The Complete Insider’s Guide To Bieszczady Mountains Poland

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The Ultimate Guide To Bieszczady National Park Poland

Imagine a place where you can hear the birds singing anywhere you go. When you look around, you see beautiful, unspoiled nature. People are so friendly and welcoming that they will offer you a ride and a place to stay for free if you need to. This place is called the Bieszczady Mountains. If you are looking for the best area for hiking in Poland or you simply want to find a quiet and peaceful destination for your holiday, that should be your place to go.

I am a native Pole, my hometown is located less than 2 hours driving from Bieszczady National Park. I’ve been visiting this area since I was a little kid. Even though I did my best to give you the most information in this insider’s guide, you can always contact me if you haven’t found here all you needed. I will be happy to help!

General Information About The Bieszczady Mountains Poland

Bieszczady Mountains Poland are absolutely breathtaking!

Bieszczady is not only Polish mountain range. It’s a part of the Carpathian Mountains that stretches through many European countries including Romania, Serbia, Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, Ukraine, Austria, and Hungary. Easy to notice, the Carpathian Mountains are mostly located in Eastern Europe.

The Bieszczady mountains are situated in the bottom right corner of Poland (southeast), close to the border with Slovakia and Ukraine.

Zakapior Bieszczadzki

It’s definitely the most hippie place in Poland. There is a term for people who decided to quit their jobs, sell everything, or simply run away from their lives only to hide away in Bieszczady. A person like this is called: zakapior bieszczadzki. Most of them are 50+ years old men with long silver hair and beards. They are never in a hurry, living a modest but peaceful life in a small cottage houses or in the tents. Some of them are alcoholics, some of them are artists. They have one thing in common though- they are completely free, and their entires lives are dedicated to this freedom.

Nowadays, people don’t escape the Bieszczady Mountains to run away from life. This region is becoming more and more touristy every year, so be sure to go there before it’s too late.

Main Tows in Bieszczady Mountains

It’s good to know which cities in Bieszczady Mountains are the biggest and the most popular, especially if you are traveling by public transport. You can easily find a bus to one of these towns:

  • Sanok (often called a gate to Bieszczady)
  • Ustrzyki Gorne
  • Ustrzyki Dolne
  • Polanczyk
  • Lesko
  • Cisna
  • Wetlina

How To Get To Bieszczady Poland?

Bieszczady Mountains in Poland are beautiful all year round.

By Car

The easiest way to get to Bieszczady is by car. Here is the traveling time from the main cities in Poland to the Bieszczady Mountains region:

  • from Rzeszow (the nearest big city) to Bieszczady – about 2 hours
  • from Krakow to Bieszczady – about 3 hours
  • from Warsaw to Bieszczady – about 6 hours
  • from Wroclaw to Bieszczady – about 6 hours
  • from Poznan to Bieszczady – about 8 hours
  • from Gdansk to Bieszczady – about 9 hours

Follow this link to find the best car rental deals in Poland.

Keep in mind that Bieszczady Mountains in winter are covered with snow, so the side roads may be difficult to drive.

By Bus

It’s the second-best option to get to Bieszczady. Many buses are going to Sanok, Ustrzyki Dolne, and other places in the area on an everyday basis. Check out this website to plan your trip.

By Train

So far, if you want to travel by train, you can only get to Sanok. From there, you need to continue your trip by bus.

By Plane

There is no airport in the Bieszczady Mountains. The closest airports are:

  • Rzeszow Jasionka Airport (check out the flight deals here)
  • Krakow Balice Airport (check out the flight deals here)
  • Kosice in Slovakia Airport (check out the flight deals here)

Hitchhiking

I normally don’t recommend this option but it’s different with Bieszczady Mountains. Hitchhiking is very popular there and it’s also pretty safe. 

What Are The Best Things To Do In Bieszczady Mountains Poland?

There are many amazing peaks in Bieszczady Mountains in Poland. It’s almost impossible to write about all of them but I mention the most important ones. Each one is located in Bieszczady National Park, that’s why you need to pay a small fee to get there.

Polonyna

Bieszczady Mountains are famous for Polonyna. These are mountains with meadows on the top, specific to the Carpathian region. 

They are usually easy to hike, that’s why Bieszczady is one of the best places for hiking in Poland. There is no cable car or lift to any of the Polonina. The only way to get to the top is by walking.

Here is the list of the most famous Polonynas in Bieszczady Mountains in Poland:

Polonina Wetlinska (1,255m / 4,117ft)

The view from the top of Polonina Wetlinska is absolutely breathtaking!

The most famous of all Bieszczady’s poloninas. You can get there from Przełęcz Wyżna. There is a small guest house on the top called Chatka Puchatka (Bear’s Little House). You can buy there some snack, drinks and also spend a night if you want to. It’s the only guest house on top of Bieszczady, all the others are located downhill.

The hike up is pretty easy and picturesque. Depending on how fit you are, it will take about 1-2 hours to get to the top. Połonina Wetlińska is a great gateway for hiking to other mountains, e.g. Smerek. 

Polonina Carynska (1,245m / 4,084 ft)

Carynska is a runner-up. You can get there from Ustrzyki Górne. It’s the second-most visited polonina in Bieszczady Mountains in Poland. If you the weather is good, you can even see the Tatra Mountains from Polonina Carynska!

Połonina Bukowska (1333m / 4,373ft)

The easternmost polonina divided between Poland and Ukraine.

Tarnica (1,346m / 4,416ft)

Tarnica is definitely the most beautiful place of the Bieszczady Mountains in Poland.

This is the highest and the most difficult mountain in Bieszczady but also one of the best places for trekking in Poland. You can get there from Wołosate village.

You will get to the top in about 3 hours. Be ready to get dirty! You will probably walk through mud and dust. Even when the weather down is great, you may encounter the rain on the top (like we did).

Bieszczadzka Kolejka (Bieszczady Forest Railway)

Photo credit: Tomasz Chorwat

Bieszczadzka Kolejka is a very slow, old train. It’s a relic of the past which is definitely worth seeing and hopping on.

Here are the stops of Bieszczady Forest Railway:

  • Balnica
  • Przyslup
  • Krzywe
  • Majdan
  • Dolzyca
  • Cisna

Depending on which route you will choose, you will pay about 20-25 PLN for a ticket.

The train is operating from May until October. Here you can find the current timetable. It’s only in Polish but you will easily translate it with Google Translate. In case you have problems, contact me, I will be happy to help!

Lake Solina

Lake Solina Poland is the most famous place of Bieszczady Mountains.

It’s the most popular place in Bieszczady. Lake Solina Poland is a big artificial lake, great for swimming and sailing

The area with the most tourist attractions is Polanczyk town. If you are traveling to Bieszczady Mountains Poland with small kids, it’s one of the best places to go for you.

Arlamow

Arlamow is the biggest hotel complex in Bieszczady Mountains Poland.

If you are after some luxury and comfort, there is no better place to go than Arlamow. It is a huge hotel complex with a spa area, ski slopes, restaurants, and even a small airport (if you happen to travel to Bieszczady with your private jet ;)).

They have a small kindergarten and many attractions for kids. Honestly, we keep coming back there only to fell more in love with this place. There is nothing in Arlamow that you cannot get.

Check out the latest prices for the Arlamow complex here.

Where To Stay In Bieszczady Mountains?

Bieszczady is a great destination for budget travelers. There are many cheap places to sleep and eat, mostly guesthouses and pensions.

Search for the best hotels in Bieszczady here. Some places worth recommending are:

The most luxurious Bieszczady spa complex is Arlamow Hotel (see the paragraph above).

Where To Eat In Bieszczady Mountains?

When it comes to the food, just look for Bar Mleczny or Stolowka. Meals are fresh, tasty and inexpensive.

Don’t forget that the Bieszczady Mountains are famous for beer. It’s popular to go to the bar after hiking, drink a beer and relax.

The best restaurant in the region is Siekierezada in Cisna. In the season, you will have a chance to join the concert there or listen to poetry. Plus, it’s where the famous zakapiors spend time!

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I didn’t know about Bieszczady Mountains, but it looks beautiful. I would love taking a ride in that old train!

    When I get home I’ll tell my girlfriend that I found a new place in Poland that I would like to visit haha

    Sounds amazing to hike and take it slow. Is there any shelters like in the Tatras?

    • For us, Bieszczady are thousand times better than Tatra mountains. There are some shelters like for example Chatka Puchatka on Polonina Wetlinska. But the tourist infrastructure is less developed in Bieszczady than in Tatra. It’s still a hidden gem of Poland 😉

  2. Hi Karolina and Patryk, I love your blog and this great info to prepare our trip. We often go to Zakopane, however always try to hide from the tourists. What would be a good place to stay having 2 small kids? Trails up to 2 hours would be ok. May I add your link to my blog? blog.mac-lean.com. In Dutch I’m afraid, but we live in Poland 🙂

  3. Hi Karolina and Patryk!

    I have a question regarding the Połonina Wetlińska hike. How long did it take you to get up there and how long was the hike back down to Wetlinska? Did you sleep in the hostel?

    Best regards,
    Nadine

    • Hi Nadine!

      The hike up to Polonina Wetlinska is really short. It takes about 2 hours to get to the top. We didn’t sleep in Chatka Puchatka but they say it’s great to wake up surrounded by the mountains :).

      There are actually 2 routes to Colonna Wetlinska, so you can go up one way and go back the other. Then you can take a bus to Wetlina, Cisna or any other place you are staying in Bieszczady.

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