Together with the Marshal's Office of Lower Silesia in Wrocław and Lower Silesian Tourist Organization, we have prepared a guide with the most interesting places to stay in Lower Silesia. One note - these are "slow" places. What does that mean? We will tell you more about it below...
It all started in Italy in the 1980s when Carlo Petrini protested against the plans to open a new McDonald's restaurant near the Spanish Steps in Rome. It was he, a chef and food critic, who founded the first Slow Food organisation, which was supposed to protect local cuisine, support traditional forms of plant and animal breeding and care for the celebration of meals, which is of great importance in Italian culture. Admittedly, Carlo Petrini did not win over the tycoon, and a McDonald's next to the Spanish Steps opened anyway, but the world was enriched by a new movement that soon influenced many areas of our lives. Moments later, the prefix 'slow' began to be used in the context of fashion, parenting, sex and ultimately in relation to travel.
What is slow travel? It's taking the untrodden path, travelling without planning to tick off the places that are all over Instagram. It is slowing down the pace of travel, curiosity about what is local, the will to explore even at the cost of discomfort. It is a support of the local economy and, finally, an interest in a relationship with the residents of the place we travel to. In Lower Silesia, places are springing up like mushrooms after the rain, which offer, apart from a bed, authentic experiences. These places are created by people who are committed and passionate about saving old homesteads, restoring palaces, building houses of straw and clay, and serving food that has never seen any artificial preservatives. Have you ever slept in a yurt on a mountainside or in a castle? It's all waiting for you.
Come to slow down, enjoy beautiful views and people who genuinely love being hosts. Lower Silesia and Slowhop invite you.
This scene is easy to imagine. You tell your girlfriend/boyfriend that you are going camping. Your partner - a moderate fan of sleeping under an unstable roof - packs thermal underwear, tights up to the armpits, canned food, mosquito spray and with devoted love, follows you into nature. Your significant other is a bit tense because they remember the times of backaches after a night on the ground, but the important thing is that they follow along. Suddenly, your slightly frightened partner sees glamping. That is, a hybrid of sleeping in a tent and a fancy hotel. A glamping tent has a bed, real bedding, sometimes a fireplace. Sometimes there is a skylight with a view of the stars, and sometimes a bathtub. And what's important: you don't have to wander into the bushes to relieve yourself, although as nature lovers we think this is an adventure too. So if you fancy an unusual accommodation experience, you should definitely check out the Lower Silesian glamping sites. Three things matter: closeness to nature, openness to new experiences and a sense of adventure. You can choose a glamorous tent, or a more adventurous version, where (for example) you have to climb up, but the views are worth the effort. If you are sensitive to sounds: remember that the tent has thin walls, so you can hear everything.
Where are the glamping sites in Lower Silesia? We've got the addresses for you in the directory: 1. Kryjówka - Two yurts epically located in the buffer zone of the Ore Mountains Landscape Park, right by the trails to Mała Ostra and Skalnik. Priceless views from the bed and terrace and a hot tub under the cloud where you can have the bath of a lifetime. 2. Vegan House - a 100% vegan glamping site overlooking the Śnieżnik massif. It has vegan food, a vegan approach to planet Earth and four dome tents with sleeping arrangements for those who like to be as close to nature as possible. 3. Izera Glamping - Three yurts situated on the grounds of the guesthouse Dom w domu, in a safe and intimate distance from the buildings. A site with a pond, stars above the bed and Jizera Mountain around the corner. PS you can stay overnight all year round! 4. Ałabajka - a traditional yurt with a view of the Karkonosze Mountains will accommodate four people. Take your mountain boots, bicycles, skis and whatever else your sporty heart desires - there will be somewhere to use it. 5. Lapońska Wioska Kalevala - the only Sami village in Poland. On-site there are reindeer, two saunas and huge amounts of good energy from the hosts. You can stay in five Finnish tents, two hanging tents and the firecracker of a place to stay - the Moomins House.
If you are just beginning your adventure with Polish agrotourism, we recommend starting here in Lower Silesia. First, get rid of any connotations connected with the word agritourism. There will be no salmon-coloured wallpaper, no random furniture, no carpeted floors and walls that remember the plague of mosquitoes a decade ago. Today's slow agritourism has little in common with a farmer's room. Today these are super-conscious places created by people with passion and ideas. Not only by local villagers but also by city dwellers who decided to drop everything and make their dream of hosting people far away from the smog, traffic jams and deadlines come true. But, lest you think that life in the countryside is all idyllic, it is also really hard work for people who save old barns or open eco-farms with a real brigade of animals to look after. And note - there is no customer service here. There is no daily cleaning and towel washing. There is no parking attendant or valet. There is the host, sometimes his animals, there are all the village insects and pets. Static photos from interior design magazines do not show that when it rains, it can be muddy, there are flies, and the neighbour's dog likes to bark, and no one will ask him to keep quiet because of the tourists. Experiential tourism, which agritourism offers, is not for everyone, and that is ok too. It is important to make your choice consciously. But if you like eggs from happy hens, if you want to show your children how milk is produced, if you want to taste food without additives, or if you want to sit at a common table with your hosts and guests, you will be satisfied.
We have a few agritourisms here, spelled with a capital A, full of good stories and wonderful Hosts. 1. Dzikie Róże - a five-hundred-year-old guesthouse in the Jizera Mountains for those searching for original interiors, good breakfasts, long conversations and amazing stories. A place awarded in a Polish-German competition for renovation in an eco spirit, full of historical furniture and unique decorations. For adults and children 10+. 2. Siedlisko Sztuki - boutique agritourism for older travellers (16+) in the Land of Dormant Volcanoes. Once a barn, now a peaceful haven for seekers of reset and delicious meals. 3. Artystyka - an ecotourist oasis in the Kłodzko Land. The house is surrounded by meadows and forests on the sunny plateau of the Bystrzyckie Mountains. Excellent cuisine, creative workshops and hosts with a conscious approach to travel. 4. Pokój i Spokój - close to two lakes, forests and mountains. A place where lying belly up is a respectable form of relaxation. 5. Osada Ptaśnik - one and only apartment in a three-hundred-year-old log cabin. There are creaky floors, delicious food, liquors from the host, pets and an old orchard. Drop-in for great stories and authentic hospitality, but remember: hotel standards are not here. 6. Dom Cukiernika - a three-hundred-year-old farmhouse located in the Bóbr Valley. A place where sugar and the smell of baking cake reign. Two apartments, homemade breakfasts and a hectare of garden. For adults and children 12+.
Lower Silesia is home to our favourite guesthouses. It is also a real treasury of extraordinary people - hosts who infect you with their vision of the world and life in the spirit of slow. Runaways from the city, ready to make their dreams come true brick by brick. This is where the legendary Zloty Jar, with its extraordinary hosts Gosia and Maciek, grew up. It is here, in the Jizera Mountains, that you'll find the guesthouse Kwieci (our teenagers respectfully say "we remember" when they recall waffles for breakfast). It is here, in Dom na Końcu Świata, that rabbits are rescued, and in Leśne Apartamenty Strażnica, kids can roll around in the mud as much as they like and get to know nature as they used to, up close. At Centrum Łąkowa, we met people who were crazy about being active (and equally crazy guests). The hosts know every stone here and will tell you which way to go on the trail, where to shred your cross-country skis and will enthusiastically respond to any dog guests. At Taras Tarczyn, you'll be greeted by a host from the Netherlands and a beautifully renovated barn with great views and designer interiors. If you are travelling with curious kids - be sure to visit Villa Greta in the Land of Dormant Volcanoes. Their kitchen has a Gault Millau stamp, and kids run all over Dobkowo to fill out their explorer passports with stamps. Or do you need a break without the stamping of little feet? Head for Rajskie Jabłka - a "red as brick" barn in the middle of the fields with a view of the forest. In this spa for the body and soul, you'll be treated to delicious cuisine (gastrotourists come here!), and you can book a massage! Drop by Domnumer 10 by Dziki Wąwóz in the Karkonosze Mountains to hear what it's like to buy an old cottage in the dark and combine the old with the new. Maybe this story will inspire you to change your life?
Something for the lovers of "give me peace and quiet", introverts and those who count the years since the invention of the food ordering app (because, after all, you don't have to talk to anyone). Well, admit that you have moments like this. We're not judging; we just know that peace and quiet can sometimes be the cure for all evil. We like to say our Slowhop getaways are in the "backwoods". Our recipe for a good day off? No GSM, in the evening, you can hear the fire in the fireplace, and the only neighbours are the forest animals that come to visit. Do you prefer something less extreme? Rest assured, for those who simply want to get away from people (not necessarily from the internet); we will also find something. We invite you to the charming backwoods of Lower Silesia, to the cottages, which you can own exclusively for a while.
Write down these addresses: 1. Rosmarino Strefa Ciszy - a truly Italian home away from home in the Jizera Mountains. Inside, you'll find everything you could wish for: five bedrooms, a large garden, an extremely cosy living room, a terrace with a cinematic view and, as a bonus, a projector and a private gym. Domki nad stawem - five modern cottages situated by a swimming pond in the beautiful Karkonosze forest near the equally fantastic 2. Willa Drewniana Róża. Ideal for families with children at any time of the year (there are meals and lots of attractions). 3. Szalejówka and Szalka - two wooden cottages in Kłodzko Valley in the neighbourhood of fields and forests, fifty metres away from each other. Szalejówka - a micro-house on stilts with a bedroom on the mezzanine and Szalka - a cottage with a fireplace and a twenty-metre terrace. Mountain views all around. 4. Podgórki. Dom z 1794 - over two hundred years old Tudor style house with charming pink doors. Inside a 'cinema' lounge, gramophone and vinyl, and outside a lovely spacious garden. 5. Stodoła Majołka - a cottage with an open-air relaxation area for nine champions of mountain trips, winter sports, cycling, cross-country skiing, water sports and more - open to all the attractions of the Jizera Mountains. 6. Agro-Pustelnik and Domek Kuźnia - 19th century farm in Rudawy Janowickie. Delicious meals on-site: organic, regional, seasonal. 7. Domek na Polnej - a modern, minimalist house with a view of the Bóbr Valley and a terrace where you can learn asanas or simply lie down on the terrace until noon. 8. Hyttee - Scandinavian style house. Ideal for a couple or a small group of friends. Wooden, ecological, with a fabulous view of the Bardzkie Mountains, terrace and forest neighbours coming to visit. 9. Jemna 55 - a house by the stream in the Bardzkie Mountains. Kitchen with traditional tiled stove, magical garden, fruit orchard, forest and hundreds of kilometres of bike trails around the corner. 10. Izerski Horyzont - apartments in a house located on the territory of the Izera Dark-Sky Park, with such a view of the mountains that you won't need to drink a morning coffee.
This will not be a story about a princess trapped in a high tower, nor about a princess who got sores from sleeping on a pea. It will be a story about the castles and palaces of Lower Silesia, saved from oblivion as a result of a murderous struggle of history enthusiasts. How much bloodshed it took is known only to those who undertook this fight. What about a trip along the Lower Silesian section of the European Castles and Palaces Route? There are several places where you can not only feel the spirit of the old times but also swat a mosquito in real chambers, make your way through terraced gardens, taste palace cuisine and then have a glass of wine by the fireplace. Autumn is coming, why not jump on the opportunity to visit palaces? Make a note of these addresses: 1. Pałac Gorzanów - a miracle of Silesian architecture: a 16th-century palace brought back to life by a group of enthusiasts. So far, you can only sleep in a few renovated flats, but you can visit 187 other chambers. A treat for history lovers and adventurers, but don't expect palace luxury. It's more like a hostel and a crazy adventure. 2. Pałac Kamieniec - a palace that is an architectural pearl of the Kłodzko Valley. Inside, luxurious interiors, unforced elegance, and many beautiful, refined details. Delicious breakfast and be sure to try the chef's creations - guests praise it.
3. Pałac na Wzgórzu - a baroque palace from the 18th century surrounded by a four-hectare park with gardens stretching over four terraces. A wonderful place renovated with surgical precision by true enthusiasts. An ideal place for lovers of antiquities and history - you'll get dizzy. It's a place for adults and children 11+. 4. Pałac Rząsiny - a Renaissance palace from 1451, which housed a Luftwaffe research institute during World War II. A jewel for history lovers - in the interiors, you can see exhibits collected during archaeological and renovation works. 5. Pałacyk Szklarska - guesthouse on the edge of Szklarska Poręba, with delicious breakfasts and an amazing view of the Śnieżne Kotły. A place with an intriguing history (you can read about it here). Close to mountain trails! 6. Zamek Sarny - a 16th-century Sudeten castle in the valleys of the Wlodzica and Ścinawka rivers, the renovation of which is still in progress. Guests sleep in the restored Composers' House from the late 19th century. A must-see is a chapel decorated with frescoes by Johann Franz Hoffmann from 1738. Exquisite interiors and cuisine in the castle's café.
Are there any hedonists here? Who needs a Russian hot tub, a bath in hay or (try to top that) a massage on a pier in the company of curious donkeys? And this is just the beginning! One warning. Don't expect a classic spa, disposable slippers, your grandma's cap and paper undies. We are not interested in the ordinary; we go into the natural topics for tired corporate employees, working mums or those who simply like to be pampered. For bodily pleasures, go to these addresses: 1. Folwark Wrzosówka - a manor farm with a house in the Jizera Mountains, overlooking the panorama of the Karkonosze Mountains. Countryside animals, beautiful interiors and a massage in nature. It is necessary to let us know in advance. Important: There is a telescope on-site for observing the dark Jizera sky. 2. Villa Elise Park Pension - a factory owner's villa from the turn of the 19th and 20th century, located at the foot of Sowia Kopa in the Kłodzko Valley. Masterful cuisine, delicious wine, huge, palatial rooms and delightful hosts. Ask about massages in advance.
3. Biorezydencja - a guesthouse in a historical, over two hundred years old house. On-site slow option, including massages, yoga, breathing sessions. Breakfast - finger-licking good! Vegetarian and vegan cuisine. 4. Isands - Enklawa Sportu - an exclusive house with a gym equipped to the ceiling and an area ideal for mountain training. On-site spa facilities: sauna, whirlpool, Russian hot tub and massage table. 5. Koko Ryku - agritourism consisting of a house and a barn, right on the Czech border. Unusual hostess with whom you can even chat in Italian. A surprise for fans of pleasure - here they serve a relaxing foot massage. For adults and children 12+. 6. Akademia Kuraszków - a guesthouse in the style of an Austrian Gasthaus on the slopes of the Trzebnickie Hills, not far from Wrocław. A place full of love for horses and passion for education and development. You can not only saddle up a horse but also take advantage of the academy's rich workshop offer. Hedonists here have a brine graduation tower and two saunas: Finnish and steam.
Lower Silesia is a real mecca for slow agrotourism and guest houses in Poland. There are over a hundred of them in total. We couldn't describe them all, but you can find more here.