Welcome to Dunajec Gorge
The gorge has been a tourist attraction since the mid-19th century, when primitive rafts ferried guests of the Szczawnica spa on a day out. Today, the raft trip through the gorge attracts thousands of people every year, not counting do-it-yourselfers in their own kayaks. The raft itself is a set of five narrow, 6m-long, coffinlike canoes lashed together with rope. Holding 10 to 12 passengers, it is steered by two people, each decked out in embroidered folk costume and armed with a long navigating pole.
The raft trip begins in the small village of Sromowce Wyżne-Kąty, at the Raft Landing Place. You’ll take an 18km-long trip and disembark in Szczawnica. The journey takes about 2¼ hours, depending on the level of the river. Some rafts go further downstream to Krościenko (23km, 2¾ hours), but there’s not very much to see on that stretch of the river.
The trip to Szczawnica costs 49/25zł adult/concession, while the one to Krościenko is 59/30zł. Return bus tickets cost an additional 9/7zł.
All of the private travel agencies in Kraków, Zakopane and Nowy Targ offer rafting package tours, including transport, equipment and guides. Prices vary, but trips from Zakopane start at around 90zł and from Kraków at around 270zł. The tour sponsored by Szewczyk Travel in Szczawnica is around 65zł, including transport.