The Pieniny Mountains - topography, peaks, the greatest attractions
It is one of the most popular and beautiful mountain ranges in Poland. Tourists love them not only because of the flora and fauna that is there, but also the climate and picturesque mountain routes. What should you know before going to the Pieniny Mountains?
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1. Pieniny Mountains - topography
The Pieniny Mountains are a mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains. They are located on the border between Poland and Slovakia. In the north they border the Gorce and Beskid Sądecki, in the south with the Magura Spiska range, and in the west with the Orawsko-Nowatorska Basin and the Spisko-Gubałowskie Foothills.
The Pieniny Mountains, which are about 30 km long, can be divided into 3 parts:
- The Spiš Pieniny Mountains, which are located between the Białka valley and the Dunajec near Niedzica. Here we consider Żar to be the largest peak, although some mistakenly say that it is Branisko. Żar is located at an altitude of 879 m above sea level.
- The Central Pieniny (or Proper) stretches from Niedzica to the Dunajec Gorge, which is located between Szczawnica (within the Polish borders) and Sromowce Niżne. It is here that the most famous peak of the Pieniny Mountains is located - Trzy Korony (982 m above sea level). Here we also include the Golicy Group, located on the Slovak side. Some topographers say that it is the fourth part of the Pieniny, and others include it among the Little Pieniny.
- Little Pieniny - here is the highest peak of the whole Pieniny - is Wysoka (1050 m above sea level).
2. What is worth seeing in the Pieniny Mountains? Flora, Fauna and nature reserves
The Pieniny Mountains are tempting with varied vegetation. Did you know that there are over 1,100 species of vascular plants here? Most of them are in the Central Pieniny. The presence of forests, hay meadows and rocks is characteristic here. The substrate, apart from limestones, consists of sandstones, shales, siltstones, claystones, as well as volcanic effusions (basalts and andesites). In forests, which account for almost 70 percent. Pieniny, we find mainly firs, beeches, pines and spruces, lindens and larches.
The nature reserves in the Pieniny are: the Biała Woda nature reserve, the Białka Gorge near Krempachy, the Homole Gorge, Wysokie Skałki and Zaskalskie-Bodnarówka.
The diversity of the Pieniny Mountains is also ensured by the rich fauna - there are approx. 14 thousand. animal species. Most of them are invertebrates. We will meet here, for example, the Apollo butterfly - it is one of the largest butterflies in Poland, which we will not meet anywhere else in our country. In addition, we can find here many amphibians (frogs, toads, spotted salamanders, newts, toads), reptiles (lizards, snakes, vipers, grass grasses and slowworms, as well as interesting forest, water and field birds.
Most mammals in the Pieniny Mountains are rodents and bats. But we can also meet larger animals here, such as roe deer, deer, wild boars, lynxes, wildcats, wolves and bears.
3. Tourist routes in the Pieniny Mountains
There are the following tourist routes in the Pieniny Mountains:
- Czorsztyn - Majerz - Osice Pass - Sańba Pass - Macelak - Trzy Kopce Pass - Łączana - Szopka Pass - Trzy Korony - Ostry Wierch - Zamkowa Góra - Bajków Groń (beginning of Sokola Percia) - Czertezik - Czertezik - Sokolica - crossing the Dunajec River (end of Sokola Perci) - PTTK Shelter "Orlica" - Szafranówka - Łaźne Rocks - Durbaszka - Kapralowa Wysoka Pass - Rozdziela Pass
- Krościenko nad Dunajcem - Bajków Groń - Szopka Pass - Szopczański Gorge - PTTK Hostel "Trzy Korony" - Sromowce Niżne
- Czertezik - Krościenko nad Dunajcem - Chapel of St. Kingi - Sosnów Pass
- Sromowce Wyżne - Trzy Kopce Pass
- Shelter of PTTK "Trzy Korony" - Wyżni Łazek - Kosarzyska Glade (access to the blue trail)
- PTTK hostel "Orlica" - Droga Pienińska - Czerwony Klasztor (SVK)
- Szczawnica - Palenica - Szafranówka
- Szlachtowa - Huściawa - former tourist border crossing Szlachtowa-Veľký Lipník
- Jaworki - Homole Ravine - Polana pod Wysoką - former tourist border crossing Jaworki-Stráňany
Before a trip to the Pieniny Mountains, it is worth getting acquainted with the local attractions.