Jelenia Gora, Lower Silesia

Camping Sloneczna Polana    July 2012

This is a convenient, pleasant campsite for a night or two if, like us, you are coming from Germany and cross into Poland at Gorlitz. It’s Dutch-owned and run, and when we were there many of the campers were also Dutch. The staff are very helpful and speak English.

It’s a medium-sized, grassy site with some trees. The pitches are large and level, numbered but not hedged or otherwise divided. There are also a few wooden A-frame cabins for rent. There is one central building which houses reception, restaurant and bar at one end and and sanitary facilities at the other. These are of a good standard, loos with seats and paper, and controllable showers. The washing-up and laundry sinks are under cover and there’s plenty of really hot water. There is one tap for drinking water, situated behind the washing-up area. Wifi is free throughout.

There’s a small outdoor swimming pool and a paddling pool for children, and a children's playground. There is no shop, but the bar sells sweets and ice cream, and there’s a Netto within walking distance, and in Jelenia Gora there is a big Tesco and Carrefour.

Jelenia Gora is an interesting town with some lovely old Baroque buildings, and it’s a short drive to the Karkonasze National Park with forest and mountain walks.

Krakow

Korona Camping    August 2012

This is a fairly large site about 10km from Krakow, just off a very busy dual carriageway. However the site is set well back from the road so the traffic noise, though audible, isn’t a problem. It’s a pleasant, green oasis, with plenty of trees for shade, and level, grassy pitches of good size.

There are some extra-deep pitches for larger units. There is a separate area for tents near the restaurant, but larger tents use the tourers section. Everyone is shown to a pitch by one of the staff (but if you want a different one that’s ok. )

It’s a very secure site, with a chain across the gate and someone there to let you out or in until 10 pm.

It’s a friendly, family-run site and English is spoken (with varying degrees of fluency, but given the difficulty of communicating in Polish, any English is very welcome!) Most people use it for 2 or 3 nights only, and there is a very international clientele, which makes it interesting.

The facilities are fairly basic but perfectly adequate. There is a bar/restaurant with a large covered sitting-out area, and a “shop” in the bar, although the stock is very limited. Fresh rolls are available daily. Free wifi is available in or near the bar. There is a children’s playground and a volleyball/football field. The toilet block is a little dated but clean.

Toilets have seats and loo paper, washbasins have soap and paper towels, and there’s a hairdryer. There’s plenty of hot water for the showers and the washing-up sinks, which are outside but under cover. Facilities could be a little stretched when the site is full. There’s also a washing machine (10 zlotys an hour) and disabled facilities. The only drawback is that there’s no water tap so you have to use the washing-up sink taps to fill your aquaroll. It’s perfectly drinkable but sometimes there’s a queue if the sinks are all in use!

You can catch a minibus into Krakow from the main road just outside the site. The fare is 4 zlotys. It’s a beautiful city with lots of historic buildings. The other must-sees in the area are the Wielicza salt mine and Auschwitz/Birkenau, which we found gruelling both physically and mentally, but a place that everyone ought to see.

The summer weather can be very hot and it was pleasant to get back to the campsite and relax. Although not the most luxurious of sites, we enjoyed our stay very much and would recommend it highly

Zakopane

Ustup Camping    August 2012

This site is a couple of miles outside the very popular resort town of Zakopane, in the Tatra mountains. For a lot of Poles it's their main holiday destination, either in summer, for the walking, or winter for the skiing.

Ustup Camping is rather like a large CL. There's room for about 20 units, on a fairly level grassy field well off the busy main road.

The owner, Mr Jarzabek, lives on the site and is very proud of it. He, his wife and daughter keep it immaculate, and he takes a personal interest in every camper, for example he helped us manoeuvre our caravan into position and also filled our aquaroll for us!

There is a very good, small, brand-new block with enclosed toilets and showers, and wash-basins in the open but under cover, all cleaned several times a day. The only lack is washing-up/laundry sinks, so you have to use the washbasins. We found this a bit awkward, so we used our own facilities.

There is a good supermarket (Leviatan) virtually next door, which is very convenient, and a short walk in the other direction a MacDonalds, which has free wifi.

The main problem with Zakopane is thet to get anywhere you have to use the road through the town, which is always clogged with traffic. The cable-car up into the mountains is so popular there's a 2-hour queue. The town itself is very much a tourist trap, but has dozens of restaurants and cafes to choose from, and more souvenir shops than Scarborough!

I would recommend this site as being well-kept, secure and cheap (we paid 70 zlotys a night, and at the time there were about 5 zl. to the pound. )