What to See and Do in Ojców National Park, Poland

In Ojców, Poland, one of the most notable attractions is the caves, among which the Wierzchowska Górna Cave stands out. The region of the Ojców National Park is marked by the presence of numerous caves formed in limestone rock, the result of dissolution caused by water over time. It is estimated that there are about a thousand caves in this Jurassic area, and the Wierzchowska Górna Cave, although not within the park’s boundaries, is considered one of the most fascinating. To visit it, the assistance of a guide is necessary.

The opening hours and admission prices for the Wierzchowska Cave vary by season. During the first quarter, it is open on weekends, except for the first weekend of January, from 10:00 to 15:00, with a regular entrance fee of 17 zlotys and a reduced fee of 15 zlotys. From April 6 to April 30, it is open from 9:00 to 16:00. From May 1 to August 31, the hours are from 9:00 to 17:00. From September 1 to October 31, it is open from 9:00 to 16:00. And from November 2 to November 30, it is open from 9:00 to 15:00. However, it remains closed on November 1 for All Saints’ Day and during Easter.

What to See and Do in Ojców National Park, Poland


Wierzchowska Górna Cave

As is well known, surface rock is easily eroded by water, which has led to the formation of numerous caves in the region. It is estimated that there are around a thousand of them, and although the Wierzchowska Górna Cave is not within the park, it is in its proximity and is considered one of the most fascinating. However, it can only be visited with the assistance of a guide.

Opening Hours and Admission Fees

The Wierzchowska Cave is open daily at different times, as well as every weekend of the first quarter, except for the first weekend of January. The opening hours are from 1:00 to 15:00. The regular entrance fee is 17 zlotys and the reduced fee is 15.

  • From April 6 to April 30: from 9:00 to 16:00
  • From May 1 to August 31: from 9:00 to 17:00
  • From September 1 to October 31: from 9:00 to 16:00
  • From November 2 to November 30: from 9:00 to 15:00

The cave remains closed on All Saints’ Day and during Easter.

Łokietka Cave

Within the park, the Łokietka Grotto stands out, with a length of 320 meters. It consists of several corridors, such as the Knights’ Hall, the bedroom, and the kitchen. Although the stalactite formation is limited, it is worth admiring the "Eagle," a prominent stalactite on the north wall.

Opening Hours and Admission Fees

The regular entrance fee is 12 zlotys and the reduced fee is 6 zlotys per person. The cave can be visited from April 13 to November 11, except for Easter and November 1. The opening hours are from 9:00 until the last entry, which varies by season:

  • From 9:00 to 18:30 (April-August)
  • From 9:00 to 17:30 (September)
  • From 9:00 to 16:30 (October)
  • From 9:00 to 15:30 (November)

Dark Cave – Jaskinia Ciemna

Invaluable Archaeological Site

The Dark Cave is recognized as one of the most important archaeological sites in Poland, thanks to its history of habitation by Neanderthals approximately 50-60 thousand years ago. Although its stalactite formation has been deteriorated, mainly in the 19th century and later, it remains a place of great interest.

Rock Formations

About 30 meters from the entrance, you can see enormous stalagmites. One of them has a shape that resembles a lion. Further on, you can observe numerous tubular stalagmites known as "pasta." Although the right section of the cave is closed off with an iron gate, the rest of the site remains open to visitors.

Price List and Opening Hours

The entrance to the Dark Cave or Jaskinia Ciemna costs 9 PLN for a regular ticket and 5 PLN for a discounted ticket. It is open to visitors from April 23 to October 6. In October, from 10:00 to 16:00, and from April to September, from 10:00 to 17:00.

Bat Cave – Jaskinia Nietoperzowa

Guided Exploration

Located near Ojców National Park, the Bat Cave is one of the most fascinating attractions worth visiting. It can only be accessed with a guide, and it is open for visits from April to October. It stands out as one of the largest and most interesting caves in terms of rock formations.

Internal Chambers of the Cave

One of the main attractions of the cave is one of its large chambers, which measures approximately 30 meters long, 20 meters wide, and reaches up to 9.5 meters in height.

Significant Archaeological Finds

The Bat Cave hosts a wealth of archaeological finds, including bones of extinct animals like mammoths and hyenas. However, its name comes from the bats, whose remains dominate the site and have inhabited the cave for thousands of years, both in the past and in the present.

Traces of Prehistoric Life

Researchers have also discovered numerous remnants of prehistoric human life, such as tools and vessels, dating back 38,000 years. The cave offers a unique opportunity to admire various karst formations, including stalagmites, stalactites, and rock formations of different configurations.

Entrance Fees

  • Regular ticket: $10
  • Reduced ticket: $7

Opening Hours

The cave is open for visits during the following periods:

  • From April 1 to September 30: from 09:00 to 17:30
  • From October 1 to November 11: from 09:00 to 15:30

Rock Formations to See

Rock Formations What to See and Do in Ojców National Park, Poland

Hercules’ Club (Maczuga Herkulesa)

In Ojców National Park, besides the caves, you can find numerous beautiful rock formations in the open air. One of the most notable is Hercules’ Club, also known as Sokola Skała or the "Licentrismo" of the last, which, under the influence of erosion, has acquired a shape reminiscent of a club.

Local Legends

There is a legend about Master Twardowski, who, before his soul was taken to hell, gave the devil three tasks. One of these tasks was to move a specific rock from Dry Beskidzka to Ojców. The devil, of course, had no trouble completing the task. Another legend explains the most popular folk name, the "Falcon Rock."

According to this story, a prisoner locked in Ojów Castle, located at the top of the nearby Cuckoo Tower, begged to be released. The castle mayor agreed but in exchange requested an egg from a gyrfalcon’s nest at the top of the Mace. The prisoner tried for days to get the egg until he finally fell asleep. Then, a dozen falcons carried him to the top, offering him the egg. The prisoner fulfilled his promise, and since then, the place has been known as the "Falcon Rock." We recommend that you read all the legends of Ojców National Park.

Kraków Gate (Brama Krakowska)

A very popular attraction in the region is the Kraków Gate, so called because it used to be part of the trade route between Kraków and Silesia. It consists of two columns, one taller and the other shorter, with approximate heights of 20 and 15 meters, respectively.

Local Legends

There is an intriguing legend about the Kraków Gate, which says that the distance between the columns gradually decreases. According to popular belief, when the rocks finally meet, the world will come to an end. For this reason, it is common to see sticks placed between the columns to prevent this catastrophic event from happening.


Another interesting legend is associated with a characteristic rock known as the Glove, located in the Valley of Prądnik, near the entrance to the Dark Cave. This rock formation is one of the most recognizable in Ojców National Park, also called the "Hand of God" or the "White Hand." According to the legend, God himself darkened the entrance to the cave with his hands to protect the people from the advancing Tatars. When the people came out of hiding, they found that God’s hand had turned into a rock in the shape of a hand.

Deotyma’s Needle – Igła Deotymy

Another prominent rock formation in the Valley of Prądnik is Deotyma’s Needle, known for its slender and tall shape. The name "Deotyma" comes from the literary nickname of Jadwiga Luschewski, a well-known poet rumored to have created her poems while living in a nearby villa. The needle stands out for its uniqueness in the surrounding landscape.

Mount Okopy

The Prądnik Valley is surrounded by numerous hills, one of the most famous being Mount Okopy. A picturesque path about 2 kilometers long, starting from the Dark Cave, leads to its summit. From there, you can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the valley, with points of interest marked with informative signs. At the top, you can find traces of an ancient settlement, probably founded by Konrad Mazowiecki in the 12th century.

Ojców Castle – Main Attraction of Ojców National Park

When we talk about human influence on the landscape, it is inevitable to mention one of the main attractions of the region: the ruins of Ojców Castle, also known as Kazimierz Castle. This castle was built in the second half of the 14th century as part of the so-called "Eagle Nests."

Tourists visiting the castle can explore the tower, which houses a model of the castle and a historical exhibition. They can also climb the castle hill, from where a panoramic view of the valley can be enjoyed. According to tradition, the castle was originally called Ociec, in honor of Władysław I Łokietek’s struggle for the Kraków throne, also known as "the high elbow." From this tradition, it is believed that the village name, Ojców, may derive. Throughout history, the castle experienced turbulent events, resulting in only its ruins being admired today.

Opening Hours and Entrance Fees

The castle is open for visits every day from April 6 to November 11, except during Easter and on November 1. The opening hours are:

  • From 9:00 to 16:45 in April and September
  • From 9:00 to 17:45 from May to August
  • From 9:00 to 15:45 in October
  • From 9:00 to 15:00 in November

Entrance fees are 4 PLN for adults and 2 PLN for children and discounted persons.

Pieskowa Skała Castle

Another castle worth visiting is Pieskowa Skała Castle, which also formed part of the "Eagle Nests" chain. This beautiful monument is part of the region’s rich historical heritage. After World War II, it was restored and became a branch of the Wawel Royal Castle State Art Collection.

The castle hosts educational activities that cover different historical periods and are aimed at various age groups, making it an ideal destination to learn and enjoy history.

Wooden Buildings in the Prądnik Valley

The development of wooden architecture in the village of Ojców is another aspect worth attention. Starting in the 19th century, this area became a spa destination, leading to the construction of hotels and guesthouses to accommodate patients. These buildings were characterized by adopting an alpine style but with local decorative elements.

Although today few examples of these buildings remain and most are quite deteriorated, there are still some worth mentioning, such as the Hotel near Kazimierz, the Lviv Bazaar, the Hotel under Łokietek, the Villa near the Berlin, and the Villa under Korona. All these buildings are located in the Prądnik Valley, making them easy to find for visitors interested in exploring them.

Chapel on the Water in Ojców

The Chapel on the Water is another interesting place within Ojców National Park. It is located on the site of former thermal baths and features a unique architectural appearance, combining local elements with borrowed influences. Legend has it that the chapel was built over the water to bypass the Tsar’s prohibition on building on solid ground, giving this place a special charm.

Jonaszówka Viewpoint in Ojców National Park

A fascinating viewpoint in Ojców National Park is Jonaszówka, from where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the village of Ojców and the Prądnik Valley. This place is a must-visit for visitors. Every trail leading from Ojców to the Prądnik Valley passes by this viewpoint, also known as "Fat Janek." The rock is approximately 20 meters high, and its access is easy and uncomplicated.

Fountain of Love in Ojców

Near the Kraków Gate, on the Eagle’s Nest Trail, you will find the famous Fountain of Love, also known as the Lovers’ Fountain. According to legend, any couple who drinks the water from this fountain will be destined to love each other for the rest of their lives.

This is one of the most charming places in the Kraków-Częstochowa Jura region. To enjoy the peace and tranquility, it is recommended to visit during the low season or early in the morning. During holidays, Ojców National Park comes alive and becomes increasingly popular on the map of Poland.

Trails in Ojców National Park

For hiking and cycling enthusiasts, special trails have been established to make the tourist experience even more enjoyable and safe. The main trail, known as the Jurassic Eagle Nests Trail, as well as the Jurassic Order Route, traverse Ojców National Park. Another interesting trail is the yellow route, which passes through the Sąspowska Valley and the green hill of Grodzisko Góra Okopy.

Szlak Orlich Gniazd

  • Start: Kraków (Prądnik Korzkiewski – OPN)
  • End: Częstochowa (Sułoszowa – OPN)
  • Segment Length: 13.60 km
  • Surface: Paved, asphalt

Trail Description

Red Trail Kraków – Giebułtów – Prądnik Korzkiewski – Ojców – Grodzisko – Młynnik – Pieskowa Skała – Sułoszowa (then: Rabsztyn – Klucze – Ogrodzieniec – Częstochowa)

This trail is named the Eagle Nests Trail, with a length of 13.6 km in the Ojców National Park area. It runs through the bottom of the Prądnik Valley and from the Kraków Gate to Grodzisko shares a route with the blue trail. It enters the park from the southeast, at Prądnik Korzkiewski.

Points of Interest on the Trail

The hermitage in the Sukiennice rock, Fountain of Love, St. John’s Fountain, Villa "Pod Koroną," next to the isolated Deotyma’s Needle rock and the Ojców birch plantation, ruins of the Kazimierzowski Castle in Ojców, "On the Water" chapel, Grodzisko – church and hermitage of the Blessed Salomea on the Długa rock, Hercules’ Club, and Pieskowa Skała Castle. Between Ojców and Pieskowa Skała are the buildings of several mills from the late 19th century.

Chrzanów (Murownia – OPN) to Pieskowa Skała

  • Start: Chrzanów (Murownia – OPN)
  • End: Pieskowa Skała
  • Segment Length: 9.50 km
  • Surface: Paved, asphalt

Trail Description

The Yellow Trail traverses a fascinating route from Chrzanów to Pieskowa Skała, passing through Krzeszowice, Szklary, Wierzchowie, Murownia, and the picturesque valleys of Prądnik and Sąspowska. With a length of 9.5 km within the National Park, this trail offers a unique experience. It begins its journey in the Murownia area, near the Home of Fraternal Help of the Albertine Brothers, entering the OPN. Following its path, it crosses the iconic Kraków Gate and traverses the Sąspowska Valley, between the mighty Złota Góra and Góra Chełmowa.

Along the steep wooded slopes of the valley, there are numerous caves, while beautiful meadows extend at its bottom. One of the branches of this valley is the protected area of the Jamki Ravine, where the Źródło Harcerza spring emerges among the meadows. The trail continues its journey passing through the charming village of Sąspów and then Kalinów, before finally arriving at Pieskowa Skała, a destination that marks the end of this journey filled with natural beauty and stunning landscapes.

Łokietka Cave to Pieskowa Skała

  • Start: Łokietka Cave
  • End: Pieskowa Skała
  • Segment Length: 9.20 km
  • Surface: Paved, asphalt

Trail Description

Black Trail Łokietka Cave – Chełmowa Góra – Jonaszówka – Ojców – Złota Góra parking lot – Kaliski – Młynnik – Słoneczna Góra – Herianówka – "lagunas" – Pieskowa Skała

Within the Ojców National Park area, this trail is 9.2 km long. It begins at Łokietka Cave, which can be accessed from the stop in Czajowice or from a private parking lot in this village (by car or bus) – about 300 m from the grotto.

After reaching the trail junction, you can follow the blue trail to the Kraków Gate and then to Ojców. The black trail passes by the Jonaszówka rock, from where you can enjoy a wide view of the village of Ojców in the Prądnik Valley and the ruins of Kazimierzowski Castle. Another prominent viewpoint on the trail is the castle hill.

The black trail continues to the Złota Góra parking lot, from where you can follow the green trail to the Sąspowska Valley (where it meets the yellow trail, leading in two directions: towards Ojców or Pieskowa Skała).

Then, the black trail leaves the park and passes through the residential area of the village of Wola Kalinowska, before re-entering the park after a few kilometers. After crossing the provincial road, the path goes through Młynnik to Słoneczna Góra and then skirts the edge of the forest in the village of Herianówka towards the village of Wielmoża, then west until reaching the descent near the lagoons in the parking lot below the Castle in Pieskowa Skała next to the villa "Chopin."

Rudawa to Mstów

  • Start: Rudawa
  • End: Mstów
  • Segment Length: 9 km
  • Surface: Paved, asphalt

Trail Description

Blue Trail Rudawa – Będkowska Valley – Jerzmanowice Lepianka – Czajowice – Ciasne Skałki Gorge – Kraków Gate – Ojców – Grodzisko – Skała (then Tarnawa – Glanów – Wolbrom – Ogrodzieniec – Mstów)

Attention! Cycling is prohibited from the Kraków Gate to the top of Góra Chełmowa.

The Jurassic Fortresses Trail enters the National Park area from the west side of the park, crossing the final stretch of the village of Czajowice, the Ciasne Skałki Gorge, and from the Kraków Gate, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Góra Koronna massif. Then, the trail continues alongside the red trail through the Prądnik Valley to Ojców, Grodzisko, and Skała.

The trail within the National Park area is 9 km long.

Sąspowska Valley to Puchaczówka Rock Base

  • Start: Sąspowska Valley
  • End: Puchaczówka Rock Base
  • Segment Length: 5.30 km
  • Surface: Paved, asphalt

Trail Description

The Green Trail runs a fascinating route from the Sąspowska Valley to the Castle Park, passing through Złota Góra, the Villa "Pod Koroną," the Dark Cave, Góra Okopy, and finally entering the Prądnik Valley.

Attention! Cycling is prohibited from the ticket office at the Dark Cave to the top of Góra Koronna, Okopy, and down to the Prądnik Valley.

This local trail, marked in 1992, is 5.3 km long. From the trail junction, it traverses the picturesque Castle Park, passing by the old hotels "Pod Łokietkiem" and "Pod Kazimierzem," and then continues to the Dark Cave ticket office. After a steep climb, you reach the cave (about 400 m). From there, the trail ascends the peaks of Góra Koronna, passing by the Wapiennik rock until reaching the Okopy hill.

At the top of the hill, you can appreciate the remains of embankments that surrounded the old 13th-century castle of Konrad Mazowiecki, which no longer exists. Then, the trail descends to the bottom of the Prądnik Valley before returning to Ojców. Throughout the route, there are observation points. On the way back, from the bottom of the valley, you can see the entrance to the Okopy Wielkiej Dolnej Cave. Additionally, the trail is accompanied by an educational path that provides information about the nature and history of the region.

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