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Explore Poland #1 Bieszczady Mountains

Explore Poland #1 - Bieszczady Mountains

The Bieszczady Mountains are a group of two mountain chains in the Carpathian range. The area of Bieszczady can be divided into the Western Bieszczady Mountains, which stretch over Poland and Ukraine, as well as the Eastern Bieszczady Mountains, located in Ukraine. The highest peak of Bieszczady in Poland is Tarnica, and in Ukraine it is Pikui.

The climate of the Bieszczady Mountains is not alpine, but it is referred to as a moderate warm, transient climate. The weather in the Bieszczady Mountains usually changes quite often. The summers are hot and the winters are cold.

The flora and fauna of Bieszczady is rich in various species, including those that cannot be found in other parts of Poland. In Bieszczady it is possible to come across bisons, bears, wolves, foxes, lynxes, Carpathian deer, golden eagles, black storks and more. (3 map?)

1. Bieszczady National Park

The Bieszczady National Park certainly constitutes a great solution for a large number of tourists and wildlife enthusiasts. It is the third largest national park in Poland and the largest one in the Polish mountains.
Apart from admiring the breathtaking, unique, highly diverse, as well as rare flora and fauna, it is also possible to visit educational and museum centers, such as the Science and Education Center as well as the Natural History Museum of the Bieszczady National Park. There, it is possible to travel in various ways: by bicycle, on foot, and on horseback.

2. Tarnica/Polonyna Caryńska and Wetlińska

The mountain trails in Bieszczady are considered to be one of the most beautiful in the Polish mountains. The majority of the most interesting peaks are over 1000 m above sea level, and the highest one in the Polish part of Bieszczady is 1346 m above sea level and is called Tarnica. It is a peak included in the Crown of Polish Mountains. The most attractive viewpoint in the Polish part of Bieszczady is certainly Tarnica, the highest peak of Bieszczady.

3. Bieszczady Forest Railway

A wonderful adventure, suitable for children may be the Bieszczady Forest Railway. The Bieszczady Forest Railway, established in the 19th century and initially serving transport functions, has been one of the largest tourist attractions in the Bieszczady Mountains for several decades now. The Bieszczady narrow-gauge railway can be a great solution for both parents and children, because apart from the ride itself it also offers the opportunity to admire the beautiful views outside the window.

4. Lake Solina and Solina Dam

The first project of the San River hydropower development concerning constructing a dam has been developed in 1921 by Prof. Karol Pomianowski from the Warsaw University of Technology. Numerous villages were sunk when filling the reservoir. The remains of the former village of Solina are currently located at the bottom of the reservoir. The Solina Dam, which is 81.8 m high and 664 m long, is the highest dam in Poland. The reservoir has an area of approx. 22 km² and the largest capacity in Poland (472 million m³). The lake includes a highly developed coastline (approx. 166 km with an average water level at 420 m above sea level), with numerous bays – stream mouths. The maximum depth of the reservoir is 60 m at the dam. Below the dam there is a 200 MW hydroelectric power plant. Several recreational centers have been established on its shores, and on the western shore of the lake there is the well-known spa town of Polańczyk. Sailing and windsurfing on the lake are also popular.

5. The Great Bieszczady Loop

Aficionados of travelling through such areas with the help of a vehicle can chose the Great Bieszczady Loop. It is a travel route dedicated to cars and bicycles. It is certainly a great solution for those who do not like hiking, but would like to experience the atmosphere of this unique location and admire the magnificence of nature from the perspective of a car or a bike.

6. Where to eat?

There are numerous inns and restaurants available in Bieszczady. We recommend: Siekierezada (Cisna) and Paweł Nie całkiem Święty (Wetlina).

7. Where to sleep?

Wetlina, Cisna, or Smerek, which are villages located near the most popular peaks and trails, may constitute a good choice for overnight stays. It is also possible to find accommodation in Ustrzyki Dolne or Arłamów, located in the area of the Słonne Mountains Landscape Park. Polańczyk-Zdrój is a popular spa resort.

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