The Great Mazurian Lakes Region is one of the most attractive destinations in Poland. Local nature displays the whole splendour of its wealth. Its clear air and crystal lakes tempt visitors to return here again and again.
Giżycko district lies in the very center of this land with over 110 lakes, including the best-known Water Complexes of Mamry and Niegocin Lakes. The district’s capital is the town of Gizycko, connected by ship routes with Węgorzewo, Mikołajki and Ruciane-Nida.
Great Mazurian Lakes region is the home for many species of animals and birds, an ideal place for rest and entertainment. A special charm to the attractiveness of the lands and forests. The largest is Borecka Forest. The most valuable fragment of it is 250 km² stretch of wildness, comprising 4 nature reservations. The forest’s greatest attraction is the European Bison Breeding Station in Wolisko, the present bison herd numbers about 70 animals.
The splendid natural surroundings are the basis for development of all forms of tourism. There are numerous hiking and cycling routes, encouraging tourists for walks, excursions and jogging. A network of equestrian sports facilities offer the amateurs of horse riding their services. Canoe fans will admire the picturesque banks of the local rivers. Tent fields in fabulous forests will be dream shelters to people who prefer tranquility and proximity of nature.
The Great Mazurian Lakes region is a paradise not only in spring and summer time. Autumn is the best season for angling and a great challenge for mushroom picking, various edible mushrooms are abundant. For many people autumn brings out a new, unmatched beauty, with a stunning array of colors and the soothing rustle of leaves. In winter the lakes become the scene of numerous ice-sailing events and the best time for the fans of under water angling. Winter is also a chance to take part in skiing and sleigh rides with unforgettable bonfires and festivals. White, fantastic landscape is a source of inspiration for everyone who can see the Beauty.
Cycling is particularly noteworthy on the list of various forms of active tourism. There are many traditional cycling routes but the most famous is the Loop around Mamry and Niegocin lakes, the Borecka Forest route and the ancient Prussian Strongholds track. Cycling routes offer wonderful views of the landscape, which you can admire - that’s why we would highly recommend you to take a camera with you in order to take live pictures of flora and fauna.
Sailors will have here excellent conditions for leisure as well as sports.
Lakes Mamry and Niegocin are the center of annual most important sailing events:
• Polish Sailing Yachts Championship;
• Polish Catamaran Championship;
• Prime Minister’s Cup;
• Polish Sailing Yacht Cup Final.
Giżycko District is not only the land with magnificent forests, crystal lakes and marvelous landscape - this district has a long, very complicated and sometimes unknown history.
These lands for more then 600 years were the borderland of German, Polish and Lithuanian culture, of Protestantism and Catholicism, home to different ethnical groups.
These lands have a rich heritage, reflected by monuments of material and spiritual culture. The remains of Prussian burial grounds and fortified settlements testify to the past. They include "Watchtower Hill" in Orlo, "Holly Hill" in Staświny, "Castle Hill" in Jeziorko and an iron Cross erected in 1910 on the hill over the Niegocin lake, in the legendary place of the death of martyr Saint Brunon from Querfurt in 1009.
The most conspicuous signs of the Teutonic Rule are the medieval castles in Ryn and Giżycko.
A characteristic trait of Mazurian architecture are small village churches. The church in Miłki is the oldest one, built at the end of the XV-th century with the altar and organ gallery dating back to the end of the XVII-th century.
It is also worth seeing the church in Rydzewo (built in 1580 of breakstone and brick) and neo-classical Protestant church in Giżycko, built in 1827 according to design of Karl Fridrich Schinkel. For over 20 years now the church has been hosting an annual summer events known as "Organ & Chamber Music Concerts".
Century-old tenement houses in Giżycko, historical layout of traditional small Mazurian towns presented in Ryn and Wydminy, small manor houses in nearby villages are of great interest for tourists.
Being a borderland area Giżycko district has many military fortifications. The Boyen Fortress in Giżycko is an attraction gaining a European recognition; the strongholds of the Great Lakes Field Position were built in 1914 and developed at the end of 1930’s into Giżycko Reinforced Zone.
Numerous and diversified cultural events add to the attractiveness of Mazurian area. Folk festivals, organized by local cultural centers, offer a combination of activity and family entertainment, remind the national traditions and they are sources of unforgettable experiences.
It is worth participating in Family Running Race around Boyen Fortress or spending "Ivan & Kupała Night" with the natives.
The most conspicuous feature of cultural proposal is the variety of musical feasts, which are accompanied by numerous open-air events. "Szanty in Giżycko" feast of sailors’ songs, historical feasts organized by local center of culture in Ryn and many others.
The natural, historical and cultural possibilities of Giżycko district are as diverse as your imagination. It is the land where you can build sand castles, ride horses, serve some aces and create memories.