Every weekend leads to a world of new exciting adventures when you live in a nature’s paradise called Lower Silesia. Located in southwestern Poland some 80 km from Wrocław, Kłodzko Valley is a soothing nature escape thriving amidst snow-coated mountain tops, crisscrossing hiking trails, some ski slopes, fascinating alpine villages, and a gorgeous Neisse river. On a Saturday, I decided to tread this lovely trail, and was lucky to have some great company for this hike.
We took a 6 am train from Wrocław. It is crucial to catch an early morning train for winter hikes near Wrocław as it gets dark here around 3:30 pm. So we already hit the roads before sunrise, all set to soak up the best of Kłodzko Valley in Lower Silesia in Poland.
Kłodzko Valley is a cirque of the Sudetes mountains cladding the central Kłodzko County in southwestern Poland. Its southern tip extends to the Czech Republic around the Králíky town. It is the largest town in the valley. Kłodzko region, with great stay options, lush nature, viewpoints, and numerous mountain trails, make a top tourist destination in summer and winter alike.
Eventually, we merged the hike with a quick excursion of Kłodzko city centre, treated ourselves to sumptuous Polish food, hot chocolate, and took a train back home around 7 pm.
The Saturday was well-spent exploring another lovely Silesian city – Kłodzko, and the neighbouring mountains.
General information about Bardo-Kłodzko
The historical town of Bardo is located in Ząbkowice Śląskie County in Lower Silesia in southwestern Poland on the Eastern Neisse river. The river offers plenty of interesting scenic spots and trails around. Bardo is 72 kilometres far down south of the Lower Silesian capital Wrocław and recognised for its historic buildings of gothic style.
While Kłodzko is a nearby city geographically located in the centre of the Kłodzko Valley. The city is also referred to as “Little Prague” because of its bridge and prominent historical monuments. Given its proximity to Czechia, that makes sense too. The city was established during the 10th century and is today one of the oldest towns in Poland. Since 1233, Kłodzko was officially granted city rights. Culturally and traditionally, Kłodzko was a part of Bohemia for a long time. Administratively, it has been a part of Lower Silesia since 1763.
Top tourist attractions in Kłodzko: Gothic bridge, City tunnels, The Church of Assumption – one of the most notable examples of Gothic architecture in Poland, Baroque Church of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Franciscan monastery, the Kłodzko fortress – a unique stronghold on a high rock overlooking the city dating back to the 9th century, Townhall, Marian Column
Top tourist attractions in Bardo: 15th-century stone bridge on the Nysa Kłodzka River, Basilica of the Visitation, Redemptorist Monastery, Monastery of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate, Różańcowa Góra (Mount Rosary) chapels, Ruins of the medieval Piast Castle
Getting to Bardo & the hike starting point
Kłodzko is a prominent rail and road hub. The city offers direct train and bus connections to all major Polish cities. Wrocław city is approximately 80 km from the Bardo Main Railway Station, which is 1.5 hours. Trains are the cheapest and the most efficient mode of transport, in my opinion, to travel to Bardo from Wrocław or any other Polish city.
The Bardo Kłodzko Winter Hike
Photo courtesy: Emre Can Alptekin
Trail length: 22 km
Hiking time: 7 hours approximately
Difficulty level: Easy-Moderate
Taking an early morning train on a Saturday is a painful endeavour, especially when it’s wintertime and you have to tradeoff the snugness of a warm bed for a full-day hustle in the Polish mountains. The trail (blue in our case) starts pretty easy from the Bardo Railway Station, and since it didn’t snow for a while in the mountains, the autumn colour game was still strong. I’d say, we got a pretty nice headstart. Some thin layers of snow followed pretty soon, but that wasn’t as much as I expected.
Photo courtesy: Emre Can Alptekin
With the mercury dipping fast and conditions so windy, the leftover snow had already toughened into a super-slippery layer of ice. That’s when crampons came in handy. Don’t forget to carry them along if you’re considering a winter hike in the Polish mountains. Trail gets a bit tricky with an ice-coated uphill climb.
For me, the best part about starting an early-morning hike during winter is you get to catch belatedly sunrises and early sunsets. And we were duly rewarded for our punctuality. The lack of ice exposed the leafless limbs and dampened autumn leaves. Sun rays fell flat on them all and scattered patches of snow and ice around made the hiking trail look so welcoming. The blue sky kept us company all the way along, and natural colours couldn’t be more striking.
While walking through the Valley, we stumbled upon some chapels on the hilltop and panoramic views of the Karkonosze mountain peaks in Lower Silesia. Nature thrives at its best here!
The Kłodzko Valley in Lower Silesia is traversed by the upper Nysa Kłodzka river squirming from south to the north. The Nysa Kłodzka river is enveloped from different sides by the Table Mountains, Bardzkie Mountains and the Bystrzyckie Mountains of the Central Sudetes in the west and by the Śnieżnik Mountains, Golden Mountains and the Owl Mountains in the east. As it meanders through the valley, Nysa Kłodzka is accompanied by Biała Lądecka, Bystrzyca Dusznicka and Ścinawka rivers. Eventually, the river exits it in the northeast through the Bardzkie Mountains to Bardo.
Halfway through the hike, we spotted Wieża widokowa na Borowej – a lookout tower with panoramic views of the Karkonosze mountains. Climbing to its top is a daunting task, especially after an exhausting hike through the forest. But the views from the top are the actual prize for the climb, and words won’t suffice to paint a picture of the magic that unfolds before your eyes. So enjoy the photos until you scale the tower yourself. Wieża widokowa na Borowej is the highest point during this winter hike near Wrocław.
A wholesome meal at Karczma Stary Młyn followed by a quick tour of Kłodzko City Centre
By the time hike ended it was past sunset in Kłodzko city. We chose to take a couple of hours break since we were starving after an absorbing winter hike in the Polish mountains and wanted to reward us adequately. That’s when the Karczma Stary Młyn Restaurant showed up on the list of Google recommendations.
The restaurant serves some succulent Polish dishes and totally lives up to the hype. We spent the remaining time to explore the Kłodzko City Centre and walk the Gothic Bridge. Pretty soon the Koleje Dolnośląskie reached the Kłodzko main train station and before 9 pm we were back home!
Bardo – Kłodzko winter hike near Wrocław
The blue-yellow trail. The Blue Trail starts from the Bardo Train Station and midway in the valley, we switched to Yellow trail.
Crucial Hiking Tips – Dos & Don’ts
1. Catching an early morning train will enable you to complete the winter hike near Wrocław before it gets too dark. On the other hand, you will be adequately rewarded with sunrise and sunset views if the weather permits.
2. Book a train ticket online on the Koleje Dolnośląskie website. It will save you unnecessary hassle and a last-minute rush at the station. Morning hours are busy on weekends since plenty of outdoor enthusiasts attempts to catch an early-morning train.
3. Always wear the right hiking shoes. By ‘right shoes’, I mean, sturdy hiking boots and do not forget to carry crampons. Even though it might not be snowing much in the city, the mountains might surprise you with toughened snow and ice, making the walk gruelling and tiresome.
4. Warm, stretchable pants are highly recommended for a pleasant hike. Multiple layering is the key to an excellent hike in the mountains. I wouldn’t recommend wearing too heavy an overcoat/jacket.
5. Always keep a couple of extra pairs of winter socks during winter hikes. They are the first ones to get soaked and start causing you discomfort.
6. Don’t lose sight of colours marked on the trees. Just in case you don’t have access to any maps (digital or paper), it is your ultimate way out without much hassle.
7. Always keep sufficient water and munchies handy.
8. Hiking pole is a must!
If you’re keen on a nice winter hike near Wrocław, the Bardo – Kłodzko trail is a perfect option for you! It can be a quick nature getaway for everyone looking for new and exciting places to visit near Wrocław that offers a variety of adventures.
For more recommendations on exciting winter hikes in Lower Silesia, I recommend you my blog: Most Popular Winter Hikes Near Wrocław For Every Mountain Person.