There are certain places that are best visited during a certain season of the year and Poland happens to be one of those countries that just seems right in Winter. While I have not yet been to Poland in the warmer months (that is happening next year), my experiences of a Polish winter leave nothing but fond memories. One of those memories was feeling like we were at the top of the world on top of Kasprowy Wierch mountain.
We took so many photographs on top of Kasprowy Wierch mountain that I have split them up into two posts so there isn’t a photo overload. These photos were mostly taken during the Kasprowy Wierch cable car ride to give you an idea of some of the impressive scenery you will see on your way up.
Kasprowy Wierch mountain is situated near Zakopane Poland, around an hour from Krakow. Zakopane is popular for its impressive backdrop of Tatra Mountains, and Kasprowy Wierch is one of the highest peaks in the area, situated in the western section of the Tatra Mountains.
Kasprowy Wierch sits on the border of Poland and Slovakia, and on really fine days it is possible to cross the border to Slovakia. As there are no restrictions crossing the Slovakian boarder from Poland, this is perfectly legal!
Kasprowy Wierch is one of the most popular skiing locations in Poland and within the Tatra Mountain region. Not only this, but also popular for other seasonal snow such as snowboarding, hiking etc. For us, this wasn’t really appealing since it turns out i’m hopeless at snowboarding and yet to try skiing. We were in it just for the amazing views.
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If you are keen for skiing, you can travel to the top via the Kasprowy Wierch ski lift, to each of the slopes. There are two main slopes.
Ski Kasprowy Wierch Mountain
Gasienicowa slope is 1.400 metres long with an approximately 400m elevation difference. The 4 person chair-lift takes 2400 people per hour and it takes only 8 minutes to get to the top.
Goryczkowa slope is about 2.000 metres long with an approximately 600m elevation difference. The two-person chair-lift takes 730 people per hour and it takes 15 minutes to get to the top.
The chair lifts are a much faster option to reach the top of Kasprowy Wierch mountain but probably not the ideal option if you aren’t planning to ski.
Alternatively, access to the top is via the Kasprowy Wierch cable car, which takes you on a scenic trip to the top in about 12 minutes. The only problem is during peak snow season, this can be an incredibly long wait to get on the Kasprowy Wierch cable car.
We waited pretty close to 2 hours on this day. And let me tell you, standing still in freezing weather is horrible! Luckily someone purchased cups of hot soup to warm us up a little during the wait once we were closer to the front of the line.
Apparently, it takes around 3 hours to walk up the top but we weren’t feeling that energetic and didn’t expect the wait to be so long. What makes it interesting is the Kasprowy Wierch cable car is one of the oldest in the world. Don’t worry… it has been upgraded and is extremely safe!
Thankfully it was well worth the wait. The Tatra Mountains in Poland (and Slovakia) are breathtaking. Especially in winter. This is one thing you must-do if you are in Zakopane for a holiday, although hopefully, your wait won’t be so bad.
We went the top of Kasprowy Wierch mountain 2 days before Christmas and it was still crazy busy. It was one of the coldest days that we happened to be in Zakopane also.
Kasprowy Wierch mountain is elevated at 1,987m. Massive! Hence the fantastic views from the top on a clear day.
This also means it is best for advanced skiing and that isn’t surprising. From what we saw of the slopes, they are extremely steep in places and I wouldn’t be game to try (but I can’t ski).
Kasprowy Wierch mountain can be accessed from Kuznice, which is in the upper part of Zakopane Poland. Tickets for the cable car can not be purchased in advance and all ticket holders must be present at the ticket office at the time of purchase. The Kasprowy Wierch cable car takes around 10 minutes to ascend to the top, with a stop in the middle to switch cable cars at Myślenickie Turnie.
Check the website before your visit to confirm if the cable cars and ski lifts are operational as weather can impact on their functionality.
The Tatra Mountains are definitely one of a great many reasons why you should visit Poland!
Would you ski down Kasprowy Wierch mountain?