It may be unknown to most foreigners visiting this Eastern-European nation but Poland has a lot more to it than just Warsaw and Krakow. If you put on your adventure cap and get ready to experience the unexpected, we can show you all that the common Polish itineraries tend to miss out. By Shubhanjana Das
1. Bieszczady Mountains
While the Polish cities have a charm of their own, the country-side is no less either. The Bieszczady Mountains in the Ukrainian and Slovakian border is one such brilliant example. Although the highest peak, Tarnica, reaches a maximum height of just 1346, the Bieszczady is known for its poloniny i.e. the meadows on top of the mountains. There are many amazing hiking trails, so make sure you are equipped with the right shoes.
2. Modlin Fortress
At the meeting point of the rivers Narew and Vistula is one of the largest and well-preserved fortresses of not just Poland, but all of Europe. The fortress housed the armies of France, Russia, Germany and Poland. Just 30 km from Warsaw, this unbelievable monument with an aw-inspiring history stands between dense forests and sandy islands. The 800-room complex could at one point accommodate 20,000 men and the underground prisons, with no records of successful breaks, could hold 700 prisoners. All of this magnificence can be best seen from atop the Tatar Tower Top terrace.
3. Bialoweiza Forest
This wild, untamed forest is home to the biggest land animals in Europe- the zubr or the European bison which are under strict protection because of their rarity. The forest is on the Belarusian border and thus offers crossing it to hikers and cyclists. Beware of bumping into boars, wolves, or deer.
4. Elblag Canal
Surely not one of the common tourist attractions, this unique canal is a specimen of hydrotechnical art -meets-tourism. The canal is located in the Warmian-Mazurian Voivodeship and was also chosen as one of the seven wonders of the country during the 2007 plebiscite. The canal, with a length of 84.2 km is the longest sailing waterway in Poland.