Winter vacations in Poland

There’s no need to head for the Alps or Rockies for your snow fix – Poland can more than satisfy your winter activity needs. Up in the Carpathian Mountains, the air is fresh, the skies are bright and the mountains wear a thick coat of snow. Winter vacations here are all about mountain culture, food, and making the most of the spectacular natural environment through a plethora of winter activities.
While there are big ski resorts here, our winter vacations ignore downhill slopes and après ski party scenes and instead get stuck in to snow shoeing, cross country skiing, winter hikes and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Small group trips will ensure you enjoy the mountains to the fullest and stay safe along the way, with routes and activities adjusted according to weather conditions. Read on to find out more about winter vacations in Poland.

What do winter vacations in Poland entail?

Our winter vacations in Poland are small group tours, meaning that you’ll be traveling with a group of around 12 to 16 likeminded travelers, for between five and eight days. You’ll either be based at the same hotel for the entire vacation, or you could split your time between two different destinations.

Winter vacations in Poland pack in a broad mix of experiences, so you won’t get bored. There’s fantastic winter walking in the Carpathians. If snowfall is light you can simply don your hiking boots and hit the trails, but for the most part you’ll require snow shoes, which are easy to use after a short introductory stint (which’ll be included in any tour). You can also choose to explore the winter landscape on cross country skis, for which you’ll also be given full instruction, as well as any equipment required. Optional activities such as snowmobiling are also a possibility, and there’ll be plenty of gentler activities built into your vacation, such as a torch-lit horse-drawn sleigh ride or a walking tour of Krakow.
While you’re spending most of your time outdoors, these vacations certainly aren’t about wearing yourself out on the trails, and you don’t need to be an adrenalin junkie to take part. So long as you have basic fitness and healthy knees, you can get out and enjoy the natural beauty of the mountains, and there’ll be no more than four hours of snow shoeing or cross country skiing in any one day.
What’s more, you’ll easily make up any lost calories by tucking into traditional Polish food, with braised pork knuckle, roasted trout, oscypek (smoked sheep’s cheese) and kielbasa (Polish sausage) just some of the dishes on offer. You’ll often be presented with a hefty slice of cake or a glass of plum brandy after a day out in the wilderness, too.

Where will my winter vacation in Poland be based?

Vacations tend to take place in the Carpathian Mountains. This area delivers textbook winter scenes, and – unlike the Alps during these winter months – is still relatively quiet and rich in local culture and tradition. Snow-capped peaks, pine forests and gleaming lakes are all part of the landscape, and cosy traditional inns are ready to welcome you after a day out in the cold.

You could head for the Pieniny Mountains, which are known for their natural beauty and their diverse wildlife population, which includes lynx and wolves. The area also offers a tantalising glimpse of folklore, traditional architecture and authentic mountain life in spa towns such as Szczawnica. Or, you could be based in the Tatra Mountains for a week. The highest range within the Carpathians, they form a natural border between Poland and Slovenia and are home to over 250km of trails that provide plenty of snow-bound adventure.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Poland or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

When to go on a Poland winter vacation

The best time to go on a winter vacation in Poland is from late November to February. As you’re staying up in the mountains it’ll be cold, with the average daytime maximum temperature hovering around 1°C. Throughout winter there are periods of clear, bright weather and in February and March it can become surprisingly warm in the sun, so it always pays to layer up when you’re in the great outdoors.
The snow is at its best in January and February, but for sheer atmosphere you can’t beat December. Towns, villages and small wooden chapels on mountain trails are beautifully lit, and bonfires, markets and celebrations are held throughout Poland.
Written by Nana Luckham
Photo credits: [Page banner: Cezary Kukowka] [Top box: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland] [What it will entail: Mateusz Gazda] [When to go: Pawel Pacholec]