Wild places in Poland. Perfect for a weekend away from the crowds – part 1

Wild places in Poland – is it still possible to find them? Yes, it is! Our country is more than just crowded beaches, long cues of people eager to get to Giewont and rowdy market squares of large towns. Poland is also full of remarkably interesting places in terms of nature, cliffs, mighty dunes, hollow valleys and mountain peaks, cavernous forests and extensive swamps. Places roamed by silence, reeds, flocks of wild birds, wind. Places where its impossible to meet anyone an the trails all day long. These are 16 wild places in Poland that are worth visiting!

When compared to other countries in Europe, Poland might not seem very diverse at first sight. But don’t be fooled – despite of what general opinions say, in the center of Europe we can find places, which fascinate tourists with its wild nature, delightful silence and peace, and give a possibility to take a break from the challenges of everyday city life. All you have to do is find a perfect place for you and… be on your way!

Of course, it’s not easy to get to wild, isolated places. Sometimes you’ll have to ride a few kilometers through a gravel or sandy road, sometimes you’ll need to alk a few kilometers, to dive into the green depth of nature.

1/17 The valley of San (podkarpackie region)

Since long ago, Bieszczady have an opinion of the wildest corner in Poland. Abandoned valleys, overgrown fields of former villages, the lowest density of population in the entire country… However, in the recent years, the pastures are experiencing a real attack of tourists, so if you’re looking for peace, quiet, and truely wild places, you should try something else. An excellent place will be the valley of the river San – the country’s largest mountain river, which has a natural character at the episode between Sękowiec and Rajskie. Here we won’t find any asfalt roads, and instead paths which lead through the areas of the former villages of Krywe and Tworylne. Wild orchards, extensive pasture, where you’ll hneed to have a keen eye to recognize the former farming fields, and all of that surrounded by wild forests of Otryt and the massif of Połonina Wetlińska, overgrown with a thick wilderness. It’s a perfect place to forger about civilization.

How to get there? The wild fragment of the valley of San begins in Sękowiec, where you can get by car.

2/17 Lake Bukowo (zachodniopomorskie region)

Between Łazy and Dąbki extends a several-kilometer long spit, which separates the great Lake Bukowo. Several thousands of years ago it was a bay of the Baltic Sea, but as a result of longterm activity of waves, currents and winds it was separated from the sea. At the spit lies a small settlement called Dąbkowice, which however doesn’t have a character of a seaside resort (The road from Dąbki si closed for cars). The waters of the lake are connected with the Baltic Sea by the Szczuczy Channel, through which flows salty water during the storms, thanks to which the salinity reaches up to 3 promils. The edges are overgrown with precious seaside plants, and the low coast, overgrown with rushes, is a safe home and encampment of many species of water birds. Local beaches are some of the most beautiful and wildest ones at the Baltic Sea. It’s not wprth hesitating long!

How to get there? The best starting place for exploring the surroundings of Lake Bukowno is Dąbki, where you can leave your car. It’s worth taking the wildest option, from the side of Łazy.

The valley of Izera (dolnośląskie region)
Between the main ridge of the Izerskie Mountains and the lively highway from Szklarska Poręba to the Czech Republic, lies the completely forgotten and rarely visited, spring part of the valley of Izera. Here the river flows slowly and lazy through numerous meander, cutting through extensive peatlands. Local settlements, which existed here long ago, are completely gone, the only thing that can be found in this empty area is the lonely „Chatka Górzystów” shelter and a small Orle settlement. The local landscape resembles more of the transition area between the taiga and the tundra than the middle of the Old Continent. Wandering between the swamps and spruce forest will definitely allow tourists to take a break from the crowds of lively resorts, which were created at the foothills of Karkonosze. This area is also great for a cycling trip.

How to get there? A perfect place for a trip to the valley of Izera are Jakuszyce, located by national road no. 3. From there you can take one of the paths and gravel roads deep into the valley.

4/17 The Krutynia Trail (warmińsko-mazurskie region)
To the south from Mrągowo, between the extensive tracts of the Piska Wilderness lies the small village of Krutyń, completely lost between the greens of local borons. Through this village flows the picturesque river of Krutynia, which is one of the most wonderful and wildest kayaking trails in Poland. The entire river is more than 100 kilometers long, it flows through 17 lakes, mostly flowing through totally uninhabited areas The lazy flow, small depth, numoerous turns and meander, from behind of which appear more original images of wild nature, make it probably the most beautiful corner of our Mazury. Even if we don’t want to flow through the entire river, its worth stopping by Krutynia for at least one day. This is the place where you can really understand why the surroundings are called the Green Lungs of Poland.

How to get there? The best place to discover Krutynia is the already mentioned village of Krutyń, located 15 kilometers to the west from Ruciane-Nida.

5/17 The Valley of Wisłoka (małopolskie region)
The valley of Upper Wisłoka is a place where to timeline is crooked and the history wagon doesn’t want to move forward at all. The truely wild surroundings begin by a small chapel in Rozstajne. You’ll need to leave the asfalt highway and go to the rocky road in front of a bridge, and after a dozen of minutes you’ll find yourself in Nieznajowa. It is one of the most beautiful places in Beskid Niski. Wisłoka, along with Zawoja which falls into it, shaped a type of a small valley, which long ago was enhabited by 250 000 of Lemkos. Today, all that’s left behind the former village are lonely chapels and crosses. A bit further from here there is Radocyna, where the river was blocked by beavers, creating extensive wetlands. A bit higher you can sometimes encounter a hajstra dipping in a stream, buzzards, columbines, shrikes, and many other birds. And despite all those sinfl houses and tourists, you can enjoy soothing silence.

How to get there? In order to reach Nieznajowa, all you have to do is ride the asfalt road to the south from Krempna and leave the car in Rozstajne. Meanwhile, the best way to Radocyna (through the gravel road) leads from the side of Zdynia and Konieczna.

6/17 The estuary of Vistula (pomorskie region)
Despite of its location in close proximity of the Tricity, the estuary of Vistula surprises with its wildness and richness of nature. The combination of natural values makes it undoubtedly the best place in Poland to observe rare species In total, in this small part of our country there were nearly 220 species confirmed, many of which are extremely rare species, coming to Poland ephemeral. By the estuary itself there is the greatest treasyre of the coast – the Mewia Łacha nature reserve. Apart from water birds, here you can also regularly observe grey seals, and sometimes, people also spotted common seals – much more rare guest at our coast. And all of that roughly several kilometers away from the crowded Baltic Sea beaches.

How to get there? You can begin the trip to the estuary of Vistulain two places, located at the opposite edges of the river – in Świbno (from the side of Gdańsk) or in Mikoszów (from the east)

7/17 The estuary of Warta (lubuskie region)
In the place, where Warta falls into the Odra river, lies an incredibly special area, which is called „Rzeczpospolita Ptasia” by some people. The Ujście Warty National Park – the place we’re talking about – is an area with unique nature, it’s difficult to find a similar area, where on such a small surface you can find such an amount of bird species. Plus, it is very rarely visited by tourists – it also attracts fans of extensive areas, peace and quiet. Not only those who are passionate birds observators, but also anyone lookig for unique nature. It is woth stopping by the main highway and look at the bakcwaters of the river from the observation tower, and then take a lazy walk through Betonka – a road that leads to the heart of the backwaters. We guarantee unforgettable thrills!

How to get there? The estuary of Warta is located between Kostrzyno upon Odra and Słońskie – the best starting place is the town of Przyborów – the beginning place of the already mentioned Betonka.

8/17 Wigry National Park (podlaskie region)
Anyone who likes peace and quiet and encountering nature, should visit the area of the Wigry National Park. At its heart we can find lake Wigry, which also attracts fans of water sports. But it’s no use looking for scooter or motorboats, because Wigry is a very quiet place. The Wigry National Park is also numerous cycling and walking trails. Its total length is nearly 200 kilometers. I the surroundings of Rosochaty Róg, there are many trails, such as the amphibian trail. Walking between the meadows, crossing the footbridges thrown over the ponds and small wetlands is a perfect occasion to listen to the souds of nature, observe uniqie plants and and search for animals that live there. There is also an educational path leading through suchary – small, overgrown, acid lakes.

How to get there? The Wigry National Park is located right next to Suwałki. You can et there by going from Warsaw to Białystok and later to Augustów.

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