Kayaking at the Masuria, Krutynia River, Masuria Region, Poland

Poland //

Northern Poland

Even in a country accustomed to shifting borders, northern Poland presents an unusually tortuous historical puzzle. Successively the domain of the Teutonic Order, Hansa merchants and the Prussians, it’s only in the last seventy years that the region has become definitively Polish. The conurbation of Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia known as the Tri-City, lines the Baltic coast with its dramatic shipyards and sandy beaches, while highlights inland include the medieval centres of Malbork and Toruń. Meanwhile the northeastern region of Mazury, with its seemingly endless networks of lakes and rivers, is a natural wonderland for kayakers and outdoor enthusiasts. Many of the area’s bucolic villages, with their wooden churches and folk traditions, appear to have barely changed since the nineteenth century.