Poland is famous for its historical figures, great cuisine, hospitality and both architectural and natural wonders. For tourists, some regions seem more attractive than others. Lower Silesia Region is definitely somewhere at the top of their list. Is it because its easily accessible, bordering both Germany and Czech Republic? Or because of the Region’s multicultural vibe, deeply rooted in its complex history? Or are there a lot of remarkable things to experience and places to visit? We “say yes” to all of the above!
1. “Something old” – Castles and Palaces
Speaking about landscapes and locations – Lower Silesia boasts the greatest number of castles and palaces within one region in Poland. Most of them have been renovated, bringing back their former grandeur. Fitted to our times, nowadays they act as culture backgrounds for festivals, fancy hotels or luxury SPAs.
Whether it is taking part in Goth Castle Party in Bolkow Castle, searching for medieval trap doors in Czocha Castle, touching a wall preserved 700-year-old in Wlen Castle or riding a horse-carriage around Kliczkow Palace – Lower Silesian castles offer all of the above.
The most renowned castle in Lower Silesia is Ksiaz Castle near Walbrzych city. Built in the 13th century upon a steep hill, surrounded by a dense forest, the castle was restructured and substantially expanded throughout the ages. Today it is a magnificent architectural artifact with 5 floors and over 600 rooms. Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the castle to admire its architecture, explore its chambers and stroll around its terrace gardens. The Castle’s facilities include a luxurious hotel, a restaurant with delicious Polish cuisine and State Stallion Stud where you can try horse-riding or horse-drawn carriage tours. Moreover, every year at the beginning of May, Ksiaz Castle holds the Flower and Art Festival with breathtaking flower arrangements that reach far beyond all expectations.
It seemed only natural that in 2016 Castle Ksiaz earned #TripAdvisor Certificate of excellence!
2. “Something new” – The Wine and Beer Route
There are two skills that Polish people have bred in the bone. One is the ability to make broth, the most common soup in the country, yet with surprisingly original recipes passed in families from one generation the next. The other is the capability to prepare home-made alcohol beverages in such a multiplicity of variations that would make every foreigner’s head spin – metaphorically or not.
Of course it is not the quantity, but the quality of drinks that beckon tasters to certain locations. A temperate climate and rich soils in Lower Silesia region of Poland, proved to be perfect conditions for cultivating grapevines and barley. Adding to the equation the producers’ professionalism and recipes refined over the years, resulted in growing popularity of Polish wines and beers.
Enotourism and brewery tours have become so popular, that in 2018 they led to the creation of the Lower Silesian Wine and Beer Route. Over 500km in length, including 16 breweries and 17 wineries – enough to delight even the most demanding wine and beer enthusiasts.
Landscapes and locations are undeniably another aspect that made the Route so attractive. What can be more indulging than tasting wines and beers made locally in picturesque landscapes of mountain foothills or enchanting towns? Would you rather savor a beer in front of a fireplace in a wooden inn, or sip wine in a courtyard of a medieval castle? Or both? The Route gives you a one-of-a-kind opportunity to satisfy the palate as well as the eye.
3. “Something borrowed” – Active Tours For The Body
Have you ever thought about exploring the countryside on two wheels? Travelling by bike is healthy, adventurous and gives you the sense of freedom without time constraints. Even Einstein once said, that “Life is like riding a bike – to keep balance you got to keep moving”. The idea sprang among Polish people too and every year the infrastructure is expanding to support and promote bike-tourism. Beautiful scenery, hospitable people and good quality bikes for rent make Lower Silesia region a perfect destination. There is currently over 250 routes estimated to be in total length of over 4000 km! Natural topography made it possible to mark routes with different degrees of difficulty – from exciting bike trails in Sudety Mountains to relaxing lanes between towns.
There is one more “means” of transport that can make holidays in a foreign country unforgettable: horseback. Horseback riding is one of the oldest cultivated traditions in Poland. Horses are associated with their unquestionable role in the country’s history. But they play an important part in modern times as well. Kept as pets and companions in trail riding they can make the journey matter more than the goal.
Among many horse-riding centers and stables in Lower Silesia there are quite a few that blend horse-riding with sightseeing tours. Most of them breed Polish Hucul horses or Icelandic Ponies – both breeds looking inconspicuous, but being perfect even for beginner riders thanks to their patience, gentleness and bravery.
4. “Something blue” – Relaxing Spa Tours For The Mind
Lower Silesia is filled with all the best features nature has to offer: vast national parks, healing springs, forests full of wildlife and fresh mountain air. No wonder there are dozens of health-resort towns and countless numbers of luxury spas. Available for tourists all year round, they offer treatments for the body and calming of the mind. It is impossible to rank them, or to mention all of them in one article, but at least one deserves an honorable mention.
Kudowa Zdroj is a health-resort town located in Lower Silesia region, at the base of the Table Mountains. It is one of the oldest spa-resorts in Poland and Europe, with history dating back as far as the 15th century. The town provides everything needed for rejuvenation: captivating landscapes, clean air, innumerable mineral water springs and eye-catching architecture. Being under German authority for many years and neighboring with Czech Republic, it has always been a cultural melting-pot. Today Kudowa Zdroj’s diversity is best noticeable when tasting food – in local restaurants you can find Polish sour cabbage specialty, as well as Czech’s potato dumplings and German sausage. That’s like having culinary vacations in just one town!
5. “And a silver sixpence in her shoe…” – Hidden Mysteries.
Last but not least – the story about Lower Silesia would not be complete without mentioning some mysteries derived form the region’s historical background. Most of them are connected to the 2nd World War and German military operations. Around 1943 German military forces dug hundreds of kilometers of underground tunnels and constructions. The operation name was “Riese” – “The Giant”. The name seems appropriate, taking into consideration that the tunnels hewn in solid rock are more than 8 kilometers long and can be as high as 12 meters! The war ended before the construction was complete, and the Germans took great effort to destroy as many tunnels and as much documentary evidence as possible before escaping. Thus, it is still uncertain what was the purpose of this strenuous enterprise. Was it a military weapons assembly plant? An underground city created to shelter thousands of “German superhuman”? Headquarters, from which Hitler and his comrades could safely lead German troops? Or maybe a vault to store valuables looted in the midst of war? The complex “Riese” is open for tourist who are interested in the region’s history and at the same time appreciate some things left to the imagination.
“…happily ever after” is how a trip to this unique region of Poland is most likely to end. Lower Silesia is so beautiful and fascinating in its diversity that everyone will find something interesting for themselves!
You may like our small-group tours which let you experience the beauty and diversity of Lower Silesia during summer, fall and winter seasons:
See you soon in Lower Silesia region of Poland!
| Malgorzata (Sarna) Rose, is a native of Poland. Poland Culinary Vacations grew out of her love and passion for travel and everything Polish, including fine Polish cuisine, eventually blossoming into a first-class culinary travel company. While growing up in Poland, she experienced the great joy of cooking with family and friends. Using her grandmothers' recipes and fresh ingredients from their gardens, they prepared food for weddings, parties, and traditional holidays. Now, through Poland Culinary Vacations, she wants to share that experience with you, and show you the best of everyday Polish living: the special people and their hospitality, and the heritage and traditions unique to each region. Only a native can help you discover and fully experience the authentic Poland!|
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