Famous for its numerous ski resorts and lifts, Małopolska is also attractive due to it’s a great number of pistes for cross-country skiers. Below you will find a few of them, characterized by varying degrees of difficulty.
A piste located in the closest vicinity of Kraków can be found in Niepołomice. It runs along the summer bike path covering a distance of about 7 km and can be used by both advanced and beginner skiers. A great advantage, apart from the charming view of the ancient royal forest, is the equipment rental shop, which is located in the indoor swimming pool at Korczaka Street 5. At the beginning of the route, near the parking lot, you will find an information board with a route map. As it is not a mountain area, the elevation is only 15.54 m high.
Like Justyna Kowalczyk
The “In the Footsteps of the Olympians” piste was opened only three years ago, to commemorate our multiple medallist born in the nearby Kasina Wielka, who would use it during her trainings. The piste starts from Obidowa and runs through Gorce to Turbacz. It is quite a demanding trail that spreads along over 11 km, with the elevation of over 500 meters. It leads through the valleys of Lepietnica, Gorzec, Solnisko, Rozdziele, the Turbacz pasture up to the hostel on Turbacz. On the way back, you go downhill. There are stopping places on the entire length of the route, where you can relax and get acquainted with the maps of the piste. If you do not have your own equipment, you can rent it in Obidowa.
Zakopane offers several pistes located in the very centre of the city, for example on Górna Rówień Krupowa. The route winds like the Amazon River for 4 km. A great thing about it, apart from the view of Giewont and the fact that it is located a few minutes from Krupówki, is that it is illuminated, and thus can be used even after dark. Although you will not find a rental shop near the piste, getting equipment in Zakopane will not be a problem.
“COS pod Skocznią” cross-country trail
It is the only competition piste in Podhale approved by the International Ski Federation. Recommended for advanced skiers; at one time, Justyna Kowalczyk was training here. The piste is varied, full of steep elevations and losses. As it winds around the ice rink and the complex of Zakopane ski jumping hills, you can meet and see various sportsmen during their training – cross-country skiers, speed skaters or ski jumpers. The drawback is the lack of lightning and payable admission. There is also an equipment rental store on-site.
Under Kamil Stoch’s window
If you want to visit the home town of Kamil Stoch, you should go to Ząb located 4 km away from Zakopane. The city has pistes that run at an altitude of 1000 m above sea level and provide unforgettable views. Moreover, they are 5 km long and are divided into those for advanced and beginner skiers. Admission is payable, but rented equipment is included in ticket price. Numerous routes can also be found in nearby Nowy Targ and Białka Tatrzańska.
The surroundings of the highest peak of the Island Beskid – Mogielica (1171 m above sea level) and the Słopnicka Pass include several pistes, including the longest in Małopolska, which is 16.3 km long and 270 m high. However, of you combine all these pistes together, you will get one that is 23 km long. They offer great conditions for skiers with all levels of experience. Furthermore, there is a professional infrastructure on-site, numerous parking lots, benches, a social building and, most importantly, free equipment rental shops. The organizers, i.e. the surrounding municipalities, have launched a special website dedicated to lovers of cross-country skis and more: www.trasymogielica.pl.
Those who feel better when close to the city infrastructure or enjoy the spa in Rabka, can take advantage of the local ski trail. It is relatively short (3.5 km roundabout) and does not have too steep of an ascent, as it runs in the area of Zdrojowy Park. Its great advantage is full lighting. There are several equipment rental stores, including one at the very beginning of the piste, at Chopin Street. From Park Zdrojowy you can chose from two pistes for demanding cross-country skiers. The first one spreads under and around Krzywoń Mountain (4.8 km), whereas the other (9 km) leads to the PTTK Wierchy Shelter.