The Tatras range of mountains is the highest and most beautiful section of the Western Carpathians, straddling the border of Poland and Slovakia. Increasingly becoming an attractive alternative to the Alps for skiing and mountaineering, they are simply magnificent. Only two hours from Krakow, our stopping point, the Tatras offer dramatic views, emerald lakes, pine-scented forests and cascading waterfalls. The entire range, on both sides of the Polish border, were declared as national parks.
Roads and Riding
Road conditions in Poland are improving each year. For the most part, the asphalt is good, but some sections can be rough and potholed. And try to stay off the main truck routes, which can become rutted and cracked from frequent, heavy tonnage on them. In the Tatras, nicknamed the “Pocket Alps” by the French, there's a sweeping run to the hills, plenty of curves of all kind, a low volume of traffic, good surface and a beautiful scenery.
Climate and Environment, When to Go
Poland’s climate is temperate, with mild summers and moderately severe winters. It is influenced by a continental climate from the east and a maritime climate from the west. Summer, which begins in June, is predominantly warm but hot at times, with plenty of sunshine interlaced with heavy rains. In the summit areas of the Tatras, the average air temperature in July is just about 9°C (48°C). The best time of year to visit is from May to October.
Sights, People, Food and Drink
Poland’s “Wieliczka” Salt Mine was entered into UNESCO's First World List of Cultural and Natural Heritage. Together with the neighboring Bochnia Mine, it is one of the oldest salt mines in the world. Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration camp in German- occupied Europe, is also worth a visit.
Poles are gregarious in character and love to show affection during interaction. Their cuisine is a perfect reflection of the warmth in the Polish character. It ranges from simple to the exotic, with a dish to suit the most eclectic and eccentric of taste buds. The cuisine definitely leans towards meat and goes down well with vodka. Given the wide variety of dishes available, Poland surely offers gastronomic treats for everyone.
Facts for the Traveler
|Land area:||312,679 sq km
|National currency:||Polish zloty|
|Religion:||89.8 % Roman Catholic, 5 % Baptist|
|Time zone:||Central European Time (GMT+1)|
|International dialing number:||48, international access code: 00|
|Visa:||Tourists from most countries (EU, USA, etc) do not need visa. A valid passport is required only.|
|Electricity:||220 - 240V, 50Hz|
|Electric Plug Details:|