: 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.