Bieszczady Mountains in Bieszczadzki National Park are definitely one of the most unspoiled regions in Poland or even in Central Europe. Located in the far south-east part of Poland, so you would need at least 7 hours to get there from Warsaw. There are several good reasons to visit Bieszczady, for example if you are looking for a little bit of wilderness. If you are simply visiting Poland – Bieszczady should absolutely be on your list. This region is totally different to the rest of the country, because it’s covered with a pure nature, offers delicious eastern cuisine and fantastic hiking trails. There are several moderate hiking trails in Bieszczady Mountains with wonderful view of the surrounding landscape. Watch out with a mobile network while hiking – Ukraine is very close and it happens that the mobile network switches into Ukrainian one, which is already outside EU, so the bill might be an unwanted surprise.
Few facts to know how to get to hiking trails in Bieszczady Mountains:
- The road up to Bieszczady Mountains may not be the greatest and it takes long time to travel there.
- It’s a 7 hours drive from Warsaw.
- You may spend some time looking for your guesthouse or rather cottage – most of them are fantastic mountain wooded cottages next to the most popular trails.
- Most convenient way of traveling to Bieszczady is by car! That’s why you’ll need it especially to travel around.
- It is also possible to travel by bus from Warsaw to Solina – 7h 30min drive.
Bieszczady National Park – practical information!
As said before, this is one of the most unspoiled mountains areas in Central Europe. And also definitely one of the most beautiful regions in Poland, a breath of pure wild nature.
Bieszczady are also less difficult than rough Tatra mountains. But don’t ever underestimate any mountains trails and always be prepared for more severe weather conditions that forecasted.
- No dogs are allowed in Bieszczady National Park.
- Due to the safety of visitors and nature protection, walking along the trails in the area of the National Park is allowed only from dawn till dusk.
- This is a rural area, so do not expect resorts or luxury hotels.
- Entry tickets to Bieszczady National Park can be purchased in information and cash points.
- Travel insurance is essential – never travel without it!
- Try to purchase Bieszczady National Park hiking map, because it will contain a lot of information around trails.
- Car is probably essential to explore the area.
- In Bieszczady there is very poor mobile network (often switches to Ukrainian – outside EU).
Recommended places to visit in Bieszczady Mountains region:
- Wetlina – main town to stay if you’re planning to go hiking in Bieszczady. It’s a small but very friendly village and most of the guesthouses would be located here.
- Solina – it’s a beautiful but artificial lake in Bieszczady with plenty of resorts around. You can take a walk there through impressive dam on the lake.
- Ustrzyki Gorne – have to go if you want to buy some local specialties: mountain cheese and home made jams.
- Ustrzyki Dolne
TWO MOST SPECTACULAR HIKING TRAILS IN BIESZCZADY MOUNTAINS
Hiking trail 1: Przelecz Orlowicza peak (1039 m) & Smerek (1222 m)
- This loop starts near Wodospad Ostrowskich. This is a quite small waterfall located along the road 897. Firstly park a car somewhere along the street to take the yellow hiking trail to Przelecz Orlowicza. From there you are taking left to a red trail toward Smerek peak or right to reach famous mountain shelter Chatka Puchatka – the Pooh Shelter!
START POINT: WODOSPAD OSTROWSKICH – a small waterfall located along the 897 road
TRAIL: YELLOW TRAIL TOWARD PRZELECZ ORLOWICZA PEAK
Ending point: 4.5 km away from the waterfall/north direction. You would need to go back the main 897 road to your car
Parking: along 897 road near the waterfall
Hiking time: around 5 hours/depending on the route on upper sections
Total length of this trail: 10 km
Trail route: Wodospad Ostrowskich – Przelecz Orlowicza 1039 m – (turn into red trail toward Smerek) – Smerek 1222 m – road 897 (4.5 km away from Wodospad Ostrowskich)
Trail description: Beginning of the trail/the yellow path leads from the main road 897 near the waterfall through a forest. Moreover the path is very pleasant, well maintained and leads to Przelecz Orlowicza. After 20-30 minutes you’ll find an information and ticket office. Very useful would be to buy Bieszczady map. Przelecz Orlowicza peak (1039 m) is a mountain pass. This part of the trail is pretty exposed and can be very windy, so remember to be prepared. Also remember that in winter the temperature probably would be minus, but the real feel is much lower.
Przelecz Orlowicza peak – the Mountain pass is reached at the level of 1039m. It’s very windy and that’s why feels like at least -12.
From this point - PRZELECZ ORLOWICZA you can choose between two hiking trails:
- First take left and follow the red trail toward Smerek peak. Red trail toward Smerek peak leads through snowy forest tunnels.
- Then take right to Osadzki Wierch (1h30 min hike), Polonica Wetlinska 1228m (2h15min hike) and Chatka Puchatka – the Pooh Shelter.
From Przelecz Orlowicza we took left – the red trail toward Smerek peak, the path leads through snowy forest tunnels, it feels like in a cartoon snowland!
Trails on the top were incredible, snowy and ice formations were entwining surrounding trees and bushes. A dense fog was covering the whole landscape when we stepped out of the forest to an open space. Felt so peaceful and quiet and there was zero wind which is very characteristic for foggy conditions.
Hiking trail 2: Wolosate loop (through Taternica - the highest peak of Bieszczady Mountains)
Full trail route/anti-clock wise: Wolosate – Rozsypaniec – Halicz – Przelecz Siodlo (mountain pass from where you turn to hike Taternica) – Wolosate
Starting & ending point: WOLOSATE
Length of the trail: 18 km
Difficulty level: moderate (depending on a season, conditions may be severe in winter time!)
From Przelecz Siodlo (1275m) you can turn left to hike Taternica 1345m – the highest peak of Bieszczady Mountains. It takes only 15 minutes and it’s a one way trail up, so you have to go down the same way.
What to take for these hikes:
- Bieszczady National Park hiking map
- Winter season: very good hiking shoes & crampons
- Warm winter and rainproof jacket
- Hat and winter gloves
- I always have googles with me, if the wind is strong you won’t be able to see anything.
- Thermos with hot and sweet tea & plenty of water
- Also remember to take lunch/snacks: sandwiches, nuts, chocolates, protein bars
Top attractions in Bieszczady Mountains:
- Solina – the artificial lake and a dam
- Bieszczady Forest Railway – the old and very slow train!
- Arlamow Resort – although I usually don’t recommend luxury places, this one is very special. It was built as a secret place for high-profile government representatives. It is now one of the most modern hotel complex with number of playing fields, swimming pools with spa area, private ski slopes, restaurants and even a small airport.