The Great Masurian Lakes

The scenic beauty of the Great Masurian Lakes is legendary. The glacial moraine consists of approximately 3000 lakes. 25 of the most beautiful lakes are connected by picturesque canals and idyllic rivers. The smaller lakes are called in Polish, "flowery" and "sky eyes" because the clouds are reflected in the emerald green and ultramarine blue water. The land has gentle, undulating hills, with the highest mountains rising to just over 300 meters. On land Mazury is a quiet town of cobbled streets and ancient avenues. Storks, eagles, cranes and luminous fields of rape make the area memorable. 

Itineraries (no license required)

TURN

Turn: South-cruise - 10 results up to 14 days

  • Drive from Piaski to the south and to the north and back: 10-14 days / 150-220 km / 0 (4) locks

Turn: South-Cruise - 4 to 7 days

  • Piaski, Spirding, Johannesburg, Nikolaiken, Niedersee and lakes: 4-7 days / 80-120 km / 0 (4) locks

Turn: North Cruise - 7 to 10 days

  • Piaski, Spirding, Nikolaiken, Rhine, Lötzen, Steinort, Anger castle and back: 7-10 days / 120-180 km trip / 0 locks

The Spirdingsee and the south

This area has many tranquil lakes and is a peaceful haven.

In the high season, if you are looking for a bustling town head for Nikolaiken (Mikolajki). This is the main town of the southern chain of lakes and is considered the Masurian Venice. In summer more boats than cars seem to populate the city. The attractive waterfront was redesigned for the new millennium. Restaurants, ice cream shops, small shops and street vendors can be found here - ideal to laze away an afternoon.

Not far away is Ureinwohnersiedlung "Galindia" on Beldahnsee, where you can admire many beautiful and bizarre wood carvings or enjoy amongst the vast catacombs, a cold beer. The adjacent 114 square kilometers Spirdingsee (Jezioro Sniardwy) lake is almost the size of Müritz. This is a beautiful chain of lakes. In Niedersee (Ruciane-Nida) there is a helpful tourist centre. The further away from Nikolaiken, the quieter it is. If you go to Roschsee you may well have complete solitude. 

 

The Mauersee and the North

The northern lakes with the 104 square kilometer Mauersee are surrounded by dense mixed forests and fertile soil - no surprise therefore that the Prussian nobility has built its most beautiful mansions. Lötzen (Gizycko) is the capital of water sports due to its location and size. At the end of the 19th century the swing bridge was completed and to this day controls car and boat traffic. It is an attractive feature of the town. Near to the bridge is the waterfront; it has beautiful flowers and a free WiFi hotspot. There are a variety of small shops. 

The centre for maritime is in the northern area next to Lötzen Steinort Marina. The harbor is protected, very well maintained and equipped with many maritime services. Steinort (Sztynort) is a good starting point for a trip through German history. At the port area of Steinort in the castle borders the family von Lehndorff (Heinrich Graf von Lehndorff was executed in 1944 for his involvement in the assassination attempt on Hitler). If you have time, leave your boat for a day and take a bike trip to Hitler's Lair where there is a good museum and memorial of the assassination.

Once you reach Angers Castle (Wegorzewo) you have reached the most northern point of your journey. It pays to drive past several marinas and to moor in the far corner of the waterway, directly in front of the castle in the old town harbor. From here you can also go to the open-air museum and sample Masurian country life from the last century.

Food, fishing, locks

On land, food is fun in this area of the Masurian Lakes. Good home cooking is served in many ports at very reasonable prices.

Pike, catfish, perch and whitefish can be found here. You need a special permit to fish and they can be purchased on site. 

In total there are only 2 locks in the south and these open just a couple of additional lakes.