Two suggestions for trips around Lake Czorsztyn
Two suggestions for trips around Lake Czorsztyn
VeloCzorsztyn – option 1
30 km / difficulty: easy / travel time: approx. 3 h
You can start anywhere, descending to the shores of the lake from the higher places (access roads have been created). The most convenient parking lots are located in Dębno Podhalańskie, Maniowy, Kluszkowce (Czorsztyn-Ski station or parking lot by Organy – sculpture of Władysław Hasior).
If you start the route in Dębno Podhalańskie, we suggest visiting the historic church and then head along ul. Kościelna towards the lake. Entrance to the route can be easily found next to the aggregate plant. From now up to Niedzica, we follow the signs of VeloDunajec and the green bike trail. The only unsafe sections (without a separate bicycle path) are two road bridges with ramps: over the Dunajec on DW969 and over Białka, less than a kilometer in total. The rest of route in this option is practically separated from the traffic. On the southern shores of the lake we will have the opportunity to ride through the crest of the entire side dam in Frydman. After passing the dam, the route crosses local campsite (we recommend to visit the beach) and a completely new road, which was traversed by cutting into the steep banks falling into the lake, and finally we reach the foot of Falszyn. We then encounter the only solid climb on this route. It is not that terrible (900 meters in length and 90 meters in height difference), and climb to the top is rewarded with a beautiful view of the lake and the Gorce mountains. Another prize is waiting for us a bit further in the form of a downhill ride with a view of the castle in Niedzica along the famous red section of VeloDunajec to Kosarzyska Bay, where beavers rule. Still sticking to the shores of the lake, we get to Niedzica, where we join the general traffic for a moment to get to the marina with ships or gondolas located on the shores of the lake under the castle. We will use this type of transport to cross the lake in the easiest and most flat way without any problems, to the castle in Czorsztyn (water transport runs from April to November, gondolas can take on board up to 4 bikes, ships definitely more).
In Czorsztyn, you can find entrance to the route right after leaving the marina. If you want to visit the castle, we suggest either a solid climb by bike along ul. Wronina through the centre of Czorsztyn or leaving the bike at the marina and walk along the path leading to the ruins of the stronghold. Both options of the bike route will lead us to Kluszkowce: either by the shores of the lake with a fantastic view of the Zielone Skałki Reserve cutting into the lake’s surface on the other bank (now you will appreciate the climb to Falsztyn), or through the pastures towering above the castle from which, when weather permits, you will have an amazing view of the Tatra Mountains. Both options are highly recommended! In Kluszkowce, we ride through the famous palm beach and, staying on the route meandering along the shores of the lake, we head back towards Dębno. The northern shore of the lake is definitely flatter, there are more bays and marinas there. Therefore, we recommend a quiet ride and “flow” along the route, which especially on the section Maniowy – Huba was led on a specially prepared rock and ground ledge. Don't get upset with the numerous barriers – with such steep banks that kind of protection was a must.
The route ends after reaching Huba. For the next 2 or 3 years this will be the least pleasant part of the route, as we have to cross the road bridge on DW969. It’s only 800 meters long, but with possible intense car traffic and repairs on the bridge, which are to make it more cyclist friendly. Immediately after crossing the bridge, we turn right onto the visible VeloDunajec bicycle route which, passing under the bridge, will lead us towards the embankments and back towards Dębno, or we can go further to Nowy Targ and Zakopane (VeloDunajec) or Slovakia (Route Around the Tatras). Practical notes: there are more than 10 resting places on the route, some of them located in really beautiful sites. Gastronomy and shops on the route can be found in Kluszkowce, Czorsztyn, Niedzica and Frydman.
Towns and villages: Dębno Podhalańskie - Frydman (4 km) - Falsztyn (8 km) - Niedzica (13 km) - Czorsztyn (14,6 km) - Kluszkowce (16 km) - Maniowy (21 km) - Huba (27 km) - Dębno Podhalańskie (28,8 km)
VeloCzorsztyn – option 2 for advanced cyclist
40 km / difficulty: medium / travel time: approx. 4 hours
Option 2 is basically the same route as in the first one, excluding transport by water between the castles. This is an offer especially for pro cyclists and more advanced tourists, because it includes a quite demanding climb up to the Osice pass. So, if you feel strong enough or you're cycling out of the warm season – it’s basically the simplest and also the only option to tour the lake around. Why the only one? Because the section we will take runs within the Pieniny National Park, where it is forbidden to ride a bike outside this poviat road. Feel convinced? If yes, simply don’t turn in Niedzica to the marina, but follow the VeloDunajec route next to the castle and dam up to Sromowce Wyżne. Here we leave the VeloDunajec signs and climb the serpentine of the poviat road towards Hałuszowa. At the end, take a last look at the panorama of the Tatra Mountains, because it will disappear in the dense forests, which we will drive until the turn to Niedzica, where we will also be greeted by green plates of the trail leading around the lake. Notice! You may probably be tempted to take a descent along the hiking trail through the Majerz pasture, but stick to the asphalt road, because such a ride can cost you a fine. You can always get off the bicycle and walk.
Next, follow Turystyczna street and turn into Wronina street. Don't skip the turn into the asphalt arm specially made for cyclists that leads to the marina in Czorsztyn! Farther from the harbor of ships and gondolas we go according to Variant 1.
Detailed route: Dębno Podhalańskie - Frydman (4 km) - Falsztyn (8 km) - Niedzica (13 km) - Sromowce Wyżne (16,4 km) - Przełęcz Osice (21,3) - Czorsztyn (23,4) - Kluszkowce (27 km) - Maniowy (33,5 km) - Huba (37,5 km) - Dębno Podhalańskie (39,2 km)
How to get there by public transport
Get to the Nowy Targ railway station and you will have the Velo Dunajec route passing basically next to it. This route, entirely separated from car traffic, running along flat surface on the banks of the river will lead us to the shores of Lake Czorsztyn (20 km, an hour ride for the more experienced).
Map of VeloDunajec (with VeloCzorsztyn)