Enjoy wonderful landscapes and romantic historic towns during autumn in Poland. Autumn is the perfect time to see Poland’s wildlife and taste regional products, like fish and mushrooms. Falling, bronze, red and yellow coloured leaves and views that are stunningly beautiful especially during sunny weather. When you visit Poland during your autumn holidays remember that September is mostly warm and sunny, but in November in eastern Poland and in the mountains it can be cold and even snowy.
Bird watching on the best spots in Poland
At the end of the summer and in autumn many bird species migrate from Poland to warmer countries. Autumn holidays are therefore perfect for bird watching. One of the first migrating birds is the northern lapwing, migrating from the middle of August to the end of September. Bean geese are among the lasts birds which leave Poland for warmer countries.
Bird Republic – bird watching paradise
The best spot for bird watching in western Poland is the “Bird Republic” in the Słońsk Reserve in the Warta Mouth National Park. Here you can get a glimpse of the rarest bird species. In late summer, during breeding season, you can observe corn crakes, black-crowned night heron and hoopoe. While in autumn, when migration starts, you can notice grebes, common cranes, bean geese, greater white-fronted geeese and even several black storks. Excellent marked nature trails will lead you along the best observation points. Cyclists can ride the thirty-kilometres-long nature path. The Park is also a crucial wintering place for species like: Whooper Swans, Mute Swans and White-tailed Eagles. In autumn the meadows at Warta River are being taken over by large colonies of artic geese (bean geese as well as greater white-fronted geese), numbering about 60-200 thousand.
The flood lands and meadows of the Warta Mouth National Park are of vital meaning for birds across Europe, regarding breeding as well as moulting, migration and wintering. The wetlands of the “Bird Republic” are protected under the Ramsar Convention.
International Lower Odra River Valley Landscape Park
North of the of the “Bird Republic” you can also visit the Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds in the Lower Odra River Valley, a German-Polish landscape park (south of Szczecin). These plains are habitats for rare birds such as the Black Stork, the Aquatic Warbler, and the Corn Crake, but you can also spot otter and beaver.
Spectacular fish harvest in the Milicz ponds
More than 100 fish ponds in the Barycz Valley represent the world’s largest concatenation of ponds. Milicz carp is a registered regional product with a long tradition and high quality. Taste regional products and explore the natural values of the Barycz Valey (Lower-Silesia and Greater Poland) during the Carp Days lasting from September until October. The program includes, among others, fish feasts, culinary contests, rafting trips and performances of folklore bands. Combine bird watching events with the annual fish harvest. Young White-tailed Eagles are attracted by the abundance of easily accessible food during fish harvesting. You can also easily observe Cranes, Whooper Swans, Tufted Ducks, Common Pochards and Common Mergansers on their autumn flights. Interesting bicycle and nature trails, educational centres, as well as the best infrastructure for bird watching, you will find in Krośnice, Milicz and Ruda Milicka. The best sites for bird watching are broad ponds with reed islands.
Migrating Cormorants and Cranes
In September, half October thousands of cranes migrate from the Szczecin Lagoon, Wolin National park (north-western Poland), the Barycz Valey and the valuable wetlands of Biebrza marshes (eastern Poland) to warmer countries.
Cormorants are best spotted on the Vistula Spit, a very narrow piece of land on the Baltic Coast, near Gdańsk. The Kąty Rybackie reserve is home the second largest colony of the Great Cormorant and Grey Heron in Europe. More than eleven thousand cormorant pairs are nesting within the local reserve. Cormorants are very easy to spot, they nest on top of pine trees and in autumn they migrate in big V-shaped flocks.
Observe the annual autumn rut
The impressive autumn rut is a top wildlife spectacle, which you can observe and hear in among others the Borecka Forest, Bialowieza Forest (both northeastern Poland) and the Lower Silesian Wilderness (western Poland) where red deer are widespread and common. From the end of September until October you can watch red deer as they engage in fierce battles for mating rights. You can hear strange groaning and belching sounds in the forests from sunset to sunrise. It makes your stay in a cozy cottage in the Polish forests an unforgettable experience.
Sweet autumn holidays
When you visit the city of Poznań (western Poland) around the eleventh of November you should see the Saint Martin’s parade. In the evening you can watch the spectacular fireworks show. Try typical Martin croissants – pastry filled with poppy seeds, crushed almonds or walnuts and dainties – which you can buy everywhere in the city. If you want to learn more about the secrets of Saint Martin’s Croissants than visit the beautiful, renaissance tenement house opposite the Town Hall on the Old Market. In the Croissant museum, you can learn how to make this speciality. This is a very nice and tasty break for families with children.
Huge amounts of edible mushrooms
Take a wicker basket and try your hand on mushroom picking when you spend your autumn holidays in Poland. This is a very common leisure activity among Poles. In Poland there are dense forests and the climate for wild mushrooms is perfect. Late summer and autumn is the best time for picking edible mushrooms. The best forests are mixed forests with pine, spruce, oak and beech trees. But be cautious: some mushrooms are very poisonous. A local guide can identify which mushrooms are edible and also knows the best spots for picking. If you don’t want to pick them by yourself you should try delicious dishes prepared with wild mushrooms in a restaurant.
The best places for mushroom picking in Poland
Paradises for mushroom lovers are the Świętokrzyska Forest (central Poland), Beskid Sądecki, Bieszczady Mountains (both southern Poland), Knyszyńska Forest, Kurpiowska Forest (both northeastern Poland), Puszcza Radomska (south of Warsaw). But also near big cities their are a lot of spots. Near Warsaw in the Kampinoski Forest, the Notecka Forest north of Poznań, or the Bukowa Forest near Szczecin.
In some regions mushroom festivals, picnics or wild mushroom hunts are organized. In the Borecka Forest (Masurian Lake District) you can join exciting trips in one of the wildest deep forests of Poland. Krzywogoniec, a small village in the Tuchola Forest (northern Poland) is Poland’s first mushroom village. And in south-western Poland in the Lower Silesian Wilderness the village of Węgliniec organises the European mushroom picking contest.
Observe stars in darkness reserves
When days are getting shorter in autumn and the weather is still good go to the Biesczady or Sudetian Mountains to observe stars. In the Polish mountains there are places which are among the darkest in Europe! Izera Dark Sky Park in the Sudetian Mountains (southwestern Poland) on the Czech-Polish border is one of Europe’s darkness reserves.
The darkest region in Poland however is Bieszczady (southeastern Poland). Here you can stay in beautiful cottages which have even their own telescopes. Bieszczady Starry Sky Park in Lutowiska together with the Połoniny Dark Sky Park in Slovakia and Transcarpathian Dark-Sky Park in Ukraine make up the East Carpathian Biosphere Reserve and Europe’s largest dark sky reserve. On cloudless and moonless nights you can see more than 7,000 stars with your own eyes. The Bieszczady Mountains offer a spectacular view of zodiacal light. A yellowish, white glow caused by sunlight scattered by space dust in the zodiacal cloud is visible with the naked eye just before sunrise in autumn.
Wind down on quiet beaches
Why not spend your autumn holidays on the Baltic Coast? In northern Poland you will find beaches where you can joy peace and quiet, especially after the summer season. Because of wide and dense forests near the Baltic Coast, these beaches are difficult to reach. There are no roads for the motorized, you can only walk or cycle to the beach. You can find quiet beaches even in the vicinity of the vibrant city of Gdańsk for example in the commune of Choczewo in northern Kashubia, or on the Vistula Spit near the Russian border. Last but not least, you should visit the Slowinski National Park (near Łeba) with walking dunes and beautiful beaches.
Find amber on the beach
Around the world capital of Amber – Gdańsk – you can find amber on the beaches. The best time for this activity is just after an autumn or spring storm. The best places to look for amber are beaches east of Gdańsk: Sobieszewo Island, Mikoszewo, Jantar and Stegna. West of Gdańsk you can find amber on the beaches of Sasino (commune of Choczewo) and Ustka. In Gdańsk you can join amber workshops at the Michel Amber Manufacture and visit the very interesting Amber Museum.
Enjoy your autumn holidays in Poland
Early autumn in Poland, called Indian summer (babie lato) is often warm and sunny, the sea water has a moderate temperature and beaches are empty and quiet. Lay down on the warm white soft sand, feel the warmth and light of the sunbeams and dream about your autumn holidays in Poland. Weren’t they wonderful and romantic?