The shallow 700-hectare Lake Łuknajno, 4km east of Mikołajki, shelters Europe’s largest surviving community of wild swans (Cygnus olor) and is home to many other birds – 128 species have been recorded here. The 1200- to 2000-strong swan population nests in April and May but stays at the lake all summer. A few observation towers beside the lake make swan viewing possible.
A rough road from Mikołajki goes to the lake, but there’s no public transport. Walk 3.5km until you get to a sign that reads ‘do wieży widokowej’ (to the viewing tower), then continue for 10 minutes along the path to the lake shore. The track can be muddy in spring and after rain, so choose your shoes wisely. Depending on the wind, the swans may be close to the tower or far away on the opposite side of the lake.