• Hiking in the Tatras (Zakopane): Zakopane is the jumping-off point for hundreds of miles of gorgeous hiking trails. You can try one of the 2,000m (6,562-ft.) assaults on the peaks or a more leisurely stroll along breathtaking valleys carved out by tiny mountain streams. For more ambitious climbers, plan a whole-day outing to cross the peaks into Slovakia in summer.
  • Biking in the Giant Mountains (Szklarska Poreba): Szklarska Poreba has evolved into the mountain-biking capital of southern Poland. More than a dozen trails, catering to all skill levels, fan out from the town in every direction. Some of the trails are all-day affairs, while others are shorter and oriented more toward recreational cyclists or families with children. Pick up a free cycling map from the tourist information office.
  • Rafting the Dunajec River (near Zakopane): The Dunajec River marks the country's southeastern border with Slovakia. It winds through a picturesque gorge in the Pieniny Mountains east of the Tatras that makes it absolutely perfect for rafting. The season runs from April through October, and on a sunny afternoon, this can be a fabulous day out, especially for kids. It's less whitewater rafting and more of a slow, gentle float down the river on group rafts manned by Górale mountain men kitted out in their traditional folk garb. The boating center on the Polish side is at Sromowce Katy, not far from Zakopane.
  • Kayaking in Northeastern Poland (Mazury and Augustów): Rivers and canals crisscross the lake districts of northeastern Poland, allowing you to drift from marshland to woodland, with plenty of bird-watching in between. You can paddle for 1 day or 7; there are plenty of routes -- rated from kid-friendly to daredevil -- to choose from.
  • Downhill Skiing (Giant Mountains and Tatras): Poland is not the first country that comes to mind when you think of skiing in Europe. But in the south of the country, in the mountainous areas near the Czech Republic and Slovakia, there are several excellent ski resorts and some very good downhill runs. The country's longest ski run is at Szklarska Poreba in the Giant Mountains. The most popular resort is Zakopane in the Tatras. Both have good infrastructures with lifts and ski rentals.
  • Swimming in the Baltic (Hel Peninsula and Leba): A beach holiday in Poland? It doesn't seem possible, yet thousands of people flock to the resorts around Sopot in the summer to dip their toes (quite literally, given the temperature of the water) in the Baltic Sea. There are miles of sandy beaches, and the water is clean and refreshing. Pity that the surf temp rarely rises to above tolerable, but that's really part of the charm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.