Saturday, March 23, 2013

Why Dunajec River Gorge is so deep and winding?

The Dunajec River Gorge is a famous place among tourists thanks to amazing views and possibility of rafting on a traditional boats. The first rafting undoubtedly organized the owners of the Niedzica castle in the early nineteenth. Year by year more and more summer visitors and patients were coming to the Pieniny and rafting the Dunajec Gorge gained a real popularity.  

The gorge is part of a valley located within the Pieniny National Park. This picturesque limestone ravine was carved from the landscape by a water. Imagine the Dunajec River freely running down from the Tatra Mountains passing through the plains. Suddenly on its way slowly begin to emerge mountains. Rivers have a natural tendency to reach a baseline elevation. It means the Dunajec river started to cut through the mountains in order to reach the same elevation as the body of water it drains into. The formation of the gorge took place in stages, refering to tectonic movements in the the Pieniny Mountains.

Why the gorge is so deep and winding? The Dunajec Gorge owes its present appearance to the tectonic movement, petrographic composition and proportion of rocks and geological structure. Especially the last one – the presence of large tectonic faults, is responsible for creation of deeply indented meanders.

In the scientific language the genesis of the Dunajec River Gorge is antecedent-structural. Antecedent – the river maintains its original course and pattern despite the mountain uplift. Structural - course of the river refers to the geological structures.

The result? Nowadays we can admire beautiful steep limestone walls during the raft trip down the Dunajec river :)


  • Rafting season lasts from 1 April till 31 October every day except for two church holidays: Corpus Christi and the first day of Easter.
  • You can choose between four options: 12 km (1h 15min), 17 and 18 km (2h 15min) and 23 km (2h 45min).
  • Ticket price: adults 12-15 EUR, children half-price (depends on an exchange rate and it may change)

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