Kamila 2 May 29, 2007, 04:16pm / #1Growing numbers of tourists visit Poland every year. They are attracted by the diversity in landscape the country is famous for. While the North consists of lakelands, which contrast with the beachy landscape of the Baltic coast, the South is dominated with a band of mountains and alpine scenery, which make Poland like a fascinating jigsaw puzzle composed of colorful regional pieces. But where should the holiday-makers head to get the most out of the beauty of the country? The article (the north-south tour) is here to help you take in the country's main highlights. The region of Poland that draws the most number of holiday-makers is Pomorze, also known as Pomerania. You can find here beautiful beaches that are main attractions for the sand-and-sun-seekers. The resorts of the Baltic such as Miedzyzdroje, Kolobrzeg, Ustka and Leba are the most attractive for sunbathers and water sports enthusiasts. You can also discover here the Tri-City (Trojmiasto) which includes Sopot, Gdansk and Gdynia. The two latter ones are the major ports of Poland that are famous for playing an important part in Polish economy and commerce. For sightseeing at a slower pace there are the villages of Kashubia. The place will definitely not be a disappointment for those with an interest in history, as you can spot there the great variety of historic buildings such as castles, cathedrals or small village churches. While exploring the area, you can't omit the famous Malbork Castle (south-east to Gdansk), the jewel of the Teutonic Knight's architecture. Finally, for those who enjoy cycle tours there is the Slowinski National Park renowned for its shifting sand dunes. It is also a haven for wild birds. More than 250 species, including the rare sea eagle, are found here. For those who want to explore more nature, Mazury (Masuria) is the region to go to. Known as “the land of a thousand lakes", northeastern Poland is also blessed with natural forests and rivers which provide excellent conditions for canoeing down the Czarna hancza or Krutynia rivers. The ports of Gizycko, Wegorzewo and Mikolajki attract yacht enthusiasts who enjoy sailing on the lakes. The region is also a paradise for cycling lovers as it allows plenty of opportunities for hiking tours. For unspoiled scenery you can head for Bialowieza National Park with its bison reserve or to Biebrza National Park with its rich bird life and Poland's largest swamps. Another place most frequently visited by holiday-makers is the capital of Poland, Warsaw that lies in the Mazowia region. Here you can admire the meticulously rebuilt medieval buildings of Warsaw's Old Town, stroll through the charming landscaped gardens of Lazienki Park, or to the heart of the city to take an elevator to the observatory deck to see its symbol-the Palace of Culture for a great view of Warsaw. Those interested in Jewish history and culture should visit places such as the Nozyk Synagogue, Jewish cemetery on Okopowa Street (one of the largest in Europe) or the Historical Institute that will provide you with history of this community. The most picturesque and varied region for vacationing, though, is Malopolska also known as Lesser Poland. It has, without a doubt, more tourist attractions than any other region in Poland. Cracow, one of the noblest cities in Europe, attracts with its tranquility as well as the spiritual and historical wealth of the country. Attractions here are too numerous to count: the Market Square (the largest in Europe), the Loth Hall, the buildings of the famous Jagiellonian University, the Wawel castle to name but a few. Cracow's main rival is Zakopane, a lively resort at the foot of Poland's highest mountains, the Tatras, and the best-known town in the mountainous Podhale region. Holiday-makers love to spend vacations here as the town offers plenty of opportunities to spend free time in an active manner: from hiking in the mountains, gliding in cable cars over Mt. Kasprowy Wierch to walking along Krupowki Street and enjoying its cafes, restaurants and exclusive souvenir shops. The most important place for pilgrims is Czestochowa, the country's national shrine that attracts tourists from all over the world. The holy picture of the Black Madonna at the Monastery of Jasna Gora is the town's most precious treasure. Hopefully you enjoyed the tour of Poland that was provided in the article. The places mentioned above are just a small sample of the many locations that you can go to vacation in Poland. There are many other numerous regions that are conducive to individuals vacationing desires. Hopefully after hearing about the fabulous destinations, you will want to make Poland your number one tourist stop. See you there!