Wild places in Poland part 2
9/17 The Opawskie Mountains (opolskie region)
The Opawskie Mountains is a little-known, most eastern mountain range of the Polish Sudety. It is historically associated with the Lower Silesia, and in the middle ages, they were part of an extensive duchy of the bishops of Wrocław, with its capital in Nysa. In the landscape of the Polish Opawskie Mountains, three massifs stand out – the Parkowa Mountain Massif above Głuchołazy, the Biskupia Kopa and Srebrna Kopa Massif and the Prudnicki Las Massif. They are cut through by beautiful breakthrough valleys of the river of Złoty Potok and Biała Głuchołaska. The slopes are covered by thick, mixed forests of the bottom racket. The qualities of the landscape and the natural environment cuased the decision to be made to create the „Góry Opawksie” landscape Park in 1988. In the Opawskie mountains you can not only follow tourist trails, but also educational paths. The highest peak of the Polish part of the Opawskie Mountains is Biskupia Kopa. It is also the highest elevation of the opolskie region. It is located 889 meters above the sea level. In the late 19th century, the first trails leading to the top were created, as well as an observation tower, which can still be visited today.
How to get there? At the foothills of the Opawskie Mountains lies a health spa town of Głuchołazy. The easiest way to get there is from Opoleto Nysa or Prudnik.
10/17 The Gostynin-Włocław Lake District (mazowieckie region)
The proof of the uniqueness of this place is the fact, that this is the only fragment of a post-glacial landscape in the mazowieckie region. A large part of the area of this lake district is covered with forests – mainly pine borons, there are numerous hills and mostly dozens of lakes of different sizes. The Gostynin-Włocław Lake District is full of places, where you can relax in peace and quiet, far away from the crowds of the city. It is worth visiting a locally created Gostynin-Włocław Landscape Park – which was created to protect the ancient valley of the Vistula river – where tourists can choose between observation points, many walking trails and educational-natural paths. It’s no use looking such crowds as in Tatry or Karkonosze.
How to get there? The area are located at the border between the mazowieckie and
kujawko-pomorskie regions. While riding from Warsaw, it’s best to go to Płoc or Gostynin, which are located in close proximity from the Gostynin-Włocław Landscape Park.
11/17 Bory Tucholskie (kujawsko-pomorskie region)
Bory Tucholskie is na extensive complex of mostly pine forests, between which you can admire countless lakes with crystal clear water. Villages and buildings can be seen here very rarely, And you can wander through the extensive forests all day long, without meeting any living soul. This is the place where you can really escape from the corwded civilization, and local and local trails are great not only for walking, but also for shorter or longer bicycle rides. It is a great option for fans of undisturbed silence.
How to get there? Bory Tucholskie are located in the northern part of the kujawsko-pomorskie
region and the surroundings of such towns as Grudziądz, Tleń and Tuchola.
12/17 The „Nad Tanwią” nature reserve (lubelskie region)
The southern edge of Roztocze is an incredibly interesting area in terms of landscapes, not trampled by tourists. Hills fall here down steep slopes into the extensive forests, and between them flow rapid rivers, resembling mountain streams. One of the most interesting places in this area is the „Nad Tanwią” nature reserve, which contains one of the most interesting fragments of the Solska Wilderness – the breakthrough valley of Tanew. The river flows between the elevations covered in pine trees, conquering numerous rock thresholds, on which low, but very loud waterfalls are created. While looking at its edge, you might have an impression that the water flows down the stairs created not by nature, but by human hands. The exploration of the most attractive part is simplified by a comfortable, three-kilometer educational path. It is also worth taking part in a kayaking trip through the Tanew river – it might last even a few days, and it is a great way to take a break from everyday life.
How to get there? The nearest large cities that are great starting points are Zamość, Biłgoraj and Jarosław.
13/17 Beskid Żywiecki (śląskie region)
Beskid Żywiecki is the second highest mountain range in Poland, which is mostly famous for Babia Góra and Pilsko. However, we can also find less popular places, where trails are practically empty. The so-called Worek Raczański is the wildest and most picturesque part of Beskid Żywiecki – a perfect area for true mountain tourists. We especially recommend visiting the top of Wielka Racza, from where extends the remarkable panorama. Looping from Rycerka to Racza, and later coming down through Przegibek takes about 5-6 hours.
How to get there? First you’ll need to go towards Żywiec, and later, to the Polish-Slovakian border and such towns as Rycerka Dolna, Rajcza and Ujsoły.
14/17 Ponidzie (świętokrzyskie region)
Ponidzie is a land famous for Europe’s largest gathering of gypsum, nature reserves with unique steppe plants, colorful forests, wayside figures and chapels, monuments and springs of
sulphur-salty mineral waters. In its area you can find the towns of, among others, Jędrzejów, Pińczów, Busko-Zdrój, Wiślica and Nowy Korczyn. A characteristic element of the landscape of Ponidzie is the valley of Nida with numerous meander and oxbow lakes, which creates a meaningful ecological corridor and a shelter for water-mud birds. Ponidzie is a perfect place for an active vacation for fans of walking trips, cycling trips, kayakers horseriders and even gliders.
How to get there? A good starting point for getting familiar with the charms of Ponidzie will be Jędrzejów, Busko-Zdrój and Wiślica. These are town located about 60-70 kilometers away vfrom Kraków and Kielce.
15/17 The Noteć Wilderness (wielkopolskie region)
The Noteć Wilderness is an over 100-kilometer belt of forests with the width reaching up to 24 kilometers, which consists of an area between Noteć and Warta. It is one of the most rarely inhabited lands in the entire Poland. You can wander through it kilometers from Oborniki and Rogoźno in the east to Santok and Skwierzyna in the west, without meeting a single living soul. Extensive forests and swamps on the river valleys were never good for any settlement and the few villages became empty for good after World War II. The landscape of the Noteć Wilderness is quie diverse – hills and valleys created by dunes in the surroundings of Międzychód, Sieraków and Wronki look like a forested labyrinth from above. Meanwhile, Wyscoczyzna Chodziecka is created by moraine hills, extending all the way to the valley of Noteć, which have an opinion of excellent observation points. It is definitely worth wandering there, at least for the view of wild horses relaxing in the blossimng heathers.
How to get there? You have to ride form Poznań to Szamotuły and Wróblewo. The Noteć Wilderness is located about 60 kilometers away from the capital of Greater Poland.
16/17 The subregion of the basin fo the river Pilica (łódzkie region)
Pilica is the longest left tributary of the Vistula river with the length of 319 kilometers (in the łódzkie region it is 150 kilometers) This incredibly picturesque river is mostly good for kayaking trips at an especially marked trail. What’s more, at its route there are landscape parks – Przedborski Landscape Park, Sulejowski Landscape Park and Spalski Landscape Park. The first of them presents a highland landscape built from limestone and sandstone, the second one protects the central flow of the river, the Sulejów Lagoon and the remainings of the former Pilica Wilderness, and the Spalski Landscape Park protects the valley of Pilica in the surroundings of forests with diverse species.
How to get there? It’s best to choose one of the towns located at the kayaking trail, for example Smardzewice (next to Tomaszów Mazowiecki) or Chałupy (next to Przedborze).