Bieszczady mountains – where Polish civilization ends

There is one poem written and sang by Polish poet Jacek Kaczmarski, which expresses exactly how I felt in Bieszczady mountains. I quoted it in Polish version of this post, but I’m not skilled enough to translate poetry 🙂 so I’ll just sum up that it perfectly transfers the calmness and peace you can feel there. Bieszczady mountains are located on south-eastern part of Poland and the closer you get, the bigger the feeling that civilization will end there. I could perfectly calm down there, get rid of the daily rush from my mind.  I hike mountains quite a lot and Bieszczady don’t seem very interesting at first. It’s quite a low mountain range, we won’t see impressive rocky trails or fight significant height differences. The highest peak in Polish Bieszczady mountains is called Tarnica and reaches 1346 meters. Nothing special. But Bieszczady have this undetermined “something”, which is just so enchanting… It worked on me to such extent that the above picture hangs on the wall at our home printed on a large canvas. Looking at it still calms me down even though it’s been over three years since we’ve come back from there!

We spent a part of our holiday in autumn 2012 together with a bigger group of friends in Bieszczady. We were hiking small mountains close to the village Cisna where we lived, we visited an artificial lake Solina, which was created by the construction of the Solina Dam on the San river. During the last day on our stay we decided to hike to the famous mountain shelter called Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hut (Chatka Puchatka). A part of our group at first wanted to go to the hut only and then go back down, but almost everybody got so enchanted with the views that we did a 6 hours walk all together! 🙂

From Wyżna Pass (Przełęcz Wyżna) to Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hut (Chatka Puchatka)

We set off from Wyżna Pass (Przełęcz Wyżna) from where we took a trail marked yellow up towards the Hut.It’s not a very long walk, it takes around an hour and the height difference is 344m. It’s not too much – and anyway Winnie-de-Pooh Hut is the highest mountain shelter in Bieszczady! The way there is very rewarding – we get out of the forest quickly and the views appear:

Bieszczady mountains: From Przełęcz Wyżna to Chatka Puchatka


Bieszczady mountains: From Przełęcz Wyżna to Chatka Puchatka

And we reached our first destination

Bieszczady mountains: near Chatka Puchatka


Bieszczady mountains: Chatka Puchatka

We decided to rest a bit near the Hut, enjoy the views and make a good use of shining sun. We spent quite a lot of time there lazily. I could lie there all day long!

Bieszczady mountains: near Chatka Puchatka

From Chatka Puchatka to Smerek

After the rest we headed towards Orłowicza Pass (Przełęcz Orłowicza) with the red trail. It is a part of the longest trail in Polish mountains called Main Beskid Trail. It starts in Ustroń in Silesian Beskids and goes to a village called Wołosate in Bieszczady and it’s almost 500 km long! In addition to this, it’s a part of E8 European long distance path which is “only” 4900 km long and goes from Ireland to Bulgaria… 🙂

Bieszczady mountains: From Chatka Puchatka to Orlowicza Pass (Przełęcz Orłowicza)

The distance between the Hut and the Pass is less scary – it’s only 5,5 km 🙂 Getting there takes 1h35 min. And the views… Again, they will speak for themselves better than I would ever be able to.

Bieszczady mountains: From Chatka Puchatka to Orlowicza Pass (Przełęcz Orłowicza)


Bieszczady mountains: From Chatka Puchatka to Orlowicza Pass (Przełęcz Orłowicza)


Bieszczady mountains: From Chatka Puchatka to Orlowicza Pass (Przełęcz Orłowicza)
Bieszczady mountains: From Chatka Puchatka to Orlowicza Pass (Przełęcz Orłowicza)
From Orłowicza Pass we continued along the red trail and after 20 minutes we reached Smerek peak. We could relax on the benches there, admire the views and prepare for a two-hour walk down to a village with the same name.
Bieszczady mountains: From Orłowicza Pass to Smerek


Bieszczady mountains: Smerek

For me going down is always the most tiring. It’s getting darker, colder, the views disappear, the tiredness start to appear. But well, it’s necessary 🙂
For me it was an awesome walk. Very calming, intense but not too tiring. Unfortunately it’s been my only stay in Bieszczady until now because Silesian Beskids, Lower Beskid or Tatra mountains are much closer from my hometown. But I will be back there for sure!! If you want to see Bieszczady during winter, my colleague has shared her experiences on her blog Overhere!

You can check our way on a map here. In general this website is awesome for planning a hike in Polish mountains and I recommend you to use it! It’s only in Polish but it should be possible to use it anyway. In case of any problems ask me and I’ll be happy to help!

What about you, have you ever been to Bieszczady mountains? Do you have any favorite place to run away from civilization? Let me know 🙂

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7 thoughts on “Bieszczady mountains – where Polish civilization ends

  • Reply Looking for winter on Skrzyczne – beginning of the New Year up in the mountains August 10, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    […] Mountains Devil’s Peak teaches respect. How we did not see the sunset on Babia Mountain Bieszczady mountains – where Polish civilization ends […]

  • Reply 13 Most Stunning Trails In Polish Mountains September 1, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    […] [Dorota] You can also check another trail in Bieszczady mountains which I fell in love with – from Winnie the Pooh’s hut through Orłowicza Pass to Smerek. […]

  • Reply Your Frist Time In The Mountains – Where In Poland To Go? September 3, 2017 at 9:32 am

    […] During our stay there we went even further to a village caller Smrek – you’ll find more pictures in a post about our hike in Bieszczady. […]

  • Reply Julia March 15, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Hello Dorota!
    I absolutely enjoyed reading this blog, and imagining whilst I was reading! 🙂

    I was wondering if could advise on something. I am currently in Krakow and was wondering what would be the best way to travel to the nearest town? We (4 of us) may not plan to do a longer hike as we will have 2 days in total. Also, what be the best reasonable stay options, if needed for a night?

    Please advise. Thanks so much!

    • Reply Dorota March 17, 2019 at 11:34 am

      Hi Julia, thank you for your comment 🙂
      When it comes to traveling to Bieszczady, renting a car is the easiest option. To be honest I don’t know what’s the best way to get there using public transportation. Maybe there are buses to Sanok or Lesko from where Bieszczady are already close but still, it would take a long time and then you wouldn’t be flexible when it comes to reaching trailheads etc.. The fastest and easiest way is having a car. Best towns to stay are Wetlina or Ustrzyki Górne. Have fun! 🙂

  • Reply Mark Bauman April 11, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Dorota,
    My wife and I are planning to walk from Katy or Dukla on the E8 trail to Wolosate, near the border with the Ukraine over a period of about 8 days in May. Can you recommend a good map (50,000:1 or 30,000:1) of this portion of the E8 trail, which also provides some info on guesthouses / places to stay along the way? Thanks for your help.

    • Reply Dorota April 12, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Mark,
      I don’t know any resources specifically for this trail but you may find this site helpful:
      It’s a site with all hiking trails in Poland, you also can see villages and mountain huts on the way. I hope this helps and good luck with your hike! 🙂

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