Our guide to Szczyrk Mountain Resort reveals all you need to know about this charming highland escape some two hours from Krakow.
Situated in the heart of Poland’s Beskid Śląski range, Szczyrk beckons adventure seekers all year round. Winter unveils pristine slopes for skiers and snowboarders, while summer reveals lush trails for hikers and mountain bikers.
Beyond the adrenaline, its close proximity to Bielsko-Biała means there’s a chance you can do a touch of urban exploration in one of the smaller towns near Krakow. Moreover, the scenic Żywiec Lake nearby provides a tranquil setting for relaxation and water activities during the warmer months.
For us, it’s a great ski option if you’re looking to dodge the crowds, but also a fantastic day trip from Krakow if you’re pining for more mountains and have already done Zakopane (Zako should definitely be first!)
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What’s in this guide to Szczyrk Mountain Resort
Where is the Szczyrk Mountain Resort?
Szczyrk Mountain Resort is located in southern Poland, in the Silesian Voivodeship. It’s situated within the Beskid Śląski mountain range.
For visitors in Krakow, Szczyrk is approximately 90 kilometers to the south, making it a feasible destination for a day trip or short getaway. The resort’s proximity to the town of Bielsko-Biała, roughly 18 kilometers to the north, offers additional landmarks and transit options for travelers.
How to get to the Szczyrk Mountain Resort?
From Krakow, the easiest way to reach Szczyrk Mountain Resort is by car, a drive of approximately 2 hours. Head south on the A4 motorway, then follow the DK52 and DW942 roads directly to Szczyrk.
Alternatively, take a bus from Krakow to Bielsko-Biała, and from there, local buses run to Szczyrk. There’s no direct tram or bus from Krakow’s center to the resort.
What is there to do at Szczyrk Mountain Resort?
Located in the Beskid Śląski mountains, this is one of Poland’s prime skiing and snowboarding destinations. Featuring modern ski lifts and a variety of slopes catering to both beginners and experienced skiers, the resort is a winter sports haven.
In summer, it transforms into a hub for hiking, mountain biking, and outdoor activities. Just a short drive from Krakow, it offers a mountainous escape with panoramic views and adrenaline-packed adventures.
The skiing at the Szczyrk Mountain Resort
With its expansive network of slopes, skiers can choose from beginner-friendly inclines, moderate terrains for intermediate skiers, to steeper and more challenging trails ideal for the advanced aficionados – though these are noticeably thin on the ground, not just in Szczyrk, but all across Poland to be honest!
While Szczyrk may not have globally “famous” runs like some larger resorts, several of its trails are well-regarded within Poland and Central Europe. Skrzyczne, being the highest peak in the range, offers some of the most breathtaking runs with panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
One of the key attractions of Szczyrk is its adaptability. It’s a destination that can confidently accommodate everyone, from complete novices to those who’ve been carving up mountain sides for years. For newcomers or those looking to refine their skills, the gentle beginner slopes at the base of the resort are fantastic.
The lift system at Szczyrk is noteworthy. Modern and efficient, it includes a combination of chairlifts, drag lifts, and gondolas. Designed with a keen focus on reducing wait times, especially during the bustling peak season, it ensures a smooth transition from the base to the mountaintop. What’s great is that the wait times here are never as bad as they are in similar resorts around the Zakopane region, for example.
Apres ski in Szczyrk Mountain Resort
There’s not a HUGE amount in the way of post-ski nightlife in Szczyrk. If you want parties, then stick to Zakopane. There are some pretty nice bars, most of them offering a certain Śląski mountain charm. Our favorites are:
- Restauracja Green Pub Sjesta – A very traditional Silesian tavern on the main road in the middle of the resort. They serve big plates of wraps and nachos and that, but also plenty of Polish and Czech beers.
- Restauracja Ciosana – Located in a lush meadow above the town, this one’s a regular pitstop for us after hikes in the mountains to the south of Szczyrk.
Best hotels in Szczyrk
As with the hotels in Zakopane, the hotels in Szczyrk have become one of the main draws here. We often escape Krakow for a taste of the lovely spa hotels that are on offer. There are a few that are seriously nice, like…
- Hotel Halo Szczyrk – This vast resort in the mountains of Szczyrk channels a touch of Scandi charm and has loads going for it. We love the noir vibe of the pool area and the spacious, bright chillout areas in the suite rooms.
- Gronie Ski & Bike – If you come with two wheels in tow then be sure to check out Gronie Ski & Bike. They’re primed here for serious cyclists but are also fantastically located for skiing in the winter. Nice, comfy, modern rooms, Lovely staff.