It is here, where in The Chronicles of Narnia Lucy Pevensie dreamed of meeting the Lion Aslan. However, the Kłodzko land exists quite seriously on the surface – and delights at first sight!
A tiny piece of Poland in the central Sudetes, surrounded on three sides by the Czech Republic, condenses an incredible number of attractions.
In just over 1,600 square kilometers, you will find some of the world’s few flat-topped type mountains with rocks shaped like monkeys, horse heads, mushrooms and skulls, bogs just like in Alaska and a stalactite-infested cave with cave bear skeletons.
Here you can visit the largest mountain fortress in Europe and float down a rushing river under a Gothic bridge on a pontoon. Relax among the stunning 19th-century villas in the numerous spas, visit a unique paper mill, and in close proximity see an extraordinary neo-Gothic palace where you will feel like you are in the Alhambra. You can learn about the region’s troubled history in a spooky chapel lined with human skulls and bones, and in the nearby Golden Mountains you can drive down a mine that once supplied 2% of the world’s mined gold.
We could go on for a long time with this counting. One thing you can be sure of – you will not have enough time to see at least some of it all in one go!
As a consolation, we will add that it is closer here than you might think. You can get here from Vienna in just four hours!
The Kłodzko land is surrounded on all sides by the Sudetes, but historically it is not part of Silesia. For centuries it had been closer to Czechia from here, but under 18th-century treaties the region fell into the hands of Prussia.
Preoccupied with the vision of losing their new conquest, the Prussian kings then expanded or built massive fortresses in Kłodzko and Srebrna Góra, which amaze not only lovers of military architecture.
Later, Marianne Orange-Nassau – an unconventional businesswoman and emancipated aristocrat who fled to the Sudetes from the scandal of living in an open relationship – officiated here. On her initiative, palaces, glass factories, stone roads were built here, and a cow breeder brought from Switzerland established a specialized cow farm below the top of the Śnieżnik Mountain, where a tourist shelter operates today.
“I recommend walking to the Rock Skull in the Stołowe Mountains,” Marcelina tells us. This is a relatively recently discovered place that looks amazing in photos. The natural orbits were formed from air bubbles, deposited for a long time under the uplifted sandstone.
And there are many more such unusual rocks in the Stołowe Mountains! You will meet here, for example, “Camel”, “Monkey”, “Elephant”, Horse Head” and “Hen”.
“I recommend sunsets on Szczeliniec,” Maciek told us. Supplies reach this shelter, suspended high above a rocky precipice, by a special freight elevator. There are more tourists here on weekends, but even in the middle of the season the small shelter empties out in the evening.
Evening views from the terrace of the vast fields surrounding the small but lofty massif of the Stołowe Mountains are deeply memorable.
Believe it or not, but from Austria you can confidently come here for a weekend and relax. The average travel time by car from Vienna to Kłodzko is only 4 hours!
For the Swiss, it is a longer journey. You have to expect about 10 hours of driving.
The easiest way to get to Kłodzko from Wrocław is by train. Local services run regularly every few hours, it takes about 2 hours to travel the route. You can also get here by train from the border town of Lichkov in the Czech Republic.
Szczelinka – a family guesthouse in the middle of the Stołowe Mountains run by Maciek – the tenant of the shelter on Mount Szczeliniec. Close exits to all the most famous trails in the area. Great food and a great team with many mountain adventures behind them!
Artystyka – an old Sudetes house in the rarely visited by tourists, empty and wild Bystrzyckie Mountains. Food on site. http://podwysoka.pl/ The owner conducts workshops in ceramics and bread baking.
The Geologist’s House – a charming cottage in the fields at the foot of the Śnieżnik massif run by an avid mountain hiker and kayaker and musician. Cooking on site, the opportunity to buy local products – eggs, cheese, honey or preserves. Exclusive house for up to 11 people.