Exploration of Podlaskie does not stop with nightfall. Although your day might have been busy with hiking, cycling or kayaking, there are still some attractions which await you at night. There is another fascinating night-time face to the region, which every night owl will surely appreciate. Discover what Podlaskie has to offer after dark. Come and see for yourself, that nature never sleeps.
THE MAGIC OF OLD RITES
THE KUPALA NIGHT
In Podlaskie the shortest nights of the year seem to last the longest. From the end of June to mid-July, many towns and villages in Podlaskie celebrate the ancient Slavic festival of water and fire – the Kupala Night. In former times the rituals were believed to bring success in love and guarantee a fruitful harvest.
Today the festival is a throwback to old myths and legends. A night lit by the glow of bonfires, candles and moonlight is an eerie experience full of mysticism. And hundreds of wreaths floating down the river make a truly unforgettable view.
Narew and Biebrza at night
THE BEAVER RALLY
A lazy river. A slowly floating boat. A warm summer twilight. Silence. This is the perfect setting to watch beavers in their natural habitat. Well- hidden in daylight, beavers come out just after sunset to feed in riverside shrubbery. Usually accustomed to the view of a boat, they happen to swim up very close. A peek into the “backyard” of these skittish animals can never be compared to a visit to any zoo.
Beaver rallies are organized by Biebrza Eco Travel.
NIGHT SIDE OF THE FOREST
DEER RUT, BATS, OWLS AND A BIRD ALARM CLOCK
Dress warmly, put your boots on and set off for a night hike in the wilderness. The primeval forest never sleeps. Though after dark it shows its other nature. Noiseless bats appear. Owls and other night-time birds awaken. Autumn nights see deer and elks stage extraordinary concerts during their rutting season.
Spend a night in the woods or on a meadow, and wake up fresh close to nature. All you need is a mat and a sleeping bag. Let birds wake you up with a vibrant symphony of tweets.
Important note: it is forbidden to stay at night within the limits of national parks.
Night-time activity organisers:
Moc Podlasia – bat watching at dusk, deer rutting season and bird alarm clock in the Knyszyn Forest.
PTTK branch in Białowieża – owl watching in the Białowieża Primeval Forest.
PODLASKIE NIGHT SKY
At sunset try to get away from built-up areas. It is quite easy in Podlaskie – it will take you no more than half an hour. Why? The region boasts one of the lowest levels of artificial light pollution across the country. Pick a lake, meadow or hill. Look up and marvel at the Milky Way, the shower of Perseids or the rise of the Moon. These breathtaking celestial spectacles are at the grabs!
MEET THE KING OF THE FOREST
You should not be late for an audience with the King of the Forest. Get up early, at least an hour before sunrise. Be patient and watch in silence. The European bison, although huge and massive, often moves like a ghost – quietly, almost noiselessly. The best opportunity to see it is when the morning fogs start to come down. Then suddenly… there it is! And the second, and the third one! Out of the blue, the whole majestic herd right before your eyes.
For morning meetings with the bisons contact PTTK Branch in Białowieża.
STROLL WITH TORCHES AND LEGENDS
THE SUPRAŚL STROLLERS
As kids, we loved listening to bedtime “ghost” stories. It is unbelievably fantastic to relive these emotions. That’s why at dusk you should hit the streets of Supraśl. Join the Supraśl Strollers on their walks around the town to listen to tales of the water-elf, the White Lady and the myriads. Meet the Spirit of the Forest and learn the seed fortune-telling tricks. And take your kids with you! There is nothing to be afraid of. Summer evenings, mysterious stories and torchlight-lit faces are sure to stimulate young imagination more than the adventures of Harry Potter!
SOUNDS OF THE FOREST
NIGHT OF THE WOLVES
Squeaking snow, full moon and you – in the heart of the Forest. There is a night during which you have the chance to get close to one of its most mysterious inhabitants – the wolf.
Every year, at the turn of January and February, you can take part in the Night of the Wolves in the Białowieża National Park. Leave with your guide at dusk. Breathe in cold winter air and wait for the wolves to emerge from the depths of the moonlit primaeval forest. With your heart pounding and all senses on the lookout, it is a hell of an experience!
The Night of the Wolves is organised every year by the Białowieża National Park.