Places to visit in Mazury, Poland
Masuria (Mazury in Polish), a region famous for its lakes, is located in north-eastern Poland, in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship/Province, whose capital is the city of Olsztyn. The Province has two parts: Warmia and Mazury. Informally, everything (including Warmia and Olsztyn) that is in north-eastern Poland and has lakes is labeled Masuria.
Masuria is poetically called the Land of a Thousand Lakes (meanwhile, there are 2600 lakes!) and the Green Lungs of Poland (the cleanest region of the country).
The biggest tourist attractions of the region are the lakes, including the largest lake in Poland, Lake Śniardwy (113.8 km²) and Lake Mamry (105 km²). Lakes in Mazury, connected with each other by canals, create ideal conditions for sailing.
It is a region beloved by families with children who spend their holidays by the lake, by people who like to enjoy their time in nature and by tourists who prefer active holidays – cycling, canoeing, hiking.
- Jump to how to get to Mazury (by plane, by car, by train)
- Jump to when is the best time to visit Mazury
- Jump to places to visit in Mazury and things to do in Mazury
How to get to Mazury
How to get to Mazury by plane
There is one airport in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodship (Polish name: Port Lotniczy Olsztyn-Mazury w Szymanach, location on Google map, website in English). The airport is located in the town of Szymany, 58 km from the province capital – the city of Olsztyn. Connections to this airport include: London, Dortmund, Kraków, and Wrocław.
If you are interested in the option of traveling by plane, you can also use the airport in the city of Gdańsk (Polish name: Port Lotniczy Gdańsk im. Lecha Wałęsy, location on Google map, website in English), the biggest airport in Poland in the city of Warsaw (Polish name: Lotnisko Chopina w Warszawie, location on Google map, website in English), the second Warsaw airport, located in the north of Warsaw towards Masuria (Polish name: Port Lotniczy Warszawa/Modlin, location on Google map, website in English). From there you can get to Masuria, e.g. by rented car or by train.
How to get to Mazury by car
Masuria is a very vast region. To give you a general idea, we list the approximate travel time by car to the capital of the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, the city of Olsztyn, from of the largest cities in Poland: Warsaw 2 hrs 40 mins, Wrocław 5 hrs 30 mins, Poznań 4 hrs 30 mins, Kraków 5 hrs 50 mins, Gdańsk 1 hrs 50 mins, Katowice 5 hrs 10 mins, Lublin 4 hrs 15 mins, Toruń 2 hr 40 mins, Łódź 3 hrs 30 mins.
How to get to Mazury by train
The timetable of trains in Poland and available connections can be found on this website: https://rozklad-pkp.pl/en.
When is the best time to visit Mazury
In order to fully and in various ways (sailing, kayaking, swimming, beaches, bicycles) enjoy the beautiful nature of Masuria, it is best to visit it in the summer months. Because it is the school holiday in Poland (the summer break in Polish schools lasts from the last week of June to September 1), this is the period when there are the most tourists. This applies especially to the most popular towns in Masuria – e.g. the towns of Mikołajki, Giżycko, Mrągowo.
If you want to avoid crowds, there are many peaceful oases in the countryside in this region.
Another way to avoid the holiday bustle is to go to Masuria in spring (April, May, and the beginning of June – a wonderful time in Poland, when nature comes to life) or in autumn (September and October in Poland usually still reward us with good weather).
Places to visit in Mazury and things to do in Mazury
The biggest lake in Poland and the town of Mikołajki – the touristic ‘capital’ of Mazury
- Just like the town of Zakopane during summer holidays is called the mountain capital of Poland, the town of Mikołajki is called the lake capital of Poland.
- Mikołajki is located on two lakes and very close to the largest lake in Poland – Lake Śniardwy. On Lake Śniardwy, you can admire eight islands and unique nature, including e.g. rare species of birds. A popular form of visiting Lake Śniardwy is taking a cruise from Mikołajki. The lake is considered one of the most densely stocked lakes in Poland, which is appreciated by fishermen.
- Mikołajki is one of the main sailing ports in Masuria, many sailing tourist trails lead here.
- There are many hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, bars, and cafes in Mikołajki. Lots of tourists are attracted by the vast hotel (Hotel Gołębiewski, website) with a large aquapark with indoor attractions as well as outdoor swimming pools and slides (Torpikana, website, our post presenting the biggest water parks in Poland, including the one in Mikołjaki).
- Location of Mikołajki on Google Maps.
- Website in Polish for tourists visiting Mikołajki.
The largest lake in Poland – Lake Śniardwy:
The town of Mikołajki:
The city of Olsztyn with 15 lakes – the capital of the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship/Province
- The city of Olsztyn is located in the historical region of Warmia.
- It is a great place to start your adventure with the Polish land of lakes – it is easy to get there by car (for example 2 hrs 40 min-drive from Warsaw) or train (direct train from Warsaw: 2 hrs 15 mins), and the city has an interesting offer for families.
- What makes Olsztyn a unique place in Poland – there are 15 lakes within the city limits!
- This is a place for those who appreciate the comfort and infrastructure of the city – shops, cinemas, playgrounds, and city beaches (you can, for example, stay in a hotel within the city limits that has its own beach on the lake).
- In addition to beaches and lakes, other tourist attractions of Olsztyn include a gothic castle (website in Polish), a planetarium – Nicolas Copernicus lived and worked in Olsztyn (website in Polish), or the largest urban forest in Europe (Las Miejski, location on Google map).
- Location on Google map.
- Website in English for tourists visiting Olsztyn.
One of the most beautiful kayaking routes in Europe – the Krutynia River
- The canoeing trail on Krutynia is 100 km long and leads through unique forest areas, nature reserves: the Piska Forest (Puszcza Piska) and the Mazury Landscape Park.
- The kayaking trail on the Krutynia River is marked, the river’s current is slow, and the numerous meanders of the river and the interesting terrain are a great attraction for canoeists.
- You can rent boats (recommended for families with small children) or kayaks. You can choose from one-day, several-hour, or 8-10-day kayak trips.
- Several websites with offers of kayaking trips and renting kayaks or boats for the Krutynia River: boat trips and kayaking trips – website in English, 5 and 8-day kayaking trips, 1-hour boat tours, recommended for families, one-day kayaking, multi-day kayaking, kayak and boat renting, kayaking trips lasting several hours, weekend, 3-8 days, 1-day and 8-day kayaking trips – website in English.
- Location on Google map.
Something for those interested in the history of the Second World War
- In Masuria, you can visit the remains of a Nazi war base with bunkers, shelters, barracks, 2 airports, a power plant, and a railway station. This place, located in the Masurian forests, called the Wolf’s Lair (Wilczy Szaniec in Polish), in the years 1941-1944 was the headquarters of Adolf Hitler and the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. Adolf Hitler spent 800 days in the Wolf’s Lair, from where Operation Barbarossa (attack on the USSR) was coordinated.
- The Wolf’s Lair is now a museum, open to visitors all year round.
- The easiest way to get there is by car – paid parking for visitors is available on-site.
- Wolf’s Lair is currently divided into 2 main areas visited by tourists. The first zone is paid. In this zone, tourists walk along a paved path (accessible to parents with prams and people with limited mobility). In the second zone, there is no organized sightseeing and you can go there on your own, on foot.
- Please note that all the most important shelters and bunkers were blown up in 1945 – while visiting the Wolf’s Lair we only see ruins.
- Wolf’s Lair is one of the most popular attractions in Masuria. During the holiday season (July-August) it can be crowded. To avoid crowds, it is best to start visiting the museum immediately after the opening (current opening hours on the Museum’s website).
- You can rent audio guides (available in Polish, English, German, and Ukrainian).
- The Wolf’s Lair is worth visiting with a guide (a website dedicated to guides on the Wolf’s Lair with contacts to local guides). You can contact the guide and book a tour in Polish, English, German, Italian, French, or Russian.
- Location on Google map.
- Website in English.
Photo source: Ośrodek Edukacji Historyczno-Przyrodniczej “Wilczy Szaniec”, Nadleśnictwa Srokowo
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