The Eagles Nest Trail is the most famous and picturesque trail of Polish Jura and in my opinion – one of the most beautiful touristic trails in the whole Poland. It is a part of Eagles Nests Landscape Park.
The trail joins 25 medieval castles and watchtowers. Some are huge, some are rather small. But all definitely beautiful and worth visiting. Quite all Eagles Nests were built in the 14th century during the reign of King Wladyslaw Lokietek and his son Casimir the Great. The main purpose of this project was the protection of the south-west border of the Kingdom of Poland. Both kings wanted, in the first place, to block access to Cracow in case of foreign invasion. For all the readers who are not familiar with Polish history – Cracow was the capital city of Poland until the 17th-century.
Later, during the 15th and 16th centuries, most of the castles belonged to various Polish aristocratic families. In the 17th century quite all of them were destroyed during Swedish Deluge. Swedish invasion over Poland in the years 1650- 1655. Most of the castles’ owners decided to rebuild them after the Deluge. However, some of them were never restored and were left in ruins after all.
The most famous castles on the trail are: Ogrodzieniec, Pieskowa Skala, Bobolice, Mirow and Olsztyn.
It is from these castles that the trail took its name. All of them are situated on high limestone cliffs, hills, or even huge rocks’ formations. Poetically speaking we might say they look alike eagle’s nests.
Although quite all of the castles are in ruin now, I strongly recommend visiting them. The ruins have still a lot of charm. And they still have a lot of stories to say. The castles’ administrators make sure that they have a lot of attractions, a lot is going on. Especially in the summer months. The beauty of castles’ surroundings, the legends connected to them make the whole Eagles’ Nests’ Trial really unique and extraordinary. Believe me, it is a magic place. If you are passionate about history, love the medieval atmosphere, beautiful landscapes, and nature – Eagles’ Nests’ Trail is “a must” for you!
Apart from the castles’ ruins, you can find many other attractions on the trail. For example a real desert in the middle of Europe (Bledowska Desert), a ski-slope with ski-lift in Morsko, Kroczyce Rocks – a very popular place for climbing or finally the Ojcow National Park – with one of the famous caves of Poland; Lokietek’s cave. Moreover, the tourists visit Polish Jura to find some haunted castles, like for example, the one in Ogrodzieniecl.
You can travel along the trail with the car, you can ride the bicycle or horse but you can also simply hike. Of course, if you decide not to use a car, you would need more days to complete the route (the trail is ca. 160 km). However, if you do not have so much time, you can decide to visit only part of the trail or its most famous spots.