Bialowieza National Park
Bialowieza © Francesco Carrani
Bialowieza National Park, located on the border between Poland and Belarus, is a heavily protected area that guards the last remnants of the primeval forest that used to cover most of Europe at the time of the last ice age. This ancient woodland is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an absolutely enthralling place to visit. Visitors can take a guided tour of the forest, and feel as though they are trespassing in a land that time forgot.
An additional bonus is that the Bialowieza National Park is also the last place on earth that tourists can see European bison, huge beasts that once roamed across the continent, living undisturbed in their natural habitats. An ecotourism destination of international repute, the nearby town of Bialowieza has begun to cash in on the popularity of the National Park, with numerous luxury spa resorts offering high-class treatments and supremely comfortable lodgings. Bialowieza National Park is a short train ride from Warsaw (two and a half hours) making it possible to visit the park on a daytrip, but it is best to spend at least one night in the area if possible.