Malopolska in the spirit of slow life
The slow movement was born, not coincidentally, in Italy, one of the world's home countries of good taste and taste. In 1986, Roman food critics were in an uproar when a well-known chain of fast-food restaurants announced opening an outlet on the famous Spanish Steps. In opposition to the globalised consumer culture, the slow food movement was born, advocating 'defending the right to taste', calling for choosing natural, non-industrially sourced products and simply enjoying their uniqueness. The slow-down trend quickly went beyond cooking and became a way of living free from the consumer rush. As for tourism, it has merged with the need to get away from trodden paths and experience authentic local culture off the beaten track.
Hundreds of guest houses are run in the spirit of slow life operate in the Małopolska region - from Krakow and its hidden forest corners through the Podhale region , seemingly only full of tourists, to secluded areas of the Low Beskids and picturesque, completely undiscovered regions in the foothills. Each of them is a story about the hosts - often people tired of the city life, who decided to make a bold change and create their place on earth, and sometimes return to their old neighbourhood and restore the splendour of their family farms. Some are young people driven by a newly found purpose in life; others are continuators of family traditions going back to four generations. They all share a passion and vast knowledge of their immediate surroundings. After all, a good host is a natural guide to the region.
Tourists can choose from old Tatra villas renovated through the efforts of successive generations of the Gąsienica or Krzeptowski families, traditional Lemko cottages and mountain huts where one can reminisce about the childhood at grandma's in the countryside, cosy guesthouses in Lanckorona with yoga classes on offer or spa houses in Ojców . In the secluded streets of Krakow's districts located in the Bielany-Tyniec Landscape Park, one can forget about the city neighbourhood and feel like in an ancient forest in the nearby Niepołomicka Forest . The accommodation base also includes original, modern facilities dug into the ground and covered with turf, providing the highest comfort and standards of zero-emission architecture. In the spirit of slow life, it is possible to spend the night in one of the chambers at the castle in Korzkiew near Krakow!
Atmospheric guesthouses and agritourism farms are natural starting points for actively exploring the surroundings. In many of the resorts, it is possible to rent bicycles or cross-country skis on site or in the vicinity, and the remoteness from dense crowds of people brings one closer to outings on trails, often the less frequented - and thus even more beautiful - ones. Hiking in secluded parts of the Beskid Sądecki, Low Beskids and Little Beskids or the Jałowiec massif near Zawoja from such a perspective is an unforgettable experience. Staying in agritourism "with a soul" also means, in many cases, an opportunity to taste the local cuisine and healthy regional products. The full board appears mainly in the offer of guest houses in the Low Beskids and the Wiśnicz and Ciężkowice Foothills, as well as in the picturesque Lanckorona near Krakow.
The nationwide Slowhop portal is the largest database of climatic places for short or long trips in the Małopolska region. Created and run by five people tired of the difficulty of finding information about places they would like to go on holiday, the website gathers carefully selected guest houses meeting the essential criteria of beautiful interiors, local food and passionate hosts. The map available on the portal website includes several dozen places from Małopolska. Moreover, the Low Beskids Association operates in the vicinity of Gorlice; in addition to promoting agritourism, it is involved in organising local culinary picnics and the sustainable development of the region.
When choosing one of the destinations available in the databases, it is worth bearing in mind a few basic rules:
• People who seek peace in their lives decide on a conventional "lifestyle" and spend holidays in the spirit of slow life, so it is not an address for noisy parties.
• Some intimate agritourism farms are difficult to reach by car, which is their strength, not weakness. A short walk to an abandoned vehicle near the forest only adds charm to such holidays.
• In some places, we should also aim to chat with the hosts at the dinner table, which is a natural exchange - the hosts open their worlds to us, so it does not hurt if we also tell them a little about our worlds.
The general rules of stay are most often clearly described on the websites of individual places. However, the overriding rule of an authentic slow-style guesthouse is the right to unlimited lounging in a hammock (or by a fireplace) with a good book at hand.
See you in Małopolska!