Among the gems of Poland are the primeval forests in the north, on the border with Belarus. Wherever there is nature, the Polish establish a national park or nature reserve. For those interested in forests and lakes, there are Bialowieza or Drawienski. But there is more to be explored: marshes, limestone formations, cliffs on the Baltic coast and true mountains. Everyone knows the Tatras, a mountain range on the border with Slowakia, which has Polands highest mountain Rysy (just under 2500m).
How wonderful it must be to explore this country on foot. Good news: Poland has a fantastic system of hiking trails. As proverbial worker bees of Europe the Polish took up the task in a serious way. Believe it or not, there are 45000km of marked hiking trails. A coloured strip between two white bars is the characteristic waymark.
The paths form a maze of colourfully marked trails. Most do not carry a name, but are known by the names of their starting and ending points in combination with a particular colour, which is also indicated on the map. So forget about trails with magical names, and keep in mind that the majority of trails only last 10 to 50km. As a foreigner your best strategy is to set your mind to a specific region or biotope, buy the maps thereof, put on your backpack with camping gear, and set out to explore and enjoy.
All is well organised by the Polish Tourist Association, the PKKT. Their website gives you all you need, if you read Polish that is... PKKT owns 179 mountain huts in the most popular hiking areas.
Winters are cold and summers are hot in Poland. Summer is the best time for the High Tatra mountains, although dry days are few. Lowland areas are best in spring.
- pc22 September 2010
- Rate 7
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