Visit the Forest – hints & tips

 

BIALOWIEZA FOREST – NATURE & PEOPLE

 

   GET TO THE FOREST

In this chapter we will give you information about the ways you could choose during travel to The Bialowieza Forest World Heritage site. Firstly you must know that Bialowieza Forest is devided between two states: Poland and Belarus. We will provide you information about Polish part of the Forest. We assume that Warsaw – the capital of Poland is the best start point for the tourists from abroad. Because of the fact that Bialowieza Forest is a big area the town Hajnówka named The Forest Gate is the best place where you can start discovering Bialowieza Forest.

 

samolot logoIf you choose flying to Poland please notice that the nearest airports are located in Warsaw about 220 km away from the Forest.

The main is WARSAW CHOPIN AIRPORT – the biggest airport in Poland which gives you many flight opportunities. see airport-Forest route

The second airport is WARSAW MODLIN AIRPORT – cheaper and lowcoster airlines have the base there. see airport-Forest route

 

Traveling by znak_samochódcar is the most popular way of getting to Bialowieza Forest. Many tourists which are traveling in campers choose visiting The Forest.  plan your travel

 

 

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Tourists destinations can be reached also by bus.

see the list of the main bus stops with timetables

From Warsaw to Hajnowka and Bialowieza there is daily bus connection.

                          see the connection details (please type in correct daprture date)

 

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Pleasant and the most environmentally friendly mean of transport is the train. When you will be planning your travel you have to visit the web site of Polish railways

Type in one of your departure stations:

      Warszawa Lotnisko Chopina (Warsaw Airport)

      Warszawa Zachodnia (Warsaw West)

      Warszawa Centralna (Central station)

      Warszawa Wschodnia (Warsaw East)

You have to choose your arrival station there are two solutions:

 

Hajnowka

Bialystok

Advantages:

You get to the train station which is located about 1 km away form the Forest

Travel through picturesque areas of Polish regions – Mazovia and Podlasie

Cheaper ticket

Advantages:

Fast travel approx. 2,5 h

Wide choice of connections

Travel without changes

Disadvantages:

Connection with changes 1 or 2

Longer travel approx. 4,5 h

Disadvantages:

To Forest Gate – Hajnówka remains 60 km

More expensive ticket

 

 

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   UNOBVIOUS THINGS TO BE TAKEN WITH YOU TO THE FOREST

 

 1.  PASSPORT

The Białowieża Forest is located on two sides of the state border between Poland and Belarus. You do not have to leave the Forest in order to be able to visit its Belarussian part as the border crossing point near the village of Białowieża allows pedestrians and cyclists to get there quickly and easily. As is known, all the citizens of UE and many other countries of the world need a visa to enter Belarus, which means additional costs and bureaucracy. Still, in 2015, the government of Belarus enabled the entrance to the eastern part of the Forest without the need to apply for a visa. The only thing that is required is to fill in a form, which is available on-line, and to have a valid passport. 

It gives you a fantastic opportunity to get to know the whole Forest, which, although divided by the border, remains one and the same exceptional ecosystem. Apart from the expeditions aimed at nature watching, in summer we recommend you to make some bike tours and in winter – to visit the residency of Ded Moroz, the East Slavic counterpart of Santa Claus. For many tourists it is the first chance in their lives to see this hospitable and friendly country that was previously part of the Soviet Union. More details…

 2. SWIMMING SUITE

Altough the Białowieża Forest is not being associated with water sports or having a rest by the waterside, you will not regret if you take your swimming suite with you. In the region, there are several artificial water reservoirs that offer there beaches in the summer time. The biggest of them and one of the biggest in Poland, Siemianówka Lake, attracts not only with its beaches but also with the possibility to sail and practice water sports. There is also a small, modern aqua park located in Hajnówka, literally 500m from the Forest, opened all year round. In the aqua park you can find a racing pool, a slide, such water attractions as an artificial wave, two different kind of sauna, spa and many others. Moreover, the biggest hotels in Białowieża offer their guests access to the hotel swimming pool, massage and spa.

Besides, as shows the thermic map of Poland, the Białowieża Forest is one of the sunniest places in the country. Therefore, even if not on a beach, you should be able to enjoy the sun and nature.

 3. SKIS OR NORDIC WALKING POLES

The climate of Poland is determined by maritime air from the North Atlantic, which comes from the west, and continental air from the east converge. The northeastern part of the country, where the Białowieża Forest is located, is influenced mainly by the continental climate, commonly associated with Russia and Central Asia. Its characteristic features are, among the others, long and frosty winters. Due to the climate, the snow lies longer on the Forest roads and tracks and the dense wood additionally preserves it from melting. All these makes it a perfect place for a cross-country skiing – a sport which demands equilibrated effort and, in consequence, is very beneficial for our health and wellbeing of the whole body.

Nevertheless, if it happens there is no snow in the Forest, take with you your Nordic walking poles and enjoy the tracks created especially for the fans of this kind of activity. The Forest is a perfect place for practicing this sport. Even one of the laps of the Polish Nordic Walking Cup is being held here every September.

In order to get to know the benefits of long walks in the Forest follow the link or this.

 

   MOVING AROUND THE FOREST

Asphalt road network within the forest area is poor. It is due to the need of Forest’s protection. The main town is Hajnówka, called ‘the Gateway to the Forest’. The main road is No 689  from Hajnówka to Białowieża. The Forest is also crossed by a road accessible for cars. It starts from village Pogorzelce and connects Bialowieża with Narewka and Siemianówka region. When driving, remember that the Forest is a home of wild animals and along your way you can meet a boar, deer or bison crossing the road. So beware and watch road signs!

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Gas stations you can find in Hajnówka, Białowieża and Narewka. SEE ON MAP

Standard Gasoline ET95, ET 98, Diesel as well as LPG are available.

To many interesting places you can also get by bus. The cost of the ticket ranges from 1.5 euros to 2 euros per course.

 

 Znak_Białowieski_Park_Narodowy_Bialowieza_National_ParkYou can freely move around the Forest except the strictly protected area, which is Białowieża National Park, and some other reserves where you can enter with a licensed guide.

The Forest is located within the border zone of Belarus, therefore caution should be exercised when visiting areas in close proximity of the border.

To avoid any unwanted surprises look and follow our trails. SEE ON MAP

In some places which are close to the border strip you can meet soldiers of the Polish Border Guard who have the right to ask you for identification.

It can also happen that when traveling by car you will be stopped by Border Guard officers. This is a typical procedure of checking the documents.

In Poland everyone can collect forest fruit. So, if you’re not in a reserve, you can taste forest berries, raspberries or strawberries.

 

   INFO YOU CAN NEED

Knowledge of English is not widely common. However, many locals, especially younger ones, understand some English and can help you get around.

Emergency telephone numbers:

112- the common emergency number

997 – Police

998 – Fire

999 – Medical emergency

When dialing a phone number, be sure to type Polish prefix 48! The area code for local landline number is 85.

The main network operators are: Orange, T-Mobile, PLUS and Play.

In every village there is mobile network coverage but not everywhere in the Forest.

Remember that you are within a frontier area, so you can “catch” the Belarusian network. You should avoid it because calls on Belarusian networks are expensive. So you can  set the selected network in your phone manually.

In larger towns, such as Hajnówka and Bialowieza you will find tourist information points. SEE ON MAP

 

   MEDICAL CARE

In case of an urgent medical assistance need, call an ambulance by dialing 112 or 999

In the Hospital of Hajnówka there is a 24h emergency room.

In Bialowieza, Narewka, Dubicze Cerkiewne and Hajnówka you will find pharmacies and medical facilities providing primary care. SEE ON MAP

 

   FINANCES

The currency is the Polish Zloty. Any other currency is not accepted in payment.

CURRENCY CONVERTOR

SEE ON MAP all the banks and offices where you can exchange money.

In gas stations, larger shops, restaurants, pharmacies, and hotels etc. you can pay by credit card. The most commonly used payment systems are VISA and Mastercard.

You can make cash transfer by Western Union  in PEKAO SA Bank in Hajnówka. SEE ON MAP


Europejski Fundusz Rolny na rzecz Rozwoju Obszarów Wiejskich. Europa inwestująca w obszary wiejskie. Projekt współfinansowany ze środków Unii Europejskiej w ramach osi 4 Leader. Program Rozwoju Obszarów Wiejskich na lata 2007-2013. Projekt zrealizowany przez Stowarzyszenie Metamorphosis. Instytucja zarządzająca Programem Rozwoju Obszarów Wiejskich na lata 2007-13 Minister Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi