Travel tip: rafting on the Dunajec

Feeling adventurous? Fancy a bit of whitewater rafting minus the whitewater? Want some stunning views and possibly some equally amazing stories thrown in? Well, hop on a plane to the south of Poland, where you can go rafting and explore the fantastic Dunajec River Gorge.

1. What is it

The Dunajec river runs through a very picturesque gorge (Przełom Dunajca), whose peaks rise over hundreds of metres above the water. The rafting is organised by local flisaks (“flisak” is an old Polish word used to refer to those who transport people or goods on rivers). They have special boats, or canoes, which take up to 20 people and travel almost 20 kilometers downstream to the town of Szczawnica. On the way you pass through the Pieniny National Park with its mind-blowing views and lush nature.

2. Where is it?

The gorge runs through the Pieniny Mountains which are in the south of Poland, near the Slovak border. In fact, part the river itself forms the border between the two countries.

3. Why bother?

It’s stunningly beautiful and unique. The flisaks have been doing it for well over a hundred years and they have plenty of stories to tell and, if you’re lucky, songs to sing. The views of the gorge are breath-taking and it’s definitely at its best in the summer or in early autumn, when the colours of the trees begin to change.

4. And you don’t want to miss…

The most famous peak, Trzy Korony (The Three Crowns), a distinctive mountain rising over 900 metres above the river.

5. Want to know more?

The season usually starts in April and ends in October. You can find out more from the official Pieniny website.

Image of The Gorge © Leszek Kozlowski, Flickr, used under the Creative Commons licence
Image of the river © Thomas Ritz, Flickr, used under the Creative Commons licence

7 thoughts on “Travel tip: rafting on the Dunajec

  1. I have to agree that this is one of the most atrractive and unique activities in Poland. It’s not recommended for thrillseekers, cause it’s not a whitewater rafting, it’s rather lazy and peaceful trip down the river, but the views are totally breath-taking! The only minus is the fact that flisaks very rarely know English, so not many of you may understand their tales, however it’s worth to take part of this trips only for the views and unspoiled nature you may admire during it.

  2. It really sounds lovely! I´ve been already canoeing in the Czech Republic and it´s been amazing! But it was posible either to raft calmly down the Vltava or to canoe a bit more white-water-like, what really was a great fun. Is there any chance to kayak down the Dunajec a bit more racily?

  3. During rainy days it might be more like a whitewater :D Water everywhere… I doubt if it would be pleasent experience, but I didn’t try so I can’t be sure :P

  4. Great attraction is Szczawnica Health Resort too. If You are interested to visit Pieniny check it out what is happening there on Feel invited!

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