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Silesian Tastes Culinary Route - Winner 2015

Winner in the Tourism and Local Gastronomy category

The Silesian Tastes Culinary Route connects regional restaurants serving regional dishes based on traditional recipes and prepared with local products. As the restaurants are scattered all over the region, tourists can easily combine visiting them with discovering the numerous tourist attractions. This combination creates an exceptional way to experience the Silesian region.

What makes the Silesian Tastes Culinary Route special?

The Silesian Tastes Festival has been organised since 2004, and is the most popular culinary festival in the Silesian region. Nevertheless, the Silesian Tourist Organisation wanted to make the regional cuisine available to tourists every single day. The Silesian Tastes Culinary Route shows which places tourists should visit to get the real taste of local specialities.

When promoting the Route, Silesian Tourist Organisation always combines the experience of regional cuisine with interesting tourist landmarks, allowing visitors to experience the history, culture and gastronomy of the region first hand. The Culinary Route shows all cultural influences (Jewish, Czech, and Austrian) that have played a significant role in making the Silesian cuisine so diverse.

Chefs in the Culinary Route restaurants merge these influences with traditional recipes and local products. Discovering the Silesian Tastes Culinary Route allows visitors to try the whole spectrum of local specialities.

Local gastronomy

How about getting to know the diverse culinary traditions of the Silesian region?

Having embarked on the Silesian Tastes Culinary Route you will be tasting a variety of palate pleasing Silesian dishes. The route starts in the north of the region, where you can have a bite of local fish and game and learn how the Jewish culture has influenced the cuisine of the Polish Jura.

In the heart of the region you can play the part of a coalmine worker – and try the traditional food served to give the workers the strength needed for the hard work underground. Food of this kind has remained popular and appreciated among local people - and is part of what makes this regional food tradition so distinct and unusual.

In southern parts of the region visitors can cherish the most popular local dishes of the Beskids.

Discover how tasty the Silesian region is!

Sightseeing tips

  • Attend the Silesian Tastes Festival.
  • Learn how Jewish, Czech and Austrian influences have marked the local gastronomy.
  • Explore the cultural and historical landmarks along the trail.

More information:

Przemysl - Winner 2013

Winner in the Accessible Tourism category

Przemysl is one of the oldest and the most beautiful Polish towns, situated at the foot of the Carpathians, in the southeastern part of Poland. A thousand years of turbulent history have made the town inextricably linked with the fate of the entire Polish republic.

For centuries communication routes have crossed here, linking the East with the West and the North with the South. Przemysl’s position at this meeting point of cultures and religions has resulted in national diversity and rich cultural heritage, achieved by many generations of Poles, Ukrainians and Jews.

The town is home to more than a thousand monuments, enchanting visitors with an unforgettable landscape of steep, narrow streets, adjoining historical buildings and old churches with towers that climb ever higher.

Przemysl is one of the few cities where one can sunbathe on the River San in the summer and ski down the 800-metre slope with a chair lift in the winter. Both historically interested tourists valuing the beauty of nature, and those who prefer active holidays will find something to their liking here.

Accessibility

Przemysl has created barrier free conditions for the use of tourism services by disabled people, seniors and families with children. The main attractions offer facilities for disabled visitors: the Bell Cathedral, the National Museum of Przemysl, History Museum and Castle Kazimierzowski.

In addition, activities combining education and fun are focusing on famillies with children (bike routes, hiking trails, nature routes and education) and a wide offer is dedicated to seniors: cultural routes, Nordic Walking trails, heritage or the European pilgrimage route 'Way of St James Via Regia'.

Sightseeing tips

  • Visit the museum of bells and pipes, the only such museum in the world!
  • Explore the Bolestraszyce Arboretum, a sensory botanical garden where blind people can read subtitles in Braille as well as touching or smelling the plants. The paths allows visitors to drive a wheelchair or baby carriage.
  • Discover the Fortress of Przemysl, the 45 km ring of several auxiliary forts around Przemysl, built in the 2nd half of the 19th century by the Austrian army.

More information

Zyrardow - Winner 2011

Winner in the Tourism and Regeneration of Physical Sites category

Zyrardow is a town situated in the heart of Poland in the Mazovia Voivodeship region. Just 45km from Warsaw, Zyrardow is most famous for its linen factory, established in 1829 by the Lubienscy brothers. It soon became the largest linen factory in Europe.

The historical centre of the city was occupied by the factory settlement. It included homes for the workers, churches, schools, canteens and other local amenities. Today, it is the one of a few urban centres in Europe that has been completely preserved, and is a unique example of the so-called model town or garden city.

The downtown centre of Zyrardow is a stunning architectural testament, characterised by red-brick buildings and well-planned streets, with green fields that separate residential areas from the industrial zone.

As well as offering an insight into life at the factory and its history, Zyrardow offers numerous possibilities for active holidaymakers. Excellent cycling paths (especially near the Bolimowski Natural Landscape Park), and canoeing trips along the Rawki River ensure a great holiday for everyone.

Regeneration and revival

The regeneration project began in 2004, when the city council decided to renovate the central part of the city.

Regeneration was mainly focused on rebuilding and renovating an area of estate housing, bringing back to life the industrial buildings and reviving production and trade activities.

Today, almost all of the factory’s buildings have been restored. The old buildings now have new functions – the Old Linen Spinning Plant and the New Linen Spinning Plant built in 1913 are now flats, restaurants and shops.

Sightseeing tips

  • Take a walking tour around the city centre. Don’t miss the old market square, the workers’ houses from 19th century, the nursery school dating back to 1875 and the Church of Virgin Mary of Consolation – one of the biggest temples in Mazovia.
  • Visit the Karol Dittrich Junior Villa, one of the most impressive buildings in Zyrardow, surrounded by a charming park. It is now the Western Mazovia Museum
  • Visit the Linen Manufacturing Plant where you can watch original old spinning machines and buy beautiful linen tablecloths.

More information

The Biebrza Valley and Wetlands - Winner 2010

Winner in the Aquatic Tourism category

The Biebrza National Park is located in the north-eastern part of Poland. This area is often called the Green Lungs of Poland for its natural beauty and clean, fresh air.

It is one the biggest national parks in Europe and one of the rare biologically intact marshlands of the continent. The Biebrza river is a natural, meandering lowland river and one of the few such rivers in Europe.

Protection of the unspoilt nature and careful cultivation of traditional farmland are the two main focus points for keeping Biebrza’s biodiversity and beauty alive. With its many attractive activities, like water sports, hiking and biking tracks, rare animal and bird species and traditional local villagers Biebrza National Park is the ideal place for an active and recreational vacation in unspoilt surroundings.

What makes the Biebrza Valley and Wetlands unique?

The floodplains of Biebrza are among the last untamed rivers in Europe, and the unique wilderness of the area offers many delights for nature lovers.

For example, the meandering Biebrza River is a living river which floods in spring, thus turning large meadows into lakes.

Apart from picturesque scenes, Biebrza is home to a large bird population, which represent one of the major bird clusters in Central Europe. The exceptional beauty of the area remains largely undisturbed amd is therefore an amazing gateway for holidaymakers looking for new experiences.

Don't miss...

  • the 'Rock in the Swamp' Festival
  • a winter elk safari with a 100% guarantee to meet wildlife from a distance of less than 50 meters
  • the European White Stork Village, a safe habitat for the White Stork contructed to help counterbalance the decrease in stork numbers in Europe.

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The Bird Republic in the Warta Mouth - Winner 2009

Winner in the Tourism and Protected Areas category

The Bird Republic is a unique wetland area in the Warta Mouth National Park, situated in western Poland near SLonsk.

Birdwatching is the main attraction in the park. Each year, the park designates its bird of the year, which is chosen among the many rare and endangered species of birds living in the protected zone. Past birds chosen in the last few years include the Barn Owl (2008) and the Lapwing (2009). For tourists, there is a designated 'Bird Route' trail (Betonka) that leads through some of the most interesting breeding and resting zones of waterfowl and wading birds in the park.

Besides being a refuge for birds, the park also draws visitors looking for adventure. There are a number of biking, walking and canoeing trails. One of such trails in the northern part of the park is a 32km bike route that meanders through some of the park's most lush and spectacular landscaped areas.

What makes the Bird Republic special?

While the region is best known for birdwatching, the park is also a dedicated member of the EUs Natura 2000 Network for Protected Areas. The Landscape Park is a significant protected area that lies on the lower section of the Warta River Valley and the middle section of the Oder River. Vast amounts of flora grow near the wetlands, making it a worthwhile site to see in the spring and summer.

The Warta River Mouth area is also a region of great cultural and historical significance. Many kingdoms once battled over these lands, including the Knights of Saint John and King Frederic the Great of Prussia. Ultimately, Frederic the Great was imprisoned in the Kostrzyn Fortress in the 18th century.

The park has undergone a facelift in the past years in order to make it more tourist-friendly. Large, eco-friendly viewing towers and observation areas were constructed to allow visitors to get closer to the action. Planners and builders took proper precautions to not disrupt wildlife, while making the entire experience for everyone more enjoyable.

Since the park is easily accessible by train and only 70km from Berlin, measures have been taken to maintain its popularity, but also keep it as a place to relax in peace and tranquility.

What to look for in...

  • spring: Birds showing their colourful plumage while mating
  • summer: Fantastic flora filling the grass fields
  • autumn: European Bird Days excursions
  • winter: Migrating and wintering birds taking shelter

Sightseeing tips

  • Vote in the 'Miss Cow' and 'Bird of the Year' elections.
  • Celebrate King Frederic the Great.
  • Relax to the gentle flow of running river water.

More information

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