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In Poland folklore rubs shoulders with striking modernity – making sure a travel through the country is anything but dull. Visit Polish medieval towns and ancient churches, hike in high hills and forests, sail on shimmering lakes – and end the day with a herb-flavoured vodka or two. Then if you’ve still got energy, ski down tree-fringed mountains and kayak along rushing rivers – then sample delicious dumplings and tasty stew. The north of Poland offers long sandy beaches as well as the seaport of Gdansk and the enormous 13th–century castle at Malbork. Warsaw, the capital, has a magnificent old town square and an abundance of intriguing galleries. Further south, the extraordinary Czestochowa monastery is considered the spiritual heart of the nation. In the far south are the High Tatra Mountains, a land of towering peaks and glacial lakes, and the charming city of Krakow.