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Vacation in Great Polish Masurian Lakes area (Mazury)

globetrotter 3 | 106
20 Feb 2007 #1
Hi all.

I am thinking about taking the family on vacation to the Great Masurian Lakes area (in Polish it's called Mazury). Although I have worked in Poland, this is one of the areas that I know little about. I have looked at some of the web sites but would welcome some local knowledge on the best places to stay and visit, best times to go there (I gather it is a popular vacation spot for Polish people and I would rather avoid the crowds), and any details on the best way to travel around (hire car, local transport etc.) I have three very active sons aged between 15 and 21 who are big time into watersports so any details on activities available would also be very welcome.

Many thanks in advance for any replies.
20 Feb 2007 #2
As the beginner, You should visit Gizycko or Mikolajki in the first place. But the best way of exploration is on sails, with licence of course. Polish police is very restrict. I`m in love with Masurian Lakes, and as helmsman with licence I try to spend there every minute of my free time.
OP globetrotter 3 | 106
20 Feb 2007 #3
with licence of course. Polish police is very restrict

Thank you Oarman. Three of us have yachting licenses issued from the RYA, the body that administers licenses in the UK. Would they be acceptable in Poland?
20 Feb 2007 #4
Absolutely YES!
20 Feb 2007 #6

Giżycko is overpriced and nothing special.
You can better visit Ełk, Rajgród, Mrągowo and Mikołajki...

I go to Ełk and Mrągowo every year...
OP globetrotter 3 | 106
20 Feb 2007 #7
Thank you for the advice Kasia13
opts 10 | 260
20 Feb 2007 #8
I am from Elk. To me, it is the best city in the Masurian Lakes area. :)
Anja 8 | 1
16 Jun 2007 #9
Merged: Mazury in Poland: Mazurian Lakes District

Mazury – the name refers to the North Eastern region of Poland. We must stress, however, that the very name is not strict. In its broad meaning Mazury are the green lungs of Poland, covered with forest, with plenty of lakes and rivers. We will speak about Mazury as of a region called such name not purely for geographical but also landscape, historical and promotional reasons. One thing is certain beyond any doubt: Mazurian Lakes District is well known for its clean environment where lots of places still bewilder us with their wilderness and picturesqueness.

It has been estimated that there are over 2000 lakes in the region of surface of over 1 ha, many rivers and man made canals. The biggest lakes are Śniardwy (109.7 km2), Mamry (102.3 km2), Jeziorak (34.5 km2), Niegocin (26 km2), Roś (18.9 km2) and Drużno (12.9 km2).

Canals play an important role in Mazurian water network of hundreds of kilometers. Canals make the area more attractive from the point of view of sailing and canoeing. They link various lakes and, thanks to the length of their network, Mazurian Lakes District with Vistula river. Among the most famous canals there are: Augustowski Canal, linking rivers of Biebrza and Niemen (102 km in length, with around 80 km on Polish territory) and Elbląski Canal.

Mazurian Lakes District is a paradise for those who enjoy sailing and canoeing. As far as canoeing is concerned we may recommend Augustowski Canal, Elbląski Canal and Krutynia river. The latter is especially worth seeing. It is 107 km long and constitutes the most popular canoeing trail in Mazury and one of the most beautiful trails in the whole Europe. To complete the journey we must count 10 days off while being able to enjoy the beauty of pure, untouched nature. Along the trail we might find all necessary tourist facilities such as camping sites, hotels, restaurants and water equipment rentals. We may also have the whole canoeing event professionally organized. Thanks to numerous canals linking the lakes and enabling us to get almost everywhere by yacht, Mazurian Lakes District is also perfect for sailors.

There is also a very efficient and extremely well organized network of tourist farms in the district. They offer services of various profile and range. We may spend our holidays close to nature surrounded by clean environment. Thanks to delicious food, hospitality of the locals and beauty of landscape as well as competitive prices this can be an interesting way of spending our free time. We may enjoy fishing, bonfires, riding a bike, mushroom and berries picking, horse riding and all sorts of water sports.

However, Mazurian tourist attractions are not restricted to lakes and forests. It is also a region of a turbulent history with plenty of medieval castles. Over 30 of them have remained until present times, and most in quite good shape. The most famous and well known is Malbork castle, medieval seat of Teutonic Knights Order, and since 1997 “0” class monument listed by UNESCO, and one of the biggest structures of the kind in the world. It is the biggest brick structure in Europe. Mazurian Lakes District is called the green lungs of Poland and the name is not coincidental. Dense forests, thousands of lakes, low density of population and urbanization make the region unique. We can still find places untouched by human activity there. The most famous sites of landscape protection are: Biebrza National Park – wild fowl sanctuary (the biggest Polish national park), Narew National Park, called Polish Amazonia, and Białowieża National Park known for its bison population. Białowieża Forest is among few European woodlands which remain in their primal form. There is also, well known for its unique beauty, Mazurian Lakes Landscape Park.

17 Jun 2007 #10
Hey from Mikolajki

I just moved from Siedlce to Mikolajki and enjoy every minute of it.

The view out of my window.

the lake

spiritus 69 | 666
18 Jun 2007 #11
The view out of my window.

Wow Justyna - does this mean you live by the side of the lake ? Stunning view !
sledz 23 | 2,250
18 Jun 2007 #12
Kewl Justyna..nice pics!!!
18 Jun 2007 #13
does this mean you live by the side of the lake ?

right at it, 10m away from :-)

nice pics!!!


At the same time, this is a view from the language school I'll start working for in September.
alka - | 5
20 Jun 2007 #14

I see you are from Mikolajki. Can you suggest a nicer hotel on the lake that we could stay at. We will probably be there around the end of July. Any help would be great.

20 Jun 2007 #15

Been there! Loved it! Sailors had a regatta there, loud band played late into the night. Odd though, our kids ended up meeting a couple of American kids, and a couple of Canadian kids who live about an hour from where we live. Small World.
horunPoland - | 109
21 Jun 2007 #16
Gołębiewski is most famous and very exclusive but also expensive

Caligula hotel 80-100 zl per night (28-35 $ per night),Hotelik%20Caligula,d7258e2c, ml

Amax hotel

Justyna should sugest you some cheeper also
alka - | 5
21 Jun 2007 #17
Thank you. I will look into these. I did find Hotel Amax in my search and it looked good. Probably have to book fairly soon. Thanks again.

Shawn, Small world it is. I see you are from Mississauga. I grew up in Brampton. Now living in California, but we spend our summers in Poland.
21 Jun 2007 #18
Can you suggest a nicer hotel on the lake

It's too many to list but please tell me what kind of crterion are important to you. Is the price important?
22 Jun 2007 #19

OK Alka. Here's one very nice place to stay and it's only about 100m away from where I live.
alka - | 5
22 Jun 2007 #20
Thank you. I appreciate your help. We are so excited to visit. It's been years since my last visit to Mazury. It looks great. I will see if they are available in July. Thanks again. Let us know if you are ever in Gdynia/Sopot. We have a great place there.
22 Jun 2007 #21
I appreciate your help

you're very welcome.
hispaleo - | 4
25 Sep 2007 #22
Merged: Travelling to Masuria (Mazury)

Hola everyone,

I am new to this forum so please excuse me if this message is in the wrong thread. I have not been able to find any relevant information elsewhere and this seems about the right place.

I am travelling to Masuria within the next few months but do not have a fixed date yet.

I should be grateful if anyone could advise re best time of year to travel there for sailing (probably summer but will it be too busy during say August?)

Also, which would be the closest (International) airport to arrive to?

Is Masuria so close to the Baltic coast that it is possible to visit beaches nearby?

Thanks for any input.

hello 22 | 891
25 Sep 2007 #23
I assume you mean "Mazurian Lakes" in Poland. Mazury are pretty close to the Baltic coast (maybe 150-200 KM). I think you could go to Warsaw and from there to Masuria by car or bus.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
25 Sep 2007 #24
It will probably be quite busy all summer, esp. the so-called Great Lakes, where most of the sailors go. The nearest airports would be Gdańsk and Warszawa. It would take you about half a day if by car and a bit longer by train to reach the Baltic coast (as calculated from Ełk, a town in the eastern reaches of Mazury).
hispaleo - | 4
25 Sep 2007 #25
thanks to you both for your comments. Perhaps it would be better to visit Mazury either in may or september.

I would prefer to fly into Gdansk, since I have already been to Warsaw and I am very keen to visit the Baltic coast anyway. I am not sure whether I will be able to find a direct flight to Gdansk from Madrid
Michal - | 1,865
27 Sep 2007 #26
June might be a nice month as it would already be summer but the children are still going to school.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
27 Sep 2007 #27
Unfortunately, most of the students (uni level) would be out and about already = crowded sailing ;-)
hispaleo - | 4
9 Oct 2007 #28
Thanks Magdalena. I dont mind having some people around, it may actually be some fun, so long as it is not too crowded to sail or do a bit of kayaking....

May would be my preffered choice anyway (the sooner the better!)

aside from the outdoors activities, are there any towns other than Elk near the lakes? anything to see and/or do there?

Magdalena 3 | 1,837
9 Oct 2007 #29
Ełk is actually on the easternmost frontier of Mazury. There are quite a few towns around the Great Lakes (Śniardwy and Mamry) - Giżycko, Mikołajki, Kętrzyn, Mrągowo to name just a few. There's lots to do (hiking, sailing, canoeing/kayaking, swimming etc), and quite a lot to see (castles, Hitler's lair, and stuff).
Kataryna - | 36
26 Oct 2007 #30
I was in the Masurian Lake District in 2005. It was a long drive from Warsaw, but I recall it to be a straight shot. The sights are amazing along the way. There's a town called Mikolajki, east of Olsztyn. It's an amazing town, right on a lake. Great shops and restaurants. Very nice resort town. There are alot of resorts in that area. Good luck and enjoy your vacation.

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