Our mountains are not very high but incredibly beautiful. The whole south of Poland is mountainous region. Numerous ranges are part of the Carpathians and they very from remote hilly Low Beskid to outstanding rocky Tatra Mountains which are the highest part of the Carpathians. Tatra mountains reach 2499 m above sea level and offer beautiful lakes, valleys for the beginners as well as steep ruffled slopes for the advanced mountaineers.
So tourists who want to spend active holidays in Poland have a wide variety of options in terms of trekking tours. The nearest mountain ranges are about one hour drive from Krakow. That’s why you can easily have a one day trip to admire panorama of the mountains and beautiful landscapes. You can do easy but also demanding walks, reach mountain shelters or stay far from civilization.
There are many hiking trails and mountain shelters in the mountains as well as hotels and spas in the region. Therefore you can go away for longer and spend several days in wilderness. Additionally you can choose if after a daylong hike you want to relax in a spa or feel the spirit of the mountains while sleeping in mountain shelter.
All solutions are good and all are possible. It is enough to make up your mind and let me plan active holidays in Poland for you.
It is enough to drive 2 hours south from Krakow to reach one of the most picturesque river gorges in Europe – Dunajec river gorge in Pieniny Mountains. For nearly 100 years highlanders have been organising rafts down Dunajec river on traditional boats. Nowadays if you want to relax you can sail with them but if you want more excitement you can raft in a pontoon or kayak between steep walls of Pieniny mountains. This active way of passing the gorge is a wonderful solution for hot summer days.
Pieniny are extremely picturesque but there are numerous other rivers where you can raft or kayak. Both in the mountains and in the lowlands. Including some of the most renowned like Krutynia or Rospuda which are meandering through wild forests. So tourists have a possibility to relax and enjoy beauty of nature.
Some of the most famous Polish National Parks were created especially to protect fauna and flora of the most unique rivers like Biebrza or Narew which are home to hundreds of species of birds. Some come here every year to lay their eggs.
National Preserves were established to protect this rare species and habitats but also to educate people about them. Therefore they also enable getting to know those places in a way which won’t disturb the nature.
Biking is getting more and more popular in Poland and it results in growing number of bike routs both in the cities and outside. You can tour Krakow on the bike and I don’t mean only the center. Krakow has also some beautiful parks and even forests to offer. But you can also travel to some regions of Poland, both mountains and lowlands, where you have excellent bike routs in the forest, mountains, along streams and rivers.
There are several places in the mountains where you can enjoy beauty of landscapes from a bike saddle without getting extremely tired. The best examples are Pienińska Road in Szczawnica or Chochołowska Valley in the Tatra Mountains. If you prefer to sweat, biking is allowed on most of the hiking routs in the mountains. There are even places prepared for extreme mountain biking where you can use chair lifts to transport your bike up and special routs to go downhills.
Additionally you have all the facilities providing equipment so that you could enjoy your favourite sport. Biking is a great way to spend active holidays in Poland
In the lowlands you can bike in the primeval forest of Białowieża or in Bory Tucholskie. Both of those places offer bike tours and unspoiled nature. There is also long network of bike routs called Green Velo stretching along almost whole eastern border of Poland. And I only named the most famous biking possibilities.
You think Poland and wine is the last thing that comes to your mind? I can’t blame you. Poles have been earning the reputation of vodka lovers for many years. But now the drinking habbits are changing significantly. What’s more, it’s not only the number of wine drinkers that is growing. One can notice also an increase in wine makers number on Polish territory.
The tradition of growing vine in Poland reaches XI century according to some historians. But as the climat was changing and politacal situation was getting more and more complicated, wine trade in Poland collapsed. We focused on making beer and vodka while the wine was imported from the countries famous of its production. Even after getting the independence back and after WWII there was no good situation for wine production as communist regime was not supportive for private initiative to say the least.
So only in the end of XX century some enthusiats dared for a big experiment. Some first vineyards were established and the more successful they were the more vine growers followed them. Global warming was also a factor which helped to expand the vineyard area.
Most of the vineyards are rather small, sometimes just a family business. They produce rather small number of bottles but of very characteristic and intersting taste. Moreover most of the plantations are situated in very picturesque locations. That makes our wine tours very interesting also in a touring sense. So even if you are sceptical give as a chance to show you the best of Polish vineyards. Taste wine, meet the winemakers and explore Polish landscapes.