Czerniawa Zdrój in the Jizera Mountains

Czerniawa Zdrój, formerly german Bad Schwarzbach, is the smaller, more village-like part of Świeradów Zdrój, former Bad Flinsberg, in the Polish Jizera Mountains. Those who like their travel accommodation in quieter surroundings, without the hustle and bustle of major tourist attractions, are better off in Czerniawa Zdrój.

Nevertheless, you can benefit from the wide range of offers in Świeradów Zdrój – after a hike there over the dividing mountain ridge or after a short ride on the free city bus from Świeradów Zdrój, which connects the two districts.

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Czerniawa Zdrój – the quiet spa town in the Jizera Mountains

Where is Czerniawa Zdrój located?

Czerniawa Zdrój (engl. Black Brook Spa) is an elongated village in the Jizera Mountains, in the valley of the Black Brook (Czarny Potok) of the same name. It lies about 2.5 km west of the main town of Świeradów Zdrój, separated by a small side ridge. Czerniawa Zdrój is only around 50 km away from the German border at Görlitz and Zittau, so it can be reached very quickly from eastern Saxony. Only the ridge of the Jizera Mountains separates the village from the Czech Republic, whereby an official road border crossing directly on the western edge of Czerniawa Zdrój provides a short connection to Czech Nove Mesto pod Smrkem.

View over Czerniawa Zdrój - in the Polish Iser mountains
View over Czerniawa Zdrój

The Jizera Mountains are a small, flatter intermediate mountain range between the Zittau and Giant Mountains (Krkonose), all of which form the border to the Czech Republic with their ridge line. This mountain range is the source of the Iser, which flows south through the Czech Republic, and the Kwisa, which flows north. The Lusatian Neisse also has its source in the Jizera Mountains. The highest mountain in the Jizera Mountains is the Wysoka Kopa (ger: Hinterberg, 1126m), although it can be found further east near Szklarska Poreba.

Czerniawa Zdrój in the Silesian part of Poland is located on the northern slope of the mountain range.

What can you do in Czerniawa Zdrój?

Czerniawa Zdrój is a good starting point for hikes in the western Jizera Mountains, including cross-border hiking trails to the Czech Republic. The tranquillity of the Black Brook valley guarantees relaxation and rest from the fast pace of modern life. In addition to hiking trails around Czerniawa Zdrój, there are also tracks for mountain bikers and the mountain bike trails to the neighboring Czech Republic even generally lead past the village. One of the attractions of Czerniawa Zdrój is the Devil’s Mill described below.

Old german picture postcard of the Czerniawa kopa lookout tower in Czerniawa Zdrój
Old german Picture postcard from Cerniawa kopa lookout tower

If you are looking for a change, you can quickly switch to Świeradów Zdrój and visit the pub culture, a small shopping mile, the large spa park and the spa house, take the cable car to the Jizera Mountains, climb the sky-walk or use various ski and toboggan slopes in winter. Winter sports enthusiasts are fully dependent on what Świeradów Zdrój has to offer. However, the largest ski slope at the cable car station is practically between Świeradów and Black Brook. Czerniawa Zdrój also has its own spa facilities, which can be accessed via the local spa company in Świeradów.

Spa and cures in Czerniawa Zdrój

The small town of Czerniawa Zdrój already had its own healing spring when it was known in German times as Bad Schwarzbach, albeit on a much smaller scale than the large neighboring town of Bad Flinsberg. The „Pijalka“ spring is a drilled well with a depth of 197 m and is protected by a spring house that provides carbonated mineral water. In front of the spring house is a healing fountain with a figure of a little girl in the same style as the various springs in Bad Flinsberg, where everyone can draw their own health potion.

Girl sculpture on the healing well "Pijalka" in Czarniawa Zdrój
Girls Sculpture at the Healing well „Pijalka“

Czerniawa Zdrój has a spa house directly opposite the healing spring, much more modest and sober than the large spa house in Świeradów Zdrój. At first I thought it was a Polish post-war building, built as a sanatorium to offer silesian miners and steelworkers relaxation and healing. However, it was actually a functional building erected in the 1920s and was therefore still a German modernist design. Czerniawa Zdrój was considered more of a children’s health resort. The girl with the watering can on the healing fountain is a reminder of this. Today, the spa operations in Czerniawa Zdrój are also organized by the Uzdrowisko Świeradów – Czerniawa company, which holds the right to use the local healing water springs.

Czerniawa Zdrój Spa building
Czerniawa Zdrój Spa building

Hikes near Czerniawa Zdrój

Czerniawa Zdrój offers you the opportunity to go on smaller circular hikes on the neighboring ridges as well as access to other hiking routes in the Jizera Mountains. For example, as an „introductory tour“ you can take a circular hike over the Czerniawska Kopa (Dresselberg) with a lookout tower or choose the further route to Zajedcznik (Rabbit head), which also offers a view of Świeradów Zdrój from the northwest.

Lookout tower at the Czarniawa Kopa (Black brook summit)
Lookout tower at the Czarniawa Kopa

The cable car station is also easily accessible, located at the end of Świeradów Zdrój in the direction of Czerniawa Zdrój. There are also beautiful introductory hiking routes through the Czerniawski Las – the Black Brook Forest or across the border to Hrebenac (566m) and Nové Mesto pod Smrkem in the Czech part of the Jizera Mountains. The ascent to Smrk (germ.: Tafelfichte, 1124m) on the Czech side and to Haystack hut at Stog Izerski (1108m) is possible directly from Czerniawa Zdrój.

Świeradów Zdrój offers a (black marked) city hiking trail over a total of 28km (!), which includes Czerniawa Zdrój. Of course, you are free to choose your own stages, especially as the „loops“ of the trail are close together in some places.

If you wish, you can obtain information at the tourist information center „Culture station“ (Stacja Kultury), the old train station in Świeradów Zdrój in order to undertake a hike „On the trail of Jizera secrets„. Anyone who visits at least 15 of the more than 20 spots in Świeradów Zdrój and the surrounding area and copies the holograms from the station stones can then immortalize themselves in the „Book of Discoverers of Jizera Secrets“ at the Culture station and receive a „Certificate of Discoverer„.

Hiking trail in the Iser Mountains near Czerniawa Zdrój
Hiking trail in the Iser Mountains

Two sights in Czerniawa Zdrój

The grotto

Directly on the Black Brook, about 300m below the „Pijalka“ healing spring, you will find a grotto on the other side of the stream. It is not accessible, but is easy to see. Easily recognizable are the twisted layers of slate – another rock type of the Jizera Mountains. If you have an eye for it, you will recognize different rocks such as basalt, granite, gneiss or quartz in the Jizera Mountains – the mountains do not form a uniform geological mass. Some of the mica schist in the Jizera Mountains contains tin ore and cobalt sulphides.

The grotto in Czerniawa Zdrój - one of the sights in this village
Mica schist grotto
In the Devil’s mill

A large courtyard and a rather dominant building, that is the Devil’s Mill of Czerniawa Zdrój. This old mill was not always called that, of course, but it was given this name because of a legend. It is a watermill with a bakery.

Czerniawa Zdrój: Czarci Mlyn - the Devil's Mill
Czarci Mlyn – The Devil’s mill

Today it is all a museum, but on certain days one of the ovens is still fired up and bread is baked.The oven was built by an oven manufacturer from Großschönau on the edge of the Zittau Mountains. You can take a guided tour of the bakery and mill and have it explained to you. Guided tours are also offered at weekends, otherwise there are individual information sheets for you to read yourself. In the ticket booth next to the mill, you can buy aromatic honey from local beekeepers, and toilets are also freely accessible. Behind the mill on the hillside is the Izerka Laka nature center with information about the Jizera meadows, which is newly built and still under development. The exhibition in the house is mainly a „classroom“ for children’s groups, but you can explore the outdoor area in a relatively short time.

Waterwheel in the Devil's Mill (Czarci Mlyn)
Czarcy Mlyn - Grinding room
Technic in the grinding room
Bakery's oven in the Devil's Mill
Bakery oven in the Devil’s mill

Travel tips for Czerniawa Zdrój

How to get there

By car

Next airport to the Iser mountains are Dresden in East german Saxony or Prague in Czech Republic. There you can get all transport service like train connections or car rental service.

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The journey to Czerniawa Zdrój is practically the same as to Świeradów Zdrój – within Central Europe currently still best by car. From Dresden take the motorway A4 to Görlitz in eastern Saxony (actually Silesia) and immediately exit on the Polish side in the direction of Jelenia Gora. Then you have two options: Continue on the road 30 to Luban and from there on quiet but sometimes very narrow roads via Lesna and Pobiedna or head south via Zawidów with a detour to Frýdlant in the Czech Republic and then east via Nové Mesto. If you are traveling to Czerniawa Zdrój from Saxon Zittau, drive to Hradek nad Nisou in the direction of Liberec and turn off this route in the direction of Frýdlant.

From Prague head for Liberec via D10 motorway and then pass Frýdlant east to Nove Mesto.

Map of the Iser mountains region with Cerniawa Zdrój

By public transport

The best way to get there from Dresden by public transport is via Görlitz. This can be done by train or long-distance bus in the direction of Wroclaw. From Görlitz station, take the Silesian Railway in the direction of Jelenia Gora. At the moment, get off in Luban, from where buses run to Świeradów Zdrój. If the bus does not go through Czerniawa Zdrój anyway, then the free city bus from Świeradów Zdrój or a cab will help. From 2024, the Kwisa railway will once again run from Gryfów Slaski to Swieradów Zdrój and some of the trains will already start in Görlitz. This will make it much easier to travel by public transport.

The free of charge city bus of Świeradów Zdrój
The free-of-charge city bus in the Black brook valley

Weather in Świeradów Zdrój and Czerniawa Zdrój

The weather forecast for Świeradów Zdrój and Czerniawa Zdrój today and for the next three days is shown in the overview opposite.

Accommodation in Czerniawa Zdrój

Although much less than in Świeradów Zdrój, there is some very good accommodation in Czerniawa Zdrój. Most of them are guesthouses and apartments. One hotel, however, is located on the grounds of an old villa that belonged to a rich cloth manufacturer:

Hotels

The ***Cottonina Hotel & Mineral SPA Resort* comprises four buildings – including the manufacturer’s villa, which provide ample space for spacious accommodation as well as wellness and water fun with sauna, indoor pool (also with non-swimmer area), fitness center, playroom and playgrounds for young and old. Various room categories are available. Bicycles can be rented (for a fee). The terrace and garden with fire pit are also popular places to spend time. It is only a short walk to the Devil’s Mill.

Former manufacturer's villa of a cotton spinning mill in Czerniawa Zdroj
Manufacturer’s villa – today Cottonia Hotel and SPA

The ****Malinowy Dwór Hotel Medical SPA* is located on the road to the border crossing to Nove Mesto pod Smrkem. Different room categories from single rooms to apartments allow for various travel arrangements. The Malinowy Dwór Hotel places particular emphasis on a whole range of massages, beauty treatments and health services. There is a sauna, year-round indoor pool, wellness and fitness center and bicycle rental for a fee. Some rooms are equipped for disabled and mobility-impaired guests. Families with children will enjoy the children’s club, board games and indoor play area. Some of the mountain bike trails of the Jizera Mountains are in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. Parking spaces are available for a fee and some are handicapped accessible. Dogs can be brought along.

Guest Apartments and Spa Residence

The BioRezydencja* with various guest apartments is located very close to the Devil’s Mill in Czerniawa Zdrój. There is a playroom, a terrace and a garden with a fireplace. Bicycles can be rented for a fee and the sauna can be used. Board games, puzzles, DVDs and music are available for children’s entertainment. Coffee/tea facilities are available free of charge and most apartments have a kitchenette. Skiers can store their skis in a drying room. Dogs are allowed. Free parking at the house.

Ski & Bike rental service at the funicular station in Swieradów Zdrój
Ski&Bike rental service near gondola station

The Ski&Sun Apartamenty* are located directly at the Swieradów Zdrój gondola station on the road to Czerniawa Zdrój. The best conditions for winter sports enthusiasts on the longest slopes of the Jizera Mountains, but also for mountain bikers and hikers. Both Świeradów Zdrój and Czerniawa Zdrój are within walking distance. The communal facilities include a games room, terrace and garden. Some wellness offers and the sauna complete the facilities. Bicycles, mountain bikes and ski and winter sports equipment can be rented in the house or in the immediate vicinity.

Ewa Medical & SPA* in Czerniawa Zdrój focuses on comfort and health. The hotel right on the edge of the forest offers an indoor pool, a fitness and wellness center as well as various health treatments. This hotel is located directly on the edge of the forest below the Czerniawa Kopa and is therefore a convenient starting point for hikes in the Jizera Mountains. Pets are allowed. Parking is possible at the hotel.

Already on your way to the Jizera Mountains? Invite your friends!

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