Silesia explorer

Blog about tourist places, travelling in Upper Silesia, Poland

Autumn in Ustron


One Sunday we went to Ustron – small town in mountains, survives because of tourists. In summer – hiking. In winter – skiing.

Ustron is not far away from Bielsko-Biala.

The biggest pleasure for me in mountains is to take chair-lift to the top, observe landscapes, feeling fresh breeze and swing legs. And we were lucky to get to local holiday -anniversary of chair-lift – and etrance ticket was for 1 PLN (0,25 EUR).

A lot of families with children came.

And we found ourself in beautiful autumn when leaves start to change color from green to yellow.

In top of mountain we found sledding way – quite popular attraction of winter ski resorts, but working at all seasons.

We took trail and just walk enjoying good weather and diverse nature.

We walk, walk and walk in forest and found ourself in … Czech Republic!

I was first time in Czech Republic!

In the border we found sign between trees and Czech restaurant with unknown lables of products and food.

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Cable way in mountains – Bielsko-Biała


For all mountains lovers and those who don’t have acrophobia Bielsko-Biala opens opportunity to go up the peak Szyndzielnia (958 m above sea) by cable car the difference in height 450 m.

As you understand the way to mount can not situated in city center. Check on map where is the station of cable road.

Ticket for cable way you can buy in small building where the way starts. Normal price for both sides: 20 PLN, reduced: 14 PLN. Check also on web-site of cable road.

Small cable car has places for 6 persons – privacy and fun.

The speed of movement is 5 m/sec.

These 6 minutes in cable car were very long for me.

Going by cable car you can observe trees under you, and close to the peak the view to the city Bielsko-Biala opens. Of course, only if you are lucky, and you are not inside of cloud))

On the peak Szyndzielnia (958 m) got off the cable car you find yourself in pure mountain forest.

From cable car station several hiking trails start.

Choose your road and walk! Trails are not dangerous and don’t need special sport preparation.

Breathing fresh air after not-ecologically-perfect life in Katowice, don’t forget about last cable down in the evening.

Though if you enjoy this place too much, and feel sad to come back to civilization, on the trail in 15 min walking from cable car station there is shelter (hostel), where are can rent room for night.

Don’t get confused by the name of this transport – cable car way. In polish language it calles ”kolej linowa”. Silesia tourist organization translates it to English “gondola railway”.

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Desert in Poland?! Yes, it is! Polish Sahara – Pustynia Błędowska


I didn’t study well geography at school, and I thought that deserts are situated only in Africa. I was wrong. Desert is in Poland!!

Welcome to Bledow desert (pol. Pustunia Błędowska) – the largest desert in Central Europe (32 square km).

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Since the beginning of 20 century this desert was used as training ground for military troops. Now sappers are working here: searching for old bombs.  That is why part (southern) of desert is the closed territory till December of 2013, and nobody is allowed to enter.  I don’t know in which part I was; and I saw several marriage couples taking pictures here, families with children playing in sand, paraplanes and other sky devices flying here.

I was in this place in right day and time: hot day, in evening, observing sunset.

Apart from desert itself here is no other attractions. But you can have fun here as me: adults and children. Nice people installed here such swings.

To come to desert is not so easy. Check the map. Desert is situated in the border of Upper Silesia region and Lesser Poland region (pol. Malopolska) – in the west of  Upper Silesia. To go here is easier by car from Katowice to Dabrowa Gornicza, and later to Olkusz direction or to Ogrodzieniec. By the way, Ogrodzieniec with its famous ruins of medieval castle is very close. Put this two objects to your trip – and you’ll have enough emotions for all day.

Pity to know that the desert is dying – start to be normal forest. You can mention this on satelite photo.

Bledow desert, Silesia

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Szczyrk: 2 hours from Katowice – you are in mountains


Szczyrk is quite famous Silesia ski resort. All ski resorts in summer time transform to hiking resorts.

Szczyrk is situated in the Beskids (pol.Beskidy) mountains. Beskids are stretching through Poland, Slovakia, Czech and Ukraine.

The best way to come to Szczyrk is first to come to Bielsko-Biala (pol. Bielsko-Biała). Szczyrk is near at hand from Bielsko.

In village you can find thematical restaurants with Polish food, concerts of folk music, fair with traditional souvenirs. But we came here not for this. Mountains are waiting for us.

In Szczyrk take chair-lift to the mount Skrzyczne (price 12 PLN). Please, not forget to take warm clothes. Wind is blowing, and in the middle of July here was +14C.

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Riding a  lift you observe perfect view to neighbourhood and feel flying. Under your legs you find stumps, fallen trees, green grass, around you – high firtrees.

And breath! Air is fresh and clear here. Seems like you can drink the air.

Lift drives you out of civilization, far far away. Leave all your problems below, and go to pure nature closer to sky.

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Getting off the lift you find charming beautiful landscapes. Green, grey and blue colors.

From the top you start your way along one of several trails. You can choose wide road, which is used for bicycles and ski, or tiny snaky  track, where your legs will be scratched by blueberry bushes. Blueberries are everywhere! Try this healthy and tasty berry – your fingers will be blue.

Night comes here unexpectedly. Once you admire magnificent sunset, pick up healing herbals (lift stops work at 19:00), and next moment – darkness. So don’t forget to take with you to mountains a relaible  person, who will not panic and search for the path to village together with you.

Enjoy your trip. But I advice you to behave carefully and respectfully to nature here. This forest is a mystery forest. Here gnomes and leprechauns are living. If you disturb them – they will get angry, send rain and storm to you. But being calm and kind-hearted they could play funny games with you, invite you to their houses and show forest treasures.

Szczyrk is definitely a good choice for weekends. Before you can check web-site of Szczyrk – it looks useful.

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Olsztyn – place to break from the city, but not far away


This small paradise is here.

Olsztyn is a small village near Częstochowa.

When you google Olsztyn, please, not get confused – Poland has another Olsztyn – the capital of Warmia-Mazury voivodeship – north-east region in Poland.

The biggest attraction of this place is the ruins of castle situated at picturesque cliffs. Polish people know this place because it is a part of Jura – Kraków -Częstochowa  Upland – beautiful hills, stretching from Kraców to Częstochowa with bicycle and foot roads, protected by the status of Landscape Park.

Here is a good combination of natural tourism and historical tourism. I found picture of this the castle in Olsztyn on brochure about Częstochowa region and fell in love with this place from first sight. In the lunch time my dream was born. In the evening I met guy from international hospitality web-site “www.couchsurfing.org” . He asked me how I want to spend time, and my answer was clear – Olsztyn. New mate drove me (around 20 minutes) to Olsztyn, so I avoided contact (expected difficulties in evening time) with public transport. Dreams come true.

So what is Olsztyn? Nothing special: three ruined towers, several ruined pieces of wall. These ruins are on the mount. From height you can observe 360° landscapes of neighbor villages, forest and cliffs. Ruins are mixed with huge natural rocks. As for me, it’s a beauty. Olsztyn castle is not a museum, here is no entrance tickets, no fence barriering the territory of historical sign. You can visit it 24 hours per day.

The castle in Olsztyn is a part of the Trail of the Eagle’s Nests – complex of more or less conserved castles (4 the most popular) of 14-18 centuries, all situated on hills with cliffs, looked in one style. Our article about another object of the Trail of the Eagle’s Nests – Bedzin you can read here.

The best way to come to Olsztyn is to go by car or bus from Czestochowa – just 15 kilometrs.

If you understand Polish language some information you can find on town’s web-site.

Castle itself also has web-site, which is not updated, but still you can read the history, legends.

Sometimes city organizes in castle festivals in Middle Age style. On 12 August 2012 here will be Knight Tournament with demonstration of medieval fights: guns, armor, horses, traditional food, men and ladies in beautiful old dresses.

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