While staying in Podhale, it is worth visiting Chochołów, located about 20 km west of Zakopane. It is a large village located on the right bank of Czarny Dunajec between the hills. A road connecting Zakopane with Czarny Dunajec runs through the village.
This place enjoys the constant popularity of tourists, regardless of the season. The unique landscape values of the Chochołowska Valley, its fauna and flora, as well as architecture, makes the village a fantastic place to visit.
Aoteaora Wikimedia Commons
Like most villages in the Podhale region, also Chochołów has a reasonably long history.
The first village administrator, Bartłomiej Kluska, called Chochołowski, received the village administrator’s privilege in the 16th century. He was distinguished during the Moscow wars and was rewarded by King Sigismund III. The office of the village leader was in the Kluska family for several generations.
Chocholow became part of the history of Poland in the 19th century. A patriotic uprising of highlanders occurred in February 1846, and it was led by Jan Kante Andrusikiewicz and Fr. Józef Leopold Kmietowicz. It was an element of so-called Krakow Uprising against the Austrian authorities.
After a short time, the uprising was suppressed by the Austrian army stationed in the Nowy Targ, and the insurgents were punished.
During World War II, Chochołów was the center of the guerrilla movement. One of the more famous figures of that period, coming from the village, was Stanisław Frączysty. He was actively supporting Marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły and his return to Poland from Budapest.
The village’s war history did not lack tragic moments – in 1942, precisely on the 96th anniversary of the Chochołowski Uprising, the Germans made numerous arrests and took some of the inhabitants to extermination camps.
The historical wooden houses in Chocholow
The central part of Chochołów called the “pearl of Podhale” is a living museum. It consists of over a hundred historical, often over 100-year-old cottages arranged in a characteristic arrangement of one-way rural buildings called “street houses,” in which narrower side facing the road and the front-facing the south.
Particularly noteworthy here is “Cottage from one fir”– a house with a front wall built over a hundred years ago from one huge fir trunk cut down in the vicinity of Chochołów.
The houses have a characteristic bright color as a result of being washed and scrubbed with soap and water every year before Easter. It is the best-preserved Podhale building complex; the wooden houses in Chochołów are archaic and sparingly decorated.
Chocholowski Uprising Museum
The seat of the Chochołowski Uprising Museum was arranged in a historic highlander’s house in Podhale that once belonged to the rich host Jan Bafia. The cottage was erected in 1798 and rebuilt in 1898. In the museum, equipped with typical highlander furniture and household appliances, there are documents related to the Chochołow Uprising, which took place in 1846.
The interior has been arranged in a way to connect important for the region Chochołów Uprising, with an ethnographic exhibition presenting the highlander’s life in the mid-nineteenth century.
j Wikimedia Commons
Church of St. Jack
The church of St. Jack in Chochołów is a neo-Gothic brick building that was built in the 1870s. The temple was founded by priest Wojciech Blaszyński from Chochołów. Unfortunately, a generous founder died as a result of an accident at the construction site.
Despite that fact, the temple was completed and still impresses with its soaring form and beautiful interior design. Inside, you can admire stained glass windows, and a picture of the Virgin Mary painted on wood. The walls are also decorated with works of Walery and Wojciech Eljasz Radzikowski.
In front of the church stands a stone obelisk commemorating the Chochołowski Uprising.
Jacek Nowak Wikimedia Commons
The Chochołowska Valley is the longest, largest, and most western valley located within the Tatra National Park. It has a length of about 10 km and covers an area of about 35 km2. At the entrance to the valley, you can rent a bike or walking poles or take a horse carriage. There is also a highlander chapel of St. John the Baptist in the valley, where mass is celebrated in summer.
The Chochołowska Valley is a must-visit for everyone relaxing in the Tatras. The trail which runs along the bottom of the valley is wide, comfortable and leads to the surrounding scenic peaks.
Pawel Opiola Wikimedia Commons
Opened in June 2016, Termy Chochołowskie is the largest thermal pool complex in Podhale. In recent years, thermal pools have been a real smash hit in Podhale and other regions of Poland. Relaxing in hot water after a day of skiing or hiking in the mountains is so popular that every new facility of this type near the Tatras becomes crowded.
No worries! Termy Chochołowske are not on that list.
There is a lot of attractions, including large outdoor swimming pools with a view of the snowy peaks of the mountains, indoor pools, whirlpools, thermal pools, slides, spa, sauna, and much more.
You can get full access ticket here
The accommodation base in the area of Termy Chochołowskie is very extensive. In Chochołów itself, we find several guesthouses; however, there are many more alternatives in nearby towns. Accommodation can be booked, among others, in Kościelisko, Witów, Białka Tatrzańska or simply – Zakopane.
Everyone will find something suitable – from quiet agritourism, through cozy houses or apartments with a mountain view, to an elegant, modern hotel.
Chocholow is an excellent place for trips all year round, as you will find stunning attractions here. Lovers who like walks, an evening out for dinner or dancing, spectacular views, highlander atmosphere, and friendly locals should definitely visit one of the most attractive towns on the map of Podhale.