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Zawoja

Zawoja is often called the largest village in Poland. The town has a population of just 6000 but stretches along a valley for more than 20km! There are two main reasons for people to visit Zawoja – in winter the ski slopes attract large crowds, while in summer this is best place from which to explore the nearby hiking trails, most notable the famous mountain Babia Gora.

Sightseeing

Aside from outdoor activities, Zawoja is famous for its wooden architecture and its folk culture. The people here are known around Poland as ‘Babia Gora Highlanders’, taken from the name of the highest mountain in the region.

  • Babia Gora, meaning literally Witches’ Mountain, is the highest mountain in Poland outside of the Tatra Mountains. In shape it is more of a hill than a mountain, and for this reason is accessible to more people than some of the rocky peaks in the Tatras. The mountains is easily climbed in a day, and if the whether abides the views are among the best (certainly most far-reaching) in all of Poland.
  • In winter Zawoja is a popular ski resort. With 3 lifts it is not the biggest resort in Poland, but the slopes are of varying steepness and difficulty meaning there is something for most people.

Geography and History

Zawoja is located in the Lesser Poland province, in the south of the country on the border with Slovakia. The town is at the base of Babia Gora which has an altitude of 1725m.

  • Zawoja is located next to the town of Skawica, which first appeared in documents at the end of the 16th century. At this time the two towns both came under the name of Skawica.
  • It was not until August 31, 1936 that the two towns were distinguished. The name Zawoja was taken from the Italian word ‘zavoi’, which means ‘forest by a river’.