Child$980 Status Available Book now
Sun 07 Aug - Sun 14 Aug Code FPL /03/16/ Adult$1,140 Child$980 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 21 Aug - Sun 28 Aug Code FPL /04/16/ Adult$1,140 Child$980 Status Available Book now
Sun 28 May - Sun 04 Jun Code FPL /01/17/ Adult$1,140 Child$980 Status Available Book now
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Krakow. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements and transfers' section of the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are low cost airlines offering flights to Krakow. These include Easyjet from London Gatwick, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Ryanair from Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh & Jet 2 from Newcastle. Other low cost airlines are available from other airports but some of these may require extra nights in Krakow at the start or end of the holiday.

Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Krakow. A single transfer from Krakow Airport is provided.

    KE Land Only package services begin with a guided tour of the city's main sights, 'On the trail of legends and Kings in Krakow'. Krakow is one of the great survivors of World War II and retains much of it’s original medieval architecture - the 'Old Town' is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the former Royal capital, the city is rich in history and examples of original Gothic and Renaissance architecture abound. Our tour will include the atmospheric Old Town, and the famous clock tower at St Mary’s church. Every hour a trumpeter plays a salute, breaking off mid-flow to commemorate the famous 13th century trumpeter who was shot in the throat while sounding the alarm before an attack on the city from Tartar invaders! We will also visit the Royal Castle on Wawel Hill, seat of Polish Kings for 500 years, where the state room contains precious Flanders tapestries. No visit to the castle is complete without descending down into the “Dragon’s Lair”, a cave under the castle where it’s said that an ancient and fierce dragon was slain by King Krakus, the city’s legendary founder! In the evening we’ll enjoy dinner in one of the city’s excellent restaurants. Overnight in our hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Visit the Wielicka Salt Mines. Afternoon transfer to Zakopane. Check into hotel for the next 5 nights.

    After breakfast at our hotel, we will drive out of the city to Wielicka to visit the Salt Mine, also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Operation of the mine originally began in the 13th century and the mine produced salt continuously until 2007. The mine contains dozens of statues and an entire chapel carved out of salt by the miners – even the chandeliers in the church are carved out of salt crystals! Our tour will explain about the extraction of salt and it’s importance as a commodity in times past. After lunch in Wieliczka, we will take a bus to the town of Zakopane, at the foot of the mighty Tatra Mountains. Zakopane is Poland’s winter-sports capital and the start point for hiking in the summer. The town is attractive, with many traditional old wooden chalet buildings and picturesque surroundings. We check into our characterful hotel, an old villa built before the Second World War, close to the town centre, and chosen for it’s family-friendly atmosphere.
    Driving time to Zakopane : 3 hours approximately (110kms).

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Walking tour of Zakopane. Chairlift and walk to Funicular Railway, toboggan ride, return train ride.

    After breakfast we begin our walking tour of Zakopane, taking in downtown, the old wooden houses, the Jaszczurowka Church and the ski jumps! We will also pay a visit to the Tatra National Park museum to learn about the history of the park and also about the flora and fauna of the Polish mountains. After lunch we’ll take the chairlift to Butorowy Wierch (1160m) and walk into the Tatra Mountains to the top station of the Gubalowka Funicular Railway from where we can enjoy panoramic views of the Western, White and High Tatras. The trail is about 2km long. There is a children’s playground at the station, as well as a dry bobsleigh toboggan ride for those in search of extra thrills! The small carts descend a winding metal track at speeds of up to 23 km per hour! We descend to the valley by the funicular and return to hour hotel where we take dinner. After dinner we’ll enjoy a special visit from a local 'highlander' who will tell us about mountain life, the culture and the history of the local people.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs walking

  • A day easy cycling through the Chochowska Valley on tarmac and easy trails. Return to Zakopane.

    Today we enjoy a day of biking through the Chochowska Valley, a short distance from Zakopane. The valley is the largest in the Polish Tatras, covering an area of 35 square km and at 10km in length is the longest. Our ride will begin on tarmac, but later we’ll head off-road on to trails running alongside the Chocholowski River. En route we’ll see sheep grazing in the meadows and we’ll stop off to sample some of the locally-produced smoked sheep’s cheese. The area was once the centre of sheep-farming in the Polish Tatras and many former shepherd’s huts dot the mountainsides. We’ll take lunch at the Chocholowska Hut and then return by the same route. Bikes and helmets will be provided. Tonight we’ll enjoy dinner at our Zakopane hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Free day in Zakopane. Optional excursions to Poprad, Tatranska Kolina caves or Morskie Oko lake.

    Today is free to relax and enjoy Zakopane or to take an optional excursion. Your guide will give suggestions depending on the weather and the interests of the group, but options could include the following:
    Option 1 – Take the bus to Tatranska Kolina and visit the most famous cave in the Tatras, Bielanska Cave. The cave was the haunt of gold miners in the 18th century and it is an excellent place to see stalagmites and stalactites.
    Option 2 – Take the bus to Poprad, in nearby Slovakia, and visit the thermal springs.
    Option 3 – Visit Bielanska Cave in the morning, and Poprad in the afternoon
    Option 4 – A whole day excursion on foot to lovely lake Morskie Oko, a high mountain tarn enclosed by rocky peaks.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Morning walk along the Bear Trail in the Tatra National Park. Afternoon free before cooking session.

    After breakfast we drive to Kuznice and take a short (3 hour) walk along the 'Bear Trail'. The trail follows the upper limit of the forest in the Strazyska Valley below a peak called Kasprowy Wierch. Although we are unlikely to see any bears today, the High Tatra National Park is home to Eurasian brown bears, and it’s thought that about 50 animals live in the national park on the border between Poland and Slovakia. Maybe we will be lucky enough to meet one of these shy creatures! We’ll visit the monastery of the Albertine Brothers along the way before returning to Zakopane. The afternoon is free for everyone to choose their own activity. The group will meet again before dinner for a cooking lesson at the hotel – we’ll learn how to make “Pirrogen”- traditional Polish pasties made from unleavened dough. The dough is formed into pockets and then boiled and filled with meat, cheese or fruit. After the dinner we’ve created, we’ll enjoy our last night in Zakopane with a bonfire in the garden of the hotel!

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Morning rafting trip down the Dunajec River. Afternoon transfer to Krakow.

    This morning we’ll travel by bus to visit the oldest wooden Gothic Church in Poland, in Debno Podhalanskie Village before beginning our rafting trip down the Dunajec River (18kms, 2.5 hours). The river, a tributary of the Vistula, rises in Nowy Targ in the Pieniny Mountains on the Polish border and flows north to the Baltic Sea. The area surrounding the Dunajec Canyon is a protected National Nature Reserve and the forests of fir, beech and pine are home to diverse fauna including lynx, otter, honey buzzards, eagle owls and pygmy owls. Towering limestone cliffs line the canyon, making the journey quite spectacular. Lifejackets and all safety equipment is provided. After lunch we will return to Krakow by bus and check in to our hotel before going out to enjoy a farewell dinner in the city.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. A single transfer to Krakow Airport is provided.

    After breakfast, there is a group transfer to Krakow Airport, where KE Land Only package services end.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English speaking Polish tour leader
  • A single Krakow Airport group transfer on Day 1 and Day 8 of the trip itinerary
  • 7 nights hotel accommodation as described
  • Meals as detailed in the meal plan
  • All road transport required by the itinerary
  • All cable car and funicular fares required by the itinerary
  • All entrance fees during excursions and sightseeing which are part of the itinerary
  • All necessary equipment (including safety equipment) required by activities in the itinerary

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers (other than the single group transfers on Day 1 and Day 8)
  • Tips for local staff
  • Some meals as detailed in the meal plan
  • Cost of any optional excursions or activities
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

Within the Land Only cost of this trip, we will provide a single group transfer from Krakow Airport to the group's accommodation in Krakow on Day 1 of the trip itinerary. This transfer usually departs from the Airport in the late morning. On Day 8, there will be a single group transfer from the hotel in Krakow back to Krakow Airport in the early morning. Contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation. Clients MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights.

During this trip the group will spend 5 nights in a family hotel in Zakopane and 2 nights in a 3 star hotel in Krakow. Accommodation is based on twin share with private bathroom but family rooms with more beds can also be arranged on request.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All meals other than 1 dinner are provided during this tour. Breakfasts are usually bread with a selection of meats and cheeses and sometimes cooked eggs and ham. Dinners normally consist of filling, home-made soups, pasta, goulash etc.. Packed lunches of sandwiches and fruit will be provided on the days where it’s not possible to stop at a local restaurant for lunch. Additional snack food items, such as chocolate bars, can be purchased in Krakow and Zakopane.

All meals except 1 dinner are included in the trip price. On the free day in Zakopane we have left the choice of where and what to eat up to you. In Zakopane there is a wide choice of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Meals are not particularly expensive in Poland. We suggest you budget between £6 and £10 per family member for this dinner.

We estimate that a total of around £150 to £200 per family (dad, mum and 2 kids) - or equivalent in euros/dollars - should be allowed for personal spending, optional excursions and the non-included meal. This amount should also be sufficient to cover any miscellaneous expenses and approximately £20 to £30 per family member for tips to local staff. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). Also, if you expect to buy considerable quantities of soft drinks or beer, you should make an allowance for this. We recommend you carry your travel money in the form of currency as travellers cheques are not readily exchanged and change it in to Polish Zlotys in Krakow on day 1. Note that there are many ATMs in Krakow and in Zakopane.

This trip will be led by a locally based, professional, English-speaking guide

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ for good service. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. On this trip we recommend that you give a tip to your guide and also on the city tour of Krakow. We estimate that £20 to £30 per family member will be sufficient for these tips.

There is no weight limit on this trip other than that imposed by your international carrier (normally 20kg). However, we do ask you to restrict your luggage to one trek bag and one small daypack per person.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

A passport with 3 months remaining validity is required. Passport holders from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or any EU countries do not require a visa. Other nationalities should check with the respective consulate in their own country.

Whilst we keep our information up to date, you should be advised that visa requirements can change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in case of recent amendments.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots / Strong Shoes for walking
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers /pants
  • Underwear
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers / pants
  • Baselayer shirts
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts
  • Loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirt with collar (for sun protection)
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Eyewear – Sunglasses
  • Daypack c.30 to 40 litres / 1800 –2000 cu in (depending on how much of the kids' stuff you want to carry)
  • Basic First Aid Kit : Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Immodium), painkillers, plasters (band-aids), and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), antihistamine cream and tablets, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are a good idea.
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles (approx 1 litre / quart per person)
  • Swimwear
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Small towel
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)

The following items are optional:

  • Trainers / sneakers
  • Sandals
  • Shorts
  • Spare laces
  • Insect repellant – (DEET)
  • Wet wipes
  • Travel clothes
  • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Camera, film / memory cards, batteries
  • Toys / games / books etc.
  • Warm hat
  • Lightweight thermal or fleece gloves
  • Headtorch / headlamp and spare batteries
  • Notes:All specialist equipment required for the activities on this trip are provided.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:


As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Your Child’s Health Abroad. Matthew Ellis and Jane Wilson-Howarth, (Bradt publications). Travel With Children. Maureen Wheeler (Lonely Planet). The Rough Guide to Poland. Lonely Planet. Poland P is for Poland (World Alphabet). Agnieszka Mrowczynska The Dragon of Krakow and other Polish Stories. Richard Monte

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