Whenever I meet foreign tourists coming to Poland they visit big cities such as Warszawa or Kraków. If they have more time they often head to see Wrocław, Poznań or Gdańsk, some go to Zakopane. It is a pity, because Poland is much more than that. If you like parties of course you cannot go to the village and you can already skip reading this article any further. However if you would like to see some off the beaten path places stick with me and you won’t regret!
I would like to present you my top 10 list of places the most beautiful, fascinating, unique according to my own experience traveling in Poland. All of them I visited so I can assure you they are worth a trip! I hope to inspire you to come and check yourself. Ready to discover?
It is definitely the most lovely town in Poland! Historical old quarter, Vistula river or natural gorges are not the only attractions which attract tourists. To find more and have a walk around the best places in Sandomierz, read the full post about it.
2. Pepper Mountains
Not to mention this peaceful place just next to Sandomierz called Góry Pieprzowe which means pepper mountains. Not many people come here and know that they are the oldest mountains in Poland! They are strongly eroded so that look like black pepper. Still, stunning views at the Vistula river and panorama of the town make it absolutely worth visiting, specially for the sunset.
3. Krzyżtopór Castle
4 bastions like 4 seasons, 12 halls equals the number of months, 52 chambers as much as weeks in a year and 365 windows – analogous to the number of days… The dining room in the tower had supposedly a glass ceiling, through which an aquarium with exotic fish could be seen. This is Krzyżtopór Castle headquarters of Ossolinski family, which today is unfortunately a ruin, but incredibly impressive. Prior to the creation of Versailles was the largest object of this type in Europe, in full glory it functioned only eleven years!!!
4. Five Ponds Valley
Zakopane city is well-known for stunning mountains views and skiing. However, most of the tourists choose same, most crowded and popular tracks. Five Ponds Valley is a perfect off the beaten path trail, not too hard and not too famous. Became my favorite spot in astonishing Tatra mountains. Moreover, on the way to the valley you will see the highest polish waterfall named Siklawa.
5. Ancient mines of optimism stone
I am taking you to the biggest in Europe ancient mines of striped flint known in the world as “Stone of Optimism”. It exists only in one place in the Earth, in a large reserve area in south-east Poland. In Neolithic, it was a huge business of 4 000 mines which created millions of axes and other tools. They also believed that this unique stone is a talisman protecting from evil.
Mountains in the south-east Poland where you can still feel out of the world. They become more and more popular but place I am going to propose for you is less crowded, however not less beautiful than other parts. Talking about Rawka Peaks you will find yourself in heaven. Just you, nature and amazing views. They are my favorite mountains in Poland therefore I hardly recommend it and write more details in a separate article.
7. Skull chapel
This chapel was made from 3 thousands human bones and 20-30 thousands more are under its floor. This enormous tomb of remains which were collected in the area of Kudowa Zdrój in south Poland.
Bones or families and soldiers of wars, enemies and friends together, remind how fragile is our life. Chapel was built in 1776 by Father Waclaw Tomasz, who was collecting and cleaning the remains for eight years… It is the only one in Poland and one of three in Europe. The other 2 are in the Czech Republic and Portugal. The chapel made an amazing impression on me, prompted the reflection on history. Being there I was feeling overwhelmed and thoughtful about history of my country.
8. Moszna Castle
99 towers and 365 chambers! No it is not Disneyland or Loire Valley, it is Poland. This magic castle in Moszna not only looks like from fairy tale but also organizes wizards academy as in Harry Potter. The castle in Moszna has its own spirit! According to legend, the castle of Moszna has a white lady who is miserably in love with the Countess. The castle is surrounded by a park where rare rhododendrons grow.
9. Kazimierz Dolny
Next lovely place off the beaten path is Kazimierz Dolny. Amazing history, stunning views, nature – you will be impressed! Place of painters, artists hosts as well film festival every summer. Besides town is set in the middle of national park with walking paths, gorges and Vistula river. Does it sound like a plan for trip?
10. Kurozwęki Palace
I present you last place from TOP 10 off the beaten path in Poland. I chose Kurozwęki Palace in Świetokrzyskie province. Current owner of the land not only renovated the building but created there many interesting attractions for tourists. Huge property has bison, you can have a Safari and see variety of animals in mini ZOO. Get lost in adventurous corn labyrinth. The tour includes a courtyard, underground full of fairy tales and legends, as well as cellars with the history of the palace.