Krynica-Zdrój, Poland

Photo: Czarny Potok Resort & Spa
Photo: Czarny Potok Resort & Spa

Your back is aching. Your muscles are tight. Plus your feet are in desperate need of a pedicure. It must be time for a spa appointment. No. Make that a spa retreat.

Krynica-Zdrój, “the pearl of Polish spas,” sounds like the ideal place to relax. Poland’s largest spa town, located in the Beskid Mountains near the Slovak border, is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Hikers, mountain bikers, and whitewater rafters flooded the area in the summer. An economic summit, dubbed “Eastern Davos,” beckoned financial analysts in September. Skiers, snowboarders, lugers, and ice hockey players will soon descend on the mountain Jaworzyna Krynicka during the winter. But right now, it’s quiet and the perfect time to relax at the spas.

You’re staying at the Czarny Potok Resort & Spa at the foot of the mountain. It’s sleek and modern with lots of glass to let in the warm sunshine. A calming stream runs through the hotel. The comfortable restaurants offer views of the Black Brook Valley. While the spa is ready for your aches and pains. Decompress in the dry herbal sauna or the steam shower. Restore your energy in a brine bath, a mud bath, or a mountain-cooling bath. Sit in the jacuzzi, swim in the pools, or lounge on the heated deck chairs. Then decide which treatments to book over the next few days.

Photo: Czarny Potok Resort & Spa
Photo: Czarny Potok Resort & Spa

When you don’t have a spa appointment, there is still plenty to keep you occupied. Stroll through the riverfront town past old villas, the Nikifor Museum, and wooded hills. Ride the old Góra Parkowa Funicular from Park Zdrojowy for views of the surrounding countryside. For even better views, take the new Mount Jaworzyna Cable Car higher into the mountains and then hike back down along the trails lined with gold and crimson leaves.

Drink a pilsner at Pod Zielona Gorka, an old-fashioned pub with picnic tables. Go rafting down the Poprad river. Feel like a kid again on the ropes course or in the paintball arena. Make friends with an old horse who knows the trails well. Then try local cuisine—including beetroot soup, venison, and raspberry liqueur—at the traditional Restauracja Koncertowa. Just return to Czarny Potok in time for your next spa treatment.

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