Podhale (literally "below the mountains") is Poland's southernmost region, sometimes referred to as the "Polish Highlands". The Podhale is located in the foothills of the Tatra range of the Carpathian mountains. It is the most famous region of the Goral Lands which are a network of historical regions inhabited by Gorals.
The region is characterized by its unique folklore, which is distinct from other folk cultures in Poland. Its folklore was brought there mainly by settlers from the Lesser Poland region further north and partly by Wallachian (Vlach) settlers in the 14th–17th centuries during their migrations. The name Podhale literally translates as "below the mountains" in English. The various Goral dialects as well as Polish are spoken in the region.
Among the region's attractions are the popular mountain resort of Zakopane and the lake known as Morskie Oko ("The Eye of the Sea"), which local legend claims, is connected to the Adriatic by subterranean passageways. Nowy Targ along the Dunajec River, located in the valley beneath the Gorce Mountains, is the capital of the region. Ludzmierz is home to the area's oldest shrine, Our Lady of Ludźmierz also known as the Hostess of Podhale or in Goral Gaździna Podholańsko.
The people in this region are particularly famous for their oscypek, a cheese made from a mix of cow's and sheep's milk, their music, and their ski slopes. In the winter, it is the number one tourist site in Poland.
- Dunajec River Gorge
- Niedzica Castle
- Polish Tatra Sheepdog
- Sanctuary of Our Lady of Ludźmierz
- Zakopane Style
- Folk costumes of Podhale