castles in southern Poland

I took a guided tour to Poland last summer and had a great time from Gdansk to the river raft cruise on the Slovakia border. I'd like to go back and spend more time in the south - either with a rental car or (more likely) use a local driver-guide. I really like castles, manor homes, & churches. I understand there are several castles in southern Poland. Here are my questions:
1. Has anyone visited these castles? Are they worth it?
2. Approximately what is the cost of a private driver-guide for a full day of sightseeing in the countryside (for 2 passengers)?
Thank you!

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

You might already be aware of this one: Wawel in Krakow. If you've been to Prague Castle (or the Tower of London), this is the Polish equivalent, albeit smaller than Prague's. A highlight is the cathedral, which looks as if the Poles took a small piece from every stage of cathedral developement and assembled all the pieces into one giant mish-mash.

Posted by Juliet Elaine
South Orange, USA
6 posts

Thank you. Yes, Wawel is wonderful. In fact, last summer I stayed at a newish hotel very near the entrance - across the street from the river. It had a great restaurant; one of the best "classy" restaurants I visited during the 2 weeks I was there. The restaurant had 2 names. One was something like Lemon Grass.

I'm looking for castles in the countryside, probably using Krakow as a base and, maybe, the Poland-Slovakia border area as a secondary base for visiting villages. Last year, when I was on the "highway" on the outskirts of Krakow heading north/northwest I saw a great looking castle on a hill in the distance (I was looking east, I guess). Someone said there were lots of them in the southern part of the country.