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POLAND: MORE THAN YOU EXPECTED

POLAND: MORE THAN YOU EXPECTED

Come to Poland and find out it offers much more than you expected!

Do you know that we have salt, silver and gold mines with a plethora of attractions waiting for you? The Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines and the Historic Silver Mine in Tarnowskie Góry are Poland’s greatest underground treasures listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And that is just the prelude to many exciting adventures on underground tourist routes all over Poland: fairy-tale caves and grottoes, mysterious adits, multilevel medieval cellars, and even subterranean towns built by the military.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is not just an impressive underground town with chambers open to sightseers, including the largest underground church, at a depth of 101 metres: Saint Kinga’s Chapel, which measures 54 by 18 metres and is about 12 metres high. You will leave with more impressions than you expect. You can enjoy air free from pollution and allergens, and discover the secret curative properties of salt: the Wieliczka Salt Mine is also a health resort! The underground restaurant will serve you some unique dried beef tenderloin which matures underground in original Wieliczka salt. You can also try the excellent liqueurs from the mine’s subterranean chambers: made with raspberries with a hint of lavender, or with Suska Sechlońska traditional prunes. You can even spend the night in the Słowacki Chamber 125 metres below ground level, which is a unique attraction all by itself.

Treasure hunters and adventure seekers will feel at home (or lose their way) in the Gold Mine in Złoty Stok. With Poland’s only underground waterfall and the Medieval Mining Village, it forms a one-of-a-kind attraction on a European scale. The gold mine offers an entire town of fun and education for everyone – a place with lots of attractions, including an underground boat trip, panning for gold, and casting gold bars.

Have you ever had the opportunity to encounter the majestic European bison in a wild primeval forest? In Poland, you can see it in its natural environment, namely Białowieża Forest (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site). This is another place where you will experience much more than you might think! Białowieża Forest is the last patch of primeval forest on the European Plain. Some of it is protected as the Białowieża National Park. After meeting a bison, you simply must explore the “oak” tourist trail running by centuries-old oak trees that have been given the names of the Polish and Lithuanian princes and kings who once used to hunt here. It’s also worth visiting one of the many restaurants offering delicious Podlasie regional cuisine. Be sure to try the famous kartacze (stuffed potato dumplings also known as cepeliny – zeppelins), babka ziemniaczana (potato pie), and sękacz (tree cake).

On hot summer days, head for the Hel Peninsula, where many attractions await – a great deal more than you expect! It’s the perfect destination for anyone who likes to be active on holiday. The interesting cycling route along the Bay of Puck will take you to a mecca for windsurfing and kitesurfing as well as all other kinds of board sports. There’s nearly always a wind here, either westerly or blowing from the open sea. Along the inner side of the curve formed by the spit, winds blowing along the shore propel flying and floating sports enthusiasts towards land. That is one of the reasons why this place is considered one of the best centres for board sports in Europe!

At completely the opposite extreme of Poland – in the mountains in the south – you will find extraordinary settings for other kinds of activity, including climbing, which is becoming increasingly popular among tourists. The Polish mountains and uplands do not just have lots of hiking trails, they are a paradise for fans of this particular pursuit. If you are one of them, you simply must visit the Kraków-Czestochowa Upland, and especially the Rzędkowice Rocks, which are situated on the fascinating and multi-themed Trail of the Eagles’ Nests and offer almost a whole kilometre of rock wall! Endorphins guaranteed! The highest rock in the area is the 40-metre Okiennik Wielki, or Window Rock. When you climb it, your reward will be an unforgettable view of the castles in Mirów and Bobolice.

There are also many natural wonders in southern Poland, including volcanoes! These are extinct, but still well worth seeing. The Geopark Land of Extinct Volcanoes, in the Kaczawskie Mountains in Lower Silesia, makes them easy to explore together with other fascinating attractions. You will see some incredible basalt forms, relics of early volcanic activity in the area. Alongside volcanoes, this region has many other fascinating natural and geological sights as well as many attractive historical monuments.

From there it is very close to the Stołowe Mountains National Park. These mountains are Poland’s only tableland (the English translation of the range’s name is “the Table Mountains”), with sandstone inselbergs that have resisted erosion lasting millions of years, creating magnificent and very varied landscapes. A system of corridors has formed in the sandstone, resulting in rock labyrinths, the most famous and attractive of which are to be found in the area known as the Errant Rocks and also near Mount Szczeliniec Wielki. Fans of the films about Narnia will be excited to recognise some of the film locations.

Reach out for more thrills and travel around Poland, where you will find unlimited sightseeing and leisure opportunities. New innovative and tourist-friendly places, sites and events are appearing all the time, guaranteeing a high standard and many unforgettable experiences. Let’s start with flavours!

What do you associate with Polish cuisine? Is it kiełbasa, Poland’s famous sausages? Is it pierogi with all kinds of different fillings? Or maybe you know nothing about it but love discovering new flavours on your travels. If this is the case, don’t be led astray by the usual examples. Polish cuisine is about so much more: you will find a diverse and rich range of local flavours, from fish, through honey, to wild game. Vegetarians will easily find something, too; Warsaw has long ranked high on lists of the world’s vegan-friendly cities. And who says you can’t blend tradition with modernity? Recipes discovered anew, reinterpreted in fusion and molecular cuisine, are a standard offering of many Polish restaurants. Sit back and let yourself be amazed as the old comes together with the new. Bon appétit!

Added to a fascinating tradition and hospitality, all this makes Poland the perfect place for travelling and spending free time.

Famous as well as less obvious places. Mysterious attractions and unique nature. Charming spots lying within mountainous, seaside or simply idyllic landscapes. Big-city attractions and cosy romantic little towns.

Let these sites inspire you to come and see more of our beautiful country! It’s got much more than you expected!

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Polish National Tourist Office
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Phone: 1 (551) 344-3057
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