NIEDZICA-ZAMEK – southern shore of Lake Czorsztyn:Falsztyn – Frydman – Dębno (UNESCO
church) – northern shore of the Lake: Hubka Street – Maniowy
– Stylchyn Peninsula – CZORSZTYN
A tour which is a must. Lake Czorsztyn,
although not so large in size, is a unique place thanks to its exceptional
location at the meeting point of historical and geographical lands. 27 km along
the surface of the Lake, with constantly changing views of the Pieniny, Tatra,
Gorce Mountains, the Babia Góra Peak, on dedicated bicycle paths. Two
interesting castles – a Polish and a Hungarian one and an unusual wooden church
near the route. Along the whole route we will encounter only one steeper uphill
stretch. The route is suitable for families with children.
We start the route at the Castle in Niedzica which, until 1918, was within the territory of Hungary. History lovers will surely be interested in the legend of Incan gold which may still be waiting for its discoverer somewhere in the Castle to this day.
From near the Castle we move west, following the signs of the Path Around the Lake. The part leading along its southern shore is a bit more difficult than the one on the northern side, with quite a lot of short but easy uphill rides here. We reach the very surface of the Lake near the Kosarzyska Bay by forest bends. The route turns sharply to the left, with red asphalt, but it is worth riding up to the end of the route at the Lake – the place offers amazing views.
The uphill stretch from the Kosarzyska Bay – 100 m of an elevation in less than 2 km is difficult, some will have to walk with their bikes. This is the only major uphill stretch on the route; such a course bypasses the Zielone Skałki Reserve, protecting a range of limestone rocks just above the water surface. However, the hardships of the uphill ride are rewarded by the extraordinary views – of the Bay, the Niedzica Castle and the Pieniny Mountains in the background.
We come to Falsztyn, the path turns to the right and we quickly ride downhill to the forest over the Lake. Several beautifully situated resting points offer wonderful views of the Gorce Mountains. We reach Frydman which has preserved the urban layout typical of the region of Spisz.
We ride around Frydman along the high and scenic embankment of the side dam – its creation saved the village from the fate of the village of Maniowy on the other side, which had to be moved in its entirety above the rising level of the Lake.
After Frydman, we cross the Białka River, proceeding to Podhale from Spisz. We pass Dębno on the embankment (in the centre of the village there is a valuable wooden church – UNESCO site). We cross (caution! a narrow stretch and heavy traffic!) over a bridge over the Dunajec River. 500 m further on we go right to return to the Lake, now to its northern shore.
Passing along the northern shore of the Lake is sheer pleasure. The route runs almost right on the lakeside, with magnificent views of the water, in the background the Pieniny Spiskie range and the Tatra Mountains towering up behind. While riding, remember to stay on the alert – sudden and sharp turns pose a risk of collision with other cyclists!
Steadily but not monotonously, we ride along the Lake, crossing successive bridges over streams and detours for small and bigger bays – Sygulina and Pusta, behind the Stylchyn Peninsula. The stretch after the latter gives us two riding options – on the hill or along the water’s edge. If feel up to it, it is worth riding up the hill to admire a wider panorama. We reach theruins of the Castle in Czorsztynfrom where we go back to Niedzica by ferry or gondola.