Skiing and hiking in southern Poland: Wisla
A beautiful ski resort in the Silesian Beskids
If we were to describe Wisla in one word, it would be PANORAMIC. This is because the hills and walking trails here give lovely views of the surroundings. If you come in summer, you’ll enjoy a plethora of vivid colours, fresh scents and amazing sounds. (Watch out for the crickets! They perform great open-air concerts in August.) In winter the town is one of the most popular ski resorts in the Polish mountains. If you like sunny weather and prefer moderate temperatures, spring and early autumn months might be the perfect time for you to visit Wisla. The town centre is usually full of tourists but the valleys offer tranquility and a real close-to-nature experience.
Things to do & see in Wisla, Poland
The ski jumping hill
Wisla is one of the few towns in the world where you can take a chairlift up a ski jumping hill. Don’t miss out on this attraction because it might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the hill from a ski jumper’s perspective. An added bonus of panoramic mountain views makes the ride even more enjoyable.
Wisla boasts 4 chairlifts that let you enjoy wonderful mountain vistas without having to go on a strenuous hike. They are available all year round but in winter they’re used mostly by skiers.
This mountain has a viewing platform that offers panoramic views of the Beskids. It can take up to 5 hours to get there depending on which hiking route you choose. Being the second highest mountain in the Wisla and Szczyrk region, Barania is quite popular with tourists.
Best Walking & Hiking Trails
Wisla has a plethora of scenic walking routes available for all abilities. If you’d like to have a pleasant easy walk, try Petla Cienkowska or Dolina Czarnej Wiselki. For more than just a leisurely stroll, choose longer hiking trails, e.g. to Stozek or Soszow.
Wisla offers numerous open-air attractions, including high ropes, off-road driving (quad bikes and 4×4 cars), mountain scooters and horse riding. From December to February you can go skiing or snowboarding. And if you’d like to take part in another traditional winter activity here, have an evening horse-drawn sleigh ride.
The Residence of the President of the Republic of Poland (Rezydencja Prezydenta RP Zamek)
This castle is the official holiday home of the Polish president. It’s located in a beautiful place and surrounded by the spruce forest. The residence consists of several historic buildings and there’s even a lovely little church. Book your visit in advance as it’s not always open to visitors.
If you’d like to see how local people lived here in the past, visit this museum. The exhibition illustrates the most important aspects of everyday life in the mountains.
Czarne is one of the main valleys in Wisla. It’s very green and peaceful and most tourists come here to see the Jezioro Czernianskie dam. There’s also a small waterfall at the mouth of the valley.
Best things to eat in the Polish mountains
Wisla and other small towns of the Silesian Beskids are well known for their local mountain food. If you’d like to taste it, visit a traditional restaurant called karczma. Some of the most famous dishes include: pstrag po goralsku (trout), kapusnica (sour cabbage soup), placki z blachy (potato pancakes) and zebroczka (potato and rice pie). For dessert you should have kolacz (yeast cake with apples, cottage cheese or poppy seeds).