Poland is definitely not the most ‘touristy’ country and I think that’s a plus if you’re a digital nomad or an adventure-seeking backpacker looking for unheard-of spots. Poland can still be considered a wild and untouched country especially if compared to Western Europe. Do you want to go to an untapped place, experience authentic culture and travel in peace? Let me unveil my mystery for you and show you one of my favourite places in my country: Mazury aka Masuria Lake District in the north-east of Poland.
Before we embark for this virtual journey, you should know something about this district. It’s the poorest region in the whole country and the unemployment rate is very high. There’s hardly any industry here so the air is fresh and clean. No wonder why it is nicknamed “The green lungs of Poland.”
The whole region’s surface is 1732 km², and 486 km² of this are lakes! You know what that means, right? Camps, forests, splendid spots for walking, getting inspired, and escaping from the big city life.
In bigger cities such as Giżycko or Ełk, there are quite well-developed, beautiful marinas where you can rent a boat or go on a cruise and admire the nature. During summertime a lot of Poles go there to sail – if you’re keen on sailing it is definitely a perfect destination for you.
I have some good news: it’s one of the cheapest regions in Poland! You can go camping (There’s a very nice campsite in a village called Ublik) or, if you prefer cities to villages, just browse Airbnb or Booking.com for apartments and guest houses. It’s one of those budget destinations. A room in a small guest house will cost you around 7-15 euros, a room in a hotel would be around 30 euros. Local beer is 0.70-1.2 euros. A decent dinner in a stylish, old restaurant will be 6-10 euros, in a bar 2-5 euros.
If you like sun, then from June to August. However bear in mind that this is the high season and big cities can be crowded.
If you like snow then go there in December to February. If you don’t mind either way, I’d say April-May or September-October, as it is low season and even big cities won’t be crowded.
There are thousands of villages and they are all worth visiting! You can camp there (as tourism is not yet popular here and it is not always easy to find a guest house in every village).
Beware of wild animals though! As it is a wild region with clean air and forests, it is a shelter to boars, deers and foxes. The Masuria region is pretty safe and calm and so are the camp sites. All camp sites in Poland have basic facilities and are usually situated among beautiful landscapes. Here are some of the most popular places for camping:
How to get there?
I’d suggest a road trip as the landscapes are stunning. I have been to Masuria hundreds of times, my parents bought a house there and I can never get enough of this place. Each time we go, I walk the same paths, eat the same things, see the same forests, yet it is always unique and magical. Each sunset is breathtaking, each morning is refreshing, and each night is peaceful.
If you don’t drive or don’t have much time, the easiest way to get here would be to go by plane to Gdansk or Warsaw (depending to which part of this region you’re going.) Then you can take a bus, the public transport routes are fairly well developed in the area.