I'm planning a trip to Poland now, and had a 4-day tour to Bialowieza Forest booked for the first weekend in September. Due to some unsolvable problem, the tour company had to cancel it, so now I'm looking at options. I knew this would be an possibility, so planned on being in Krakow right before in case I had to use Zakopane as a backup. Other days may move around a bit to fit in a possible day tour to the forest from Warsaw or Torun, so how many night should I plan for Zakopane? There is a range recommended on the forum.
Is two nights enough? So go up from Krakow and be there in the afternoon, then have one full day for hiking (pending weather), and then leave? Or are two full hiking days needed? For reference, I like hiking but will only have Keen sandals that I can wear with socks for hiking comfort, but won't carry big hiking shoes for just this. And I'm traveling alone so probably won't go crazy with wandering off into the wilderness. I've been to the Dolomites for day hikes in October, but the trails were well marked and had enough people passing through that if I had some problem, someone would find me eventually. Wondering if a full day of hiking (maybe the Morskie Oko mentioned on here) gives a good feel for the area or if two days are needed (preferable probably, but necessary?).
I'm also researching renting a car and going to the forest myself, but I think I ruled this out due to cost of car/gas, and the stress of having to read Polish road signs. These mountains look like a good alternative rather than adding more cities to the trip. Thanks!