See how intense the colours of the four seasons are in Małopolska. Get a sense of its centuries-old tradition, craftsmanship and new desires. Touch its textures of cold stone laid 1,000 years ago and the warm wood of treasured temples built centuries ago. Hear the legendary gusty winds (halny) blowing and playing in the beeches growing on the Beskid peaks. Would you like to learn more about our region? Open all your senses.
There is no place like it in Poland. Thanks to its natural assets and large share of historical and modern culture on a global scale, Małopolska is the most original part of the country. Here you can find UNESCO World Heritage sites, unique natural resources and unforgettable landscapes – not only those which are commonly known, but also those you can come across in less accessible areas, which are equally unique and exciting.
Central Beskids – the Mona Lisa of the Polish mountains
Małopolska is the most mountainous part of Poland, but – in addition to the Tatras, an alpine-type mountain range of specific cultural value that has served as inspiration for Polish artists – the area also encompasses the mild and sophisticated Beskid range. The colours change with seasons. Visiting these mountains at any time, you can rediscover them in various colours and moods. They are covered with fresh, green beech leaves and carpets of flowers in springtime; this turns into an effusion of green in summer; all the colours of nature are found in autumn; and the whiteness of snow intertwines with a forest palette in winter. But the Central Beskids are exceptional even against this background. Called the Mona Lisa of the Polish mountains, they are located far away from big cities. Sparsely populated and with a poor network of roads, it is the wildest area in Małopolska, but it hosts atmospheric boarding houses and tourist farms in secluded areas. Such places are increasingly rare in modern civilisations.
Not everyone knows that the world’s petrochemical industry was born here – this is where the first oil wells and the first oil processing technologies came into being. It is good to start your trip from Gorlice, which is the gate to the Central Beskids. This historical city full of monuments was the place where Ignacy Łukasiewicz, the inventor of a method for processing crude oil, started his career as an industrialist. You will find an exhibition devoted to him in the local museum and the remains of one of the first crude oil mines and refineries in the nearby village. Gorlice was also the site of one of the largest World War I battles, and unique war cemeteries are one of its monuments. In the Central Beskids, you will also find two beautiful small spas: Wysowa and Wapienne. They entice visitors with their healing waters as well as a slow climate, which is so priceless in the modern world.
The Central Beskids are also home to invaluable churches (including Orthodox churches) built a few centuries ago and part of the UNESCO World Heritage List and the exceptional Wooden Architecture Trail. Peek inside the wooden churches in Sękowa and Binarowa or the Orthodox churches in Brunary, Kwiatoń or Owczary and see how the rawness of the centuries-old wood is reflected against the succulent greenery and the colours in the paintings from masters that adorn dark interiors. The Central Beskids also host the world’s largest farms of Hucul ponies – small yet strong animals which you can ride whilst wandering the wilderness of these mountains.