- Complete visiting of the North-East of Poland.
- 3 days of canoeing, feels like being a Canadian trapper in the heart of Europe.
- Additionally, discovering well preserved nature (2 national parks, 3 landscape parks, primeval forest where the bisons live), contacts with the local population and visiting the most popular places
- High quality of lodgings with delicious food.
- Two nights in Gdansk, one night in Warsaw and visiting the Malbork castle.
Our journey will go through 4 distinct regions of Poland.
We start at the Baltic seaside and the region of Gdansk, known for a long time by the name of Danzig. It is a city with a very rich history: from an important commercial Hanseatic centre under the govern of the Teutonic Knights to the large modern port of today. The city represents splendid Flemish architecture. We will see also Hel spit, the longest spit in Poland.
Next we will move to the heart of the Land of Thousand Lakes of Masuria. Masuria is a woodland region with numerous lakes (about 3000) with crystal clear water. It is a place where many Poles like spending their summer holidays. Main activity of the region is sailing and canoeing. We will be going by canoe down the river for 3,5 days, going from one lake to another, sleeping in tents on desert islands. The nature is exceptional and very well preserved. We will live a bit like trappers for 3 days. We continue our journey to the primeval forest Borecka. We will ride a bike across this forest, hoping to see some animals: bisons or wolves.
We will move afterwards to the borders of Poland, the border with Lithuania and Russia – enclave of Kaliningrad (Königsberg): the region of Suwalki. This region is sparsely populated and tourists are thin on the ground there. We find ourselves in the middle of mixture of cultures and nationalities: Polish, German, Lithuanian, Russian, Jewish and Tatar. The traditions are strong here and the wooden architecture is very well preserved. The landscape is idyllic, with numerous hills and lakes. We will go on foot and ride a bike through the National Park of Wigry and the highest “mountains” of the North of Poland
On the way to Warsaw we will explore the marches of Biebrza National Park. This largest wetland in central Europe is a kingdom of the waterfowl and wild animals, like for example wolves and elks. Our journey will end a visit in Warsaw.
Day by day:
D1: Arrival in Gdansk
D2: Gdansk and cycling on Hel spit.
Sailing by water tram to Hel in Hel spit, crossing spit by bike (25 km), time to sunbathing on the Baltic Sea. Return to Gdańsk by train (1h), time to visit city. Gdansk is mainly known for its shipyards and for being the cradle of Solidarity. It is a city of rich history: it was an important commercial centre at the times of the Teutonic Knights, it used to be a free city at the times of Danzig corridor, it is the city of the outbreak of the Second World War. Today Gdansk is a city of comfortable life, with a beautiful historical centre with Flemish architecture.
D3: The castle in Malbork; transfer to the Masurian Lake District
Time to explore Gdańsk in the morning. We reach Malbork by private minibus about midday. The castle in Malbork is the largest in Poland. It is a splendid medieval fortress from the 14th century, very majestic. It was built by the Teutonic Knights and served as their capital for more than 150 years. After visiting the castle we continue our trip on the river Krutynia in Masuria. Firstnight in tent.
D4-6: Dscending by canoe the river Krutynia.
After being informed about the security rules, we start our escapade by the river Krutynia which we will be descending for 3 days. The river does not present any difficulty, the current is calm. It goes from one lake to another, meanders through the forest or through the meadows. Water is crystal clear, there will be a lot of occasions to bath. We are going to live like real trappers: half-wild camping, camp-fires where we will be preparing our meals. We will enjoy the tranquillity and live away from civilization for a few days. Night in tents.
D7: Last morning on the river, visiting Mikolajki and Hitler’s bunker.
This is the last morning on the river (3-4 hours) , then we go to Mikolajki. It is the main tourist destination in Masuria, at the end of the Lake Sniardwy. This lake is a veritable interior sea. In the afternoon we reach “The Wolf’s Lair”, Hitler’s HQ during the war. At this place there are 80 different buildings, 50 bunkers in it. It was a real little town with a power-station, railway track, airport, casino and cinema. After visiting we go to the Lake Kruklanki and the border of the Borecki Forest. Night in a pension.
D8: Trip by bike in the forest of bison – the Borecki Forest.
Today we take the mountain bikes to go through the Borecki Forest. This forest is the second place in Europe, except for Bialowieza Forest, where the bison live in freedom. There are fifty of them. The objective of this trip is to reach the forestry centre in Wolisko. Next to the forester’s lodge there is an observation platform which increases our chances of seeing bison during our trip. We will have a picnic in the forest before going back to the Kruklanki. Diner before going to the region of Suwalki. 2 nights in a pension in Suwalki Landscape Park.
D9: Marching through the “mountains” of Suwalki region; traditional architecture
We will be very happy to stretch our legs while visiting this very beautiful region with strong pastoral’s traditions, which represents many different cultures. Our way leads through the small villages where wooden architecture is very well preserved (houses, chapels, churches, mills…). We will also climb Zamkowa Mountain (228m). And, of course, we will stop for a bath in one of the numerous lakes we will come across. An evening in “bania”: Russian sauna in a wooden cabin is planned.
D10: by bike in the National Park of Wigry
In the morning departure by minibus to the National Park of Wigry. The National Park is known for its lake, its fauna (numerous beavers and elks), landcapes (lake, cliffs, meadows, forests, swamps), and a very beautiful monastery. We will ride by bike around the Wigry Lake, one of the largest and deepest in Poland. Return to Suwalki LP after dinner .
D11: Biebrza NP; Towards Warsaw.
Departure for Warsaw in the morning. On the way stop for discovering Biebrza NP. We will visit this wetland with local guide. Visiting City: Warsaw was destroyed in 90% during the war. The Old Town was reconstructed with a great effort. In the city there are a lot of parks where you can have a walk. Although Warsaw does not have the charm of Gdansk or Cracow, without any doubt you will appreciate this city – fully developed capital, reflection of dynamics of contemporary Poland. Night in a hotel.
D12: End Warsaw