Tag: Bialowieza National Park

Tag: Bialowieza National Park

Around & About in Białystok

Bialowieza National Park

There’s not a lot to see and do in Białystok, it will only take a couple of days to see all the attractions on our Top 10 list; however, if you’re in the city and therefore in Podlasie, we highly recommend that you take a day trip to Bialowieza National Park. It is located around 95km away but will only take you 1½ hours in a car.

Bialowieza National Park is well-known for two reasons. Firstly, it is home to Europe’s largest land mammal, the European bison and secondly, the park shelters a sizeable chunk of original lowland primeval forest; which has remained undisturbed for hundreds of years. The forest has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve.

The park is called the “last untouched wilderness of Europe" and has an inner zone consisting of old-growth forest which has been living without much human intervention for over 800 years.

Narew and Biebrza National Parks

If the trip to Bialowieza National Park is too far away, then don’t worry, there are another two National Parks that are much closer to Białystok.

Narew and Biebrza National Parks are around 36km away and they both have a lot to offer. There are also three Landscape Parks, 88 nature reserves and 15 protected landscape areas within the region.

Podlaskie Museum of Folk Culture

The Podlaskie Museum of Folk Culture is not far from Białystok and features a great collection of the local folk art and typical examples of peasant houses and farm buildings characteristic of the region. The museum is located at the northern borders of Białystok, in the settlement of Wasilków, on the road to Augustów.

This outdoor museum has forty buildings and other cultural artefacts gathered from around the region. There are also two windmills, a cave-house, a Belarusian cottage, a forge and a lumberjack’s hut.

Among the collection is a relocated Neoclassical wooden manor house from the 1810s with a whole hamlet with five homesteads surrounding a central square. These homes are furnished with traditional furniture and pottery.

Bialowieza National Park

Bialowieza National Park is located in the north east of Poland in the Podlaskie voivodeship and covers an area of around 105 sq km. The park is part of the Białowieża Forest, which straddles the border between Belarus and Poland.

Bialowieza National Park is well-known for two reasons. Firstly, it is home to Europe’s largest land mammal, the European bison and secondly, the park shelters a sizeable chunk of original lowland primeval forest; which has remained undisturbed for hundreds of years. The forest has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve.

The park is called the “last untouched wilderness of Europe” and has an inner zone consisting of old-growth forest which has been living without much human intervention for over 800 years.

Białowieża Forest is the last remnant of the primeval forest which once covered most of Europe and several species of fauna, which were once native in forests throughout Europe, but which have now been mostly eradicated can still be found there.

In addition to European bison, the area is also home to wolves, Red Deer, Lynx, Wild Boar, Elk and Roe Deer.

The inner zone of the Białowieża National Park is completely preserved and protected by a fence, with tourists only allowed inside with guides.

Inside, the forest lives, breathes and decays as it has for thousands of years. Outside of the inner-sanctuary several more km of forest are semi-preserved although sadly there are many reports of thinning and cutting of trees, supposedly due to disease, but more likely due to corruption and the market demand for large trees.

The town of Białowieża is on the edge of the forest and is located in the Polish part of the reserve. Here you will find the Nature and Forest Museum.

This museum features exhibitions relating to the park’s flora and fauna, the park’s history, and the archaeology and ethnography of the region. The viewing tower provides terrific views, and just north of the museum you will find a grove of 250-year-old oaks.

The number of bison in the world is estimated at 5,000, half of which live in Central Europe. In Poland, three quarters of the local population of these great mammals live in the wild. You can come across them not only in Bialowieza Forest, but also in the Bieszczady Mountains, in Masuria and in West Pomerania.

If you’re staying in the capital, we highly recommend the Bialowieza National Park private tour from Warsaw. Meet the driver in your accommodation in Warsaw, relax onboard an air-conditioned Mercedes vehicle and head to the Bialowieza Forest. Once there, join a 3-hour guided tour with a local guide.