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Last updated : Nov 2009
Poland Sports
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The Tatra Mountains are Poland’s main skiing destination, most popular resort being Zakopane. The season is from November to May. The densely wooded Bieszczady Mountains in the southeast are well rated for cross-country skiing. Another popular wintersport in Poland is ice-boating on frozen waterways. Sleigh rides used to be popular with the Polish gentry and ‘traditional’ rides are available in most of the resorts.


Poland’s Baltic coast stretches for some 528km, with long sandy beaches. Pollution levels in the Baltic Sea are fairly high, particularly in the Bay of Gdánsk. Water temperatures are relatively cold, rising to a maximum of 20ºC (68ºF) during summer. Safer swimming is available in the Mazurian Lake District (consisting of approximately 3000 lakes), also a favourite angling destination.

Poland’s rivers (such as the Parseta, Stupia and Rega) are for the most part good for bull trout. Tourists need to purchase a fishing licence. For sailing, the Ilawa, Augustow and Mazurian lakes are best.

Canoeists may also head to the Brodnica or Mysliborz lakelands, or the rivers Czarna Hancza, Brda and Obra where canoeing trips lasting up to 12 days can be undertaken. However, the main waterways are quite polluted.

Hang gliding

H hang gliding and paragliding are both popular in the Beskid, Bieszczady and Sudety mountains. Leszno in Poland, in the main gliding centre.


Poland’s national parks and nature reserves offer various hiking trails through different types of landscapes ranging from dunes, beaches, rivers and lakes to deep forests and high mountains. Nature and wildlife admirers can observe elks in Poland’s marshes and European bison in the Bialowieza forest. Poland is reputed to have Europe’s largest population of storks. All the parks are open to visitors, although some may only be entered on foot and others, such as the Bialowieza National Park, may only be toured with a guide. Accommodation and catering facilities are available within or near all parks.

There are different types of cycling routes throughout the country. Special cycling lanes are provided around larger cities. Cycling tours are offered by specialist tour operators. Mountain biking is popular in the Karkonosze and Bieszczady mountains.

Horses have by tradition been popular in Poland and horseriding enthusiasts have a large choice of riding schools to choose from. Polish stud farms are internationally well-known and welcome guests; board and lodging is provided and many stables also offer riding instruction. Horse auctions are held at Poznan, Janów Podlaski, Racot and Walewice. The main horseracing tracks are Warsaw (Sluzewiec), Raculka (near Zielona Gora), Sopot, Bialy Bor (near Slupsk) and Ksiaz (near Walbrzych). Inexperienced riders might prefer riding a Hucul – a very rare Polish mountain pony.
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