Looking for unforgettable outdoor holiday ideas? Poland’s Masuria Lakeland is an area of impressive natural beauty with more than 2,000 lakes, dense forests, organic farms and charming resort towns. Little known outside of Poland, Lakeland is well worth exploring.
Best time to visit
There is no doubt that the best time to visit Masuria is the summer season, which is also the busiest and most expensive time of the year. If you want to avoid the crowds, book your stay at the beginning of June or September, when the weather is still good and there are less tourists around.
How to get there
If you’re combining your trip to Mazury with visiting Warsaw, the best way to get to the Lakeland to and from Warsaw is by train (to the region’s biggest cities: Olsztyn, Gizycko and Elblag), by bus (check out the affordable polskibus.com), by car or also by plane (there are daily flights to Olsztyn-Mazury Airport).
Where to stay
If you’re craving an authentic nature-focused experience, go for a farm stay. Places such as Siedlisko Bianki, Moniówka and Kwaśne Jabłko offer a new take on agrotourism (‘agroturystyka’ in Polish), with organic regional food, big communal kitchens and a friendly atmosphere.
Spa resorts such as Dr Irena Eris Wzgórza Dylewskie, Gołębiewski Mikołajki, Przystań Hotel & Spa in Olszytyn or the hip Glendoria (with an outdoor wooden spa) are also immensely popular. Make sure you book in advance.
Masuria is one of the best places in Poland to get out and experience the great outdoors. From kayaking along the picturesque Krutynia River and cycling through the area’s thick forests, to sailing and fishing on the country’s biggest lakes, there are plenty of activities to choose from.
Measuring over 113 sq km, Śniardwy is Poland’s biggest lake and Pole’s favourite sailing spot. You can take a boat out by yourself or rent a skipper to enjoy a day out on the water (or simply relax on one of the wooden decks). Other lakes worth recommending are the Luknajo Lake (which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve), Niegocin and Mamry.
Gizycko, Mikolajki and Wegorzewo are the prime towns to visit, get some food and organise your tours and boat/kayak rentals.
Masuria also houses Hitler’s former Second World War military headquarters, Wolfschanze (Wolf’s Lair), hidden in the forests close to Kętrzyn village. It’s here that Hitler spent more than 800 days and survived an assassination attempt in 1944.
Wolf’s Lair | © Shutterstock
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