Last summer we visited the Bialowieza National Park (GNP), in the east of Poland, just on the border with Belarus. It is the oldest national park in Poland, declared in 1932, and it covers an area of over 10,000 hectares, 6,000 of which have a very strict protection.
The park protects a primary forest typical of the European Plain with an unparalleled variety of fungi, plants and animals, some of which can only be found here.
The bison is the park symbol, the largest mammal in Europe. Some 380 of these animals live here in freedom, the largest population in the world.
All these features led in 1977 to declare the park a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and in 1979 a Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
We can’t forget that the forest extends also into Belarusian territory. This area is the largest in extension and the least accessible.
In the park you can visit the forest through many routes, walking or cycling. The most protected area can only be accessed with a guide that can be contracted at the park entrance. Prices are by group regardless of the number of people.
Other areas of interest are the Palace Park, bluilt in the late nineteenth century, The Nature Museum, The Reserve Forest and Bison Refuge.
In Bialowieza we can find a lot of places to stay overnight, from a great hotel with pool and spa to rooms in private homes and diferent kinds of pensions. There is also a restaurant and some retail shops.
Apart from the trails that we recommend below, there are also a lot of paths around the park. A good idea is to have a map; you can buy one in the stores at the park entrance:
Carsa Tropina and Ostoja Zubrow View Point
Protected area Path
Another interesting option is to rent a bike; you can get one at some pensions and shops and get lost in this magnificent forest unique in Europe.
More information at: http://www.entremontanas.com/otros/parque-nacional-de-bialowieza.asp