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Sudety (English: the Sudetes) is the second highest mountain range in Poland situated in the south-west of Poland. It is one of the main tourist areas in the country, readily visited by mountain enthusiasts. Still, it is not only high mountains with spectacular trails and well-prepared ski stations. They are also beautifully situated towns with a rich history, stylish spas and majestic ruins of castles and other witnesses of history waiting to be discovered.

 

The Sudetes are a medium mountain range located in Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany, characterized by steep slopes and gentle peaks and ridges forming a dome shape. They are composed of many mountain ranges, and each of them differs from the others in terms of natural values, geological structure, climate, landscapes or places worth visiting. The Sudetes consists of, among others the oldest mountain range on the continent - the Sowie Mountains and the Table Mountains - the only plate mountains in Europe. In addition, the Jizera Mountains are the coldest place in the country, the Kłodzko Valley is the largest mountain valley in Poland, and the Karkonosze is the windiest and most clouded place. The Sudetes are unique area worth discovering.

 

Top Sudety attractions include:

  1. Śnieżka Summit 
  2. Szrenica Summit
  3. Śnieżnik Summit
  4. Zieleniec ski resort 
  5. Szklarki Waterfall 
  6. Kamieńczyk Waterfall 
  7. Podgórnej Waterfall
  8. Wilczki Waterfall 
  9. Szczeliniec Wielki 
  10. Błedne Skały 
  11. Bear Cave in Kletno 
  12. Złoty Stok Gold Mine 
  13. Riese Complex 
  14. Jelenia Góra town
  15. Szklarska Poręba town 
  16. Karpacz town
  17. Chełmsko Śląskie village
  18. Wang Church 
  19. Czocha Castle 
  20. Grodziec Castle 
  21. Chojnik Castle Ruins 
  22. Cistercian abbey in Krzeszów
  23. Srebrna Góra Stronghold 
  24. Ślęża Massif
  25. Arado Project 

 

As we have already described main marvels of Kłodzko Valley in our earlier article that you can find here, we will concentrate today at the rest of our favourite attractions from the above list.

Śnieżka Summit

Śnieżka peak (English: Snow Ball) is 1602 m above sea level. The Tatra mountains were created during the Alpine orogeny, the same one which created the highest mountains in the world e.g. Europe – the Alps, Asia – the Himalayas. The Sudetes are older as they were created during the earlier Hercynian orogeny. It means that these mountains have had more time to be “spoiled”. This is the reason why these mountains are lower and their slopes are not that steep. Although, Śnieżka is the highest peak in the Sudetes, climbing here mainly means the stroll by paved road. The slope is really mild. The best proof that the road is fairly easy is the fact that it is used by the national park cars. Still, if you aren’t really into too much walking you can use the all year ski lift to Kopa pod Śnieżką and only take the final walk from there. The mountain hostel at the summit is very original. Many people use to think about it as a UFO space crafts. The views from Śnieżka are the best in summer when the visibility is the clearest. Still, in winter you can try some winter sports from skiing roots starting at Kopa pod Śnieżką.

Szrenica Summit

It is 1,362 m above sea level. This mountain peak is located in the western part of the Karkonosze, near the state border with the Czech Republic, south of Szklarska Poręba. It is an excellent viewpoint on the Jelenia Góra Valley and the Jizera Mountains, as well as the Czech Karkonosze. The summit of Szrenica itself is raised above the main ridge of the Karkonosze Mountains to a height of 60 m. The peak lies entirely on the Polish side of the border and the easiest way to get there is by the chair lift or tourist routes.

Kamieńczyk Waterfall

The height of the waterfall is 27 meters. The additional attraction of the waterfall is that it falls directly to the Kamieńczyk gorge, which is very picturesque. The gorge has about 100 meters length and its vertical walls have up to 24 meters. Still, in some places it is note very wide, as it has about 4 m in the narrowest parts. As some small parts of the rocks tend to fall into the gorge the most dangerous rocks are covered in a bribe net for protection and all the tourists receive safety helmets, which usually causes lots of fun and brings lots of funny photos. The waterfall step is at 843 m above sea level but getting to the waterfall from Szklarska Poręba doesn’t cause too much trouble to average tourist. Just by the waterfall, there is a mountain hostel and a restaurant to take some rest after the journey.

Szklarki Waterfall

It is easily accessible, as you can almost park your car by the waterfall. It is also available for disabled people on wheelchairs. After Kamieńczyk it is the second largest waterfall in Sudetes, as it is 13.3 m high. Just by the waterfall there is a mountain hostel ‘Kochanówka’ and a viewing deck, where you can have a meal and admire water. The waterfall is situated in a pretty mixed forest. From Szklarska Poręba you can get to Szklarki Waterfall by car within 15 minutes. The distance is only 2.5 km.

Podgórnej Waterfall

It is located in the heart of Karkonosze Mountains, at an altitude of 547 m above sea level, in the picturesque Przesieka. The triple cascade of the waterfall is 10 meters high, which makes Podgórna waterfall the third largest waterfall in the Polish part of the Karkonosze Mountains. It is also the least visited by tourists Karkonosze waterfall, although it is undoubtedly very picturesque. The best way to get to the Podgórna waterfall is from Przesieka. Several tourist routes lead to it.

Czocha Castle

It is in Sucha village, located about 145 km from Wrocław (2 hour journey). The castle was first erected in the 13th century and is placed in a picturesque area just by the lake. Currently, it is mainly a hotel and a conference center (it can host 100 guests at a time). Still, sightseeing with the guide is possible and it takes about 20 minutes. The main tourist attractions of the castle are: the renaissance well, the Knight Chamber, the Prince Chamber and the tower. On the second half of August, there is also a knight tournament organized. Apart from the castle, popular places to visit also include the tower with a magnificent view to the castle surrounding and a museum with props used in various films made in the castle.

Chojnik Castle Ruins

Chojnik mountain in Sudety has on top Chojnik castle ruins. The peak is 627 m above the sea level and it is located in Karkonoski National Park. The castle, now in ruin, was built in the 50s of the 14th century. Currently, every year there is a crossbow tournament every year and the castle is headquarters of a knights’ fraternity. By the castle there is also a restaurant. There are a few touristic trails to Chojnik. Still, the most popular are red and black trails from Sobieszowo. The red trail offers gentle slopes. The black trail via Zbójnickie rocks is more demanding. On the other hand it is more picturesque and even families with children usually deal well with it. If you plan to visit Sudetes, you should really include this place in your trip plan.

Grodziec Castle

It is situated 108 km from Wrocław (abort 1:30 drive). This late Gothic castle from the 12th century stands at the old volcano formation at 389 m above sea level. By the castle, there is a green tourist trail of Piast dynasty castles. The complex consists of the main castle and outer ward in the size of 270 x 140 meters. Currently, the building is a site of many events such as knights tournaments, Eastern Borderlands music bands meetings, agro tourist parties and fairs, music concerts, staging of the WWII events. The castle is also available for tourists all week. You can visit it with a guide and see for example: the ward, some of the castle chambers, porches and the donjon. If you make a previous group reservation, you can also make a sightseeing at night. The castle also offers 30 beds for tourists. It is an excellent place for a school trip. Grodziec also organizes various family and business events. The main attractions of them include: knight fighting shows, cannon shots, sightseeing of the castle with fire torches, fire dancing shows and horse cart rides. Grodziec Castle is an interesting place to visit.

Cistercian abbey in Krzeszów

It is a pearl of baroque architecture in the world. The temple houses the image of Our Lady of Graces crowned by John Paul II. Detailed guided tours can take up to several hours. In the enormous basilica, visitors succumb to the charms of frescoes and plump sculptures.

Ślęża Massif

It is the highest elevation of the Sudeten Foreland. It proudly, even monumentally rises above the neighboring plains. The legends about this place could be an excellent material for a whole book.

Jelenia Góra city

Jelenia Góra is the largest city in the Western Sudetes. It is a place with a centuries-old tradition and an amazing view of the Karkonosze Mountains. The atmosphere of this city is created by galleries, shops, cafes and pubs. Tourist can find here numerous colorful and charming tenement houses. Among the monuments, it is worth to mentioning the 12th-century church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, defensive walls with towers and the Paulinum Palace (erected in the 19th century) currently serving as a hotel.

Szklarska Poręba town

It is a place where two mountain ranges meet - the Jizera Mountains and the Karkonosze Mountains boths parts of Sudetes. In addition, the town is located at the foot of Szrenica - a peak in the Karkonosze Mountains - which towers over the area. There are also two high waterfalls: Kamieńczyk and Szklarki. An extensive and diverse accommodation base and numerous attractions make Szklarska Poręba an attractive place for tourists. It is also a mineralogical capital of the country.

Karpacz town

Karpacz is located at the foot of Śnieżka summit, full of attractions and adored by skiers, well prepared for the arrival of tourists and at the same time the largest resort in the area. One of the biggest attractions of the town is Wang Church the 800-year-old wooden Nordic temple. There is a Toy Museum in Karpacz, Western City theme park, there are also many historic locations and surprises for visitors, but most happens in winter, when the ski season begins. There are downhill runs, lifts and well-equipped centers for those who dream of going crazy on the slopes.

Zieleniec ski resort

It is one of the most popular ski resorts in the Sudetes and a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts. Thanks to the specific microclimate (resembling alpine ones), skiing conditions are maintained here for up to 150 days a year. There are 30 ski lifts and over 20 km of ski runs on site. The available slopes differ in the level of difficulty, thanks to which the slopes can be used by both beginners and advanced skiers.

Wang Church

The official name of this building is Mountain Church of Our Saviour and it is an Evangelical Church. The church was brought to and rebuilt in Karpacz in 1842 from Norway where it was built at the turning of 12th and 13th century. Nowadays, it is a huge touristic attraction because of its shape and built. The wooden construction of the church was built in the same way as Viking boats entirely without the use of nails. The church is decorated by fantastical carvings and sculptures.

Chełmsko Śląskie village

The Twelve Apostles are strange cloth halls - houses of linen weavers in Chełmsko Śląski (Schömberg). The Renaissance-baroque market square attract artists and big events. Thanks to the local handicraft animator, Teresa Sobala, weaving workshops came back to life here a few years ago. As in the past (in the 18th and 19th centuries), linen products pleasing to the eye and soft in touch are made on hand looms and then can be bargain purchased in the local shop.

Riese Complex

Riese is a name of a plan and an underground mine-constriction complex created during the WWII. It is located in Góry Sowie (Awl Mountains) and Książ Castle. The main aim of the project was creation of massive, underground, bombing-proof spaces for Hitler and the most important people in Nazi Germany and also a canter of armament industry. According to plans this underground city was supposed to host even 40 thousand people. Currently, we are aware of existence of 7 major complexes. 4 of them are available to tourists: Włodarz, Osówka, Rzeczka and Książ. The longest tourist rout can be found in Włodarz. The notion of the complex fascinates all people that enter it. There are still many theories and speculations about multitude of its purposes. These are definitely the most mysteries underground routs in the country.

Arado Project

The "Arado Project - Hitler's Lost Laboratory" in Kamienna Góra is one of the most modern underground tourist routes in Poland. The complex is located in the center of Kamienna Góra, at 1a Lubawska Street. During World War II, Kamienna Góra was one of the places where the German aviation industry developed its technological projects related to the aviation industry. Former textile factories have become the design office of ARADO. The most famous WWII jet Arado 234 lightning and the mythical wing plane Arado 555 were constructed there. The underground was hollowed out by concentration camp prisoners, during which hundreds of them died as a result of hard and dangerous work. On the route, visitors will see a lot of interesting exhibits in a wartime atmosphere, incl. weapons, elements of the V-1 missile and V-2 missiles, communication means and others.

 

The Sudetes are mountains with beautiful landscapes, perfect for long hikes, not only along countless ridges, but also along winding valleys and mysteriously foggy peat bogs. Beautifully situated towns boast a long and rich history, stylish spas, elegant palaces and majestic ruins of strongholds. The Sudetes also invite underground to caves, former mines, former German bunkers, tunnels and dungeons, where long-forgotten treasures may still be hidden. It is an area of Poland definitely worth discovering. Find out its marvels on your own with ITS Poland DMC. Contact one of our professional group tours coordinators and start your adventure today.

 

 

Author: Agnieszka Szwedzińska

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