We will visit the most beautiful and unknown trails of the Swietokrzyskie Area. We will find amazing rock formations, reserves and quarries hidden in the beech tree forests full of light . While traveling through the valleys and high grounds we will discover the sources of living water. In the moonlight landscapes of Gagaty we will touch the footprints of dinosaurs. We will have a chance to experience an ancient craft of the Swietokrzyskie region to create our own pottery on a potter’s wheel and to make a Motanka – the doll that brings love and good wishes – we will take the doll with us as a real talisman.
Day 1: Meeting day
We will pick you up from the Chopin Airport in Warsaw at the scheduled time of your arrival. We take you by car from Warsaw to Mostki to the Ignacówka Riding Center (approximately 2 hrs). On our way you can make shopping in a market, our pilot will tell you which local foods are worth trying . We will arrive at the agrotourism center where we will have dinner with a local menu. After the meal we will invite you for a walk to the Mostki lagoon.
Day 2: Gembury Rocks and the Kopulak Mine
After a delicious breakfast we saddle our horses and hit the road to the Swietkorzyskie ancient forests. We will go through sunlight beech woods to discover, hidden in the deep forest, a yellow sandstone quarry which is called The Eyes of the Earth thanks to its incredible shape. We will also visit the Kopulak Mine where they used to mine for the world- known speckled sandstone. This is the place where the signs of life from 240 million years back was discovered. We will admire orange rocks glowing with pink light, wood lake in the excavation and lush green thicket.
Day 3: Burzący Stok Spring – Michniowski Stone Reserve
Pictoresque wood path will lead us into the dry Sucheniowskie forests. We will put our hands into the crystal clear waters of Burzący Stok spring where the partisans from World War II used to quench their thirst. We will ride through the shadows of the wood gorge admiring firs that are more than a hundred years old. We will visit the Michniowski Stone reserve situated on the hill among beech forest. Hidden in the maze of rocky corridors there is a cave where partisans used to hide. Maybe we will see the footprints of a devil who – according to the legend – used to sit on the rocks and play sad melodies on his fiddle to fool inattentive wanderers.
Day 4: Dalejowskie Hell Reserve – Gate to Hell – Pig Mountain Reserve
That day we will travel through thick forests to reach a picturesque rocky reserve called Dalejowskie Hell. We will lose our way a few times among the moss covered gorges, caves, rock shelves and niches from white triassic sandstone . We will cross the Hell’s Gate (Brama Piekielna) to reach the Dalejow Reserve and listen to the wind playing with larches that are a hundred years old. We will have the privilege to meet wild nature in the Pig Mountain (Swinia Gora) reserve which is the last refuge of the ancient Swietokrzyskie Forests.
Day 5: Wiącka-Kapkazy, magical ragdolls and Wykus sacred spot
We will visit a picturesque Wiącka Kapkazy village in the heart of the Swietokrzyskie Mountains. We will teach you how to make motanka – slavic dolls to atract love and success. You will make them with your own hands for yourselves or with an intetion for someone else to take home as a talisman. After a lunch break we will move on to Wykus sacred space where, in the valley of Lubianka River hidden in a hundred years old forest, there are graves of Polish insurgents and soldiers from the National Army. Here in Wykus they used to have their camp and they fought battles with Nazi Germans.
Day 6: Gagaty Reserve – the footprints of dinosaurs
One of the most amazing places in the Swietokrzyskie Mountains is waiting for us. We will reach it riding through a tunnel of trees with swamps on both sides. We will see the moonlike landscape of Gagaty that could be a scene for the „Star Wars”. Black gorges and rocking hills with luch green thicket will take your breath away. The reserve is where the excavation of a jet (in Polish: gagat, called also the black amber) mine was in the XIX century. There are footprints of dinosaurs there and we will be able to touch them.
Day 7: The farewell
After breakfast we will take you to Warsaw Chopin Airport. On our way there you will have an opportunity to buy local honey and do some shopping in a market. In Warsaw we will say goodbye hoping to see you again.
* The guide may change the route according to the weather and the skills of the participants.
Magdalena Sułek – experienced horse riding instructor and the PTTK Mountain Horse Tourism guide. The founder of Ignacowka Center. Through many years she worked in noted equestrian centers in Poland. Passionate equestrian, admirer of old craft and a talented artist who will teach you not only the secrets of riding and guide you through the Swietokrzyskie Mountains but also will show you how to work on a potter’s wheel.
We ride in sport saddles or endurance saddles with light saddlebags to keep water, raincoat, a camera and lunch. We use traditional european bridles with bits. It is mandatory to ride in riding helmets – you can take your own or borrow free of charge in the Ignacówka Riding Center.
What should I take with me?
The Star Rally is organized in a very comfortable way. Your luggage stays in the agrotourism where we spend every night. Everyday we travel light with light saddlebags with the most important things: cameras, food and raincoats. For your documents and phone we recommend to take a belt bag
What should I take with me?
- Cash (euro, dollars, pounds – you will exchange free of chargé in Poland)
- A camera
- Riding pants or comfortable tourist pants (2 pairs in case of getting wet)
- Riding chaps
- Layered clothing: T-shirt, cotton shirt, fleece jacet , raincoat or rain cloak
- Trekking shoes, waterproof ( Chelsea boots and boots are out of the question)
- Riding helmet (you can borrow free of charge)
- Riding gloves
- pocket knife
- Belt bag (for your money, documents and phone)
- A cap and a warm hat
- UV cream
- Flip flops to use in the shower