The country of ten thousand lakes and wild rivers

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There are some ten thousand lakes on Poland's territory. The majority of them are scattered around two large lakelands known as the Masurian and Pomeranian Lake Districts, occupying a vast expanse of our country.

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Their diversified rolling landscape, with plenty of picturesque elevations and natural depressions, was shaped long time ago by the retreating glacier.

Clusters of scenic lakes are also found in eastern Poland, on the area of the Włodawsko-Łęczyńskie Lake District, and in the western part of the Lublin Region.

The highlights of southern Poland are beautiful mountain lakes.

Besides small lakes called little eyes, we can boast such big ones as Lake Śniardwy, which, when the wind is blowing, looks like a rough sea.

Some of the lakes, for example the Czarna Hańcza, are hidden in deep valleys, while the others spread over flat, swampy lowlands, as for example Lake Drużno or the lakes of the Włodawskie-Łęczyńskie Lake District.

Many of them are rich in nutrients, and their shores are overgrown with rushes and reeds; the whole colonies of water plants teem with wildlife and the noise of water fowl is heard everywhere.

Other lakes are nutrient-poor but their waters are crystal-pure and nicely reflect the beautiful landscape surrounding them.

Many Polish lakes are hidden in the depth of forests; their shores are overgrown with trees, and nice, sandy beaches are found here and there.

Poland's lakefronts offer numberless opportunities to the water sports enthusiasts, anglers, nature lovers and bird watchers.

The latter ones are especially attracted by the lakes surrounded by thick bulrushes and difficult to penetrate quagmires.

The Vistula

The biggest Poland's river, the Vistula, is one of the last non-regulated European waterways.

Nature lovers and fans of water sports are very fond of smaller, wild rivers such as the Czarna Hańcza, Krutynia, Drawa, or Drwęca (over 200 km); the latter one constitutes a nature reserve along its whole course.

They are considered to be the most picturesque kayak routes in Poland.