Popular Winter Games in Poland

Skiing is by far the most popular winter sports in Poland. Almost all the skiing grounds have ski-lifts and some have chair lifts and cable cars. There are slopes of various difficulties for beginners and for more serious skiers. Some slopes like the Mt. Gubalowka range have artificial snow makers to provide more fun. You can hire skiing gear at all the slopes and ski instructors are available for necessary guidance.

Besides, down hill skiing, another popular sport is cross-country skiing. There are gentle slopes, flat plateaus and scenic valleys in most of the centers for cross-country skiing. People very often choose only cross-country skiing because it is more recreational and good for general health and fitness. Cross-country skiing also gives you the opportunity to enjoy the panoramic view of the hills at a more leisurely pace. Participants gather annually to participate in various Cross Country Skiing Contests held at the different centers. Better known among them are the Jaworze Cross Country Skiing Contest organized in February, which has an interesting "romantic run" for couples along torch lit tracks. The Ski Run for peasants is another favorite contest.

Ski jumping again is something that sports enthusiasts love to participate. Ski jumping contests are getting more popular since the appearance of the phenomenal Adam Malycz. A great fan following of spectators also gather at the contests at Zakopane. Szczyrk also has a ski jump of international standards.

Another favorite winter sport in Poland is the sleighing cavalcades or kuligi. It has been a tradition in Poland to have the Highlanders' Parade in February - a festival for the local highlanders who flaunt their decorated sleighs and traditional costumes. As a part of the parade, the kumoterki race or the skijoring contest is held. This is a race of small sleighs drawn by one horse. Exciting adventure sports like these are now organized by the stud farms for the entertainment of the tourists. The kuligi organized in the Beskids and the winter cavalcades held in the Bieszcady Mountains are worth seeing.

A favorite sport for both children and adults is the sledge run. Most winter sports centers have developed sledge runs for their guests. The Kolorowa slope in Karpacz has an all-year artificially iced chute constructed specially for sledge running. This is Poland's longest metal pipe with fourteen bends, two tunnels and the only spiral turn in the world, the whole chute has a length of 1060 meters.

Poland with its large frozen lakes in the northeastern region has great opportunities for snow gliding or ice-boating in winter. The large ice bodies and the strong winds provide good acceleration making ice-boating an exciting sport. Skating on these natural ice fields is also popular.

Kayaking in winter is another exciting adventure sport. In winter most of the river freezes and even a wide river is reduced to narrow channel with rapid currents. Kayaking down this narrow strip can be quite thrilling with ice floats posing a danger. Besides, with riverbanks frozen over, even getting into the kayaks sometimes gets very difficult. The close proximity with nature though is exhilarating. It is wonderful to watch the fantastic shapes of frozen snow and trees covered with hoar on the riverbank.

In the sparsely populated regions of northern Poland, clubs and associations often organize adventures like hiking in the wilderness with snowshoes. Sled dogs of northern breed are also reared there for dog sleds. An International Contests of dog teams are held in December. Poland once again offers the best terrain and conditions for such wild winter sports.
Winter Sports in Poland  |  Popular Winter Games in Poland  |  Winter Sports Centers in Poland