Tag: Lakes

Tag: Lakes

Canoeing in Poland

Canoeing and kayaking

Canoeing and kayaking are popular leisure activities in Poland. There are almost 10,000 kilometres of rivers and lakes in the country and many of these waterways are very popular for canoeing in Poland.

The Lubuskie Lake District and the rivers of the west of Poland offer some of the best kayaking.

Four of the best rivers in Poland for kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts are the River Obra, Warta River, River Notec, and River Drawa. Other rivers suitable for canoeing and kayaking include the River Odra, River Postomia, Czarna Hancza River, Brda River and the Krutynia River.

Krutynia route

The most beautiful route is the almost two hundred kilometer long Krutynia route. The river winds its way through the land of a Thousand Lakes, among a picturesque landscape of lakes and streams. The Krutynia River is always a wonderful experience, a close encounter with lush nature, beautiful lakes and the wildlife of the Pisz Forest.

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.

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.

Polish waterways are good both for long trips as well as for one-day expeditions. One day is all it takes to sail half the Radunskie Circle or the Kowaliowy Trail in the Przemecki Natural Park. Boatmen wait for visitors on the River Krutynia and take them down the prettiest parts of the river at a good pace and with no effort. The Dunajec has its traditional raftsmen — called Flis — who can take you on a breathtaking rafting excursion.

You can join rafting trips on the Odra, from Nowa Sol, all the way to Szczecin. Or paddle your way from Bory Tucholskie to Hamburg; the route about 900 km going through Brda, Bydgoski Canal, Notec, Warta, Odra and Laba.

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.


Masuria

Eco-tourism

Masuria is an area in northeastern Poland famous today for its many thousands of lakes. Today, the region’s economy relies largely on eco-tourism and agriculture. The lakes offer varieties of water sports such as sailing and holiday activities.

Poland’s Lake District

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.

As in other parts of northern Poland, such as from Pomerania on the Oder River to the Vistula River, this continuous stretch of lakes is popular among tourists.

Size

The Masurian Lake District extends roughly 290 km (180 mi) eastwards from the lower Vistula River to the Poland-Lithuania border and occupies an area of roughly 52,000 km² (20,000 sq mi).

The lakes are well connected by rivers and canals, to form an extensive system of waterways. The whole area has become a prime destination for yachtspeople and canoeists, and is also popular among anglers, hikers, bikers and nature-lovers.

Getting there

The Masurian region can be reached by train, bus, or car from anywhere in Poland or from Lithuania. The nearby international airports are in Warsaw, Gdansk, and Vilnius. The main transport hub in the region is the town of Ełk. There are trains to Masuria from Warsaw, Gdańsk and Vilnius, and buses to there can be found in many Polish cities. A boat service connects some central towns in the region. Biking and boating are popular ways to get around.

Accommodation

Hotels can be found mostly around the Great Masurian Lakes, namely in towns of Giżycko and Mikołajki, as well as in the larger town of Ełk. There are also guesthouses & campsites in villages and countryside areas of Masuria. English is spoken by many educated locals and those who work in tourism professions.

Masuria is famous for its thousands of lakes and nearby forests, offering a wide range of outdoor activities from sailing to kayaking and swimming. The region includes the largest lake in Poland, Śniardwy as well as small lake resort towns of Giżycko, Mikołajki, Ełk, Węgorzewo, Ryn, Pisz, and Iława.

Tourism in Masuria

The most popular tourism centers in Masuria are Mikołajki and Giżycko. Giżycko is located on the shore of Lake Niegocin, and has a historical fortress, and passenger boats to the towns of Węgorzewo, Mikołajki and Ruciane-Nida. The historical town of Mikołajki is also a popular tourism centre with a beautiful historic church and bridges. In addition to lakes, the Masurian region also has many rivers good for fishing and forest areas that offer many trails for trekking and biking.

Fauna & Flora

There is also a nice variety of wildlife, edible berries and mushrooms, and large protected areas, including the Masurian Landscape Park that includes 11 nature reserves such as the Łuknajno Lake that is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, or the Białowieża Forest with a breeding station for European Bisons.

Climate

Masuria has a temperate climate with cold winters and warm summers. The weather here is cooler than in most parts of Poland, and the area also has some snow during the winter. The Masurian lakes are usually frozen from December to the end of April. Springtime can be wet, while summers are generally drier.

The Lakes

With almost ten thousand closed bodies of water covering more than 1 hectare (2.47 acres) each, Poland has one of the highest number of lakes in the world. In Europe, only Finland has a greater density of lakes. The largest lakes, covering more than 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi), are Lake Śniardwy and Lake Mamry in Masuria, and Lake Łebsko and Lake Drawsko in Pomerania.

In addition to the lake districts in the north (in Masuria, Pomerania, Kashubia, Lubuskie, and Greater Poland), there is also a large number of mountain lakes in the Tatras, of which the Morskie Oko is the largest in area. The lake with the greatest depth—of more than 100 metres (328 ft)—is Lake Hańcza in the Wigry Lake District, east of Masuria in Podlaskie Voivodeship.