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Eco-tourism comes to Poland

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Poland, with over one thousand years of history, is today a country at the crossroads. EU membership and the forces of globalisation promise a new era of modernisation, including a booming tourist industry. But the eco-tourism movement is also stirring, promising a gentler, more sustainable, way to experience the country's natural riches, as Agnieszka Gorczynska reports.

One of these eco-tourism pioneers is the Civil Affairs Institute, an independent foundation with its headquarters in Lodz, in central Poland. This non-profit outfit sees tourism not just as a product, but as a way of perceiving the way human activities and local communities relate to, and have shaped, the natural world.


Two hiking tours take place in the Beskidy mountains and one canoeing trip with hiking in northeastern Poland (the so-called "Green Lungs" of Poland). This part of the country is a crossroads of cultures, distinguished by a harmonious landscape and unpolluted and well-preserved nature.

Beskid Zywiecki is the highest part of the Beskidy mountains, second after the Tatra mountains. The area offers vivid elements of mountain culture and the mountaineering way of life. Beskid S±decki is a picturesque mountain range covered with Carpathian forests and has traces of two cultures: Polish mountain dwellers and the Lemko's ethnic group.

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