Rafting in the Dunajec Gorge has a long history. Probably it started here several centuries ago.
The Dunajec River flows from its springs in Tatra Mts. at the level of 1700 m asl. This river is one of the most beautiful mountain water in Poland. After construction of a water dam at Niedzica there were created two artificial lakes, Czorsztyn and Sromowieckie. Nowadays rafting starts a little below a village called Sromowce Wyzne. Tourists raft down through Dunajec Gorge on wooden rafts of the old fashion. Each raft is composed of five elements build from wooden boards. In older times for bulding of rafts five hollowed spruce trunks were used. The raft is guided by two Pieniny's highlanders, sometimes dressed traditionally. To steer they use two wooden poles locally called "spryszki". A mode of rafting and construction of rafts evidence that this tourist activity is here very old, probably the oldest in Europe. Between Cerveny Klastor in Slovakia and Szczawnica in Poland the Dunajec River breaks through the Pieniny Mountains which are composed of dolomite rocks. Tourists during rafting can see beautiful steep white walls inhabited by endemic fauna and flora. For these reasons all the area in Poland and Slovakia was established as the National Park. The flow down to Szczawnica takes ca 3 hours but it can be prolonged to other city called Kroscienko nad Dunajcem. Now a lot of tourists use own various rafts of modern construction. During summer when water is lower the rafting here is on the level of classes 2-3. The rafting here is completely different and dangerous when waters run from mountains in spring or after serious storms.
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