- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
- Hiking / Trekking
- Place or Religious Monument
- Off the beaten track
Personally speaking, I absolutely adored Hajnówka and the whole region around it. Lying at the gateway to one of the last remaining portions of Eastern Europe's great primeval forest, which today enjoys protected status as Białowieża National Park, and traditional in character, with its minority Belarussian culture, its wooden houses and its majestic Orthodox church: say hello to the genuinely exotic and out-of-the-ordinary! Hajnówka encapsulates many of the stereotypical, cliched aspects people have about Eastern Europe.
Standing at the gateway to the forest, Hajnówka gives the impression of being a sort of eastern cousin to the towns of the far west regions. It's true to say that apart from the the large modern church, decorated with all its frescos and which acts as the focal point for the religious fervour of the whole Orthodox community here, there isn't really that much of interest to see in the town. However, what there is at Hajnówka is that indefinable atmosphere and ambiance you get in towns located right out at the very edge of a place, forming a border between two different cultural worlds. This is something that is palpable everywhere here, and I found it fascinating. And then there's the superb national park, which begins on the outskirts of the town and is therefore easy to get to: a world of wild forests, wooden lumberjacks' houses, and home to deer, elk and bison.