My husband and I like outdoors and we can really appreciate the beauty of our region. This winter (very mild so far) we’ve been walking  mostly along the embankments of the Vistula River. That’s what we covered during four walks:

Wały wiślane Kraków

Route A is by far the most scenic so no wonder many tourist agencies offer bike tours there. The route is 11km long and joins the Old Town (Stare Miasto) and the Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec (1).  On the way you can see two more historic churches. Firstly, the mysterious Camaldolese Monastery (3), which every Cracovian knows by sight but few have visited. Secondly, the Norbertine Convent (6), which looks like a fortress and abounds with medieval stories. Other attractions on the way include the Cracow Canoe Club (2), Kościuszko Mound (4) and Skałki Twardowskiego (5), a park on limestone rocks with many hidden caves and a beautiful view towards the Old Town. I’d say that doing this tour is necessary to get a complete image of Kraków.

Bielany Kraków

Camaldolese Monastery in Bielany, Kraków

The highlight of the routes C and D is the thermal power station in Łęg (7), whose chimneys, the tallest constructions in Kraków, are really impressive. If you follow the river, you’ll get to Mogiła (8), the abbey I wrote about last week.

Now some technical information. All of the routes are easily accessible by public transportation, especially those in the eastern part of the city, where there are more tram lines. Embankments marked A, B and C, surfaced mostly with asphalt, are quite popular with sportsmen: runners, cyclists, skaters etc.  The one marked D has recently undergone restoration and turned from a dirt to a gravel path. We were surprised at how dry it stayed even after recent rain. What matters much now, when the sun shines at a lower angle, is to choose the right starting point. As you’ll be walking all the time in one direction (either east or west), it’s better to avoid sun shining directly in your eyes.

It never stops surprising me how many semi-wild green places there are almost in the city centre. You can see forests, fields, meadows, rocks… Well, what’s funny, you can hardly see the river itself because the embankments are located sometimes even a few hundred meters away from the water. :)