Walking Holidays in Poland - Poland - Bieszczady Mountains

Holiday Highlights
  • Reach the highest mountain in the Eastern Carpathians, Tarnica (1346m)
  • Ideal, rural walking on the most underpopulated and underdeveloped Polish mountains
  • Peaks offer mountain panoramas of unusual beauty and extreme vastness

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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays          

  • Overview
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The Bieszczady mountains lie in the far south-east of Poland, in the Eastern Carpathians, bordering Slovakia and the Walking High Bieszczady Mountains, PolandUkraine. The countryside is characterised by the ridge-and-valley pattern - long mountain ridges stretching parallel to one another. It is the most underpopulated and underdeveloped of the Polish mountains and ideal for hiking. There are unique mountain meadows - the polininy - above primeval forest which offer sanctuary to wild animals such as lynx and wolves, rarely seen - unfortunately or fortunately depending on your disposition. The peaks offer mountain panoramas of unusual beauty and vastness.

The region was well-populated until the years following World War II. The period of fighting with the Ukrainian Insurgent Army resulted in the displacement of the native Ukrainian population. It was not until 1951 that it started to be repopulated, following the incorporation of the area of Ustrzyki Dolne into Poland. 

The walking will be in the High Bieszczady, and much will be within the Bieszczady National Park. The mountains are fairly gentle, largely wooded on the lowest slopes, with peaks reaching 1000 - 1300 metres. The highest peak is Tarnica (1346m) which you will reach on the 5th day of the trek. The lower wooded slopes give way to wide mountain meadows which stretch from peak to peak and from these meadows you can see the parallel mountain ridges in all directions. Within the National Park, walkers must keep to the well waymarked tracks. 

Day 1: Arrive in Krakow where you will be met by our local partner and transported to your hotel. Your afternoon is free to take a walk around the many interesting sites in Krakow.

You have the option of transferring directly to Cisna from the airport on day 1, and then moving everything a day forward with a night in Krakow at the end.

Day 2: The transfer to Cisna for the start of your trek. This will take approximately 4 ½ hours. During the afternoon there is an opportunity to do a short walk to Wolosan peak or just explore the village.  Cisna's heyday was in the first half of the 19th century. After World War II, the Ukrainian population was displaced, leaving just 30 Polish families. It is now the seat of the commune and a major tourist centre.

Day 3: This walk follows a well trodden and well marked path to the peaks of Rozki, Male Jaslo, Jaslo, Okraglik and Fereczata before descending to the village of Smerek. You will be climbing initially through woodland, but this soon clears as you climb, giving you fantastic views as far as  the lakes of Jeziorio Solinskie to the north, and the Slovakian mountains to the south. The last section along the road is by a local taxi/bus. Overnight at Wetlina.

Ascent 945m descent 850m distance 16 miles walking time 7 hours  

Day 4: After a 10 minute transfer, today your trail follows a route through the Carpathian Meadows of Polinia Wetlinska and Polinina Carynska before descending to Ustrzyki Gorne for your overnight stop. To walk both meadows you will need an early start - it is quite a strenuous route as you need to descend to Brzegi Gorne before ascending the second mountain. Ustrzyki Gorne is the most visited village in the High Bieszczady - it also was depopulated after World War II, and was then burnt down by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. In fact in the 1950's the only building in the village was the Border Guard's post. It now has the head office of the National Park and a small museum of mountain tourism, a range of tourist shops and bars.

Ascent 1235m descent 1314m distance 17 miles walking time 7½ hours. This day can be shortened by taking a local taxi/bus half way.   

Day 5: You will be transported to the Wyznianska Pass from where you will start your trek to Mala Rawka and Wielka Rawka, two  peaks to the west of Ustrzyki Gorne. There is an option to extend this walk to the Kremenaros peak, which is located where the borders of Poland, Slovakia and the Ukraine meet. You will spend a second night at your hotel in Ustrzyki Gorne.

Ascent 450m (ext +150m) descent 650m (ext +150m) distance 10 miles (ext +5 miles) walking time 4 hours (ext +2 hours). 

Day 6: Today you will reach the highest mountain in the Eastern Carpathians, Tarnica (1346m) and then continue to Krzemien  and along the Bukowe Berdo ridge, before dropping down to Muczne. Muczne was a 19th century settlement which was deserted after 1945, and in 1975 it was taken over by the Polish Council of Ministers as a luxurious hunting centre. The former centre is now a hotel and several other hotels and pensions have sprung up there.

Ascent 850m descent 780m distance 12½ miles walking time 5¾ hours,.  

Day 7: This is a low level walk along the San Valley, which forms the border between Poland and the Ukraine in this area. It passes through Tarnawa Nizna then to the Dzwniacz Cemetery then onwards along the valley before making your way back along the main road to Muczne.

Ascent 210m descent 210m distance 15 miles 5 hours.

Day 8: Private car transfer back to Krakow airport. (5 hours) 

Baggage Transfer

Every day your baggage is transported for you onto your next hotel enabling you to walk with just a day rucksack. 

Walk Grading
Self-guided – Challenging. Total for standard week ignoring variations:- Ascent 4240m, Descent 4354m, 82 miles.

This map is for illustration purposes only and we cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

The Bieszczady Mountain

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We believe that food is an important feature of this holiday and dinner is included on 6 nights. Polish cuisine is generally hearty fare and people do not normally leave the table hungry. Substantial soups and root salads are a feature of the area. Breakfast is always taken in the hotel and will be a continental breakfast, some hotels have cooked options.


Availability Information

The best time is Spring and early Summer when the flowers are at their best and it is cooler. September and October is also an excellent time for the autumn colours, and when the weather is at its most settled. In July and August it can be hot with late afternoon storms and is when the area is at its busiest.

Please note our best to go information is generally referring to the walking which may fall in the early or late season in some places. This may mean that not all tourist facilities will be open at the time you visit. 

When to book your walking holiday in Poland - Poland - Bieszczady Mountains

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