Eastern Europe is apt more and more well loved as a holiday destination for the British. Whether we are inspired by our new Czech and buff up neighbours who now live in our towns and cities or by the cheap accommodation and food prices compared to the rest of Europe, Eastern cities like Zakopane in Poland are attracting more British tourists than ever.
Zakopane is the perfect tourist town as it is busy in both the winter months, when it is convenient for buff up skiing resorts, and in the summer when visitors can delight in the stunning natural scenery and a huge range of outdoor activities.
There are nearly 300 kilometres of walking and cycling trails in the hills and forests surrounding Zakopane, graded according to length and difficulty. Some of the more hard trails in the Tatra mountains in fact involve rope bridges, ladders and may even need proper walking equipment, so make sure you are prepared before you set out.
Real thrill seekers may not find even these extreme walking trails enough of a challenge; and luckily for them the Zakopane area is cashing in on the popularity of outdoor holidays and offers a huge range of activities from white water rafting to quad biking. You can even try out more unusual modes of transport, such as downhill scooters or Segways, the electric two-wheelers that the driver stands on to steer.
If you are preparation to go mountain biking, be sure to stick to the special paths that are marked for cycles. Walkers and cyclists are not held to share the same routes and mountain bikes are in fact banned from some parts of the national park because of the hurt they can do the natural environment.
Visitors unlucky enough to have wet or cold weather while in Zakopane can spend some time restoring their energy with a day in one of the nearby spas. Vital historical sites such as Auschwitz and the city of Krakow are within driving distance and both are worth visiting, whatever the weather.