Tag: Lakes

Tag: Lakes

Warmia-Masuria (Warminsko-Mazurskie)

Warmia-Masuria

Warmia-Masuria – updated 23 September 2022

Warmia-Masuria (Warminsko-Mazurskie) is the water sports capital of Poland, and it is dominated by the Great Masurian Lakes. Every year, thousands of kayakers, windsurfers and sailors arrive in the province to have fun on the water.

Land of a thousand lakes

Masuria and the Masurian Lake District are known in Polish as Kraina Tysiąca Jezior and in German as Land der Tausend Seen, meaning “land of a thousand lakes.” These lakes were ground out of the land by glaciers during the Pleistocene ice age, when ice covered north-eastern Europe. By 10,000 BC this ice started to melt. Great geological changes took place and even in the last 500 years the maps showing the lagoons and peninsulas on the Baltic Sea have greatly altered in appearance.

Warmia-Masuria

Elbląg–Ostróda

At 24,192 square kilometres, Warmia-Masuria is not the biggest region in Poland, but it sure has a lot to offer. Once you’ve explored the lakes, you can experience water of a different sort on one of the world’s most intriguing canals, the Elbląg–Ostróda; which runs 80.5 kilometres southward from Lake Drużno to the river Drwęca and lake Jeziorak. The canal uses a system of inclined planes between lakes to overcome a 100 m difference in water levels and is considered one of the most significant monuments related to the history of technology.

Krutynia

Warmia-Masuria also has countless rivers, swamps and wetlands to have fun in. The river Krutynia, which flows from Lake Warpuńskie into Lake Bełdany is a popular destination for kayakers and is considered to be one of the most picturesque waterways in Poland.

The province's name derives from two historic regions, Warmia and Masuria and its capital and largest city is Olsztyn.

Warmia-Masuria is home to Hitler’s wartime hideout, the Wolf’s Lair, one of Europe’s most significant WWII sites. There’s also Palaces, Gothic castles, Gothic churches and museums to explore.

Wolf’s Lair

One of the most-visited attractions in Warmia-Masuria is the Lidzbark Castle, which was the residence of bishops for hundreds of years. It was here that Nicolaus Copernicus sketched the first draft of his theory on the movement of the Earth.

Wolf's Lair

The Wolf’s Lair in Gierłoż is well-worth a visit. Wolf’s Lair is the standard English name for Wolfsschanze, Adolf Hitler’s first World War II Eastern Front military headquarters, one of several Führerhauptquartier (Führer Headquarters) or FHQs located in various parts of Europe. Hitler first arrived at the Wolf’s Lair late on the night of 23 June 1941 and departed for the last time on 20 November 1944. Overall, he spent over 800 days there during that 3.5-year period.

The Germans blew up this enormous complex of 80 buildings and bunkers near the end of World War II, but some buildings remain. You can also see the remains of the conference barrack that was the scene of an unsuccessful attempt on Hitler’s life.

Other places that are worth visiting include: the pyramid in Rapa, which is the family mausoleum of the von Fahrenheid family and is loosely inspired by the architecture of ancient Egypt. The family members buried there were mummified.

The English version official website for Warmia and Masuria is actually quite good and is worth looking through for further information about the region – https://mazury.travel/en/

Tours & Attractions

Pomerania (Pomorskie)

Pomerania

Pomerania – updated 23 September 2022

Pomerania (Pomorskie) is Poland’s most northern province. It covers an area of over 18,300 square kilometres and has the Baltic Sea on its northern border and Russia (via the Vistula Spit) to the north-east.

Coastline & Lakes

The region has 316 km of coastline with sandy beaches and a staggering 2,901 lakes. If you wanted to swim in a different lake every day, it would take you almost eight years!

Tricity

The epicentre and capital of Pomerania is Gdańsk, northern Poland’s metropolis, which together with Gdynia and Sopot forms a conurbation called Tricity – one of the main cultural, commercial and educational centres of Poland inhabited by over 1.2 million people.

Pomerania province

Like most of the region, Gdańsk has changed hands many times over the centuries, with each invader leaving their mark on the architecture and culture of the city for today’s visitors to enjoy.

Health resorts & spas

The province is well-known in Poland for its beaches, health resorts & spas, which attract tourists by the thousands each year. It also has many interesting historical sites such as the UNESCO-listed Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork, a marvel in red brick and the largest castle in the world measured by land area.

National Parks

Pomerania also boasts two national parks, Slowinski National Park and Bory Tucholskie National Park, it also has nine landscape parks and 127 nature reserves. In total, one third of Pomerania is occupied by green areas, which attracts tourists from all over Europe who can enjoy a number of outdoor activities in the region such as cycling, hiking, angling, canoeing and birdwatching to name a few.

Pomerania province

Kashubia

Away from the beaches and miracles in red brick, you’ll discover Kashubia, a region that is steeped in tradition and even has its own language.

Since 2005 Kashubian enjoys legal protection in Poland as an official regional language. It is the only tongue in Poland with this status.

Tours & Attractions

Water Activities

Out on the water

Water Activities – Updated 23 August 2022

There's a huge variety of water activities available in Poland. For those people who enjoy getting out on the water, there are many opportunities to do so.

Water Activities

Sailing

Sailing enthusiasts come to The Great Masurian Lakes in their droves every summer where it is possible to enjoy two weeks on the water without visiting the same lake twice.

Known as the Polish Lake District, this impressive network of interconnected lakes offers sailors excellent facilities including a great choice of sailboats for hire with the most popular places to do so being Giżycko and Mikołajki.

Baltic Sea

An alternative location for sailors is the Baltic Sea. The 870 square kilometre bay at Szczecin is the most popular place to sail and is shared by Germany and Poland. Gdańsk bay is a good alternative and has many picturesque fishing towns and sea harbours.

If you’re going to sail, you’ll need a license, which you can obtain by completing a course with the Polish Sailing Association. If you have a license issued by the RYA, then that will be accepted too. Without a license, you will only be permitted to use small inland sailing vessels (a sailing yacht with hull length up to 7.5 m or a motor yacht with 10kW engine power). Alternatively, you can hire a larger vessel complete with skipper.

Water Activities

Canoeing, Kayaking & Rafting

There’s an incredible variety of places in Poland where you can get paddling. The Lakeland areas such as Masuria, Kashubia and Warmia contain thousands of lakes and rivers, there’s also canals, various river tributaries and bogs that you could choose.

Masurian Lakes

If the Great Masurian Lakes is your preference, then a good starting point is Olsztyn, located on the Łyna River. There are plenty of companies, which organise trips, guides and equipment. A popular canoeing trip from Olsztyn is to paddle up the Łyna River to the border of Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.

Water Activities

Krutynia River

By far, the most popular canoeing route in Masuria is the Krutynia River, which is considered by many paddling enthusiasts as being the most scenic river in the north of Poland. The recommended starting point is Sorkwity and you should follow the river and Lake Bełdany to Ruciane-Nida, a well-known tourist centre within the Masurian Lake District. The route takes you through 100km of some of the best scenery in Poland.

Drweca River

Another interesting Mazurian route is that of the Drweca River which is one of the clearest rivers in Poland. It is about 200 km long. It starts at Ostroda, flows through forests and wildlife reserves, and goes all the way to the Vistula River near Torun. Comfortable sites for camping are found on both riverbanks. There is an annual “International Canoe Trip on Drweca river”, which is popular among canoeists from many countries.

Czarna Hańcza route

Away from Masuria, you will find other good places to paddle. The Czarna Hańcza route from Augustów to Lake Serwy is extremely popular and includes the 180-year-old Augustów Canal, the Suwałki Lake District and the Augustów Forest.

National Parks

Many paddling favourites can be found in Poland’s National Parks such as the Biebrza River, which runs through Biebrza National Park, Lake Wigry in the Wigry National Park, the Narew River in the Narew National Park and Brda River in the Bory Tucholskie National Park. Experienced kayakers can often be found navigating the Drawa Route, which runs through Drawa National Park.

Mountain rivers

Kayakers looking for that special, intense experience should go down one of the three true Mountain rivers, best suited for kayaking. For example, the Bialka running through Tatry and Podhale – horrifyingly cold, rushing, foamy and strewn with granite rocks.

Dunajec Gorge

If a leisurely rafting trip (no white-water) is your cup of tea, then the Dunajec Gorge in the Pieniny is recommended. Experienced tourists can seek adventures along more challenging whirls and rocks of mountain rivers. Kayak trips for groups are organised on the Dunajec River, which seems to be the best choice, also because of its picturesque gorges in the Pieniny Mountains.

Dunajec river gorge rafting and tree top walk from Krakow

Slowinski National Park private guided tour

Head to southern Poland's most picturesque district for a rafting trip on the Dunajec River and walk through the treetops of Slovakia.

Rush through the waters of the Dunajec river and feel the adrenaline rushing through your body. After admiring the scenery from the water, you will head up into the air. Walk the treetop walk in Slovakia and discover the Tatra region – Book tickets