NIEDZICA – LakeSromowieckie – Velo Dunajec to Sromowce Niżne – Sromowce Niżne PL/SK footbridge – Červený kláštor and a view of the PieninyMountains – Lysá nad Dunajcom – NIEDZICA
An easy route leading, through the
Dunajec Valley, between two great attractions – Lake Czorsztyn and the Dunajec
Gorge. The first part of the trip leads along the northern - Polish side of the
river, along the Velo Dunajec route from Niedzica to the foot of the Trzy
Korony (Three Crowns) Peak. The second part is a ride on the Slovak side,
starting from an important monument – the Červený kláštor monastery and back to
Niedzica. On the way there are beautiful views of the Pieniny Spiskie and
Pieniny Właściwe ranges and the Spiš Magura range, small villages located along
the Dunajec River and rafts floating slowly amidst the sound of flowing of
We start from the Baroque church of St. Bartholomew in Niedzica and follow the signs for Velo Dunajec which will accompany us for another dozen or so kilometres. We reach Lake Sromowieckie, which is in fact an artificial lake created in 1994. Lovers of heritage sites can ride up to the Castle in Niedzica, visible from here. From the Lake there is an interesting view of the wall of Trzy Korony and the "pyramid” of the Macelowa Góra Mountain.
We go around Lake Sromowieckie from the south, ride over the dam and immediately after it turn right into a small street. The route leads almost along the river, through Sromowce Wyżne. We leave the village and reach Kąty where rafts are waiting for tourists wishing to see the Dunajec Gorge.
We go further, now on the main road, to escape again in Sromowce Średnie, between old houses and copses. The Velo brings us again to the main road along which we soon reach Sromowce Niżne, one of tourist centres in Pieniny.
After reaching the village, the tour route turns left, leading to Kościelna Street near the sixteenth-century, wooden St. Catherine's Church, further on Pod Brzegami Street which continues along the edge of the village, slightly above it to the Pavilion of the Pieniny National Park. Here we turn right or ride 300 meters straight up to the Trzy Korony hostel, from where there is a spectacular view of the beginning of the Dunajec Gorge.
Along Trzy Korony Street we come to a roundabout where we turn left, and by the footbridge we ride to the Slovak side, admiring the river and the rocks of the Trzy Korony Peak towering over it. We turn left to reach the walls of the centuries-old Červený kláštor after 700 meters, once an important centre of worship, but also of culture and science; it was here that the first translation of the Bible into Slovak was made, as well as the magnificent herbarium of Tatra plants of the "flying” brother Cyprian.
After the monastery, the Dunajec Gorge begins but the route turns west. If we are tempted – the nearest scenic section of the Gorge is about 2 km (along a gravel road) from the monastery.
The trip leads along the southern bank of the Dunajec River, passing the junction with the road to Lechnica (the monastery’s name originally referred to the name of Lechnica), and after the meadows we reach the hamlet of Majere; we are constantly accompanied by views of the Pieniny Mountains towering up north of the Dunajec River.
After Majere and another green stretch, we come to the junction with the road to Spišská Stará Ves. If we have enough strength in our legs, it is worthwhile to ride the 1.5 km to the centre of the town, rather quiet and so different from the others on the route.
We cross Lysá nad Dunajcom (old historic Polish name Golembark) and return to Poland. After Polana Sosny (on the left there is a shepherd's hut, with traditional mountain cheeses called oscypek) we are again greeted by the landscapes surrounding Lake Sromowieckie. We return to Niedzica where the trip ends.