Jaszczurówka Chapel – Olczyska Valley – Kopieniec, time to walk 3,5 h
The trail (green one) is a relatively easy one, with 430 meres of altitude difference, a nice walk especially in spring time when crocuses are in full bloom. The clearing is an excellent place for sunbathing, there is a car park at the entry to the valley.
Access to Jaszczurówka with a car, mini bus or PKS public bus.
Being in Jaszczurówka, one shall start with a visit to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Chapel, otherwise simply known as the Jaszczurówka Chapel. Built between 1904 and 1907 by the Uznański family from Poronin village and according to Stanisław Witkiewicz's design the chapel is one of the best examples of the local Zakopane style in arts and architecture. Witkiewicz designed interior of the chapel as well, together with stained glass windows representing Polish and Lithuanian national emblems. The figure of sorrowful Jesus right above the entry to the chapel and two side altars within were made in 1954 by Józef Janos, well know folk sculptor from the village of Dębno Podhalańskie. The wooden construction of the chapel was built with no nails at all. The chapel is open daily between 10 and 17. In the stone basement of the chapel Marian brothers run a glass painting gallery open between mid June and mid September.
We access Olczyska Valley through a “rock gate” next to an old swimming pool built on naturally hot, geothermal springs. Spotted salamanders used to inhabit this area, these were called jaszczury by local people which gave name to the whole district of Zakopane – Jaszczurówka. Next to Tatra National Park gate is an information board on fauna and flora of this part of the mountains, as well as geothermal waters in the area. Right side of the valley (west) are dolomite rocks known as Baba and Pióro (woman and feather) called accordingly to their shape. The wide path continues along the stream onto the Olczyska Clearing. The clearing looks at its best in spring when crocuses are in full bloom. There are still a few old shelters left here, which remind of the shepard's past of the area. In the south eastern corner of the clearing is Wywierzysko Olczyskie – beginnings of the Olczyski stream. As shown in geological research, the waters come from Pańszczyca Valley 3 kilometres away – that distance the water flows underground. Following green trail across the woods we come onto another clearing where sheep graze in summer time. This is where a steep ascend for Mount Kopieniec (1328 m asl) starts.
We return exactly the same way or follow green trail to Cyrhla, where we can take a bus back to town centre or turn left to walk back to where we left the car earlier on in the day.