As autumn paints the landscapes in gold and crimson, the Podkarpackie region awakens to life in its full splendor. This is a region that entices not only with its history, culture, and nature, but also with an incredible atmosphere. Imagine a moment when you stand atop a mountain, with a panorama of colors unfolding before you. Do you feel that thrill of emotion? That's Podkarpackie in autumn!
Why visit Podkarpackie in autumn?
Autumn is a season often seen as a time for peace and reflection in many regions of Poland. However, in Podkarpackie, autumn takes on a completely different dimension. This is the time when the region reveals its true face, full of colors, mysteries, and flavors that are hard to find anywhere else. So, where should you go to seek the colors of autumn in Podkarpackie?
Łańcut Castle – where legends come alive in autumn
Autumn in Łańcut is a time when the castle is surrounded by an aura of mystery and magic. The trees in the castle park shimmer in gold and crimson, creating a picturesque contrast with the castle's structure. As golden leaves dance in the wind around the majestic Łańcut Castle, the place gains an even deeper dimension. A careful walker will find the oldest specimen of Ginkgo biloba in Poland, brought to the country in the 1720s. This living rarity, characterized by two fused trunks, is not only a witness of time but also a story of the garden's past.
The next stage of the journey through the park is the alley of small- and large-leaved linden trees, whispering echoes of the past among their branches. Red and pyramid oaks proudly rise to the sky, while warted birches add delicacy to the landscape. Among them, beeches and red maples hide secrets of years gone by. Pines, firs, spruces, larches, and thuja create a green backdrop for the majestic castle, and yews add depth and contrast.
In autumn, the castle seems to be more alive. Echoes of the past become louder, and legends seem more real. Perhaps it's the effect of misty mornings when the castle is hidden in a delicate, milky veil, adding to its mystique.
One of the most fascinating aspects of this place is how history and legend intertwine, creating a mosaic of stories waiting to be discovered. In autumn, these stories take on a special dimension.
If you're brave and lucky, you might encounter two phantoms. The first, the Blue Lady, is said to be Izabela Lubomirska from the Czartoryski family, appearing in a blue crinoline and high, French wig. Look for her in the sculpture gallery and the former boudoir – places she particularly favored. Accompanying her is her daughter Julia Potocka, famed for her extraordinary beauty. You may see her in the Chinese salon, writing letters to her beloved.
Bieszczady National Park – a spectacle of colors
The Bieszczady Mountains, often referred to as the "wild heart of Poland," transform into an exceedingly picturesque and magical place in autumn. While other parts of the country begin to brace for winter, the Bieszczady burst with a full spectrum of colors, revealing their true nature.
One of the most distinctive phenomena in the Bieszczady during autumn is the misty mornings. As the sun slowly rises over the horizon, the valleys and hills are cloaked in a delicate white veil. This mist adds an air of mystery to the landscape, making every step deeper into the Bieszczady forest feel like entering another, fairy-tale world.
Autumn is the time when the Bieszczady turn into a true kaleidoscope of colors. Trees that were uniformly green in summer now shimmer with shades of red, orange, and gold. Walking along the Bieszczady's hiking trails, one can admire this natural spectacle that changes with every passing day.
A notable actor on this colorful stage is the Carpathian Beechwood, which occupies 11% of the entire national park and dons intense purple hues in autumn. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it enchants hikers yearning for colorful displays. For these, head towards the Border Range and the Upper Solinka Valley. Keep an eye out for it also on the slopes of Smerek and Połonina Wetlińska, in the valleys of Wołosatka, and Terebowiec.
Where to look for autumn in the Bieszczady? We especially recommend three trails with beautiful, shimmering colored views:
- Połonina Wetlińska – the yellow trail from Wyżna Pass,
- Połonina Caryńska – the red trail from Brzegi Górne,
- Bukowe Berdo – the yellow trail from Muczne.
If you choose one of them, every step will be accompanied by the rustle of leaves beneath your feet. It's a sound that reminds you of the passing time but also adds energy and motivation to continue exploring this extraordinary place and reach one of the Bieszczady peaks. And then there's the smell - fresh, clean air mixed with the scent of moist earth, mushrooms, and falling leaves. The Bieszczady is a place where one can truly feel close to nature. Bieszczady National Park in autumn is a place that delights, inspires, and allows one to pause in the rush of everyday life. It's an oasis of tranquility, where time flows differently, and every moment becomes an unforgettable experience. If you're looking for a place where you can recharge, feel close to nature, and admire the true beauty of autumn, the Bieszczady are the perfect choice.
The Culinary Trail "Podkarpackie Flavors": a journey through the world of tastes
When autumn arrives in Podkarpackie, not only do the trees don the colors of gold and red. It is also the time when the cuisine of this region experiences a true explosion of flavors, creating a symphony whose notes are local, seasonal ingredients.
Where to find them? On the way to the Bieszczady, it is worth stopping in the picturesque town of Sanok, where your sense of smell will surely guide you to the "Karczma Jadło Karpackie" tavern. It is there that the weary tourist will have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the tastes of Boyko, Lemko, and Old Polish dishes. If names like "fuczki," "stolniki," or "hreczanyki" mean nothing to you, we guarantee that after a visit to this place, they will forever be a part of your home cookbooks.
What do we recommend for a wild hunger? Of course, game meat. The best can be tasted at the "Oberża Zakapior" in Polańczyk. The region has always been famous for its game and hunting cuisine. Now you have the opportunity to experience it personally. Here, you will also find dishes from the Lemko and Boyko cuisines.
The Forester's Delicacy (braised game, fried porcini mushrooms, potato pancakes, rosemary sauce), Bieszczady-style "knysze" (served with buttermilk, with a potato-onion filling), game goulash – these are just some of the dishes you can try at the "Karczma Solina – Jędrulowa Chata". You will find it right by the Solina dam. It is the only place in the area that serves specialties of the regional cuisine of the Bieszczady area.
But Podkarpackie is not just about tradition. It is also a place where classic flavors merge with modernity. Local chefs, like musical composers, create new arrangements of traditional dishes. In Podkarpackie, anything is possible!
In summary, autumn in Podkarpackie is not only a festival of colors in nature. It is also a festival of tastes on the plate. The "Podkarpackie Flavors" Culinary Trail is a proposition for those who want to experience a culinary adventure and let themselves be swept away by the autumnal arrangements of flavors of this extraordinary region. Are you ready for this journey?
The Carpathian Wine Trail: where the power of grapes warms autumn evenings
As autumn paints the landscapes of Podkarpackie, its vineyards begin to pulse with life. The gold and red leaves of the grapevines create a picturesque contrast with the dark violet clusters that ripen under the autumn sun. During this time, Podkarpackie transforms into a land where wine is not merely a beverage, but a way to usher spring into the souls of those surrounded by the autumnal scenery.
The Carpathian Wine Trail is a remarkable route that leads through the nooks of Podkarpackie. Traversing the trail, one can discover the secrets of producing this noble drink, from the planting of grapevines, through the fermentation process, to the final stages of the wine's maturation in barrels.
Where specifically to go? An excellent destination for a trip is the Golesz Vineyard, which is the oldest and largest vineyard nursery in Poland. It is no coincidence that it is the birthplace of the only Polish grape variety called 'Jutrzenka'. Here you will find over 6,000 bushes covering an area of 2 hectares. The vineyard can only be visited in groups of at least 20 people. So, gather your friends to discover the taste of local wine.
Another proposition for an autumnal, joyful excursion is a visit to the Widokowa Vineyard. Relatively young, established in 2013, this place covers an area of 4 hectares and is home to several varieties of grapevines. The site lies on the beautiful hills of Kombornia, which don a thousand colors in autumn. Tastings are thus complemented by extraordinary views. The vineyard organizes both individual and group tastings.
In search of the flavors of autumnal grapes, you can also visit the Jasiel Vineyard – the only terraced vineyard in the region, where you can taste the best wines (individually or in group during commented tastings) and buy seedlings of the best grapevines.
Autumn is the time for grape harvests. During this period, the vineyards come alive, and the air fills with the aroma of freshly squeezed juice. It's the perfect moment to see how a simple fruit turns into the nectar of the gods. The vintners of Podkarpackie passionately share their knowledge, talking about the intricacies of production and the secrets that make their wine unique.
The Carpathian Wine Trail also offers the opportunity to taste various wine varieties - from whites and rosés to reds. Each of them has a different character, reflecting the specificity of the region and the individuality of the vintner. Autumn wine, with notes of ripe fruit, vanilla, or caramel, has a particularly deep flavor, perfectly complementing the cooler evenings.
Przemyśl: the city of seven hills
In its autumn attire, Przemyśl is exceptionally picturesque. A city that for centuries has shaped its identity on the border of cultures and traditions, becomes in autumn a place where history merges with nature into one incredible narrative.
The gold and red leaves falling from the trees create a colorful carpet on the cobblestone streets of the old town. Walking through the city, one can smell the scent of leaves and freshly brewed coffee from local cafes. In the background echoes the sound of bells from the cathedral, which looks even more majestic in the autumn light.
In Przemyśl, it is impossible to get bored. When visiting the old town, it's worth stopping by the Roman Catholic Archcathedral, the Greek Catholic Archicathedral, and the churches of the Carmelites and Franciscans. Souls sensitive to the beauty of architecture will also appreciate the 17th and 18th-century tenement houses located around the market square.
After satisfying spiritual needs, it's time to come back to earth and visit... the Museum of Bells and Pipes. Przemyśl has a centuries-old tradition of crafting pipes, an experience you won't find anywhere else.
Don't forget to also explore the Przemyśl Fortress. The 19th-century fortifications were intended to stop the Russian army. Today, they can be admired among autumn colors that lend the place an air of mystery and slight eeriness. This site is excellent for a bicycle tour.
One of the places worth visiting during an autumnal trip to Przemyśl is the Tatar Mound. It is not only an important historical site but also a vantage point offering an amazing panorama of the city. Legend has it that it was here that the Tatar army set up camp during one of their invasions of Poland. Today, it is the perfect spot for a moment of contemplation and reflection on the history of this region.