Yachties can sail most of the larger lakes, all the way from Węgorzewo to Ruciane-Nida. These larger lakes are interconnected and form the district’s main waterway system. Kayakers will perhaps prefer more intimate surroundings alongside rivers and smaller lakes. The best established and most popular kayak route in the area originates at Sorkwity and follows the Krutynia River and Lake Bełdany to Ruciane-Nida.
If you’re not up for doing everything yourself, you can enjoy the lakes in comfort from the deck of one of the pleasure boats operated by the Żegluga Mazurska (087 428 5332; www.zeglugamazurska.com.pl) in Giżycko. These large boats have an open deck above and a coffee shop below, and can carry backpacks and bicycles.
Theoretically, boats run between Giżycko, Mikołajki and Ruciane-Nida daily from May to September, and to Węgorzewo from June to August. In practice, as trips can be cancelled if too few passengers turn up, the service is most reliable from late June to late August. Schedules are clearly posted at the lake ports.
The detailed Wielkie Jeziora Mazurskie map (scale 1:100, 000; 8zł), produced by Copernicus, is a great help for anyone exploring the region by boat, kayak, bike, car or foot. The map shows walking trails, canoeing routes, accommodation options, petrol stations and much more.