Are Bieszczady everywhere?
When looking for accommodation in the Bieszczady Mountains, I must have followed the same path as most internet searchers. I entered "Bieszczady accommodation" in the search engine and I got an endless list of offers. From the search results, I found out that there are places in the Bieszczady Mountains that I would never suspect.
Oh shit - I thought - these Bieszczady are very vast mountains. They occupy a large chunk of Poland! Well, maybe from the point of view of the owner of the accommodation, the accommodation proposed by him is in the Bieszczady Mountains ... but if I have to drive 1,5 hours to the parking lot by the trail, I have serious doubts whether this accommodation is really in the Bieszczady Mountains.
Following the descriptions of the proposed accommodation, without going into the map (especially in the case of the Bieszczady Mountains), you can get quite a slip-up. The growing popularity of these mountains means that more and more towns (in fact, owners of accommodation) are joining the Bieszczady Mountains to sell their services more easily. Ultimately, however, it may turn out that you will have to spend more time in the car, on access to the trails, than on walking in the mountains.
Bieszczady - the map is the basis
Surprised by the search results and the momentum with which the owners of accommodation units lead to the constant expansion of the Bieszczady Mountains, I decided to start from the beginning, i.e. from the map. Most of us want to go to the Bieszczady Mountains to walk through the stunning mountain pastures… that's clear.
No one will be surprised by the fact that the most beautiful parts of the Bieszczady Mountains, i.e. those which we, tourists care about the most, are covered by the area of Bieszczady National Park. It is also the area of the so-called High Bieszczady.
Połoniny (i.e. areas in the form of vast, grassy glades, devoid of high vegetation and trees) appear in the Bieszczady Mountains more or less above 1100 m above sea level.
Well, let's see on the map which area we are most interested in!
On the map below, the area we are interested in is highlighted in blue. It coincides with the area of the Bieszczady National Park. I have also marked the location of the most beautiful highlands of the Bieszczady and the most interesting parts of the Bieszczady on the map.
I admit that the selection result surprised me a bit. It turned out that despite the skeptical and very careful approach to offers such as "accommodation in the Bieszczady Mountains", the marked area with the most interesting parts of the Bieszczady Mountains is still smaller than even to me - the skeptic - it seemed. Maybe my criteria are too demanding? In the end, even Cisna, which is inherently associated with the Bieszczady Mountains, found itself outside this area!
Let's check! For this, another map will be useful. I left a selection of the most beautiful mountain meadows in the Bieszczady Mountains on it, and added the location of the most popular places offering accommodation in "Bieszczady". I also checked the travel times to the car parks, which are located at the beginning of the hiking trails leading to the meadows (in this case, I decided to provide the travel times to the parking lot in Brzegi Górne, from which you can exit the trail to Połonina Wetlińska i Połonina Caryńska. I marked it on the map with the blue parking symbol).
I did not put the travel times from individual places on the map, so as not to obscure the map. I put them under the map.
Commuting times from accommodation in "Bieszczady"
Now that I know what I expect, I can check which accommodation I can consider as lying in the Bieszczady Mountains. The only criterion that interests me at the moment is the travel time to the most interesting trails in the Bieszczady Mountains.
Travel time from Sanok to Bieszczady is 1h 30min one way (!!!).
Can you imagine that you would have to devote 3 hours to the routes alone each day? Nonsense! But Sanok's accommodation offer appears among the offers of accommodation in the Bieszczady Mountains. Sanok definitely not suitable as a base for hiking in the Bieszczady Mountains.
One-way travel time: 1h 15min
Another town that sells "accommodation in the Bieszczady Mountains", located almost 70 km from the Bieszczady Mountains. It is like selling accommodation at the seaside in Malbork, which is 20 km closer to the sea than from Lesko in the Bieszczady Mountains.
One-way travel time: 1h 5min
Solina has always (in my head) been in the Bieszczady Mountains. Hearing "Solina" I thought "Bieszczady". Well, it turns out this stereotype is false. An hour of driving one way is way too far.
However, if you do not plan to go out to the Bieszczady Wysokie every day and you are just looking for a nice place to relax and less physically demanding, but beautiful walking routes, read guide to Solina and its vicinity - [click].
One-way travel time: 1h
Polańczyk, next to Solina, is probably the largest accommodation base in "Bieszczady". When searching for accommodation, there are plenty of offers in Polańczyk. Unfortunately, you have to be clear: Polańczyk is not located in the Bieszczady Mountains. It is still 50 km away from the real Bieszczady Mountains, which is still more from the sea than the previously mentioned Malbork.
One-way travel time: 50min
It was another surprise for me. I have always located Ustrzyki in the heart of the Bieszczady Mountains, and here you are, almost an hour one way drive. It still feels like a bit too much.
Ustrzyki Górne, of course, are located in the Bieszczady Mountains, but the routes that interest us are too far away. One year we lived in Ustrzyki Dolne and I felt the inconvenience of such a long journey to the trails on my own skin.
One-way travel time: 35min
The first in a series of locations with a reasonable travel time. Although Cisna is located outside the Bieszczady National Park (it is located in the Cisniańsko-Wetliński Landscape Park), the journey time around 30 minutes is fully acceptable. I also checked it on my own skin. We lived in Cisna for 11 days and commuting from Cisna to various routes was not bothersome. Anyway, in Bieszczady, wherever you live, due to the fact that the routes are quite scattered, you will always have to go somewhere.
Cisna is a good starting point.
One-way travel time: 10min
Wetlina is the heart of the Bieszczady Mountains (although it still formally lies outside the border of the Bieszczady National Park). Perfect location, close to everything. From a wanderer's point of view, one of the best places to stay in the Bieszczady Mountains. Wetlina passes, among others the yellow trail to the Wetlinska pastureso a few hikes can be made without even commuting anywhere.
When looking for accommodation, it is also worth checking the vicinity of nearby villages located between Cisna and Wetlina (Dołżyca, Krzywe, Przysłup, Strzebowiska, Kalinca, Smerek). Currently, there are many interesting places to stay and new ones are constantly being created.
One-way travel time: 10min
Ustrzyki Górne is a perfect location. Two main tourist routes of the Bieszczady (red and green) pass through here, leading to: Tarnica, Szeroki Wierch, Połonina Caryńska, Beech Berdo, Halych. Access to the starting points for other routes is very short. Unfortunately, Ustrzyki Górne has a very small number of beds. Reservation of accommodation here must be made several months in advance.
One-way travel time: 10min
This is another micro-town in the Bieszczady Mountains. Perfectly located but requires searching and booking a place many months in advance.
One-way travel time: 30min
Muczne is a place for lovers of really secluded places. It is located almost at the end of the Bieszczady Mountains, and tourist traffic is limited only to those who come at the beginning the yellow trail to Bukowe Berdo. During the rest of the day it is an oasis of peace and quiet.
The yellow trail I mentioned is an excellent pass for hiking in a group of mountain meadows and peaks located nearby Beech Berd, Szeroki Wierch, Tarnica and Halicz. The perfect base for true hikers.
One-way travel time: 20min
Lutowiska is a great location. The travel time to Brzegi Górne is only 20 minutes, but it is worth noting that Ustrzyki Górne, which is a great starting point for several spectacular routes, is just as close (19 minutes). It will take us the same amount of time to get to Muczne.
In addition to the perfect location, Lutowiska offers quite a nice accommodation base, which is getting wider every year.
Below are two links to two proven accommodation bases. The links are prepared in such a way that they filter the results so that the currently available offers from the Lutowiska commune are displayed first, and then from the immediate vicinity.
Accommodation at Lutowiska Airbnb - [click]
Accommodation at Lutowiska booking.com - [click]
The best accommodation in Bieszczady and the search for accommodation
There is a lot of databases and search engines with accommodation in the Bieszczady Mountains. I cannot judge the credibility of all of them. I do not know to what extent the offers contained in them are consistent with the descriptions, etc. So I do not want to blindly recommend many different search engines. I myself most often use one or two, which I have tested many times during many years of travel. Through them, for over a dozen years, I have used several dozen reservations throughout Europe and Poland without any problems. So I will recommend what I know well myself.
So below I am placing a link to the website with accommodation and hotel offers, prepared in such a way that it automatically filters accommodation from the Bieszczady National Park, eliminating those that do not lie in the Bieszczady Mountains, although they would like to.
Second accommodation base: accommodation in Bieszczady - [click]
In addition, proposals for specific accommodation located near the most interesting trails in Bieszczady can be found in separate entries grouped under a common slogan: Bieszczady for beginners - [click]
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