Poland Guide Books
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Michelin Green Guide Poland
Michelin also makes a series of touring guides known as THE GREEN GUIDE, the perfect travel companion: a discerning and up-to-date source of information. Practical and comprehensive, it offers suggestions on what to see and what to do, background on history and cultural heritage and a selection of hotels and restaurants. An ideal guide for the independent tourist, THE GREEN GUIDE explores destinations both near and far. Sights are rated -*** inchesworth a journeyinches, ** inchesworth a detourinches and * inchesinterestinginches. Maps and itineraries make planning easy, whether visiting the highlights or venturing off the beaten track. Travel with THE GREEN GUIDE for an exciting and memorable experience in Poland.
A premier map and guide publisher for over 100 years, Michelin maps are a world-class choice for driving adventures! When it comes to traveling by automobile, particularly in Europe, Michelin maps are a useful tool in any glove box.
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Tatra Mountains (Poland) Landscapes Series by Sunflower Books
Walking and car touring in Poland and Slovakia. This second edition of our trans-national guide explores two outstanding national parks in southernmost Poland: Pieniny and Tatra, and the best of neighbouring Slovakiaís mountain areas in four national parks: Tatra, Slovensky Raj (Slovak Paradise), Low Tatra and Mala Fatra. In every one the natural landscapes are exceptionally beautiful, while each park has a distinctive identity. In the Pieniny youíll find the river Dunajec gorge and limestone cliffs and crags. The Polish Tatraís clusters of tarns lie at the bases of spiky arÍtes, while the adjacent Slovak Tatras are synonymous with long deep valleys and precipitous, narrow passes. Slovensky Raj has the river Hornad gorge, but the Low Tatras are characterised by spaciousness and wide views from the broad central ridge. Mala Fatra isnít entirely dissimilar, but with the added distinction of a network of narrow, accessible gorges. Beautiful conifer and deciduous forests are ubiquitous, the latter a delight during autumn.
Within the compact scope of this guide (140km east-west, 65km north-south), the contrasts between these hallmark features are striking. The two big river gorges, the broad Dunajec and the comparatively narrow Hornad, are almost vast compared with the shoulder-width slots in Mala Fatraís canyons. If these are too confined for your liking, then one of the delights of walking in the Tatra Mountains are the tumbling, boulder-filled streams. Another is the mountain tarns ranging from tiny shallow pools to the broad expanses of Morskie Oko. The vast conifer forests can seem uniform and uninteresting to the casual observer, but look closely and you quickly find infinite variety in the thick mosses, colourful fungi and extraordinary variety of lichens. The deciduous forests of beech, sycamore, mountain ash and scattered oaks are glorious during autumn. Thickets of dwarf pine, their exposed roots forming dense mats, are a characteristic feature of the uplands, as are hardy grasses and wind-pruned sub- alpine plants. The broad ridges and spurs of Mala Fatra, Low Tatra, Belianske and Western Tatra are irresistibly inviting, while the Tatrasí arÍtes will more often be photographed than traversed.
There can be few countries where walkers are better catered for than in Poland and Slovakia. Skilfully constructed paths, often in the most improbable places high on steep-sided peaks, make walking in very rough terrain comparatively easy. You can stride across boulder fields in the High Tatra and march along the broad ridges in Mala Fatra and the Low Tatras. Old paths and trails weave through impenetrably dense forests and pine thickets. There are the unique stupacky in Slovensky Rajís river Hornad gorge, and the ladders and walkways through the gorges in Mala Fatra. Four of the parks become ski resorts during winter, so you can take advantage of chair lifts, cable cars or a funicular railway and conserve energy for high-level walking. Signposting and colour coded waymarking are almost universally excellent, so armed with this guide and with a careful eye to the waymarks, you should never be in doubt about which way to turn.
In every park you can look forward to sampling local drinks and dishes at one or more of the mountain inns. They range from the small historic Rainerova chata in the High Tatras to the large, busy schronisko overlooking Morskie Oko in the Polish Tatras. Generally built in harmony with their surroundings, they invariably enjoy extremely scenic, usually isolated locations and a lively, convivial atmosphere. Youíll find many and varied reminders of local history: the remains of a 13th-century castle in the Pieniny, WWII partisansí memorials in the Low Tatras, memorials to climbers at the Symbolicky cintorin in the High Tatras, the commemoration of a clandestine meeting between political and religious leaders in the Polish Tatras. In several towns near the mountains, especially around Zakopane, thereís an abundance of beautiful timber buildings in which people really do live. In the countryside what we may regard as outdated farming methods still involve whole families and their animals, rather than huge machines.
Language differences could make personal contacts with other walkers difficult, but youíll probably be pleasantly surprised, if my experience is any guide. The author enjoyed two extraordinary conversations in French with Polish walkers, and made several attempts to explain to English-speaking Polish walkers why anyone from elsewhere in Europe would want to visit Poland. Friendly greetings are the order of the day, and itís rare not to exchange at least ĎDobryí with passing walkers. Walking in the national parks featured in this guide will undoubtedly be a very rewarding experience ó the enjoyment of magnificent scenery and the excellent facilities for walkers, and perhaps also for successfully undertaking what may seem quite daunting walks in relatively high mountains. The experience can be rewarding on another level: being among people who are obviously enjoying themselves, who donít seem to need an array of the latest outdoor fashions, and who are quietly proud of their mountain heritage. Sunflower thinks youíll return from your visit with your appetite whetted for more.
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