Orientation & Geography

Europe, Poland, Bielsko County

Szczyrk [ʂt​͡ʂɨrk] (German: Schirk) is a town in the Beskid Śląski mountains of southern Poland, situated in the valley of the Żylica river. It is part of the Silesian Voivodeship (since 1999), previously being part of the Bielsko-Biała Voivodeship (1975–1998). It has a population of 5,810 people (2004). The town is a popular winter sports centre, with over 60 km of ski routes served by 30 ski lifts. The principal training centre for Poland's Winter Olympic athletes is based in the town, where they train for events such as skiing, ski jumping and ice skating. The ski jumping in the Youth WInter Olympics 2009 took place in Szczyrk. Peter Prevc won before Vladimir Zografski and Adrian Schuler. The two mountain ranges that surround the valley are dominated by the peaks of Skrzyczne (1,257m) and Klimczok (1,117m), both of significant interest to tourists. There are commanding views from either peak. Moreover, either peak is accessible to most people, in one day's hike, via the tourist routes marked on any tourist map available in most kiosks or mountain shelters. The routes are mostly accessible for the able-bodied, Skrzyczne being accessible via chair-lift. Szczyrk shares a common border with Wisła, a town where the source of the Vistula (Wisła) river can be found (around the Barania Góra mountain).