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10 Things You Need to Do in North Eastern Poland

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Foreign tourists usually neglect places located outside of main Polish cities. Big mistake. Here’s 10 reasons why your trip to North Eastern Poland will be simply unforgettable. This is our picks on what to do in North Eastern Poland – the lands stretching from Mazury to Bialowieza.

Kayaking on Czarna Hancza

Check the weather forecast and if there are no clouds on the sky, jump in a bus that wll take you straight to Augustów. It is a capital of Wigierski National Park. The town is located between the waters of three lakes and is a great starting point for kayaking trips or any other lakeside activity.

The waters of Czarna Hancza are crystal clear and shallow. The banks of the river are full of tiny quayas marking the pit stops on which you can take a rest, eat some pierogis with blue berries or potato pancakes and even order a cold ale.

You can go on a one day trip or decide for a few day travel through the forests of Eastern Poland. Sleeping can be arranged in numerous camping sites or guesthouses along the river.

where to go in poland Touristic attractions in Poland sports in poland czarna hancza kayak

Forest Trekking in Białowieza

Białowieża National Park is one of the oldest and wildest natural reserves in Europe. Walking around few hundred years old trees is something that will please any nature lover.

You can do trekking by yourself or hire a guide who will take you to the most remote parts. And in early autumn you can try to experience rykowisko – the sounds of dozens of deers calling their mates heard in the middle of the night may really freak you out!

Beside that Bialowieza is naturally home of Polish bison. If you are lucky you may see it in the wild. There is also an option of seeing them in the Polish Bison Reserve.

Stay at the folk town of Białowieskie Sioło or rent some cheap room in Białowieża.

bialowieza polish bison what to do in eastern poland

Baloon flight over Biebrza river

Biebrza National Park is anything but crowded. Create to please nature lovers and misfcome its of the world, it will be perfect if you are running away from big city crowds.

Biebrza river is surrounded by the forests, meadows and swamps. What sounds not really appealing is actually a stunning kingdom of mooses bisons wolves and most of all birds. Hundreds of ornitologist come here every year in the spring to observe their gatherings.

If you are not a big fan of bird watching, jump on the deck of a balloon and see the valley from the sky. If you are lucky, you will be able to look down at an elk or two!

Poland tourist attraction what to do in north eastern poland biebrza baloon

Tasting sękacz

Are there any foodies on board? Sweets lovers? Cakes addicts? Sękacz is a traditional Polish – Lithuanian cake made with butter, egg whites and yolks, flour, sugar, and cream, cooked on a rotating spit in an oven or over an open fire.

Sękacz means brunchy. You might have seen it in the bakeries of Warsaw and Cracow, but there it is sold in tiny portions, that costs like 4 euro for a small piece. Which is just a fraction of the whole cake which you will get for the same price in North East.

Real sękacz is usually made in a pretty big sizes. Of course, it taste best when it is freshly baked. However, you can leave it for months in your kitchen and it will still taste great.

Sailing in Mazury

Mazury is a land of thousand lakes and since at least 50 years it is a most visited place in North Eastern Poland. Lakes connected by the system of canals it is a sailing paradise. You will find there all the sailors of Poland, including these inexperiences adventure seekers who go there for their first sailing experience with friends.

The attractions include sleeping in the wild and living like a pirate. Sailing is considered a perfect long weekend activity. The season in Mazury lasts from June and July and it is when it is the most crowded (plus two long weekend in May and June)

Sailing in Mazury what to do in north eastern poland

Walk on the bridges of Stanczyki

Ten years ago this paragraph might be called „Bungee jumping from Stanczyki”. The old bridges at Stanczyki used to be the first place in Poland where you could try this extreme sport. However since few years it is considered no longer safe.

Still, the pictoresque architecture of the bridges can be fully appreciated even without hanging on a rubber line.

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where to go in Poland bridges in Stanczyki suwalszyczna eastern poland

Sweating in sauna in Suwalszczyzna

Suwalszczyzna is one of the least visited places in Poland. And we cannot make up our mind around it. Yes it is remote and one of the coldest places in the country. But being cold is not a reason to not give it a try. Especialy since locals there have their ways to warm up.

Just like all the people of the North, locals in Suwałki practise a grand tradition of sauna, which here is usually called bania. You can easily book one with a lake view. 10 minutes in 80 degrees and a minute to cool off in the lake. What not to like?

One of the oldest banias is located in Wodziłki. Thanks to the great amount of smoke produced during preparation of the sweating session, it is called black bania. But don’t worry, the smoke is gone before you enter. All that last is crazy high temperature!

Bike through the whole Eastern Poland

If you are a fan of biking tourism try biking through North Eastern bike trail Green Velo. This way you can also go through all of the before mentioned places!

You will find more about biking through Green Velo here.

biking in Poland north eastern poland what to do

See colorful churches and mosques

Even if you are not a fan of sacral architecture you should not miss these. Colorful temples are a trademark of Eastern Poland and you will find them in many towns south from Augustów.

One of the most popular is a green mosque in a little village Kruszyniany almost at the border with Belarus. And if you need more recommendations, check our map of the wooden temples and towns in North Eastern Poland.

Green Velo Polish bike trails What to do in eastern poland

Discover Hitler’s headquarter in Wolvenshantz

If you are interested in history of WWII don’t miss a visit in the Hitler’s headquarter. A whole town hidden in the middle of Mazurian forests was a scene for the failed attack on Hitler in 1944.

You will find all the needed information in English and German here.

Now you definetely know what to do in the North Eastern Poland. Here’s the map of all the before mentioned attractions. Enjoy!

plan poland self-guided trips in poland

where to go in Poland off the beaten track popular destinations

Where to go in Poland? [Pics and Map]

By | Ecotourism, Touristic Attractions | No Comments

Wheater you are looking for a perfect destination in seaside or preparing to backpack through wildest parts of Europe, here’s our picks on where to go in Poland.

Polish mountains

Since Polish sea is located in north and can be extremely cold even in summer, it is not a bad idea to explore Polish mountains. You can choose from numerous little towns and villages.

The most well known and at the same time the most crowded destination is Zakopane.  Being winter capital of Poland, Zakopane is the most “on the beaten track” place in Polish mountains. Go there on winter for sking or to watch international games in ski jumping – Polish people are crazy about it. And if you are a fan of trekking, nearby Tatry mountains or Pieniny will have plenty to offer during warm season.

If you are looking for some smaller towns, go to Szklarska Poreba or Karpacz in western Karpaty. The mountains there are smaller, but the views are just subperb. Plus, it is just a half-day hike away from Czech beer!

Last but not least, if you are looking for something even lesser known, choose Beskidy or Bieszczady mountains. These part of Poland are considered to be the wildest. Perfect for trekking and star gazing. You will find them both pin point on our map. We also described Bieszczady in the chapter dedicate to off the beaten track destinations below.

Tatry mountains where to go in poland

Tatry mountains seen from Turbacz peak

Sunset in Góry Stołowe

Polish seaside

We said it already once but we will repeat it again. Baltic Sea is pretty cold. Everybody knows it. However, in July and August, the most popular Polish beaches are swormed with tourists.

Many people are more than ready to turn a blind eye on the temperature of the sea due to the outstanding beauty of Polish sandy beaches. Forget about rocky coast of Italy or Adriatic. Sunset walk on a beach will put its spell on you.

The most popular summer destinations in Poland are Mielno, Władysławowo, Jastrzębia Góra and Sopot. Decide for them only if you do not mind neither crowds nor expenses.

A little less crowded is Hel Penisula. Absolutely stunning piece of land which in the widest part is no more than 3 km! Sourrounded by both the waters of Baltic Sea and Bay of Puck, it is very popular among kitesurfers and windsurfers. It might also be a perfect location especially if you would like to camp in a tent.

hel peninsula summer at polish sea

Morning at Hel Peninsula

There is nothing better than a morning walk around the pine forests in the seaside. So if you are looking forward to spend your holidays as close to nature as possible, consider visiting island Wolin. Its one of the most beautiful places on Polish coast and a location of the national park. You will especially appreciate its 15 km cliff coast line.  Also, annually, the island is home to Europe’s biggest Germanic-Slavic Viking festival.

Polish main cities

Being perfectly accesable by plain, cities like Warsaw or Cracow are often visited by foreigners.

Warsaw

Warsaw is Polish capital and the main business hub. As it had been completely destroyed during the WWII, it took a while till it raised from the ashes. if you haven’t been here for a while, you will be just struck by the changes in its cityscape.

Visit Warsaw in spring or in summer. Once a real spring starts, the whole social life of the city relocates to river banks. They are not only perfect for a slow walk with a loved one but also for a barbecue or a late beer with friends. Not to metion beach volleyball or kayaking.

If you are already there don’t miss Copernicus Science Center. From there you can take a short walk up hill to the Old Town. In the evening  make a stop for light & sound show at fountain park.

Warsaw Łazienki

Cracow

Cracow is much more chilled and laidback than Warsaw. The city center is ruled by the students. So it is a perfect destination if you would like to party a little without draining your wallet. It is also a great place to start discovering Polish history.

Visit Shindler’s Factory in Jewish district Kazimierz and then get lost in its narrow streets. Go for a beer to Omerta and try Polish fast food at Endzior on Plac Nowy. If you need more visit Royal Castle and a Cathedral on Wawel Hill.

And of course, there is no way you will somehow miss Sukiennice and St. Mary’s Church.

kraków cracow

You will find more details about Polish cities in our previous post. 

warsaw off the beaten track

Best 10 Off the Beaten Track Places in Warsaw

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If you are fed up with popular spots, discover Polish capital with our Warsaw off the beaten track recommendations. Certified by locals! Active Warsaw First things first! We like moving...
Warsaw main polish cities

Main Polish Cities – Warsaw, Cracow, Poznan, Wroclaw and more

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We know – most of you would like to visit some serious big Polish  cities before they will consider going to the countryside. Also, this is were everything is happening…

Off the beaten track in Poland

If you are a foreigner, probably any destination outside of Warsaw, Cracow and Wroclaw is off the beaten track. Most tourist visit these 3 cities. And of course Aushwitz, which is a main point of any trip to Poland.

Those who are a little more adventures my wander to Gdansk, Lodz or Malbork. Many German tourists travel to the beautiful but quite crowded lake district of Mazury.

If you are interested in discovering places that are visited almost exclusively by locals, here’s our main recommendations.

Suwalszczyzna

Even though Suwalszczyzna offer crystal clear rivers and hilly landscape taken straight from a fairy tale, it is one of the least visited areas of Poland! Scarcely populated and with quite poor mobile reception it is a definition of remote and desolated. If you haven’t seen a night in Suwalszczyzna, you don’t know what is “dark”.

Why would you want to go there? It is just perfect for active holidays. There is just no way you will not fall in love with the nature in Wigierski National Park and kayaking through Czarna Hańcza river. Personally we are also huge fans of the old train bridges in Stanczyki.

where to go in poland Touristic attractions in Poland sports in poland czarna hancza kayak

Kayaking through Czarna Hancza

where to go in Poland bridges in Stanczyki suwalszyczna eastern poland

Train bridges in Stanczyki

Kaszuby

polish touristic attractions

Kayaking on river Wda

If you are put off by the prices and crowds in Mazury, go to Kaszuby. What is waiting there for you are green forests and smooth waters of huge lakes. If you are a fan of biking you can also check out so called Kaszubska Marszruta. Which is one of the best (although not that long) bike trails in Poland. We also highly recommend taking a one day kayaking trip on river Wda or Brda.

While you’re there it is worth staying at one of the lakeside resorts, which are not very expensive (but remmeber that in season you need to book well in advance). Check for example this place at Wdzydze lake.

Also, once you are there don’t forget to visit Malbork where the biggest castle IN THE WORLD is located. The medieval Teutonic fortress is an ultimate must see and we assure you it is one of the best prepared sights on Polish touristic map.

If you are interested in biking in Poland, check our previous post

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The biggest castle in the world in Malbork, Poland

Puszcza Knyszynska and Podlasie

Puszcza Knyszyńska in Podlasie is one of the most picturesque parts of Poland. A little bit forgoten, it will please fans of biking and chilling. And as a matter of fact, you might meet there more tourists from abroad than from Poland. Places like valley of rivers Narew or Biebrza has been for years frequentely visited by nature lovers from whole Europe, especially ornithologists.

The biggest attraction of Podlasie, apart from stunning nature, is wooden architecture. They are the symbol of the cultural diversity of Poland in pre-WWII times. Colorful wooden Catholic, Orthodox churches and mosques can be found in many little towns on your trail. The most known are located in Kruszyniany, Narew and so called Land of Open Window Shutters. We also whole heartedly recommend a visit in a tranquil Supraśl.

Podlasie is also home of four national parks: Bialowieski, Wigierski, Biebrzanski (Biebrza) and Narwianski (Narew) National Parks.

kruszyniany mosque green mosque in poland

Wooden mosque in Kruszyniany

Green Velo poland narew river narew national park waniewo

Narew National Park

Bieszczady

Finally, Bieszczady.

There is a saying in Poland that is usually used by the stressed employees of big corporation. It goes like this: One day I will leave it all and move to Bieszczady.

Bieszczady are associated with chill, independence and wilderness. Considered to be the wildest part of Poland (if not Europe) is perfect for backpackers and nature lovers. Home for all the misfits in the world. Just ten years ago it was completely undiscovered by the common tourists (but this started to change recentely).

It is still a place free from high end hotels (with small exceptions). If you are backapcking there, consider staying in Chata Socjologa (The Sociologist’s Hut). It is a nation wide famous refugee and self-sustainable republic. No curfew, no light untill sunset, toilet outside of the hut. And a signs “beware of bears” at the start of the trail. Cost: around 4 euro per night.

Where to go in Poland national parks in poland cities

Trekking in Bieszczady

mountain hut in poland bieszczady chata socjologa

Chata Socjologa

Find out more about national parks in Poland in our previous posts. And if you need more on how to travel around Poland without draining your wallet check our 20 tips.

Map of where to go in Poland

Below you will find many more recommendations and information about touristic destinations in Poland. Enjoy and let us know if you found it helpful in a comment section below!

attractions for a whole family in Poland

40 amazing attractions for a whole family in Poland [with MAP]

By | Ecotourism, Poland with children, Touristic Attractions | No Comments

If you are starving for an inspiration how to spend next weekend with your family, check our list of the most praised touristic attractions for a whole family in Poland.

You will also find them all in our ultimate map of 40 amazing attractions for a whole family.

Just click on each icon and see short description of the attractions. Scroll down to get to the address and the website where you will find details on prices and many more essential information.

attractions for a whole family in Poland

Places from fairy tales

Polish Castles

If there is a must see place in Poland that is definetely a castle. And it is hard to pick the castle, as there are so many jaw dropping fortresses here.

If you are planning to crouse around the best once, you should not miss northcentral part of Poland (Kujawy, Mazury) and South-West regions of Poland. Castles in: Ogrodzieniec, Krzyżtopór, Czocha, Chojnik, Książ are all worth of your time.

However, if you have to pick just one, it has to be Malbork. An old Teutonic castle close to Gdańsk, that happens to be the biggest one in the world. Making it probably the best attraction for a family with children in Poland.

Amazing rocks at Bledne Skaly

These place is brought straight from a fairy tale. And actually stared in one.

Bledne Skaly is a group of extraordinary rocks in southern Poland. Come here early in the morning or outside of the summer season and get lost in this labyrynth. Otherwise you might be forced to share it will thousands of other visitors. A maze is so mind blowing that is become a location for scenes in “Narnia”.

There is plenty of other great locations in the area. Such as Chapel of Skulls in Kudowa Zdroj or Szczeliniec.

Malbork

Teutonic castle in Malbork

Train festival in Wolsztyn

Wolsztyn is a capital city of steam locomotives. It is not a museum or a storage for trains, but an actual locomotive shed that has been operating for over 100 years.

If you happen to have a train lover in your family, you have to take him to Wolsztyn. The best month would be May, when a place hosts an amazing locomotive festival.

Folk art in the garden

A place is just perfect excuse to discover Polish folk art. The visit should not take longer than an hour. But you will probably forget there about your everyday life and get fully emersed with a world of philosophy, art and science.

Kaszubska Chata (Kashubian Hut) is located just outside of the house of late Józef Chełmowski (called Kashubian Leonardo da Vinci). Go there to see fantastic calendars, clocks and human size beehives in shape of Johan Goethe and other great minds.

atrakcje dla rodzin z dziećmi

Kaszubska Chata in Brusy

Quality time with animals

See Polish bisons in Bialowieza

If you are looking for a perfect place for animal spotting, Eastern Poland might be one of the best places in Europe.

The forests of Bialowieza National Park is home to the oldest trees in Poland. And also some of the biggest mammals. Polish bisons, deers, foxes and many other are ready to be discovered at national bison reserve.

Located in the heart of the forest it gives simply perfect opportunities to introduce your family to all these magnificent beings and nature.

Wild horses in Zwierzyniec

Zwierzyniec is a beautiful small town located in the middle of Roztocze National Park. With its famous “church on water” and perfect hiking and biking trails, it attracts tourist like magnet. It may also have something to do with a local brewery, a real treat for older members of the family.

Once you’re there, take a walk around the vast area of wild horses reserve. If you are there at the right moment you will see there a pack of wild horses. Around the reserve, there are several wooden watching towers from which you can take a good look at these beautiful animals.

And if you are looking for chance to spend some more one-on-one time with Polish horses, go to stable breeding in Florianka. It is located just 8 km from Zwierzyniec.

Family holidays poland

Wild horses in Zwierzyniec

Animal tracking in Biebrza National Park

The valley of Biebrza river will please even the pickiest adventure seeker. These wild forests and swamps are full of deers, elks and most of all: birds.

Come here in spring when the whole river is overtaken by migrating birds. You can go for bird spottings or hire a professional guide who will show you all the secrets of this lands. You can join a tour designed specialy for families and children!

Bird spotting on footbridges  of Narew

If you are looking for some accesable and little time-consuming attraction, visit Waniewo. A walk around footbridges in Waniewo river gives brilliant excuse to observe wildlife of Narew river. Which accidentely is called Polish Amazon. But don’t worry – it is not that wild!

The walk takes around an hour or two. During the trip you will have an opportunity to use several small ferries that joins the banks. They are easy to operate and fun to use.

Footbridges in Waniewo in Narew National Park

Museums and Science Centres

Hydropolis

Hydropolis is yet another great place in Wroclaw (dwarves being the number one), especially if it is raining and you’re starving for knowledge.

It is a science center, alike Copernicus Center in Warsaw, where you can learn all about water. Sounds boring? It is not! The subject covers everything from the biggest rivers in the world to water in your body.

It is a place dedicated for children and adults.  Also, the location is pretty awesome as Hydropolis is based in the XIX century water container of volume of 4000 square meters

Copernicus Science Centre

One of our very favorite places in Warsaw. If you crave for knowledge or you are looking forward to pass your passion to your children, don’t miss CSC.

Hundreds of experiements to perform and discoveries to be made, it is a paradise for kids. If you like silence and need more space, consider coming here in the early morning. Perfectly situated (at Vistula bank) the place attracts hundreds of visitors each year. Don’t forget to book it in advance!

attractions for a whole family in Poland

Reconstruction of early Medival settlements in Biskupin

Open air museum in Sierpc

Open Air Museum in Sierpc in one of the best of its kind. Reserve half of a day to walk around old wooden houses, churches and even sculptuers of local artists. It is a real time travel!

It is opened not only during warm season. In winter you might even have a chance to join a sleigh ride.

Reconstruction and museum in Biskupin

If you are Polish, there is absolutely no way that you have never heard about Biskupin. In the thirties, this little town close to Bydgoszcz went straight into the spotlight when local teacher found there a perfectly well preserved remainings of the medieval village.

Today you can visit there a big archeological centre and walk around the reconstruction of the settlements. In spring, summer and autumn you can also participate in numerous festivities and workshops that take place in the museum.

Open Air Museum

Map of 40 touristic attractions for a whole family in Poland

Looking for more? Check our map that includes 40 amazing Polish attractions for a whole family. You will find them all over the country. And remember that is only a fraction of what is really waiting for you and your family in Poland.

Can’t wait? Want to visit Poland? Click below to help with organizing your trip to Poland.

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polish bike trails

Polish bike trails – Green Velo, Bory Tucholskie and more

By | Ecotourism, Poland for bikers, Touristic Attractions | No Comments

During last 10 years, bike trails landscape in Poland started changing. More and more regions have invested in cycling infrastructure and focused on attracting ecotourists. Thanks to these efforts, biking holidays started to be an option not only for professional bikers but also for families with children.

Below you will find description of the best Polish bike trails that have been created till 2017.

plan bike trip in poland

GREEN VELO

Green Velo – or Eastern Bike Trail – is probably the most famous among Polish bike trails. And at the same time the longest one.  Green Velo goes by 5 voievodship (regions) and 5 national parks. Interestingly, four of these parks are located in just one voievodship, that is Podlaskie voievodship. Since the trail goes through one of the most picturesque and tranquil parts of Poland, Green Velo already became a must-do point on every Polish bikers list. Impressive 2071 km acts like a magnet on every fan of cycling.

Drawbacks of Green Velo

However appealing that sounds, this new trail is not perfect. Only a small amount of the route had been built from the scratch. Also, not all the parts of Green Velo are suitable for road bikes. Once on the trail, you should be prepared for all kinds of road structures: starting from asphalt, through paving and cobbel stone and finishing with sand.

Here you will find a map that shows how and where structure of the bike trail changes:

https://greenvelo.pl/mapa

The other drawback is a fact that the bike trail not always goes outside of the main road. In other words – you might need to cycle through public roads. So if you are planning to cycle with minors, you might consider instead a safer Vistula Bike Trail (described below).

Polish bike trails

Biking through Podlasie (near Królowy Most and Supraśl)

Green Velo Polish bike trails

Green Velo goes through footbridges at Narwia National Park

Polish bike trails sport in poland

Green Velo – from Tykocin to Łapy

 

Highlights of Green Velo

Nevertheless, all this things should not discourage you from trying Green Velo. The views here are spectacular as Eastern Poland is one of the wildest parts of Poland (and Europe). On your way you can see lushy green forests, lakes, rivers and marshes inhabited by the biggest mammals in Europe. Elks, Polish bisons, endless number of birds, beavers, deers, wolves… The place is just perfect if you are looking forward to reconnect with nature and forget about your everyday life.

Eastern Poland has also very unique culture and history. These lands used to be a hom for people of all nations and religions. Today you can trace the footprints left by them on Polish soil – fantastic colorful temples, wooden folk architecture, cemetries or delicious cuisine.

The trip might also turn up to be the cheapest in your life. Food in local shops, markets and most of the restaurants are increadibly cheap.

Green Velo poland narew river narew national park waniewo

Narew National Park

Free camping site at Lake Siemianówka

Difficulty level

Green Velo is a huge trail so difficulty level of an entire route is hard to describe. Southern part of the trail ends at the foothills of Carpathian mountains. The central and northern part of the trail goes around post-glacial Suwalszczyzna and quite hilly Podlasie, Lubelszczyzna and of course Swiętokrzyskie voievodship. So the trail almost never goes through flat areas.

The northern part of the trail, bordering with Russia and Lithuania (Suwalszczyzna) and southern part of the trail (in the area close to Carpathian and Swietokrzyskie mountains) are definetely the most challenging. If you are not ready for some steep ascents, decide for easier parts like places around Białystok.

 

Podlasie

Biebrza National Park

Green Velo Polish bike trails

Biking through Supraśl

Green Velo Polish bike trails What to do in eastern poland

Wooden mosque in Kruszyniany

Kaszubska Marszruta in Bory Tucholskie

Another Polish bike trail, located in region of Kaszuby, is called Kaszubska Marszruta. It is much smaller than Green Velo, as the investment was made by just one county. However, it was obviusly a county full of smart bike lovers. Thanks to them bikers were presented with a very good product. Kaszubska Marszruta is a system of 61 km of bike trails constructed in the forests of Bory Tucholskie and over 100 km of the route set on the quiet local or gravel roads.

The trail goes along beautiful lakes Charzykowe and Karsińskie. Water there is perfect for a refreshment after a whole day of biking.

Difficulty level

The trail is not difficult however you need to consider that the landscape here is not entirely flat. There are a lot of short but sometimes steep ascents.

Find a link to a map of Kaszubska Marszruta here

Polish bike trails

Kaszubska Marszruta in Bory Tucholskie

Sailing in Mazury what to do in north eastern poland

Lake Wdzydzkie (Jezioro Wdzydzkie) in Wdzydzki Park Krajobrazowy

kayaking in poland river wda clear river in poland

You can bike along crystal clear rivers Wda and Brda

VISTULA BIKE TRAIL – WIŚLANA TRASA ROWEROWA

Vistula bike trail is an ambitious project. The goal – connects the springs of Vistula with Baltic sea with a huge bike trail. So far the best, most professional part of the trail in situated in Lesser Poland. It is a part of the bigger project – Velo Małopolska. The goal: to creat 1000 km system of bike trails that connects touristc attractions in the whole region.

So far VBT connects Oświęcim and Cracow. It is said to be the first bike trail in Poland that achieved  Western standard. It is safe, well marked and designed specifically for bikers.

Difficulty level

The bike trail goes along Vistula river. The route is almost entirely flat. However if you are looking for some more demending trails all you need to do is turn left or right. You will immediately jump into highlands of Lesser Poland.

Find a map of the trail here

Polish bike trails – pending projects

Unless the law radically changes, within next year or two we will have a chance to bike through many more awesome trails in Poland. For example, in autumn of 2017 first tests of the scenic West Baltic trail took place in Szczecin and at  Dąbie lake. It said that maybe in 2018 the project will be ready for their first bikers.

Another great opportunity for biking in Poland is being prepared in southern Poland. Great 230 km bike trail will connect Pieniny (mountains in Poland) with Slovakian Tatry. The works started in 2017 and will be known as Dolina Popradu (Valley of Poprad Bike Trail).

most beautiful polish towns

Towns you cannot miss in Eastern Poland

By | Ecotourism, places to visit, polish cities and towns, Touristic Attractions | No Comments

We have to be honest – we love small Polish towns and will always put them first before the big cities. Our charming villages and towns were able to sustain their original beauty, when the rest of the country turn its face to concrete. You will find here fresher air, infinite horizon, beautiful gardens, nature at the tip of your fingers. It is also a place where folk traditions are still alive.

So if it sounds appealing to you, definitely visit:

Supraśl

Supraśl is a gem hidden in the vast forests of Puszcza Knyszyńska, east from Białystok. It is full of classic wooden houses which look like embodiment of summer holidays. There is also an atmospheric town square where you will get souvenirs, huge ice creams and sękacz (traditional eastern cake – you should try!). Supraśl is located on the bank of the river of the same name as the town. If you are looking for a refreshment take a slow walk along the boulevards that goes along the river. Maybe even take a swimming suit with you.

If you are already there don’t miss palace of Buchholtz family and an Orthodox monastery with a famous museum of icons.

When to visit: if you want to enjoy green scenery, visit Supraśl between spring and autumn

Zwierzyniec

Church on the island of Zwierzyniec

 

Another fairy tale place on our list. Just imagine a town with a scenic little church located on an island, situated in the middle of green forest. Take walk around and reserve some time to observe horses living in the wild – you can take a good look from the observation deck. There is also something for fans of a good beer – local brewery Zwierzyniec. You can try their crafts in a small pub at the entrance.

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The name of the town means: the place of animals. Situated at the banks of river Wieprz (which means: a Hog) is one of the most popular touristic destinations in Roztocze. Perfect for hikers, bikers (GreenVelo) and kayakers.

When to visit: from spring to autumn

Brewery in Zwierzyniec

Wild horses seen from the observation deck in Zwierzyniec

Kruszyniany

Mosque in Kruszyniany

 

Not that far from Supraśl, almost at the border with Belarus, there is a tiny village, which recently gains more and more popularity. Kruszyniany are so popular thanks to Tatars’ heritage and magnificent location.

Today Tatars are descendants of one of Muslims militaristic nomad tribes which join Genghis Khan during the rise of his Empire. After its fall, Tatars  build their own countries. Over 300 ago Polish king Jan III Sobieski decided to include Tatars warriors in his army and gave them a right to settle in Podlasie. One of the places of their settlement is Kruszyniany.

Today, in this tranquil place, you can find old mosques and cemeteries and also try delicious Tatars’ cuisine. Not to mention thousands of lupin growing all around the village.

When to visit: in summer, especially in June and beginning of July, when local roads, fields and forests are full of blooming lupin

Lupin in the forest near Kruszyniany

Kazimierz Dolny

Kazimierz Dolny – the main square

 

This place is mentioned in every single one guidebook about Poland that was ever published. And it happens for a reason. Kazimierz is just one of these hip places that won a genetic lottery. With its mix of art, culture, history and beautiful location is a number one weekend destination.

Historically Kazimierz was a trade hub. Jewish and Polish traders made this city flourish. Their colorful brick houses – symbols of the citizen’s status – are the jewels of town’s main square. If we add that the town is located on hills and is surrounded by the system of Tolkienish gorges, you will know why this place is the most fashionable location for a summer house.

When to visit – it is worth to come here any time of year, however if you don’t like crowds avoid warm weekends and festival time

Gorges in Kazimierz

 

 

You will find more our recommendations for your trip to Poland in the posts about main Polish cities and Polish national parks.

 

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polish nature

National parks in Poland

By | Ecotourism, Touristic Attractions | One Comment

Maybe you already toyed with the idea of coming to Poland, but don’t know what to see and which places to visit? Below you can read about exceptional Polish nature, including some of the polish national parks,  that in our opinion, are most definitely worthy of your time.

Check our map where we marked the most popular places, which should be considered as your travel destination. We divided Polish touristic attractions into categories: Poland’s national and landscape parks, castles, main cities, small yet worth seeing towns, festivals and places perfect for bikers. The list is not definite, as there are many more point of interested worth your time.

 

 

Polish national parks

 

In our humble opinion coming to Poland should always involve at least one visit to any national or landscape park. Polish nature is absolutely stunning and thanks too very small impact of industry, in many cases it seems absolutely intact by a human. Eastern Poland is a place where you will find one of the wildest forests and mountains in Europe. But there is so much more to see and since we are afraid you might have never heard before about these places, below we present you our favorite national parks and the reasons why we keep coming back there.

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Wigierski National Park

Touristic attractions Poland

Kayaking on Czarna Hańcza

 

Even though some consider this part of Poland to be the coldest one, it is also one of the country’s most beautiful regions. Crystal clear waters of lakes (Wigry) and rivers (Czarna Hańcza) are just outstanding for kayaking. It is a perfect destination for family holidays or a trip with friends.

When to visit: Late spring and summer are the best moments to try some water sports.

The closest big city: Białystok

 

Karkonosze National Park

Karkonosze

Samotnia refuge in Karkonosze mountains

 

There was a time in our life when we were coming back to Karkonosze every year. Even though the mountains there are not highest, something in the atmosphere of these lands make you wanna come back. The mix of Czech, Polish, Silesian and German culture is a recipe for a perfect holiday destination. We especially recommend hiking to at least one of the refuges in the mountains, for example Samotnia.

When to visit: it is perfect any time of the year, however if you are planning some recreational trekking, we recommend coming between late spring (when the snow is already gone) to early autumn.

Closest big city: Wrocław

Bieszczady National Park

Bieszczady polish touristic attractions

Połonina Wetlińska in Bieszczady

 

Bieszczady is a name of the Polish region in Carpathian mountains. It is located in a remote part of the country. Which is why Polish people might sometimes use “Bieszczady” as a synonim of the end of the world. The kingdom of bears, Polish bisons and wolves. And of course the magnet for all the misfits of this world. The land which remembers simpler times, without deadlines and KPIs. This is why Polish saying goes like this: “One day I will leave it all behind and move to Bieszczady”. Every year more and more people visit Bieszczady, so it is worth to go there and stand face to face with its wilderness before it becomes another loud touristic location.

When to visit: If you are looking for a total desolation, come outside of the tourists season. The biggest crowds of tourists should be expected during summer months and long weekends (especially 1-3 May, 15 of August and the movable feast of Corpus Christi – usually in the end of May or in June).

The closest big city: Rzeszów

 

Biebrza National Park

Poland tourist attraction

Biebrza river

 

Biebrzański National Park is probably still more frequently visited by foreigners than Polish tourists. Here, it is just as likely to meet people from the Netherlands as tourists from Warsaw. People from all over Europe come here every year to… watch birds. Thousands of them (birds, not Dutches :)) meet here in spring, when the water floods the entire Park. Beside birds you can try to take a photo of deers and elks that live in local forests and swamps. This is a true animal kingdom. It is also a perfect destination to disconnect from your every day life, leave your cell phone deep in the drawer and just relax.

When to visit: spring and autumn are the perfect moments. In summer it is a little bit harder to get by with a great amount of mosquitoes that may disturb your afternoons.

The closest big city: Białystok

 

Bory Tucholskie National Park

Bory Tucholskie

Bridges on river Brda in Bory Tucholskie National Park

 

This is a perfect place for a biking trip. Safe trails that cut through the beautiful forests of Tuchola are considered to be the best in Poland. Be sure not to miss crystal clear lakes and rivers hidden in the heart of this old forest. And if you are already here you should consider expanding your trip to Wdzydze Landscape Park (Wdzydzki Park Krajobrazowy).

Note: Due to the 2017 hurricane a part of the national park’s forests was destroyed by wind.

When to visit: late spring and summer is the best moment to appreciate not only forests but to also lakes, which are perfect for summer refreshments.

The closest big city: Bydgoszcz and Gdańsk

 

 Białowieski National Park

Bison Breeding Centre Białowieża

Bison Breeding Centre Białowieża

 

This is one of the very few forests in Europe that can be described as last untouched wilderness. It is also a kingdom of Polish bison. And you don’t have to be a forester to meet it. If you are there, check Bison Breeding Center and keep a lot of free time for your walk through the paths of the real Forest. For us, an absolute highlight of the region is wooden architecture. Look around and you will find here fairytale blue churches and colorful, beautifully ornamented folk houses which are more than 100 years old. If you get there don’t sleep in the standard hotel, but rather book a wooden hut!

When to visit: Due to its extreme uniqueness of the nature, Białowieski National park can be visited any time of the year.

The closest big city: Białystok

Park Narodowy Gór Stołowych

Góry Stołowe

Stołowe Mountains, a view from a refuge on a top of Szczeliniec

 

National Park of Table Mountains – doesn’t it sound intriguing?

This land is full of surprises and great points of interests. There are caves to be discover (Jaskinia Niedźwiedzia), fairy tale rock formations (Błędne Skały and Szczeliniec) and even a unique skull chapel in Kudowa. And if you are in the neighborhood you should definitely also visit Góry Sowie (Mountains of the Owls) which hide the secrets of underground city built during WWII on Hitler’s order. Yes, Lower Silesia is probably the best choice for the first visit in Poland.

When to visit: Summer, spring and autumn

Closest big city: Wrocław

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Polish landscape parks

 

Yes, we have some great national parks in Poland. But their younger brothers – landscape parks – can put a real good fight as well. So please, don’t be a fool and add them to your holiday itinerary.

 

Wdzydzki Park Krajobrazowy

polish touristic attractions

Kayaking through river Wda

 

Wdzydze Landscape Park is just a stone throw away from Bory Tucholskie National Park and Kaszuby Landscape Park. This is why we highly recommend visiting them all during one visit. Wdzydze, with its huge lake called Kashubian Sea, is a lakeside paradise. Water here is crystal clear and seems like it’s inviting all the visitors to take a swim. Don’t take a raincheck! Fans of sailing and kayaking should not be disappointed as some of the smoothest rivers of northern Poland are located up here – Brda and Wda. They are accessible even for the total kayak novice.

When to visit: Summer

Closest big city: Gdańsk and Bydgoszcz

 

Brodnicki Park Krajobrazowy

polish nature

 

Brodnicki Park Krajobrazowy takes its name from a small town Brodnica. It used to be one of the most important Teutonic fortresses, which kept safe one of the entrances to their lands – which was a ford on river Drwęca. The region is full of medieval monuments. On the top of that it is an amazing but yet not overcrowded lakeside. If you are looking a remote location with lakes and forests around you, that’s a place to be.

When to visit: Late spring, summer and early autumn

Closest big city: Toruń, Bydgoszcz

 

Park Krajobrazowy Orlich Gniazd

It is a must see for all the backpackers in Poland. Orle Gniazda means “Eagle’s nests” and refers to the system of medieval castles built during the reign of Casimir the Great to protect the border of Poland. There are all connected by over 160 km long hiking trail.

There are 11 castles and palaces on a trail. Take it and you will have a chance to visit one of the most outstanding examples of medieval military architecture in this part of Europe, such as Ogrodzieniec.

When to visit: If you are interested mostly in visiting the castles, you can come any time of a year. For perfect conditions visit from spring to early autumn.

Closest big cities: Kraków, Katowice, Częstochowa

Mazury – Mazurski Park Krajobrazowy

The biggest system of lakes in Poland and one of the biggest in Europe. The land of thousand islands. It is a place known to every single sailor in the country. Quite crowded and overpriced during the summer season, which is why it is better to visit it in spring. This area was also a heart of State of the Teutonic Order so if you are not a fan of water sports, you will still find here many interesting places to visit. Beside castles in Barcin, Giżycko, Kętrzyn, Nidzica, Ryn, Ełk, Węgorzewo and Działdowo, you can also visit Wilczy Szaniec – the Wolf’s Lair – Hitler’s headquarter from Second World War.

When to visit: summer and spring, and if you are looking for even less crowds – in autumn

Closest big city: Olsztyn, Białystok, Warszawa

Hel – Nadmorski Park Krajobrazowy

hel peninsula

If you are looking for a popular and simply beautiful place on the Baltic coast, sandy Hel peninsula is unquestionably your choice. This tiny scrap of land (just 35 km long) is super narrow and surrounded by the waters of Gdansk Bay and Baltic Sea. Sandy beaches are occupied by windsurfers and kitesurfers, as it winds a lot here! If you like biking or hiking, you will also love it. Take a stroll by the sea or through peaceful pine forests that surrounds the beaches.

When to visit: May, June, September – perfect time to enjoy sun but not get scared by summer crowds

Closest big city: Gdańsk

You will find more our recommendations for your trip to Poland in the posts about main Polish cities and small towns.

 

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