From the mysteriously deformed Crooked Forest, to the vibrantly violet lavender fields and pigmented mineral lakes, here is a guide to Poland’s hidden wonders you’ve probably never heard of that are definitely worth exploring.
Located by the small town of Gryfino, in northwestern Poland, the Crooked Forest features a group of bizarrely shaped pine trees, which bend towards the north forming a 90-degree angle. No one is really sure what caused the deformation. Some people believe the trees were buried under snow for a long time, while others suggest they had been manipulated by the locals in the 1930s, so that the timber could be used for ship construction or furniture.
Colourful Lakes in Rudawy Landscape Park
Another treasure and a great hiking spot is the Colourful Lakes in the lesser known Rudawy Landscape Park – located in southwestern Poland, by the border with the Czechia. The lakes – azure, green and purple– take their pigment from chemicals present in the bedrock, such as pyrite.
The Narew Valley
Described by many as the Polish Amazon, the Narew Valley in northeastern Poland boasts spectacular views of the Narew River meandering through the area’s wetlands. The valley forms part of the Narew National Park, famous for being home to approximately 179 bird species such as widgeons, marsh harrier and pintail.
Located in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, the limestone Paradise Cave is a magical underground world filled with well-preserved ancient stalactites and stalagmites. Once inhabited by Neanderthals, the cave was discovered in 1963 and opened for tourists in the early 1970s.
If you’ve seen Masuria, famous for its 2,000 lakes, head to the nearby Warmia area and explore its fragrant Lavender Field in Nowe Kawkowo. Owned by a Polish woman named Joanna Posoch (who escaped Warsaw to live in the countryside), the fields surround her traditional wooden cottage, where she produces organic cosmetics, organises alchemy workshops and offers rooms for rent.