Winter Self-Catering Holidays in Poland

Inspirational Wintery Snow Scene PolandWith typical European ski holiday destinations rising in price and with the rising costs associated with the introduction of the Euro, Eastern European countries such as Poland are proving attractive for good value ski breaks. Stay in self-catering accommodation and it’s possible to make even more savings on eating out and drinking at your home from home. Eating out however is not expensive in Poland and is far cheaper than in western Europe so should you wish to eat out as well as in, you won’t have to worry too much about the budget.

Poland can be an excellent choice for skiing.  The Tatra mountains in Poland have been popular with the Poles themselves for a number of years and increasingly with foreigners.  Skiing is also possible in the Sudeten mountains near Wroclaw and some of the best skiing in this area is to be found in the Karkonosze National Park. Many German and Russian visitors already flock to the Tatras in winter time for the good value skiing that is available there.

Skiing in the Tatras

The main ski resort in the Tatras is Zakopane, a lively town with lots going on to keep visitors entertained. Many love Zakopane for its old mountain style charm although this is now to be found alongside modern development.  At Zakopane you can still find a few traditional Polish wooden lodges, some of which serve traditional Polish fare plus a selection of bars, restaurants and shops. There is also a market just outside of the town centre which is connected by an underpass and sells  a range of good quality items. This is a fantastic place to go for good prices on traditional Polish wares and produce.  Bargains to be found include good quality woollen garments, fluffy sheepskin slippers, sheepskins, leather coats, sheepskin coats and honey. Be prepared to shop around to achieve the best price.

Zakopane is of course popular due to its excellent location for skiing in the Carpathian Mountains in the Tatras.  There are 4 main ski areas in Zakopane and a range of hotels, bed and breakfasts and self-catering apartments and villas have sprung up around these to house the visitors who flock here in the winter time. Zakopane also attracts visitors outside of winter for excellent hiking opportunities in the nearby mountains, making this an all year round resort.

Skiing in PolandThere are a number of available choices in Zakopane when it comes to hiring ski equipment, along with runs to pretty much suit everyone right from beginners to advanced skiers. Ski-doing hasn’t yet caught on that widely in Zakopane but it is possible to enjoy this sport in the nearby town of.
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Another attraction in Zakopane are the horse drawn carriages. Hop on and enjoy a tour of the town, for a fee of course. This kind of tour is best enjoyed with some honey flavoured vodka to add to the experience.

When it comes to nightlife, Zakopane has lots to offer with its long strip of bars.  Restaurants in the town tend to be traditionally Polish or fast food joints so be prepared to try the local cuisine. For an experience to remember head to Czesca Gora (?) where you have to bang on the door to get in, where the staff where traditional Polish dress and the food and atmosphere are quintessential of Polish peasants.

Also worth looking out for are those restaurants which offer live music. There are some excellent Polish folk bands around that can be a real pleasure to watch.
For amazing views of Zakopane and the Tatras take the cable car up to the top where on a good clear day you can marvel at the views down below.  At the summit there is a restaurant where you can enjoy a hot cup of tea or something stronger if you prefer.