Augustów is a small but very interesting town in north-eastern Poland. It has many attractions for the visitors who are looking for quiet time close to the nature. It’s location on the edge of one of many lakes in the region, as well as the Netta River and the Augustów Canal, provides tourists with endless possibilities of water sports. Augustów is a perfect place for a kayak rally, sailing, a ship, catamaran or gondola cruises.
Apart from being surrounded by nine lakes, it lies in the vast Augustów Primeval Forest, making it a perfect place for runners, cyclists, horse riders or nordic walking lovers. Picturesque landscapes, clean air and water in the lakes, relaxing pine-spruce forests, untouched nature and kind locals draw visitors not only from Poland, but other countries too. It has a long history of tourism. In 1970, Augustów became officially recognized as a health and relaxation resort. In 2014, Augustów was honoured with the title of the “Nicest City in Poland”.
Many events take place in Augustów during the summer, like concerts, picnics, Water Ski Jumping Championship or spectacular “sailing in anything” competition. This unusual rally takes place on the Netta River and draws imaginative people who construct the strangest possible “machines” able to float.
One of the main tourist attractions is Augustow Canal, over 100 km long. It connects the Vistula River with the Niemen (Nemunas) River, and was built in the first half of the 19th century. From the time it was first built, the canal was described by experts as a technological marvel, with numerous sluices contributing to its aesthetic appeal. It runs through the Augustów Primeval Forest all the way to Belarus. It’s even possible to paddle into Belarus through the only border of this kind in Poland (under certain conditions). Today, together with the surrounding lakes, Augustow Canal makes for an attractive waterway. Especially popular is the “Pope’s route”, which takes you along the trail of places visited and beloved by Pope John Paul II.
If you are looking for adventure, kayaking the romantic Czarna Hańcza route could be one of the highlights of your trip to Poland. This popular canoe route starts from Lake Hańcza, meandering into the Wigry National Park before joining the Augustowski Canal. This is the most ambitious route, ending in Augustów itself, but there are many shorter options available. If you prefer a more relaxed holiday, choose one of many beautiful short boat voyages from Augustów. With so much to do, surely Augustów will steal your heart.