ALTERNATIVELY THROUGH POLAND: BLACK STONE in SZKLARSKA POREBA
‘This place will please even the most demanding guests,
from physically active people, through history fans, to those seeking blissful peace.’
The road leading to the Black Stone resembles a serpent going steeply upwards: it wriggles once and forwards, as if trying to avoid the slalom bollards. Driving a car is a challenge here! When the surface begins to glow like a mirror, only the chains can save even an experienced driver, so choosing coming in the winter to this region, it is worth having them with you. A part of the car park next to the hotel is located on a slope, and when it is filled with cars, it gives the impression of a domino: the car slides down from the top down to the other and then down to the next to the bottom. At least it seemed like this to us when we got there. The journey proved to be kind to us and despite the Egyptian darkness and unknowns lurking around every corner, we were in the hotel faster than we anticipated; even faster than most weekend visitors, therefore we had a chance to choose a "safer" parking space on flat terrain. You may wonder: why expose yourself to such road conditions? What does Szklarska Poręba and its surroundings have to offer? I was surprised that most of the apartments in Czarny Kamień (Black Stone) were reserved, especially in the second half of November, which is usually characterized by rainy weather. However, I chose such a date myself, and with the possible inconvenience in mind, I decided to stay in Czarny Kamień, because the hotel offers many attractions. Similarly like a nearby area. I dare saying that a week of intensive sightseeing might not be enough to see everything here.
APARTHOTEL CZARNY KAMIEŃ RESORT & SPA
When strolling around Szklarska Poręba, you can get in a lot of trouble! There is practically no flat terrain here, so either you go uphill or downhill. For this reason, the city was divided into two parts: the lower and the upper one. Black Stone is located in the upper part, near the center:
Czarny Kamień was built in 2016 as a complex connecting a historic villa with new buildings. This modern, luxurious hotel with a restaurant, indoor and outdoor swimming pool and SPA facilities, offers three types of apartments: a standard, a mezzanine and a two-room studio. All apartments have a private bathroom with heated floors, a kitchenette with a kettle and fridge, and a balcony or garden. The interiors have been made of natural materials, such as wood, which together with numerous glazing and wool lining add warmth to a modern interior. The facility has a children's playroom with an X-box, a room with a ping-pong table and table football, a small indoor pool with ozone water and a jacuzzi, two types of sauna (Finnish and steam), a gym and outdoor playground: swimming pool and all-year-round jacuzzi.
Bicycles and Nordic walking poles can be rented for a fee.
The hotel's restaurant serves a buffet breakfast from 8: 00-10: 30 and a buffet dinner (16: 00-18: 00) or a la carte (13: 00-22: 00). The bar is open until 23:00. The reception is open 24 hours a day. For massages and treatments, it is best to book well in advance. The offer of the resort along with prices can be found HERE. An interesting attraction of the object is an 18-meter well, which can be viewed in the hotel lobby, standing on the glass floor. A well is an authentic remnant of gold prospectors from a few centuries ago, and the water at its bottom turned out to be highly mineralized and drinkable!
Apartments with areas ranging from 28 to 47 m2 differ in size, equipment, amenities and prices and divides into three categories:
a) COMFORT - one-room apartment with a double bed, which can be divided into two separate beds if necessary. The room also has a sofa bed that can be used as an extra place to sleep. The apartment can be booked HERE.
b) STUDIO - a one-room apartment with an open entresol, depending on the apartment up there is a bed or a living area. There are steep stairs leading to the mezzanine, which is why it is not a good option for children or the elderly. The apartment can accommodate from 3 to 6 guests. The apartment can be booked HERE.
c) PREMIUM - two-room apartment suitable for max. 4 people, has a bedroom with a double bed and a living room with a kitchenette. Apartments located on the ground floor have a garden. The apartment can be booked HERE.
Czarny Kamień offers a variety of multi-day packages, including meals and treatments or massages. Current offers can be found HERE. Bookings can be made on the website HERE. More beneficial, however, will be the purchase of the package through the WYSPA Zdrowia portal (Polish only), which functions as a search engine for resorts with SPA facilities in Poland. We benefited from the "Weekend for health" package, which included the price of accommodation, breakfasts and dinners, a welcome bottle of wine and two relaxing massages. Unfortunately, it turned out that it is more profitable to reserve packages evenly, because the price for three people is proportionately higher, but does not include a massage!
The served food is fresh and varied. Vegetarians will find something for themselves, but the restaurant does not typically serve vegan dishes. For breakfast you can eat bread, cereal with milk, salads, meats, cheeses and something hot, such as scrambled eggs, omelette, beans or sausage. For dinner there is a minimum of three different dishes to choose from, including one vegetarian, and also a so-called dish for children, which may as well be for an adult. Freshly made homemade pastries, fruit and water are served with every meal. Tea and coffee are served only at breakfast.
HOW TO BOOK ACCOMMODATION IN BLACK STONE?
Prices for the apartment start at PLN 550 including breakfast, while weekend packages cost about PLN 500 per person, depending on the type of package, length of stay and the promotion considered.
ATTRACTIONS IN THE AREA OF SZKLARSKA POREBA
The following attractions are located in the distance up to 60 km from the Black Stone:
a) PARK LINE TROLLANDIA - offers two 400-meter routes to the passage: more difficult and easier. The highlight is the jump from 20 meters! Open daily from 10: 00-18: 00, entry: 27 PLN per tour.
b) WATERFALL SZKLARKI - this 13-meter water cascade is located among dense forest and huge granite rocks. It is easy to reach one of three walking routes: green, blue or black.
c) GLASSWORKS JULIA - still active part of the formerly functioning smelter Józefina, which until today makes intricate glassware. It survived its splendor in the nineteenth century, when its products went to royal tables throughout Europe. The glassworks is open to visitors every day from 9: 00-17: 00, and admission costs 17 PLN.
d) CHOJNIK CASTLE - a small, built of raw stone, the medieval castle makes up for the missing size in a location that allows you to admire the breathtaking views of the Karkonosze mountains, Izery mountains and Rudawy Janowickie. There are many legends associated with the castle, including the famous, dark tale of Princess Kunegunda, who demanded that her future beloved should cross along the castle walls armed and horseback. The walls bordered on one side with a steep cliff, therefore many daredevils died. The task was completed only by one man. However, he despised the princess, who, humiliated, threw herself into the abyss. There are two routes to the castle: red (paved, easier) and black (more difficult), leading through Hell Valley - a picturesque path located in the middle of an old beech forest.
e) CIEPLICKIE THERMS - an internal water park and year-round thermal pools from which you can swim outside. Open daily from 6: 00-22: 00; admission: PLN 36 / 2h (pool + SPA); all-day ticket (pool + SPA): 75 PLN.
f) SZRENICA - mountain peak (1362m above sea level), an excellent vantage point. At the top is the ‘Szrenica’ hostel.
g) ŚNIEŻNE KOTŁY - two post-glacial boilers; one of the most beautiful places in the Giant Mountains, providing wonderful, even alpine views. Climbing their vertical, rugged walls is a real dose of adrenaline.
h) THE VALLEY OF PALACES AND GARDENS - on 102 m2, 30 residences were built, which will please every lover of architecture, history and beauty. There are baroque palaces, neo-Gothic castles and Renaissance estates, often surrounded by landscape parks. Noteworthy visiting are palaces in Wojanów, Łomnica, Staniszów and Miłków.
i) SOKOLIKI - called the most romantic mountains in the Sudetenland; overgrown with beech trees and spruces, they offer ideal routes for less experienced tourists and great rocks, walls and stones for fans of climbing.
j) THE CZOCH CASTLE - located on the Leśniański Lake, the castle contains the most secrets of all the Lower Silesian strongholds. The castle is restored, it also offers accommodation. The place was used as a film set in several Polish productions, for example in "The Witcher". The tour takes place in the chair. 10: 00-17: 00, admission: 15 PLN.
k) COLORFUL LAKES - located in the heart of the Janikowy Rudawy, they attract many tourists with their natural beauty. Their colors became more intense thanks to mineral deposits that were once located on their site. It is best to go to the lakes after the rainy season, because they can disappear in the dry season.
l) BOLKÓW CASTLE - the exact fate of this castle is unknown, but it is known that the fortress was built before 1277. From 1900 it hosted as a museum. Currently, the castle is open to visitors from 9:00 to 15:30, and on weekends until 16:30. Admission: PLN 7, Mondays: free.
The area around Szklarska Poręba is a fantastic place for a weekend or longer holiday at any time of the year. In addition, by choosing accommodation in Czarny Kamień, you are guaranteed that you will not be bored despite inclement weather! This region offers even more attractions, not to mention those in the Czech Republic, which are located a bit further.
I encourage you to share your opinions in the comments and to subscribe to the blog so that you do not miss anything! :)