Dunajec River Gorge (Przełom Dunajca)

Dunajec River Gorge


Location: Pieniny Mountains  Map


Dunajec River Gorge is a picturesque valley in the Pieniny Mountains in Cracow District of Southern Poland on the border with Slovakia. It is a popular site for rafting, kayaking and other water sports. The Piennes are built of limestone from the Cretaceous (about 145-120 million years ago). There are several theories for the emergence of the breakthrough. It is argued that the primeval Dunajec already flowed through the area before the folding and piling of the Pieniny. According to another opinion, the Dunajec has broken the path through the already existing mountains in the Miocene about 20 million years ago.

Tatras and Gorce wood was already rafted together in Harklowa in the Middle Ages and shipped on the Dunajec River to the Vistula River and on to Gdansk, where it was used for shipbuilding on the Baltic Sea. The oldest information about a tourist use of the Rafting dates back to the 16th century. In the old church in Krościenko nad Dunajcem there is a fresco from 1589 that represents this rafting trip. Polographies in the 17th century Červený Kláštor also deal with rafting. From about 1840 century, the tourist rafting trip for the guests of the castle Niedzica and the farm in Czorsztyn and the spa guests in Szczawnica became a separate industry in the Pieniny. Originally the rafting started below the castle Czorsztyn. Since the construction of the dam, the original landing stage has been under the surface of the lake and the trips start in Sromowce Wyżne and end in Szczawnica (15 km downstream) or Krościenko nad Dunajcem (18.5 km downstream). The raft trip lasts 2:30 or 2:45. The breakthrough can also happen in white water kayaking or rafting. On the Pieninenweg you can also walk along the Dunajec or ride a bike.