Lakes and Baltic Sea
The Polish Baltic coast is approximately 528 kilometres (328 mi) long and extends from Świnoujście on the islands of Usedom and Wolin in the west to Krynica Morska on the Vistula Spit in the east. For the most part, Poland has a smooth coastline, which has been shaped by the continual movement of sand by currents and winds. This continual erosion and deposition has formed cliffs, dunes, and spits, many of which have migrated landwards to close off former lagoons, such as Łebsko Lake in Słowiński National Park.
The Baltic coast near Gdansk has beautiful white, wide beaches and is highly recommended for a holiday. Almost all beaches in Poland are accessed through a short walk through protected pine forests – not only does this smell beautiful but it also keeps building right on top of the beach, thus keeping the beach “wild” and unspoilt. Most beaches in seaside towns have sections guarded by lifeguards – so you can swim in safety.
Poland not only has miles upon miles of sandy coastline, but some of the biggest sand dunes in Europe (in Slowinski National Park on the Baltic coast, close to Leba). That topped with hot summers (well above average for Europe) makes Poland an ideal beach holiday destination. The beaches do tend to get breezy, but this can be a welcome relief from the hot sun and windbreakers are in abundance. There are plenty of water sports to choose from and Poland has some of the best windsurfing in Europe, both on the Baltic sea and on the many lakes (such as Lake Zarnowieckie near Debki).
The Masurian Lake District is a lake district in northeastern Poland within the geographical region of Masuria. It contains more than 2,000 lakes.
The lakes are well connected by rivers and canals, forming an extensive system of waterways. The 18th-century Masurian Canal links this system to the Baltic Sea. The whole area is a prime tourist destination, frequented by boating enthusiasts, canoeists, anglers, hikers, bikers and nature-lovers. It is one of the most famous lake districts in Central Europe and a popular vacation spot, with the highest number of visitors every year.
Masuria is famous for its lakes and forests, offering a wide range of outdoor activities from sailing to kayaking and swimming. The region includes the largest lake in Poland called Śniardwy. The resort towns include the most popular Giżycko and Mikołajki, Węgorzewo, Ryn, Pisz and Iława. Giżycko is located on the shore of Lake Niegocin. It has an ancient fortress, historic church, bridges, and passenger boats to the towns of Węgorzewo, Mikołajki and Ruciane-Nida. The town of Mikołajki is a popular tourism center.
In addition to lakes, the Masurian region also has many rivers used for fly fishing, and forest areas that offer many trails for trekking and biking. There is also a 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.
There are four separate boating trails set up along connecting lakes: from Giżycko to Węgorzewo and Ruciane-Nida, and from Mikołajki to Pisz and Ryn. There are also two kayaking trails along rivers, the most popular being the Krutynia River Trail. On top of that, there are several colour marked walking trails with numerous points of interest for qualified tourism.