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Ski holiday in Poland that's right for you
Poland is absolutely a skiing paradise.
Though a less popular winter destination than France or Italy, Poland provides skiing opportunities that are not only fully satisfactory, but also highly affordable. Only here will you be able to find a wide range of slopes, walking routes and accommodation at prices so disproportionately low to the standard of attractions provided. Thats at least partially why millions of Poles and an increasing number of international tourists flock to the southernmost parts of Poland to enjoy the beauty and majesty of the Polish Mountains, both during the winter and in the summer season.
The heart of the Polish Mountains lies at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, which constitute the highest part of the Carpathian mountain range. Dividing Poland from Slovakia with a wall of impressive hilltops, the highest being Rysy at 2,499 metres, the Tatras provide not only the best-prepared but also the most-frequented ski resorts in the region. Indisputably, the most notable destination here is Zakopane, which is also known as the Gate to the Polish Tatras, or the Winter Capital of Poland. With a century-old skiing tradition and access to over 50 world-class ski lifts and slopes, the citys renown can hardly be considered unwarranted. Nearby, Kasprowy Wierch, Kocio Goryczkowy and well-known Gubawka offer slopes adjusted to the capabilities of all skiers. The city itself is also a lure, combining the Polish highlander tradition with the appeal of a western metropolis. Whats more, Zakopane is close to the celebrated winter destination, Bialka Tatrzanska.
In case youre not into the bustle of a big city, the Polish Mountains also offer private, intimate ski resorts where you can enjoy your stay undisturbed. One such place is the village of Szczyrk, which is situated in the Beskid Slaski Mountains, in the picturesque valley of the Zylica River. With barely 6,000 inhabitants and few roads, the locality is a cultural and economic emblem of the region. Despite its deceivingly provincial appeal, Szczyrk provides excellent conditions for active winter holidays, and is a training centre for the Polish Winter Olympics representatives. The surrounding Beskidy Mountain range, with the peaks of Skrzyczne (1,257 metres) and Klimczok (1,117 metres), are fairly easily accessible and perfect for taking first steps in skiing or snowboarding. In the summer, the area is also a popular hiking and biking spot.
Another worthwhile Polish ski resort is the town of Szklarska Poreba, which is located in the Karkonosze Montains. An important centre of mountain hiking and skiing, the Szkarksa Poreba enjoys a unique climate, with low temperatures and long, sunny days. Today, the city is the largest resort in the Karkonosze area, providing 13 kilometres of skiing and walking routes, as well as a wide range of comfortable accommodation. Moreover, Szklarska is in close vicinity to Polana Jakuszycka, which is a unique cross-country skiing centre, offering 156 days of permanent snow, numerous ski routes and the annual Bieg Piastow competition. The Karkonosze Mountain range is also home to the town of Karpacz, which is probably the best-known ski resort in the area. Its biggest advantages include 100 days of permanent snow, well-prepared ski routes, and such tourist attractions as climbing, bungee jumping, tennis, paintball and fishing. The city is also popular amongst local artists and musicians, who come here for the inspiring views of Mount Sniezka, which overlooks the densely-forested surroundings of the town.
If active holiday is not your only interest, then you should consider visiting the Krynica-Zdroj resort, which is located in the Beskid Sdecki region, in Kryniczanka Valley. Dubbed the Pearl of Polish Spas, Krynica-Zdroj is the biggest wellness centre in Poland, celebrated for its fresh, clean air and over twenty springs of highly mineralised water. Apart from a health resort, Krynica is also a popular relaxation spot, providing exceptional walking routes and a calm, pastoral ambience. For this reason, and numerous spas located nearby, Krynica is most popular with seniors and families with children, who flock here to take advantage of the curative properties of the place. Still, Krynica-Zdroj is also a famed ski resort, offering its visitors the well-equipped slopes of Jaworzyna Krynicka (1,114 metres), as well as a number of ice rinks and tobogganing trails.