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Carpathian Mountains
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Introducing Carpathian Mountains

When thinking about Poland, mountains are not usually the first thing to spring to mind. In fact, the country’s southern border is defined by the beautiful and dramatic Carpathian (Karpaty) chain, the highest mountain range in Central Europe.

The wooded hills and peaks here are a beacon for hikers, cyclists and skiers in season. And because of the region’s remoteness, this ‘forgotten corner’ has been able to preserve its traditional folkways better than other parts of the country.

The centre of the action is the resort of Zakopane in the heart of the Tatra Mountains (Tatry), the highest section of the Polish Carpathians, but the prettiest hills are arguably in the Pieniny or Bieszczady ranges. Elsewhere, a mosaic of modest towns provide jumping-off points for a half dozen national parks. Historic regional towns such as Przemyśl, Tarnów and Sanok offer insights into the past.