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Zakopane – the winter capital of Poland with PANEK Rent a Car

Podhale is, of course, Zakopane, which is called the winter capital of Poland by many, but towns that until recently served as bedrooms and “stick-ups” for the main city of the region are beginning to gain importance. Kościelisko, Witów, Chochołów, Bukowna Tatrzańska, Białka Tatrzańska, Jurgów are comparably good places to live today, and the developing sports and leisure infrastructure mean that you do not need to go to Zakopane today to eat well or stock up on souvenirs. You can get to all these places by comfortable cars from PANEK Rent a Car. The easiest way to get to Podhale is by car, and the journey from Warsaw via the S7 expressway and the national road No. 7 should not take longer than 5.5 hours. The most crowded section is Skomielna Biała – Nowy Targ, where the construction of a dual carriageway expressway is still in progress. The cars at PANEK Rent a Car are modern and economical models that are able to get to the Tatra Mountains on one reservoir.  


But let’s start with the capital of the region. Zakopane is a city unique in its climate. Tourists who come to the Tatra Mountains to have a great time will find a place here, but also those who come to rest will feel good. The city lies on a valley, so the only peak that can be seen from practically every point is Giewont. The “Sleeping Knight” is a trademark of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, as well as a landmark. To see the panorama of the Tatra Mountains, you need to move to the north of the city, and it is best to take the cable car to Gubałówka, from where there is an amazing view of the mountains. Lovers of white madness will especially like Polana Szymoszkowa, a ski slope with a fabulous view of the mountains. For those who want to feel the alpine atmosphere, we recommend Trasy na Kasprowy Wierch. There are several other slopes of varying difficulty within the city. Children who take their first steps on skis will feel safe at Nosal, and experienced skiers will find Harenda. You can hear regional music from everywhere, and the absolute must-have is grilled oscypek with cranberry, which smells like Krupówki and the very center of the city.

Kościelisko, Witów, Chochołów

Towns located to the east of Zakopane, until recently, were treated as the bedrooms of a large city. Today, each of them offers its own attractions. Kościelisko, the closest to Zakopane, is probably the one most connected with it. A very high-quality accommodation base is developing dynamically here, and from Kościelisko we can also easily get to the largest valleys: Kościeliska and Chochołowska. The town, situated almost entirely on the slope of Gubałówka, provides amazing views of the high Tatras. Witów, on the other hand, is under development, but each specializes in slightly different attractions. It is worth going skiing in Witów, and Chochołów is built around thermal springs, becoming a great alternative to Bukowina and Szaflary.

Bukowina Tatrzańska and Gliczarów

The towns located above Zakopane offer a chance to admire beautiful views, both of the Tatra Mountains and the lower mountain ranges. The accommodation base is extremely rich, and gastronomic points compete with each other in the offer of regional dishes. Bukowina Tatrzańska also attracts tourists with its largest complex of thermal pools. There are smaller ski slopes in the villages, which are most often used by families and organized groups, but both Bukowina and the higher Gliczarów are a good point for the slopes in Białka Tatrzańska, Czarna Góra and Jurgów. There is a modern Rusiń-SKI complex between the towns, which can be an alternative to larger and crowded resorts. Gliczarów, in turn, is the most beautiful view of the entire region and the cleanest air. Due to the steep climbs, it is worth choosing an all-wheel drive car in the winter season. You can easily rent such cars at PANEK Rent a Car.

Białka Tatrzańska, Czarna Góra, Jurgów

Thanks to the modern ski complex, Białka Tatrzańska has changed from a quiet bedroom into a bustling resort where tourists will find all possible attractions. There are plenty of interesting restaurants and luxurious apartments here, and the ski offer is worthy of famous foreign brands. The Bania ski complex has as many as 7 interconnected slopes of varying difficulty, each of which has its own parking and catering infrastructure. This is where we will feel really good. There are also thermal pools next to the main parking lot, so you don’t have to leave the town in order to have a good rest. Czarna Góra and Jurgów, located a few kilometers from Białka, each with its own ski slope (the one in Jurgów is steeper and more difficult), they offer more intimate conditions and a breath from the hustle and bustle of Białka and Zakopane, as well as wonderful views of the high Tatra Mountains. It is also not far from here to Lake Czorsztyńskie, to the Niedzica Castle and the beautiful Pieniny Mountains.

Poronin, Szaflary, Suche, Ząb

These three towns have always been the base for the larger and more attractive Zakopane and Bukowina Tatrzańska, but here also an interesting accommodation and sports offer is developing. Poronin has had its brand for years and offers both ski slopes and interesting restaurants, but the accommodation base deserves the greatest recognition, which still resists the crazy price increases observed in Zakopane and Kościelisko. Literally a few steps from Poronin you will find the Harenda and Suche slopes, located on the other side of the peak, and in Ząb (Kamil Stoch’s hometown) you will find lifts for less advanced skiers. After hours spent on the slope, you will rest in the thermal pools in Szaflary. There are two complexes here: Termy Szaflary and Gorący Potok.