Our family are big fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and all his books and we have watched and re-watched Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit several times. When we first laid our eyes upon the Hobbit houses of the Shire and Hobbiton in the movies, I said to my husband: “How I would love to live in a place like that one day. That’s exactly my dream home.”
However, since we sold most of our worldly possessions and embarked on our family adventure, we pushed the dream of owning a Hobbit house to the back burner. Perhaps when we retire from the life of travel (ha ha), and our son becomes an independent adult, we will settle down in a bucolic setting somewhere. Perhaps then, we will live in a Hobbit house, growing our own vegetables and taking care of our chickens. But, back to reality! That dream may still be far off. Nonetheless, we were lucky to recently experience a second best thing to owning a Hobbit house.
One day, several years ago, I came upon an article about unusual holiday homes built from natural materials. As I was reading through it, one of the homes stood out. It was a hut built to resemble a Hobbit house. Imagine my glee, when I read that this home was not in far off New Zealand, but in Poland, the country I was born in and visit every few years to reconnect with family and childhood friends. And I got even more excited, when I found out that this home called Hobbitówa was, in fact, only an hour away by car from my Dad’s ancestral village.
Our Hobbit House dream becomes a reality
Lo and behold, fast forward a few years and my dream of experiencing a Hobbit house became a reality. Well, at least for a few days. In 2016, a couple years after we left Canada to embark on our travel adventure, we made it to Hobbitówa. We rented it for a few nights and had the most idyllic stay ever. Sure, one day we want to visit Hobbiton, the filming set for the J.R.R. Tolkien movies we so love. But, if you are in Europe, this is a great alternative. And as far as I know, you cannot rent a Hobbit house in Hobbiton in New Zealand. You can only do a tour of the set. But in south-eastern Poland, in the Podkarpacie Voivodeship (province), you can spend a glorious time away from civilization.
This place is perfect for anyone who craves the quiet of nature. The house, although located in a village of Krzywcza is not easily found. In fact, you will not be able to find the exact address on the Hobbitówa website. The owner Mr Bogdan Pękalski who built this house with his own hands, values his privacy and that of his guests. As a result, he only gave us driving directions to this magical place once we arrived in the village of Krzywcza. And let me tell you, it is well hidden. Mr Pękalski asked us not to share these directions with anyone. Just imagine how you would feel, if curious tourists would arrive to gawk at the place while you were trying to enjoy your refuge away from the civilized world.
What to expect at Hobbitówa
Hobbitówa is an off-the grid lifestyle enthusiast’s dream. Built from natural materials, like wood, stone and thatch, the house is hidden from view by hills and forests. Every detail is beautifully hand-crafted by the amazing artisan-builder Mr Bogdan Pękalski.
The house itself is about 45 m2 (484 square feet). Although tiny, it doesn’t feel like that. A whimsical oblong picture window gives you the feeling of expanse. The window looks onto a pond where you can listen to the croaking of frogs in the evenings.
There are two bedrooms. All in all, the house can sleep up to five guests comfortably. The floor is made from “sliced” tree trunks. The bathroom is finished in beautiful stone. There is an amazing traditional old fashioned Polish stove for heating and cooking.
Additionally, the house is completely off-the-grid, run on photovoltaic power. It has its own water well and its own sewage system. If you want to disconnect, Hobbitówa is the place for you. There are books to read, although I can’t remember if there were books in languages other than Polish. There are a few board games and toys for kids. You can also relax in a hammock on the back porch of the house and enjoy an outdoor meal at a beautifully crafted picnic table. And in the evening, you can warm by a bonfire.
What to do and see near Hobbitówa
When we stayed here, we did not leave the property until it was time to check out. But, we were there for only a few short nights and we wanted to maximize our experience of living off the grid. However, if you have never been to this part of Poland, there are plenty of sightseeing opportunities in the area. Here are some amazing places to visit nearby:
- Bieszczady Mountains – forest covered and part of the Carpathian range, these gorgeous mountains are perfect for hiking excursions.
- Przemyśl – this historical city established in the 10th century is only 20 minutes away by car.
- Krasiczyn Castle – a treasure of the Polish Renaissance, this is a perfect place for history and architecture enthusiasts.
- Jewish cemetery in the town of Lesko – a heritage site dating back to the 16th century, this cemetery is one of the oldest Jewish monuments in Europe.
- Wioska Fantasy (Fantasy Village) – a replica of a medieval Slavic town. Perfect for kids and grown ups alike.
- A dinosaur park Dinozekolandia.
- A mini zoo with animals like reindeer, bison and other animals like fancy chicken breeds.
- A giant “bug” park.
Additional tips for staying at Hobbitówa
- Arrive with your groceries so you can properly enjoy your escape from civilization. There is a little grocery store called Delikatesy Piotruś Pan in the village of Krzywcza if you need to run out and get something. It’s within walking distance of the house.
- Bring books or games for kids. There is no working TV or internet. This place is meant to bring families closer.
- Hobbitówa is a perfect place for creative types. If you need to finish that book, paint that painting or write that song, you will find the isolation of this house to your advantage.
In essence, staying at Hobbitówa was a dream come true for us. Not only because we love the Lord of the Rings and the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien, but also because we are curious about people who are so passionate about something, that they turn their dreams into reality. Not to mention, experiencing the amazing craft of Mr Bogdan Pękalski, meeting him and hearing his story, was very inspirational for us.
So if you happen to be in the south-eastern part of Poland, why not stay at this whimsical place? Have you ever stayed at an unusual house? Or perhaps you are lucky enough to live in one? Do share with us in comments below. And if you haven’t yet, please subscribe to our blog. And don’t forget to share with your friends.
For our other recent posts, see:
- Gozo – Why You Should Visit This Beautiful Island
- These Travel Photos Will Inspire You To Visit Malta