Harboring some of Europe’s most beautiful countryside, Poland rises north to south from the Baltic Sea coast and North European Plain to the jagged Carpathian Mountains. The grandest peaks lie in the Carpathian sub-range of the Tatras, which contain Poland’s loftiest point: an 8,199-foot crest of Rysy, a mountain straddling the Slovakian border. One glance at the map reminds you of Poland’s crossroads position on the European continent, bordering as it does Germany and the Czech Republic on
the west and Eastern European nations of Kalingrad, Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine on the east. Besides the rocky ridges and gorges of the Tatra Mountains (unforgettably showcased in Tatra National Park), great natural landmarks of Poland include the wolf-, wisent-, and boar-roamed Bialowieza Forest (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s only significantly sized old-growth forests), the Masurian Lakes, and the sun-splashed Baltic beaches.