BEST of nature in Poland
Updated: 2 days ago
Poland is one of the few countries in Europe with so many different pristine landscapes and natural areas. Poland's most valuable natural areas are protected in 23 national parks covering a total area of 300,000 hectares. They are also home to Europe's largest animal, the European bison. Nature museums have interesting collections. When visiting Polish national parks, it is worth spending some time at other tourist attractions located near almost every park.
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The Tatra Mountains lie on the border of Slovakia and Poland. About 4/5 lies in northern Slovakia and 1/5 in southern Poland. It is one of the most rugged areas in Europe. It is also one of the least visited remarkably. The area has more than 100 crystal-clear glacial lakes and waterfalls you can explore independently.
These mountains are ideal for hiking and enjoying nature. Where you can explore on your own relatively easily. And can spot animals like brown bears, wolves, and lynxes with good luck.
By Lonely Planet, the High Tatras has been chosen as Best in Europe in 2019. Which particularly looks at places that are not yet overrun by tourists. And the High Tatras are perfect to be discovered by hikers and nature lovers.
Bialowieza National Park
One of the oldest national parks and reserves in Europe is located in the central part of the Białowieza Forest, near Belarus, and is famous worldwide for its pristine primeval forest and the wisent. The number of bison living freely in the wild, the largest mammal in Europe, exceeds 300.
The variety of plant species creates excellent conditions for the development of birds and mammals such as wisent, deer, wolf, lynx, and beaver. More than 120 bird species are found here. The most valuable part of the park is under strict protection.
The Białowieza National Park is recognized by UNESCO as a "World Biosphere Reserve" (MaB) and is listed on the World Cultural Heritage list as the only natural object in Poland.
Masurian Lake District, Polish Pojezierze Mazurskie, lake district in northeastern Poland. It is a 52,000 km2 area immediately south of the Baltic coastal plain and extends 290 km eastward from the lower Vistula River to the border with Lithuania and Belarus. It lies within Warmińsko-Mazurskie and Podlaskie provinces.
There are more than 2,000 lakes originally formed by meltwater from the Vistula Ice Sheet, in the district. Shallow proglacial stream valleys in the region contain swamps and sand dunes. Southwest of the town of Olsztyn is the moraine Dylewska hill, which is about 300 meters high.
The Bieszczady Mountains belong to the Northeastern Carpathians and consist of flysch, their highest peaks of hard sandstone. It is usually divided into Western and Eastern Bieszczady. The Western Bieszczady extends between the Łupków Pass in the west and the Uzhok Pass in the east. Most of the main ridge of the western Bieszczady forms the border between Slovakia and Poland. Its easternmost part forms the border between Poland and Ukraine, ending just behind it at the Uzhok pass in the territory of Ukraine, where - according to most Polish geographers - the eastern Bieszczady begins, with the highest point being nearby Pikui at 1408 m.
The highest peak of the western Bieszczady, Tarnica, is located in the southeastern tip of Poland and reaches an altitude of 1346 m. To the northeast of the Western Bieszczady stretch the foothills called Góry Sanocko-Turczańskie, or the Sanok-Turka Mountains, known in Ukraine as Verkhnodnistrovs'ki Beskydy, with an elevation of 1022 m.
Karkonosze National Park
Located in the higher part of the Giant Mountains in southwestern Poland you will find National Park Karkonosze (pools: Karkonoski Park Narodowy), on the border with the Czech Republic. The National Park was established in 1959 to protect nature, special mountain areas, and associated flora and fauna there. With an area of more than 5.5 thousand hectares, the National Park is characterized by a majestic and whimsical mountain landscape. The park is located on the northern slope of the Giant Mountains: one of the oldest mountain ranges in Europe.
The area owes its name to the legend that a giant named Karkonosz was said to live there. It is not that the mountains are gigantic in height; most of this mountain range is only between 800 and 1,200 meters high. However, there are some outliers such as the Śnieżka and the Wielki Szyszak.
Slowinski National Park
The Słowiński National Park stretches along the Baltic Sea in northern Poland, in the region of Pomerania. It covers an area of more than 32 thousand hectares and is located in the central part of the coast, between Łeba and Rowy. It is the largest area in terms of walking dunes in Europe, about 500 ha, and resembles a real sand desert. Some dunes are still moving eastward, even at speeds of up to 10 meters per year. The highest is several tens of meters high.
The park's flora includes nearly a thousand plant species, as well as many species of mushrooms and mosses. Another characteristic of the Słowiński National Park is its vegetation, which runs in strips and varies from the coast to the interior. The fauna of the dunes and surroundings is represented by such large mammals as elk, deer, fallow deer, roe deer, and wild boar. The park is home to about 250 species of birds, including bald eagles, black cormorants, and black storks. Water and mud birds are also observed in large numbers.
The Hel Peninsula is a 36 km long sandy headland located in the western part of Gdansk Bay on the southern Baltic Sea. The Hel Spit is long, narrow, low, relatively flat, and very suitable for erosion. This area is characterized by dunes from 2-3 to 10 m high, which in some places reach the height of 13 m above sea level. Behind the spire is the Puck Lagoon and part of Puck Bay.
Three economic sectors are important for the area: the fishing and fishing industry (especially in Wladyslawowo and Hel), the tourist industry (throughout the area), and defense and military services (especially in Hel). Erosion of the Hel peninsula still exists, but is compensated in the policy option by beach nourishment: "hold the line."
Zakopane, the cradle of Polish mountain tourism, lies in the beautiful valley at the foot of the Tatra mountains. It proudly bears the name of Poland's winter capital, but it is equally attractive in the other seasons. Many tourists come here because of the Tatra Mountains, but the city itself is also very interesting, so if the weather is a little less, you certainly won't be bored here.
The symbol of Zakopane is definitely the Zakopane architectural style, which harmonizes perfectly with the landscape of the Tatras. Many beautiful buildings can be found on one of the most famous streets in Poland: Krupówki. This promenade is the real heart of the city. There are many souvenir stores here, restaurants where you can taste local delicacies, stalls with special mountain cheese, as well as cafes, pubs, and galleries.
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