Kampinos, Warsaw, Poland

Kampinos – the green lungs of Warsaw

Its contrasting landscape of sand dunes and marches inundated in luscious greenery make Kampinos Forest a perfect destination for a relaxing break, while its landmarks including the birthplace of Frederic Chopin, manor-houses, and fascinating wooden architecture make it a great destination for all those who want to venture out and discover Poland outside the capital.

Kampinos Forest stretches over a whopping 240 km², most of it covered by the Kampinoski National Park. It is located just west of Warsaw, which is an unlikely neighbourhood, as natural reserves of this scale are rarely adjacent to urban agglomerations. It boasts many natural marvels including the best preserved European complex of inland sand dunes, which are quite incongruously intertwined with stretches of marshland, making hikes in the Kampinos forest equal parts picturesque and diverse.

Kampinos Forest stretches over a whopping 240 km², most of it covered by the Kampinoski National Park. It is located just west of Warsaw, which is an unlikely neighbourhood, as natural reserves of this scale are rarely adjacent to urban agglomerations. It boasts many natural marvels including the best preserved European complex of inland sand dunes, which are quite incongruously intertwined with stretches of marshland, making hikes in the Kampinos forest equal parts picturesque and diverse.

Apart from its natural heritage, the Kampinos area is abundant in man-made attractions. Most tourists flock to visit Żelazowa Wola – the village where Frideric Chopin was born, which he later immortalised in his work – but many consider the charming wooden architecture of the tiny Granica to be the most picturesque in the area. Wooden architecture is also the reason to come the village of Kampinos itself, where you can find an extraordinary baroque church built of pine.

If you feel like experiencing a little bit of the life of the noblesse, you can stay at the renovated 18th century manor in Strzyżew, surrounded by a beautiful landscape park, but if you rather stay close to nature and save some money, you can choose from one of the many agritourist farms in Czosnów, Kampinos or Leszno.

Kampinos Forest will keep your lungs filled with crystal clean air, your eyes open in wonder at the beauty of the area, and your ears peaked at the sound of Chopin’s music hummed by the rustling leaves.

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