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Wind and sail

Sunday, 24 June 2007
Come to Poland and find out that sailing is not an activity available only to the elite. To those who go in for this enjoyable form of active rest, Polish lakes provide innumerable opportunities. And that is not only due to the great number of them, but also to the existence of many facilities serving water sports enthusiasts.

The majority of our lakes are in the northern regions of the country. Differing in size and interconnected by rivers and canals, they form long and picturesque sailing routes, leading through scenic landscapes, vast forests, and lush greenery. Moderate winds and other favourable natural conditions make the region ideal for sailing and windsurfing.

The best-developed infrastructure is found in the well-known water sports regions such as the Drawa, Kashubia, Ilowa, Olsztyn, and Suwalki Lakelands. In addition to these, there is the famous Land of the Great Mazurian Lakes, a real paradise for water sports lovers.

The often-used name of the Land of Thousand Lakes perfectly describes the character of the Mazurian Lake District. This unique in Europe region is covered by a great number of postglacial lakes. Linked by rivers and canals, the lakes form an extensive system of waterways over 1,200 kilometres long. It is also here that Poland's two largest lakes are situated: Sniardwy and Mamry.

Many water sports centres were built along the lakes. In Gizycko, sometimes called Poland's water sports capital, we find numerous marinas, hotels, hostels and many places renting out water sport equipment. Other important lakeside centres are those of Mikolajki, Ruciane-Nida, Wragowo and Wegorzewo. They all offer a full range of services for yachting enthusiasts and many attractive events for tourists who flock there in summer season. In wintertime the frozen lakes attract great number of ice-boating fans.

The town of Augustów is very popular with lovers of boating and windsurfing as it is located amidst lakes and very close to the edge of the magnificent Augustów Forest. The forest stretches far to the north and reaches Lake Wigry, a favourite destination for sailors.

Inland water sport centres are found in other parts of Poland as well. The scenic lakes of the Drawa and Kashunia Lakelands, with well-known yachting centres at Wdzydze Kiszewskie and Charzykowy, are situated in the northeast.

In addition to lakes, the coastal waters of the Baltic Sea can be recommended to windsurfers. Polish seaside resorts are famous for their beautiful sandy beaches and favourable winds, which are also valued by sea-faring sailors who can use the facilities of marinas located at Swinoujscie, Kolobrzeg, Ustka, Leba, Wladyslawowo, Jastarnia, Gdynia, Gdansk or Krynica Morska.

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