Zakopane

Nestled in the foothills of the Tatras, Zakopane is Poland’s best-known mountain resort, famed for hiking in summer and skiing in winter, though at the height of the summer and winter seasons it can get positively overrun. In addition to outdoor pursuits, Zakopane is known for its beautiful wooden villas, dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of these now house museums, while others have been converted into hotels or pensions. The father of this craze for ornate timber houses was the architect Stanisław Witkiewicz (1851–1915), and his early-20th-century creations helped to establish Zakopane as a haven for painters, poets, writers and composers. Two of the town’s most famous former residents include Witkiewicz’s son, the writer and painter Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (better known as 'Witkacy'), and the composer Karol Szymanowski.