From Lord of the Ring-esque forests and a cider-making farmhouse to a Bond-like super hotel and the splendour of the Bieszczady Mountains, Poland has them all.
A curated anthology of extraordinary places where memories will be made.
Set a stone’s throw south-east of Warsaw, Otwock is an oversight that demands to be corrected.
Though lacking in overt attractions like a ‘Visit Me Old Town’, it’s got enough pleasures and treasures to make it quite special. In fact, I’ve actually started calling it The Special K.
It was in April that I last wrote about Lublin, but penned as my column was during the lockdown, it was an ode based on memory rather than anything more recent.
Omitted from the maps for the full duration of the Cold War, this tiny town (current population: 4,500), was at the very heart of the Soviet Union’s military presence in Poland. For decades, no-one knew it existed and that sense of secrecy lingers to this day.
Snuck away west of Leszno and with a population of just 14,000, ‘the greatest little town you’ve never heard of’ sits largely forgotten by the rest of the nation. And that’s good!
From afar, it looks truly monumental – the kind of place in which you’d expect to find a dragon in the moat and a trapped damsel up a tower. Built using 200,000 bricks and 11,000 tons of sandstone, such was the largesse that it was only beaten for size when the Palace of Versailles was completed.
The modest size of Sandomierz makes it extremely digestible, and having ticked off the Rynek its natural to find yourself ambling to a castle which, after the correct amount of hallucinogens, could easily be mistaken for a miniature Wawel.
Once unwanted and unloved, Katowice has gone through a renaissance and good things are happening, as TFN’s Alex Webber found out.