Białowieża National Park

Description. – Accommodation. -Links

Białowieża National Park (Białowieski Park Narodowy) is the oldest of the Polish national parks, having been established in 1921. The area is 10,502 ha (105 km2). The park is located in the heart of the Białowieża primeval forest and in 1977 it was recognized by UNESCO as an international biosphere reserve and also in 1979 (as the only nature reserve in Poland) as belonging to the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Since 1992, the park forms part of the Polish-Belarusian transnational Białowieża area and registered as such at UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The main area of the park is the actual reserve, located between the rivers Hwozna to the north and Narewka to the west. The state border with Belarus (marked with a barbed wire fence) passes through the area; To the east of the border fence lies the (substantially larger) Belarusian National Park of the same name.
Białowieża National Park protects the last natural forest ecosystems in the European lowlands, located in the deciduous and mixed forest zone. The wood stocks and forest deposits that have been saved are the only examples of what European forests once looked like. The most important forest deposit of the Central European type is a forest of oak and beech, which in Polish is called by the popular name “Degree”. This forest type has a characteristic structure in that it consists of several levels: Above the deciduous leaves of the deciduous trees a few sky-high peaks of red spruce rise, often reaching up to 45 meters in height. Under the tallest fir trees is a level of considerable peaks of oak, lime, maple and sometimes also ash and elm. At a height of 10-20 meters you will find the compact beech wood crowns. The vegetation with shrubs in the forest floor is also very lush.
Several forest deposits in the park are more than 200 years old as a whole and many single trees are between 250 and 400 years old.
The value of the forests in the national park is first and foremost in the unusual wealth that among other things is expressed in the number of species.
The fauna in the park is also extremely rich. The largest animal in the Białowieża primeval forest and throughout Europe is the bison ox. Two thousand years ago, this animal lived in almost all of Europe except the northern part of Scandinavia. Adult bison can reach a weight of 1 ton. In addition to bison, live animals, wild boar, deer, deer and beavers live here as well. Of larger predators are wolf and lynx.
No less than 130 bird species build nests in the park, including the scream eagle, the black stork and the crane, as well as 8 species of woodpecker.
The National Park also includes the Castle Park, the Center for Bison Breeding and the Protection Area “Hwozna”. Available to tourists is the Bison Demonstration Reserve (where you also see other animals), the Forest and Nature Museum and the Center for Nature Education.

Access roads and accommodation:
You take a passenger car or bus by road No. 689 from Bielsk Podlaski and into the border of the national park; first there is 27 km to the small town of Hajnówka, located on the border of the primeval forest (Puszcza Białowieska); in Hajnówka there are a few smaller hotels and private room rentals; From here it is 19-20 km through the forest to the large village of Białowieża, which is centrally located in the forest and right on the border of the national park. On the way through the forest there is a road sign to the left towards the village of Budy, where you can spend the night in a guest house. In Białowieża itself there are 2-3 large hotels, guesthouses, private room rentals (also of the type “bed & breakfast”) as well as campsites.
In Białowieża there is direct entrance to the area of the national park.

Visit the national park and excursions in the forest:
Excursions on foot – accompanied by a guide – in the strictly protected area, including visits to the bison sanctuary: contact the tourist office: Biuro Uslug Turystycznych PTTK, ul.Kolejowa 17, Białowieża.
Outside the strictly protected area there are marked tourist paths for walking or cycling.
Horse riding and horse riding are also available. You can also ask the individual hotels about their special offers to the tourists.

The National Park's address is:
Białowieski Park Narodowy
Park Palacowy 5
17-230 Białowieża
Tel: + 48 – 835 12 306
Fax: + 48 – 835 12 323

The entire Białowieża forest is located on the border between Poland and Belarus, of which the national park is a small part, covering a total area of 1,470 km2 (ie like Lolland and Mon together), of which 595 km2 (ie slightly more than Bornholm area) in the Polish side of the border. In comparison, the largest Danish forest, Rold forest, covers only 77 km2.

(Distances from: Białystok about 90, Warsaw about 250; Gdansk about 517 km)

General links

World Heritage Sites in Poland

Other links

Cycling holiday in Poland Read on this page about our offer for cycling through the Bialowieza Forest.

Frank Verhart: Bialowieza forest and Bialowieza. Other places

Translated into English by Google Translate. accept no liability for any errors or omissions in translation.

Białowieża National Park
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