Check out what Podlaskie has on offer through the 4 seasons of the years, and plan ahead your rendez-vous with nature, culture and magic.
W Holidays in Podlaskie always last the longest! The Orthodox families celebrate Christmas according to the Julian calendar – on 6, 7, and 8 January. While in other parts of Poland Christmas is long gone, you can still meet carollers in the streets of Podlaskie, and even buy Christmas trees and decorations in the shops!
And if you want to spend your New Year’s Eve in Podlaskie, you can also celebrate it twice, on 31 December and… 13 January. Most pubs and restaurants organise parties and fireworks light up the sky at midnight.
ACTIVE WINTER HOLIDAYS
February is a perfect time to discover Poland’s “Pole of Cold” – i.e. the Suwałki District in the northern part of the region. Paddle a kayak through the snow-covered Augustów Primaeval Forest or hit the picturesque cross-country skiing trails.
The region has also a rich offer for downhill skiers and snowboarders. The WOSiR Szelment ski resort in the Suwałki Landscape Park and the Rybno ski station near Łomża boast several well-prepared slopes.
Every year at the turn of January, the Białowieża National Park holds the Night of the Wolves. It is an exciting night trip to the wilderness to track wolves, learn about their habits and listen to their howl!
February each year sees the Castle in Tykocin stage Poland’s only winter historical reenactment of dramatic events which took place at the very spot during the Swedish Deluge, some 400 years ago. It is a truly spectacular start to an eventful winter weekend in the picture-postcard, multicultural town of Tykocin.
THE WILDFOWL WORLD
In spring, Nights of the Owls are being organised throughout Poland. This year it is the night of 23 March. The mating season of these fascinating birds is the only opportunity to hear their mysterious sounds. Nights of the Owls are held by many forest districts across the region. You can go owl-tracking e.g. in Białystok, and the Białowieża or Wigry National Parks .
March is also the time of the year, when hundreds of thousands of water birds come over to nest on the Biebrza River wetlands. This is one of the most spectacular spectacles you can enjoy in the Biebrza National Park.
At the beginning of April, be sure to visit the favourite viewing point of many Podlaskie photographers, including the late master – Wiktor Wołkow. The Strękowa Hill, near the village of Wizna, offers jaw-dropping vistas of the Narew and Biebrza wetlands. Come here at dawn or dusk. The unforgettable view will stay with you for a long time.
DIVE INTO THE FOREST
Forests in May burst into life and dazzle with lavish greenery. This is the perfect time to explore the most beautiful of Polish forests: the Bialowieża Primaeval Forest. Take a stroll along the Bison’s Ribs footbridge, or spend a day in the Strict Protection Area. Take a deep breath, slow down, enjoy “forest bathing” – a peaceful state of relaxation in nature.
While in the Białowieża Primeval Forest, make sure not to miss Hajnówka. In May the town resonates with mystic Orthodox tones during the International Festival of Orthodox Music. Immerse in touching chants performed by the best Orthodox choirs in the world.
MEET ME HALFWAY
Traditionally organised in June, Halfway Festival has become one of the most important events on the Białystok music scene. This intimate festival follows its own path, greeting lovers of alternative and folk music “half-way”.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH
Summer holidays is a perfect time to pay a visit to the Suwałki and Augustów Lakeland. Relax on one of the crystal-clear lakes, take part in a kayaking rally on the Augustów Canal, and marvel at the post-glacial landform of the Suwałki Landscape Park.
VISIT THE TATARS OF PODLASKIE
While in Podlaskie, be sure to pay a visit to Kruszyniany, a small village with a vibrant Tatar community, which has been living here for centuries. Every year in summer they celebrate Sabantuy. It is a unique, vibrant “festival of the plough”, which sees crowds of Tatars from all over Poland flock to Kruszyniany.
To get more familiar with the Tatar culture, visit Poland’s oldest mosque and savour traditional Tatar delicacies at the famous Tatarska Jurta restaurant.
August is also the season for Perseids. In Podlaskie, one of the least light-polluted regions in Poland, you have all the shooting stars at your grabs. Spend a night out to marvel at these celestial spectacles.
LISTEN TO CONCERTS OF NATURE
Come mid-September, the forests in Podlaskie reverberate at dusk and dawn with fascinating concerts. The deer mating season begins. Wander into the woods to hear the bewitching, thrilling roars of mighty bulls.
In September visit Białystok, the capital of the region and take part in the iconic Up to Date Festival, which features world-famous artists of electronic music.
COLOURS OF AUTUMN
Autumn in Podlaskie is the perfect season of the year to discover all the different colours of the region. In October visit the villages of Soce, Puchły and Trześcianka, which create the hospitable Land of Open Shutters. Discover the treasures of Podlaskie folk architecture – intricately decorated wooden houses and incredibly colourful Orthodox churches.
STROLL, SAVOUR, RELAX
Short and drowsy November days make a perfect moment to hide in one of Podlaskie’s phenomenal tourist farms and… slow down. Set out into the woods on a long mushroom-picking stroll. There is an abundance of funghi in the local forest. Find a good read and get carried away.
Indulge in the exquisite taste of local specialities – Podlaskie’s signature potato-based dishes taste best on cold autumn days.
ENJOY A REAL WINTER
White, snow-covered forest, frostbiting your cheeks and… the beat of the hooves. The famous Podlaskie sleigh rides begin with the first snowfall. These wintry rides spark true childlike excitement!
Winter is also a splendid opportunity to meet the King of the Primaeval Forest, not only in the Białowieża National Park. At this time of the year, the open plains of the Knyszyn Primaeval Forest are popular places to spot herds of these majestic animals.