Ideas for family trip: Augustów Canal

Looking for ideas for summer, family tour in Poland? Here is one: tour to Augustowski canal - marvel of nature and XIXth century engeneering. Canal is great both for kayak trips and lazy, river boat cruises. You and Your family will be amazed by surrounding nature: the canal flows through forests and picturesque lakes. It is surrounded by gentle slopes - typical for Masurian landscape.     

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This 101 km long water route goes through North-Eastern Poland and (in 1/5 of its lenght) through Belarus. The canal is a part of European Route of Industrial Heritage. If You like canoeing, are found of nature or just want to have a lazy afternoon trip through interesting places, Augustów canal is a place for You!

Tour on the canal is recommended both for families with children and adults, for groups and for individual tourists as well. Fleet of canal cruise ships is well developed, cruises lasts for up to 3 hours on different routes: even on the "papal route", commemorating trip made here by John Paul II in 1999,  

"What is sailing, that will not drown!" 

The canal is country-famous also for completely different reason: Poland's Championship in Sailing of Whatever ( It is a competition during which groups of 'daredevils' reach limits of their creativity and almost breaks Archimedes principle. Participants try to impress the audience and build the most comic, impressive, unusual (and still buoyant) vessel. 2017 edition of the event is taking place on 30 of July. As always it is accompanied by multiple music concerts.  

Family tours in Augustów canal area

The Augustów canal water route leads through precious, protected areas of Augustów primeval forest and numerous lakes, The water in the canal is flowing very slowly, so canoe/kayak trips are very safe, The only "danger" on the route are mosquitoes, so be prepared to face their fierce attacks and arm Yourself with a spray repellent in advance!     

Kayak trips can last from one up to 6 days, in the longest option it is possible to visit 3 countries: Poland, Belarus and Lithuania. Tourist infrastructure around the canal is rather well developed, but of course it is always better to book overnights in advance, with help of experienced incoming travel agency. 

Belarousian part of the canal is accessible through local border crossing, which now can be crossed without visa. In 2017 You can spend up to 3 nights in Belarussian area of Augustów channel, cities of Grodno and Minsk without touristic visas. Just take Your passport, up to 60 Euro and fill in special form - this has to be done 24 hours before Your visit to Belarus. That formality can be passed to incoming travel agency, which will handle all bureaucratic procedures.      

History of Augustów canal

Canal history started in one of the most interesting periods of Polish history - shortly after the end of Napoleonic Wars. Poland became then a tiny puppet state of Russian Empire and lost it's all Baltic ports to Prussia. On the other hand, Polish factories and merchants got free access to huge, Russian market. Under wise leadership of count Drucki-Lubecki, minister of treasury, small country was developing on very fast pace.      

The only problem was with accessing the Baltic, but without paying prohibitive, Prussian custom fares. Drucki-Lubecki's idea was to build a canal, connecting Polish mainland with the sea, through rivers and lakes. The project of the route was created by Ignacy Prądzyński, brilliant military engineer and commander. Most of the works were finished by 1830, in just six years. But the canal was never used to full extent: Prussia has lessened their fiscal policy and growing number of railway connections made land-based transport easier. In XXth century this picturesque water route became popular among tourists, their number grows steadily each year. 

If you are interested in a tailor-made itinerary for a family tour on Augustów canal region, contact us:

SPARK Poland Incoming Travel Agency - Tailor-made tours to Poland and Central Europe.