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Adventure and extreme sports

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Memories of your first bungee jump, a successful paintball shootout or the killer rock you have managed to climb, remain forever. It is easy to get addicted to the adrenaline rush you can get in Poland. Why? Because Poland is an adventure in its own right!

The seasonal changes in Poland create favourable conditions for every adventure seeker. In winter they can dive under sheets of ice on Lake Galadus, catch the wind in their ice yachting sails on Lake Sniardwy or swim in the icy slush of the Krutynia River.

The thaw in spring is the ideal time for undergoing survival camps in the marshlands of the Kaszubia or the Podlaskie regions or in the Augustow Forest. Mud contributes greatly to any car rally or extreme motor sport. The Bieszczady, Podlaskie and Masuria regions attract quad-bike enthusiasts while Gorce and the Krakow-Czestochowa Jura are a mecca for cross-country motorcyclists.

When it gets warmer, the slopes of the Zar Mountain or the Szybowcowa Mountain near Jelenia Gora are filled with fans of paragliding. This sport is also popular in Masuria in the high season and along the Baltic Sea coast. To be allowed to do a solo flight in a paraglider every one will have to undergo rigorous training and pass the test at the end.

No training is required for tandem parachuting with an instructor or to go ballooning with a qualified crew. There is an International Ballooning Festival which takes place in Chelmno when the sky fills with balloons of all shapes and sizes. A truly marvellous sight!

The Krakow-Czestochowa Jura is the favoured location for the rock-climbing and is very popular with Polish climbers. No has been allowed to climb the symbolic and emblematic "Club of Hercules" since the 1930's and it is still forbidden to do so. Many climbers can be found on the Zborow and Koloczek Mountains near Podlesice or the rocks by Rzedkowice.

You don't have to leave the town to taste adventure, however. In the districts, built up with blocks of flats, the spectacular free-running, the art of conquering urban obstacles like rubbish piles, frames for beating carpets, benches and roofs, is gaining popularity. The informal group, Warsaw's Extreme Tourism, in the capital city, organises expeditions through abandoned forts, climbing chimneys and walks along bridge spans.

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