When asked if there are volcanoes in Poland, the surprising answer is yes! They’re not giant cones spewing out smoke now and then, but they’re certainly something to pique your curiosity. So, where are these Polish volcanoes located?
These inactive volcanoes have been a real attraction for those tourists who know where to look for them. The volcanic activity in Poland happened millions of years ago – so you won’t find any bubbling lava or volcanic gases here.
But, if you’re up for a little adventure, you can still trace the remnants of their existence. Allow me to explain where you should head in our country to find them.
The dormant Polish volcanoes are located in the Góry Kaczawskie, a region also known as the Land of Extinct Volcanoes, and in the Gorce, Beskidy, Pieniny and Góry Świętokrzyskie. They were formed about 250 million years ago, when strong volcanic eruptions created the conical elevations that we can admire today.
Polish Volcanoes – Where are They?
The tallest Polish volcano is Ostrzyca, found in the Pogórze Kaczawskie. It’s not particularly high, barely exceeding 500 m above sea level, yet due to its shape and steep slopes, climbing it can be quite challenging. But believe me, the challenge is part of the fun!
Yet, Ostrzyca isn’t the only place in Poland where you can catch a glimpse of a volcano. There were other mountains that also showed volcanic activity in their time. Let me give you a short list:
- Czerwona Skała
- Stożek Wielki
- Bazaltowa Góra
Let me tell you about an interesting case, the mountain called Ślęża in Poland. Many people mistakenly think it’s an extinct volcano, mainly because of its shape and its relatively close proximity to other volcanic cones like Ostrzyca and Wilcza Góra. But, unfortunately, despite its distinctive apearance, Ślęża was never a volcano.
Locals consider it the most picturesque „volcano” in Poland, which led to the establishment of the Ostrzyca Proboszczowicka Protected Landscape Area there. They even affectionately call it the „Silesian Fuji”.
Now, when it comes to extinct volcanoes in Poland, you’ll find the largest concentration of them in the region of Dolny Śląsk (Lower Silesia), particularly near the Góry Kaczawskie (Kaczawa Mountains).
This area is known as the Land of Extinct Volcanoes, and there’s a trail that takes you from Legnickie Pole to Złotoryja, passing through these ancient volcanic sites.
Not far from Złotoryja, on the Pogórze Kaczawskie (Kaczawa Foothills), you’ll encounter the Czartowska Skała (Czartowska Rock). Back in the day, they took advantage of the fact that this hill was made of basalt and opened two quarries here.
But don’t worry, these quarries are no longer in use, and the hill is now a protected monument of nature.
To visit Wilcza Góra, Ostrzyca Proboszczowicka, and Czartowska Skała, you can follow a hiking trail starting in Złotoryja.
Exploring More Extinct Volcanoes in Poland
Poland doesn’t have any active volcanoes. We only have extinct ones, meaning they haven’t shown any volcanic activity in recorded history, but they still retain their volcanic cone shapes.
Another fascinating place you shouldn’t miss is the Organy Wielisławskie (Wielisławka Organs) located on the slope of Góra Wielisławka in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship. These unique formations emerged from the solidification of magma in the volcanic vent, resulting in the creation of polygonal columns.
Similarly, you can find the Małe Organy Myśliborskie (Myślibórz Mini Organs) on the Rataj Hill near the town of Myślibórz. These are basalt colmns from an ancient volcano, also under protection.
And while you’re there, you can explore more, such as the traces of a hillfort and the remains of a castle built in the 13th century.
Heading to the Pieniny Mountains, a must-see is the Skałka Bazaltowa (Basalt Rock), nestled in the Biała Woda (White Water) valley. This inanimate natural monument was formed by volcanic activity.
The rock, with its various shades of gray, is full of bubbles, usually filled with calcite.
Can Volcanoes in Poland Erupt Again?
Let me tell you that volcanoes are classified as active, dormant, or extinct. In Poland, we only have the extinct ones, which haven’t shown any volcanic activity in recorded history, but their characteristic volcanic cone shapes remain.
Though we can find traces of past volcanism in Poland, the chances of an extinct volcano waking up are very slim. So, you can rest easy, there’s no need to worry. These Polish volcanoes are deep in slumber and pose no threat to residents or tourists.
Despite their dormancy, it’s definitely worth visiting their regions, especially since most of them are situated in breathtakingly picturesque places.