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Tourism and tourist attraction

Kazimierz Dolny is a genuine architectural gem and one of the most precious and enchanting places in Poland. It is also one of the most famous tourist and leisure sites in Poland and abroad. Its tradition as a summer resort and an artists’ colony date back to the early 1900s. Kazimierz is also famous for its connection with the art and for being a mecca of the art world. Many artists run their art galleries and workshops here, while others come to the town to paint outdoors. The uniqueness of the town derives from its rich cultural heritage and the legacy of the painting, writing and artistic bohemia.

The town abounds with historical buildings and sites which are open for visitors (e.g. religious buildings, historical buildings of the Vistula Museum, the synagogue, the castle complex, wooden structures). The monuments of Kazimierz Dolny are authentic, which adds to the true value of the town. The romantic and whimsical appeal of the local architecture is of particular value to individuals who are able to notice such subtleties.

Tourist trails. Many people coming to Kazimierz Dolny restrict their tourist activity to visiting the market square and the neighbouring monuments, such as St. John the Baptist and St. Bartholomew the Apostle Parish Church, the castle, the synagogue and a few other sites. However, the areas surrounding the town are also very attractive and worth seeing.

The system of loess gorges, very intricate and picturesque, surrounds the town. One does not have to seek far to get away from the hubbub of the street and enjoy the soothing tranquillity of nature – the gorges are only a few tens of metres away from the market square. The network of gorges around Kazimierz Dolny allows you to go around almost the entire town. It is probably the only town in Poland where there are oases of nature amid the urban sprawl, just next to the crowded and noisy market square. Strolls through the gorges are a great idea for all those who want to spend their leisure time enjoying active recreation. The fresh air, fabulous sights and unique atmosphere of this place make a hike through the gorges an unforgettable experience.

Root Tunnel (Polish: Korzeniowy Dół) – a beautiful and scenic gorge, famous for and named after the protruding, intricately twisted roots of trees growing along the cliff’s edge. Upon going inside the Root Tunnel, one can feel like entering the realm of Tolkien's Middle-earth. The rays of light shining through the roots and trunks, blurring with loess ground and green vegetation make quite a remarkable impression. That is why the Root Tunnel is amongst the favourite themes of artists painting the landscapes of Kazimierz Dolny.

Plebanka Gorge (Polish: Wąwóz Plebanka) – the entrance to the gorge is situated approx. 200-300 m from the town market square, near the Franciscan monastery.

An interesting thing here is the cross erected at the crossroads and the history around it. This is a so-called plague cross, which used to have two horizontal beams. It was erected during one of the plagues which ravaged the town of Kazimierz Dolny ages ago.

Granicznik Gorge (Polish: Wąwóz Granicznik) – this gorge is situated near the Kazimierz Dolny quarry, near the Lightning Rock (Polish: Piorunowa Skała), which is a place with an enchanting atmosphere and is often videotaped.

What to wear and what to pack while hiking through the gorges around Kazimierz Dolny? No special hiking kits are required. Selecting suitable footwear is an important issue – always choose light hiking shoes or sneakers over sandals and remember that successful and safe hike depends on the weather. When it rains, loess saturated with water becomes slippery and turns into a thick, sticky mud. You will not have to climb or get around any obstacles, but in some places, e.g. in the Norowy Gorge (Polish: Norowy Dół) you will have to force your way through the thicket.

Apart from numerous trail routes and monuments, Kazimierz Dolny also offers a wide array of tourist attractions, which include: a river fleet which organizes leisure cruises on the Vistula, as well as party cruises; horse-drawn carriage rides or sleigh rides (in winter); off-road vehicle trips around the town and its environs; a ski station (2 km from the town centre); XC skis; Melex electric vehicle trips around the town.

The beautiful and richly textured terrains around Kazimierz Dolny are great for walking and rambling. There are many tourist trails, both for hiking and biking, in the local gorges, around historical places and gorgeous nature sites. You can also use the services of local tour guides (supporting many languages), who offer both group guided tours and private sightseeing tours.

The sites which contribute to the tourist attractiveness of the Kazimierz Dolny Commune also include Mięćmierz (a former fishing village) with its Albrechtówka hill overlooking the Vistula Gorge, with a windmill situated on the cliff, and many other wooden structures of historical value. Other tourist spots worth seeing are: the Okalski Gorge near Mięćmierz, a former estate in the village of Wylągi, the castle hill in Bochotnica, the abandoned chamber quarry in Bochotnica, and the Mount of Three Crosses (Polish: Góra Trzech Krzyży) in Parchatka. Several scenic villages in the neighbourhood include: Witoszyn with its crystal-clear stream (which is home to trout and beaver) and remnants of a castle, depicted by Zygmunt Vogel in a painting in the 18th century. There are also the villages of Rzeczyca with its disused quarry, Rzeczyca Kolonia and Wierzchoniów. The intricate system of loess gorges with steep and even a few tens of metres high walls is a matchless tourist attraction. Many ravines are laced with hiking routes and educational trails. The most interesting gorges include: Korzeniowy Dół, Plebani Dół, Norowy Dół, Kamienny Dół, Chałajowy Dół, Wąwóz Małachowskiego, Kwaskowa Góra and Wąwóz Czerniawy.

Kazimierz Dolny and its neighbouring villages offer comfortable and affordable accommodation facilities, and their number is constantly growing. Accommodation facilities include: hotels, boarding houses, leisure centres, hostels, RV parks and campsites, guesthouses and rural lodgings (i.e. cottages and agritourism farms) and others. You can select from the rich local accommodation offer all year round in Kazimierz Dolny. You can choose between hotels, several spa resorts, many boarding houses, a dozen of finest restaurants, cafes, chocolate lounges, pizzerias, wine bars and pubs.

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