Category: Outdoor Activities

Category: Outdoor Activities

Kadzielnia Reserve Kielce

Kadzielnia is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kielce. The former quarry attracts visitors interested in music, extreme experiences such as ziplining and also geology enthusiasts.

It is located on a hill as part of the Kadzielnia Range and is 295m above sea level. As a quarry back in the 18th century, it was a significant source of limestone, which was required primarily for road construction and you can still find traces of mining activity around the area.

In the centre is the Geologists Rock and this is protected as part of the Kadzielnia Nature Reserve and is not open to tourists, instead visitors admire the rock from the surrounding paths and viewpoints surrounding the quarry.

You’ll find a number of attractions in Kadzielnia such as the underground tourist route, the amphitheatre, a zip-line station and a waterfall.

Kadzielnia is very popular with palaeontologists and geologists who come to the area in search of fossils. Many different fossils have been found including sponges, corals, daylilies, brachiopods and snails.

Kadzielnia is also home to 25 caves. There are three caves open to the public and this is where you can find the 140m long underground tourist route.

The Kadzielnia Amphitheater is one of the most unique and beautiful stages in the country. The surrounding rocks provide a natural backdrop and also enhance the acoustics. The amphitheatre has operated for more than 50 years and underwent a thorough modernisation in 2010, today it can seat as many as 5,430 spectators. During inclement weather, the stage and auditorium is covered with a retractable roof.

Kadzielnia Amphitheater

The amphitheater hosts large, modern artistic shows and concerts, among them the cult “pinwheel", the International Scout Festival of School Youth Culture and the annual Kielce Festival.

There’s much more to Kadzielnia than a concert among the rocks, exploring the caves and the amazing views. Thrill-seekers come to the area to admire the scenery from a height of 40m during a free rope descent. The Kadzielnia Rope Park includes three descents.

Every year, the Kadzielnia Sport Festival is hosted in the area and attracts extreme sports enthusiasts from near and afar.

Balloon Flights

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Outdoor Tours

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Hiking in Poland

If you enjoy getting your boots on, strapping on a backpack and setting off to the great outdoors, then hiking in Poland is definitely something you should consider. The variety of routes and terrain on offer is impressive, from Poland’s mountainous areas to their National Parks, hiking options range from long treks lasting a week to short rambles alongside lakes.

Poland has 15,000 miles of well-marked hiking paths taking you through an incredible variety of landscapes ranging from dense forest to mountain passes. There’s a route for hikers of all abilities and ages, from gentle strolls around lakes to the high peaks of the Tatra Mountains.

The mountain regions such as the Tatras, Beskids and Sudetes are delightful to explore and they attract many thousands of walkers each year and in every season.

All of the 23 national parks in Poland have a well-developed tourism infrastructure. Many of them offer specially prepared hiking trails with shelters. Within the Carpathian Mountains, there is a cluster of six national parks, the remaining seventeen parks are scattered all around the country proving visitors with the full range of flora & fauna, rivers & lakes and landscapes in Poland’s portfolio.

For exciting high-altitude hikes head for the southern mountain ranges. The Tatra Mountains are the most popular destination in Poland for hiking. The High Tatras are the most challenging and many hikers head for the cross on the summit of Mount Giewont at 1895m. If you don’t like steep slopes, then there are plenty of alternative walks available, particularly in the valleys around Zakopane.

Further exciting hiking experiences can be found in the nearby Pieniny Mountain range and the Bieszczady Mountains in the south east.

Beskid Sądecki is a mountain range in the eastern section of the Western Beskids and this provides hikers with a good selection of walking paths and mountain hostels.

The Sudetes, are a mountain range in Central Europe, shared by Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. A favourite way to explore the Sudetes is to take a trip to the Karkonosze National Park, a 55.75 sq km belt that runs along the Polish – Czech border for some 25km. The park is the most popular hiking territory in the Sudetes and has 33 different trails covering a total of 100km. The two main gateways are Szklarska Poręba and Karpacz, from where most tourists ascend Mt Szrenica and Mt Śnieżka respectively. The ancient and peculiar ‘table top’ rock formations of the Góry Stołowe (Table Mountains) are among the highlights of the Sudetes.

Most of the National Parks in Poland provide excellent hiking routes, those that are worthy of a special mention are: Wigry National Park, Świętokrzyski National Park, Roztocze National Park, Biebrza National Park, Kampinos National Park, Wielkopolska National Park and Wolin National Park.

The Świętokrzyski National Park in Małopolska near Kielce is the lowest mountain range in the country and has a well-known 18 km walk that includes an ancient holy site that is now a monastery.

For those that enjoy easy walks and gentle terrain, Roztocze National Park is ideal.

Tours & Experiences

Hiking Trails in Poland

Hiking & Camping Tours in Poland

Winter Activities in Poland

The two most popular winter activities in Poland are skiing and snowboarding and the country is the ideal location for those who have not skied before or are still in the learning phase. Poland is not the Alps however and experienced skiers and snowboarders will probably not find the excitement they are looking for, black runs in Poland are akin to a tricky red run in the Alps.

Despite not having huge vertical drops and above treeline bowls, Poland still attracts many winter sports enthusiasts, mainly due to the fact that it is so much cheaper to ski there and costs are much less than in the well-known resorts such as Courchevel, Zermatt and St. Moritz. Typically, accommodation in a Polish resort can range from as little as 40zł for a hostel to 300zł + for a decent hotel. Ski-lift passes are approx. 100zł per day.

There’s around 500 kilometres of slopes in Poland to enjoy in addition to swathes of countryside, which are ideal for cross-country skiing. Due to the increasing popularity of winter sports, new pistes have been developed recently in the Kasuby, Podlasie and Masury regions and you’ll also find artificial slopes popping up such as Malta Park in Poznan and Szczesliwice park in Warsaw.

The Tatra Mountains provide the best skiing & snowboarding experience in the country and that’s where you will find the town of Zakopane, known as the winter sports capital of Poland.

Kasprowy Wierch (1985m) in the Tatras is very popular with Polish skiers and is suitable for all skill levels and has a 4300m run. Gubałówka with its 1500m run is also a decent place to ski and has fantastic views. The good thing about Zakopane is that the ski season can often last into April some years. Snowboarders in Zakopane have a couple of good spots to choose such as the Szymoszkowa Clearing, Witow and Bialka Tatrzanska.

A great alternative to the Tatras is the Sudetes Mountains with Karpacz and Szklarska Poręba in Silesia being the most visited. Situated at the foot of Mount Szrenica, the city provides outdoor types with almost 15km of skiing and walking routes including some decent cross-country trails.

In the Silesian Beskids, you’ll find the village of Szczyrk; which is home to the Polish Winter Olympics training centre. This is the preferred destination for novice skiers and snowboarders. Other good locations are Jaworzyna Krynicka, Wisła and Korbielow.

There are alternative winter activities other than skiing and snowboarding that can be enjoyed in Poland. Snowmobile tours are very popular, there are many places where you can find sleigh rides and for the adventurous, Poland’s lakes freeze over in the winter and make excellent locations for ice skating and ice sailing.

Tours & Experiences

Ski & Snow Tours in Poland.

Skiing & Snowboarding in Poland.

Cross-country Ski Areas in Poland.

Cycling in Poland

Cycling in Poland has become a very popular pastime over the past few years boosted by a significant investment in biking infrastructure, such as new cycling lanes in the cities and purpose built trails in the countryside. Today, almost every region in Poland provides good amenities and facilities to cyclists such as well signposted routes and easy to use automated bike rental stations.

There are large swathes of flat land in Poland; which makes cycling easy; however if you enjoy the challenge of hills, there are many places where you can enjoy great scenery and give yourself a good work-out at the same time.

There are currently in excess of 1,200 cycle routes around Poland with many options for outdoor enthusiasts including over 600 mountain biking trails. Poland is also part of the European cycle routes, the EuroVelo, which are financed from the EU budget.

Białowieża Forest is one of the most popular places to cycle. The favoured route is the northern part of the forest and also the areas to the west and north of Białowieża National Park.

Cycling in Masuria can be very pleasant, the terrain is as flat as a pancake and the scenery can be very rewarding. There are 18 marked cycle routes with ranges to suit all abilities, you’ll find information in any of the tourist information offices.

Other great cycling areas include the Augustów Forest, Suwałki, the Bieszczady ranges and Szczawnica in the Pieniny.

Mountain bikers usually head to the Sudetes Mountains, in particular the area around the town of Szklarska Poręba. Karkonosze National Park provides many mountain-biking trails and is very popular with Polish extreme-sports enthusiasts.

A word of caution: drinking alcohol and cycling in Poland is a crime and the penalties are severe. The permissible level is 0.2 ml alcohol in 1 litre blood; which is lower than the UK.

Tours & Experiences

Bike Tours in Poland

Biking Trails in Poland

On The Water

Sailing:

For those people who enjoy getting out on the water on a sail boat, Poland provides many opportunities to do so. Sailing enthusiasts come to The Great Masurian Lakes in their droves every summer where it is possible to enjoy two weeks on the water without visiting the same lake twice.

Known as the Polish Lake District, this impressive network of interconnected lakes offers sailors excellent facilities including a great choice of sailboats for hire with the most popular places to do so being Giżycko and Mikołajki.

An alternative location for sailors is the Baltic sea. The 870 square kilometre bay at Szczecin is the most popular place to sail and is shared by Germany and Poland. Gdańsk bay is a good alternative and has many picturesque fishing towns and sea harbours.

If you’re going to sail, you’ll need a license; which you can obtain by completing a course with the Polish Sailing Association. If you have a license issued by the RYA then that will be accepted too. Without a license, you will only be permitted to use small inland sailing vessels (a sailing yacht with hull length up to 7.5 m or a motor yacht with 10kW engine power). Alternatively, you can hire a larger vessel complete with skipper.

Canoeing, Kayaking & Rafting:

There’s an incredible variety of places in Poland where you can get paddling. The Lakeland areas such as Masuria, Kashubia and Warmia contain thousands of lakes and rivers, there’s also canals, various river tributaries and bogs that you could choose.

If the Great Masurian Lakes is your preference, then a good starting point is Olsztyn, located on the Łyna River. There are plenty of companies; which organise trips, guides and equipment. A popular canoeing trip from Olsztyn is to paddle up the Łyna River to the border of Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.

By far, the most popular canoeing route in Masuria is the Krutynia River; which is considered by many paddling enthusiasts as being the most scenic river in the north of Poland. The recommended starting point is Sorkwity and you should follow the river and Lake Bełdany to Ruciane-Nida, a well-known tourist centre within the Masurian Lake District. The route takes you through 100km of some of the best scenery in Poland.

Away from Masuria, you will find other good places to paddle. The Czarna Hańcza route from Augustów to Lake Serwy is extremely popular and includes the 180 year old Augustów Canal, the Suwałki Lake District and the Augustów Forest.

Many paddling favourites can be found in Poland’s National Parks such as the Biebrza River, which runs through Biebrza National Park, Lake Wigry in the Wigry National Park, the Narew River in the Narew National Park and Brda River in the Bory Tucholskie National Park. Experienced kayakers can often be found navigating the Drawa Route, which runs through Drawa National Park.

If a leisurely rafting trip (no white-water) is your cup of tea, then the Dunajec Gorge in the Pieniny is recommended.

Tours & Experiences

Water Sports in Poland

Kayaking & Canoeing in Poland

Boat Tours in Poland

Boat Rentals in Poland

Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing in Poland

River Rafting & Tubing in Poland

Waterskiing & Jetskiing in Poland

Kampinos National Park

Kampinos National Park begins just outside Warsaw’s northwestern administrative boundary and is known locally as Puszcza Kampinoska. It stretches west for around 40km and is one of the largest National parks in Poland.

Created in 1959, Kampinos National Park covers just over 385 km² of which 46.38 km² is strictly protected and it was added to UNESCO’s list of biosphere reserves in January 2000.

Forests account for around 70% of the park’s area, and the most common tree is the pine followed by oak.

Kampinos is very popular with Warsaw’s hikers and cyclists, who take advantage of its 300km of marked walking and cycling trails. The eastern part of the park is favoured by walkers as it’s accessible by public transport; the western part is less visited. The park is visited by 1 million tourists each year.

There’s around 1245 species of plants within the park, of which 69 are protected.

The park includes Europe’s largest area of inland sand dunes, mostly pine tree covered and up to 30m high. Other parts of the park are barely accessible peat bogs that shelter much of its animal life. According to biologists, there are 16,000 species of animals, of which the most numerous are insects and birds. Numerous animals have been reintroduced into the park including moose, beaver and lynx and today, 83 species of animal in the park are regarded as endangered.

Tourists are welcome on the Park’s walking, cycling, horseback and skiing trails. In addition to  half day and one day hikes, there are two long trails that traverse the entire length of the park, both starting from Dziekanów Leśny on the eastern edge of the park. The red trail (54km) ends in Brochów, and the green one (51km) in Żelazowa Wola.

Bivouac sites designated for camping are the only accommodation options within the park’s boundaries, but there are hotels close by in Czosnów, Laski, Leszno, Tułowice and Zaborów.

Many important events have taken place in Kampinos National Park and reminders of Poland’s turbulent past are numerous including tombs of insurrectionists from the 1863 anti-Russian uprising, war cemeteries from Polish German war of 1939 and tombs of members of anti-German resistance (1944–45).

A great way to explore Kampinos is on a bicycle. Check out this cycle tour of the park via Tripadvisor – Click here.