kamila

Can't live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

Discovering Poland: Augustów

I always tried to avoid top Polish summer tourist attractions in the middle of the season. Few visits in the sea or mountains resorts left me so very sure that it’s not the experience I enjoy even in the slightest hence I always went to other places in July or August or didn’t travel at all as summer in Warsaw can be so much fun too! (visiting mentioned places off season is a completely different story though). During my one and only “popular lake in the summer experience” 2 years ago when I visited Skorzęcin I learnt the hard way that it’s also a big no…


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But since lately I’m really into exploring Poland and especially its eastern part and since I had a free day this Saturday I’ve decided to go for a small daytrip and visit Augustów – a town close to the Lithuanian border, with long and rich history and famous for its location between lakes and forests. Sounds like a perfect summer destination for crowds, right? I was expecting to see lots of people everywhere and ubiquitous Polish kitsch on every step. I must admit I didn’t have my hopes all that high but still wanted to visit Augustów and hopefully relax by the lake a little bit.

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The first surprise came right after arriving to the Białe Augustowskie lake, close from the train station. There were not that many people or the infrastructure and the shore was a wild one, covered in grass. The water in the lake was incredible clear and of amazing colour, that’s actually how it got its name (Białe means “white” in Polish). I immediately fell in love with this place and I knew I wanna spend more time there, just relaxing. But there were other places in Augustów that I still had to explore!

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While Białe Augustowskie lake is a little bit of the center of Augustów there’s another big and beautiful lake right in the middle of the city – Necko. There’s a really lovely walking path through the forest offering amazing views of the lake every now and then. Closer to the center two city beaches with big piers to sunbath on are located. And even if there were quite some people it still wasn’t overcrowded and looked like a good place to spend a decent summer day in. It was much more commercial than on the other lake – there was loud music playing, couple of stands with drinks and candies, kayaks or paddle boats to rent or gondola trips on the lake… all your typical water activities.

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There was a really pleasant promenade next to the water, leading from the beach on the Necko lake to the center. The whole waterfront was all renovated and really enjoyable place for a walk. The center of Augustów wasn’t bad either, I’d say it was a typical town in that part of Poland plus couple of touristic stands with souvenirs and tours. All in all a nice place to hang out in for a while, grab a lunch (and one of the most delicious ice cream ever!) but lakes are definitely the best thing Augustów has to offer!

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On the way back to the Białe Augustowskie lake, where I wanted to spend my remaining time in this town, I passed the beginning of the Augustów Canal. It was built at the beginning of XIXth century and is quite an achievement in the technical history. The Canal is 101 kms long, 82 of which are in Poland, the rest in Belarus; there are 18 locks and 22 sluices on it. I was lucky to see how the water was pumped so the boat could go through – such an interesting thing to observe! I think it would be actually pretty cool to go for the boat ride in the Augustów Canal, all the way to Belarus!

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The only bad thing about Augustów is the main international road connecting Lithuania and Baltic States with the rest of Europe going through the city. It was crazy, there were so many trucks with licence plates from all over the continent, going one after another… At some points crossing that strip was a big challenge! There were plans to build a ringroad around Augustów but since the nature there is so amazingly beautiful and untouched people were against that, there were really big protests going on and the decision was suspended. And while I was annoyed by the traffic and I feel really sorry for locals dealing with it on daily basis I support the protests big time!

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Since I had only less than 6 hours to spend in Augustów (and the train from Warsaw took 4.5 hours one way, crazy me!) I didn’t have much time left to relax. But still I managed to hang out at the wild shore of Białe Augustowskie lake, lieing on the blanket, reading a book, chatting with a friend, staring at the beautiful landscape in front of my eyes, drinking a beer or two and just recharging my batteries. I really needed this short trip and I enjoyed every minute of it. It’s such a beautiful part of Poland I wish I had explored it before. But now I’m definitely gonna catch up and while it was my first visit in Augustów I’m sure I’ll return there sooner than later….

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Do you like spending time by the lake? 


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4 Sie '13

There are 3 Comments.

  1. Mario Falzon
    14:44 22/06/2016

    I am enjoying Poland’s Lake District at the moment; today I will sleep in a small pension on the lakeshore in Mikolajki. From here, I intend to visit Augustow where I’ll stay for 3 days before taking a bus to Kaunas in Lithuania.
    I have tried to look for a bus that goes from Mikolajki directly to Augustow but I couldn’t find any transport that connects the 2 cities. Kami, is a direct connection possible? If not, which is the easiest way to get to Augustow from Mikolajki?
    I can’t wait to see Augustow’s lakes and the wonderful surrounding scenery you have so nicely depicted in your fantastic photos. Keep it up Kami!

    • kami
      22:02 04/07/2016

      so sorry for the late answer, haven’t notticed your comment on time! Did you manage to get somehow from Mikołajki to Augustów? I’ve just checked and it seems rather challenging… Hope you enjoyed your time out there anyway! Kaunas is pretty great too!

  2. Mario Falzon
    13:31 09/07/2016

    Thanks Kami for your response to my query. Yes, I did find a way from Mikolajki to Augustow. I took a local train to Elk from where frequent buses went to Augustow. As I have told you already, I like every piece of Poland but… Augustow is special. It is quiet, scenic, romantic and the lakes are crystal-clear and unpolluted. I met a Polish guy on the lakeside and together we spent a full day walking in the forest.
    This was my second time in Kaunas. I like this city because it is still not besieged by tourists and the old town seems to be authentic, with only few reconstructions.
    Anyway Kami, I am in Vilnius at the moment writing this comment on my ipad while resting in the shade on Three Crosses Hill from where the view over the city is wonderful.
    Keep up your good work Kami. Your photos together with your text turn me on – to continue through my voyage of world discovery.

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