When mulling over your summer holiday for this year we are sure that Poland won’t even enter your top five. Sadly, many people still view Poland as a war-torn Eastern Bloc country where the sun never shines and everyone is miserable. This simply isn’t true! The Krakow Post reported that the number of tourists in Poland had increased in 2018 compared to previous years. The top three countries for foreign tourists were Germany (1.3 million), the UK (366,000) and Ukraine (320,000). Poland has it all and we are about to help you decide where to go for your summer holiday.
Summer weather in Poland
Poland has a similar summer climate to the UK. Temperatures tend to hover around 20°C with highs of 25°C and above in parts of mid and southern Poland. June to August are the best months to visit Poland if warm summer weather is what you crave whilst on Holiday. However, it is worth remembering that summer is also Poland’s rainiest season. Like the British summertime, there can be one-off spells of torrential rain that clear to bright sunshine, or thunderstorms.
The northern border of Poland is coastal; where the land meets the Baltic sea. Much of the coastline is undisturbed. The area is crowned by the trio of cities, Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot. These cities sit along the west side of Gdansk Bay.
Whilst the cities have their must-see places, they are much greener and much less grey than the typical images we have of European cities. The three cities are collectively referred to as Tricity and each is unique and steeped in history and best explored on foot. The beaches are popular with families, particularly around the Brzezno pier in Sopot.
Polish people are extremely proud of Poland’s landscapes. The Bialowieza Forest is one of the last ancient woodlands in Europe. It is located on Poland’s eastern border with Belarus, around 1 hour 15 minutes’ drive from the city of Bialystok.
The forest is a UNESCO World Heritage site and sprawls across 141,885 hectares of untouched land. It is an incredible location to walk and cycle throughout. You might even catch a glimpse of the great European bison which call the forest home.
The Valley of Five Polish Ponds
This glacial mountain area is located in the Pliocene Valley deep in the south of Poland towards the Slovak border. There are five crystal clear water reservoirs to enjoy. In the summer months, people will bravely take a dip in the waters whilst others enjoy picnics and walking at the water’s edge. There are six different walking trails to discover around the five different lakes and these trails can be found signposted.
Slowinski National Park
Poland is the last place you’d expect to see a desert. However, Slowinski National Park is famous for its moving dunes; they are forever changing their height and shape as the wind sculpts them. Located on Poland’s Baltic coastline, the largest dune is 500 hectares in size and is forever growing but the residents of nearby Leba are unphased. Many people take in the sunrise or sunset from the highest dune, Rowokol, which stands 115 meters high.
Historical treasures in Poland
Poland has a plethora of charming medieval locations adorned with castles. However, none other is more popular than Malbork. Malbork Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the perfectly preserved castle was built in the 13th century. It has housed many Polish kings over the years as they ruled the land. You cannot head to the northern part of Poland without visiting the beautiful Malbork.
Wawel Royal Castle
Nestled in the southern city of Krakow, Wawel Royal Castle is a picturesque waterside structure. The castle dates back to 1333 and it is one of the best places to learn about Polish history – why not take part in one of the castle’s guided tours? The guide will be able to tell you all about the castle’s legendary tales and guide you through the various chambers and chapels that lie in wait for you.
If you love history but want something a little different head 330 kilometres outside of Krakow. Ksiaz Castle is an incredible pink mansion style castle that started life in 1288. Sadly, the Nazis took over the castle during World War II and Hitler used it as a base during his times in Poland.
Despite its turbulent history, Ksiaz Castle is an incredible structure and rich with secret chambers and sprawling gardens which are well worth a visit.