Pieniny Farm Stay riding holiday in Poland - Far and Ride
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Pieniny Farm Stay, Poland




Programme


• Stationary Ride

 

Horses



Type of horses:

Mainly Malopolski - a cross breed from native Polish horses crossed with Thoroughbreds and Arabians.

Nature of horses:

Well-trained, calm, strong, brave and experienced in the mountains.

Height of horses:

15 - 16.2hh

Weight limit:

100kg / 15st 10lbs (one horse is capable of carrying more, up to 120kg, but please enquire).

Tack type:

English Cavalry type saddles and bridles (most with simple snaffles).

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

This simple, homely riding holiday is a fantastic choice for those looking for beautiful riding country, tasty local food and brave, sure-footed horses. Guests are accommodated in a guesthouse which is also home to the hosts, Andrzej and Teresa, in the quiet village of Jaworki in the south of Poland, not far from the Slovakian border. The horses live on site, stabled at night and out in the day, and Andrzej guides rides into the surrounding area which includes vast, grassy plateaus, high meadows and small patches of forest. Much of the land was cleared for sheep and now the landscape offers charming riding tracks, complete with mountain flowers and a profusion of butterflies in the warmer months.

The riding here includes trots and canters and there are many great stretches for this, although the pace can be adapted for children or those who prefer a more relaxed ride. Non-riders and families are welcome - the programme includes 18 hours riding but also bike hire and a rafting trip (seasonal) with many other things to see and do in the surrounding area. Nature is abundant here and it's a lovely place to go walking or to visit nearby castles or churches for those who prefer it.

It's important to note that your riding guide and host, Andrzej, does not really speak English. He is an experienced, responsible guide and despite the language barrier, remains very communicative and friendly. He looks back regularly to check riders are safe and happy, but single travellers may find it a bit quiet and all guests should be aware of this. Sometimes Andrzej and Teresa's children are home and can translate, otherwise we can also look to provide a translator for larger groups or families.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

This is an agritourism farm offering simple guesthouse accommodation. Rooms may have a few basic beds with an en-suite shower room. Bedding is provided (you make up your own bed) but please bring a towel.

Rooms are very simple but clean and warm. Your hosts and the horses live on site, as well as a few dogs and cats.

All meals are included during your stay here in Pieniny and Teresa serves traditional Polish home-cooking style meals. Breakfast is continental in style, including bread, a selection of meats, cheeses and vegetables and usually some eggs and/or local sausages too. Coffee is available but fruit tea is the local drink of choice and is served with most meals and throughout the day. You may also get to try 'kompot' which is a non-alcoholic, sweet drink made by cooking fruit in water.

Lunches and dinners are cooked meals and start with a soup, then a main course (usually something hearty like pork chops and mashed potatoes). Sometimes a dessert is also offered (not always). Some kind of salad or side dish is generally available.

Alcohol is not readily available and they do not have a license to sell it. You do have access to a kitchenette with fridges and you are welcome to bring some drinks of your own, as well as to make yourself coffee and tea earlier in the morning (please bring your own preferred drink in that case).

Meals are served in a small dining room and are not hosted.

 

Activities

The standard programme includes bike hire and a rafting trip. The area is lovely for scenic walks too - we recommend a visit a Wawoz Homole, a nearby nature reserve. Those with an interest in history might like to visit the local church or the old castle of Zamek w Niedzicy. Szczawnica is also very interesting to visit and is known for its curative waters.

Nature lovers and bird watchers will be in their element here as the surroundings are home to all kinds of wildlife including bears, wolves, deer, beavers, foxes, mustelids, rabbits, hares and a range of birds (owls and eagles included).

 

Further Details

Languages: Polish.

Health requirements: Good health recommended.

Age limit: Ideally 10 and older for riders, but younger children may be accepted on request. It is a family-friend destination.

Tuition: No.

Included: Airport transfers, accommodation (shared), all meals, horse riding, bike hire and raft trip (seasonal).

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, drinks, tips, entry fees to local attractions.

 

Travel Information

Transfers are included from and to Krakow airport.

You should aim to land there before 5pm on arrival day, as the transfer time is around 2 hours. On departure day your flight should depart 1pm or later.

Airport: Kracow

 

Programme


Stationary Ride



Discover the grassy plains, beech and pine forest of the Pieniny mountain range from horseback. There are beautiful villages with wooden buildings where rich local cultures and ancient traditions are still evident and huge numbers of butterflies, birds and flowers. In winter, the area is ideal for snow-lovers and offers the added attraction of skiing and horse drawn sleigh rides.

Day One:

On arrival at Krakow airport you will be collected and transferred to Jaworki, a small village in the heart of the Pieniny mountains (c. 2hr drive). Jaworki is known for its church dating from the 18th century that has traces of the culture of the old Lemkh inhabitants of the area.

If you arrive early enough, then along the way you can stop to visit Szczawnia, a picturesque town located along the Grajcarek river between the Radziejowa peak and Male Pieniny mountain range. Szczawnica is a health resort specialising in the treatment of allergic and respiratory conditions. You can visit the Mineral Water Bar where you can taste six different types of mineral water and also walk through the town to admire the architectural style of the spa buildings and villas. The Dworek Goscinny (guest manor) is a magnificently designed art and cultural centre. There are also two beautiful parks - the Dolny (lower) with a botanical garden and the Gorny (upper) with different sculptures.

On arrival at Jaworki you will meet your guide and his horses before a welcome dinner.

Day Two:

After breakfast, saddle the horses and set out for your first ride of c 3 hours duration. Climb up into the hills of Male Pieniny with lots of open spaces and panoramic views of Tatras and surrounding hills. You'll ride along the border with Slovakia, crossing montane meadows where locals still graze their sheep. You should also see Trzy Korony (Three Crowns mountain at 982m) and Sokolica mountain (747m) before returning to the farm for lunch.

In the afternoon, you'll take a minibus to Sromowce Wyzne where you can raft through the gorges of Dunajec on wooden rafts piloted by Flisacy (raft sailors) dressed in traditional costumes. These beautiful river gorges twist through the mountain slopes and you can admire majestic elevations of several hundred metres high dominating both sides of the river. After 2-3 hours you'll end in Szczawnica where your minibus will transfer you back to the farm for dinner.

NB. In low season (winter) there is no rafting, but the afternoon is free for walking or skiing.

Day Three:

After breakfast set off riding in the direction of the Przechyba Mountain, following the beautiful forests of the Radziejowa mountain range - the most common woodlands in this region are Carpathian beech with the European beech and silver fir. After around 3 hours of riding, stop for a picnic lunch (unless it's raining, in which case you'll return to the farm for lunch).

In the afternoon you have free time. Your guides recommend that you visit Homole gorge - this deep canyon has steep walls reaching up to 120m high and is very picturesque and popular. The walking path crosses the stream many times on metal bridges and there are seemingly endless stairs, but at the top you are rewarded with panoramic views. There is a cafe with a terrace where you can buy a coffee to take in the views. Return to the village by foot or on the chairlift before dinner at the farm.

Day Four:

Set off riding towards Wysoka Mountain, the highest in Pieniny at 1050m. The summit is composed of red limestone and is not accessible on horseback but you'll get great views of the region and rocks of Homole Ravine. After 3 hours of riding you enjoy either a picnic lunch or return to the guesthouse for lunch.

This afternoon you are again free to relax, walk or cycle, or you may prefer to visit Niedzica castle (about 40mins by vehicle). The castle was built in the 1320's and is well preserved, now housing an interesting museum and views across to Lake Czorsztyn and the ruins of Czorsztyn castle across the lake. Legend says that the castle houses a map of Inca treasures which have yet to be found...

Day Five:

Ride in the direction of Piwniczna village, following the Grajcarek river and traversing fields and meadows with views of Pieniny and Tatras. You'll also see White Water and Black Water Valleys before reaching Pokrywisko which was once a village but abandoned due to Operation Vistula, the 1947 forced resettlement of Ukrainian minorities including Boykos and Lemkos from the south.

Stop for lunch in a small restaurant atop Obidza mountain with beautiful views (access to this restaurant may not be possible in winter).

In the afternoon you can either rest or visit Muzyczna Owczarnia (Musical Sheep Yard) in Jaworki - a special concert hall with a unique atmosphere which hosts several concerts a year.

Day Six:

A wonderful full-day ride of 4-5 hours beckons as you cross the border of Slovakia and ride though the woods and open spaces with glorious landscapes overlooking the Tatra mountains. There are many opportunities for long canters/gallops across the meadows before stopping for lunch and cooking sausages over the open fire.

In snowy months this ride is replaced by a shorter 3 hour ride followed by a horse-drawn sleigh ride in the magnificent White Water Reserve.

Final goodbye dinner in the evening.

Day Seven:

After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight. If time allows you can stop in the centre of Krakow for a quick visit.



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: You should be comfortable riding in all three paces in the outdoors, including rising (posting) to the trot and cantering in a forward seat. Rides for less experienced families or groups can be organised - please enquire.
Type of ride: Stationary stay with daily hacks.
Total riding time: 7 days / 6 nights / 5 days riding (c. 3 hours most days but one longer day)
Departure dates: 2020 and 2021: Arrival day is Saturday. Arrivals possible any week except: 19-25 December.
 
Pricing: 2020 and 2021:

High season (July-October)
850 per person sharing
Single supplement 91
Non-riders: 691

Low season (November-February)
770 per person sharing
Single supplement 91
Non-riders: 623

Price includes c. 18 hours of riding in summer or c. 15 hours in winter plus sleigh ride, use of bicycles, Dunajec river raft trip (not in winter), full board accommodation and airport transfers. Entry fees to local attractions are at your own cost.


Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.