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PANEK for the weekend – Beskid Śląski

The mountain range, just 4 hours’ drive from Warsaw, is one of the most interesting place for active recreation. Lots of more or less demanding trails, bicycle routes and breathtaking views. The Silesian Beskid, also known as Żywiecki, is a perfect region for a weekend trip from the city. It is worth going there in a safe and well-equipped SUV from PANEK Rent a Car. 

Szczyrk – tourist and bicycle routes Eldorado  Szczyrk is the second most-chosen ski resort in Poland after Zakopane, so finding accommodation should not be a problem, both if you are looking for a cozy room and a luxurious apartment in a hotel. Szczyrk is beautiful, it is not only in winter, and thanks to well-maintained bicycle routes and routes, life is also vibrant here in summer. Bicycles are the dominant sport here and it is not about riding the streets at a walking pace, but about extreme descents. A good idea for active recreation will be a march to Skrzyczne or Klimczok, i.e. the two highest hills surrounding the city. Lovers of walks on flat surfaces will also find something for themselves here, because the main promenade stretches here for kilometers, and the Żylica River, flowing into the Żywieckie Lake, introduces a soothing, idyllic atmosphere to the landscape. 

Wisła – the hometown of Adam Małysz  This holiday resort has become famous in recent years mainly due to one of the most famous Polish sportsmen – Adam Małysz. The ski jumper made the small Wisła so famous that, regardless of the season, crowds flock here, and the hotel base is still developing, offering a stay in luxurious resorts.  The most important attractions of the Wisła include the Beskid Museum located in the building of an old inn from 1794, and the Habsburg Hunting Castle, which now houses the PTTK hostel. It is also worth visiting Hotel Piast – the first hotel in Wisła, built in the first years of the 20th century. An interesting object, undoubtedly an attraction, is certainly the Castle of the President of the Republic of Poland in Wisła, located near the dam in Wisła Czarna. The modernist structure was built on the site of the previously burnt wooden Habsburg hunting palace, in 1929–1930, according to a design by Adolf Szyszko-Bohusz for President Ignacy Mościcki. Since then, this place has been used as a holiday residence for the head of state.  The list of attractions must include places related to Adam Małysz, so it is good to look at the museum dedicated to our best ski jumper and visit the ski jumps in the center of Wisła and in Wisła Malinka, where the World Cup competitions in ski jumping are held at a super modern facility. . Along the main promenade there is the Avenue of Sports Stars, commemorating outstanding Polish sportsmen. Among others, Piotr Żyła, Przemysław Saleta, Apoloniusz Tajner and of course Adam Małysz have their plaques here. 

Koniaków – most beautiful laces  Located in the Silesian Beskids, “Trójwieś”, ie Koniaków, Jaworzynka and Istebna, is famous for its hand-made folk products. Decorative items and articles for everyday use are hand-made here, but Koniaków Lace is undoubtedly the most popular. The lace-making tradition in this town dates back over two hundred years, and confirmation of the craftsmanship of Koniaków residents can be found in the Lace Museum. Maria Gwarek, which is located in one of the houses on the main street of the village. The museum was established in 1962 and a lot of different types of lace were collected there, not only those that decorated sacred places, including altars in temples, but also more unusual ones. For several years, women’s underwear made of the best Koniaków lace has been the biggest sensation among tourists. 

Żywiec – the oldest brewery  The history of brewing in the Żywiec region is over 700 years old. In 1327, Żywiec already had municipal rights, and there were several small breweries in the town and in the castle. At the turn of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, craftsmen from Kraków, Silesia and the Czech Republic, including brewers and coopers, came to Żywiec. This is how the beautiful history of the Beskid city began, and the present Żywiec brewery, founded in 1856 by Archduke Albrecht Frederick Habsburg, is one of the most famous breweries in Europe. You will learn its detailed history by visiting the local museum. Other interesting places are the Old Castle with the museum and the New Castle, known as the Habsburg Palace, which are part of the castle and park complex in Żywiec. The museum, located today in the Old Castle, was established in 1936, and since 2005 it has been located in its current location. Here you can see what the highlanders’ chamber used to look like and what the former townspeople wore. You can also find manuscripts from the 16th century and pictures beautifully painted on glass. A peculiar attraction is certainly the torture chamber with a description of the operation of individual exhibits. It is also worth taking a walk around the Market Square in Żywiec to admire the colorful tenement houses and the town hall from the mid-19th century. 

The sources of the Wisła, the queen of Polish rivers  When visiting the Silesian Beskids, one cannot forget about one of the most interesting natural attractions not only of the entire Silesian region, but of the whole of Poland. Naturally, I am talking about the source, or in fact the springs of the largest Polish river – the Wisła. The source of the Wisła River is considered to be the source of Czarna Wisełka, located at an altitude of approx. 1150 m above sea level, on the southern slope of Barania Góra, and the source of Biała Wisełka flowing out of the north-west slope, at an altitude of approx. 1100 m above sea level. These streams merge with each other in the Wisła-Czarne reservoir, from which the Wisełka flows, which receives the name Wisła only after it joins the Malinka stream. In the vicinity of the springs (the springs themselves are strictly reserved and inaccessible to tourists) it is best to get to the blue trail from the Wisła, or more precisely, from the Czarne district. You can leave the car from PANEK Rent a Car in one of the parking lots, and in addition to the picturesque Barania Góra trail, you will be delighted with beautiful views of the Silesian Beskids.