Set sail for clear waters – eco-friendly sailing in Warmia and Masuria
Warmia and Masuria are a paradise for sailors – the largest among about 3,000 lakes in the region give them a great opportunity to show off their talents. The Great Masurian Lakes Trail, which starts in Węgorzewo and is 132 km long, runs through several water bodies connected by canals. You will visit the most famous Masurian cities along the way: Giżycko, Ryn, Mikołajki, Ruciane-Nida and Pisz, and you will also commune with nature, manifesting its beauty and power at every turn.
To ensure that future generations can also enjoy the benefits of nature, it is important to take care of the environment. Therefore, a network of eco-marinas, i.e. ecological yacht harbours was extablished along the Great Masurian Lakes Trail (as well as in the Mrągowo Lake District and in the Jeziorak complex), bringing together recreation on the water and care for nature. There are up to 10,000 sailboats in Masuria in the summer season, which poses a potentially considerable burden on the environment. Eco-marines await us in: Węgorzewo, Ryn, Mikołajki, Giżycko, Wilkasy, Piaski, Kamień and Pisz, as well as Mrągowo, Iława, Siemiany and Zalewo.
Eco-marinas offer toilets and showers, accommodation and catering services, as well as dishwashing and laundry facilities, alongside providing basic medical care and minor boat repairs. It is also possible to dispose of waste – both liquid (drop stations for chemical toilet waste) and solid, and to draw water and electricity. You can expand your knowledge on environmental protection by going to an eco-information point or by participating in educational activities and workshops.
How to sail with respect for nature? It’s simple! First of all, let’s make the most of the wind and try to use the engine as little as possible. Instead of resting at anchor in the middle of the lake, let’s choose designated moorings and marinas – the bottom of the lakes is fragile, and the anchors driven through it may damage the vulnerable ecosystem. Let’s limit contact with wildlife to observation – make sure you don’t destroy plants or scare birds and other animals. Let’s not toss anything overboard! Let’s sort garbage and get rid of it in designated areas. Let’s also try to limit the use of plastic packaging and opt for eco-friendly products.
This is especially true for cleaning products, which should not contain detergents or strong cleaning substances, as well as personal care cosmetics. The best time for general cleaning, washing and a long shower is when we dock at one of the eco-marinas. If possible, let’s reduce water consumption on the yacht and try to make the most of the mainland amenities, where we can find all the necessary sanitary facilities. Under no circumstances should we empty the grey and black water tanks directly into the water. The marinas are equipped with the appropriate infrastructure for this, so that the content of tanks goes to the treatment plant rather than poison the environment.
Finally, let’s remember that when sailing the Masurian lakes, we are guests and it is our duty to care for and respect the local wildlife. So let’s take care of the environment, so that the great Masurian Lakes can also be enjoyed by future generations.
Warmia and Masuria is a mecca for water sports enthusiasts and a real Eldorado for sailors. There are nearly 3,000 lakes in the region! They create unique conditions not only for taking a rest and relaxation, but also for communing with nature.Find out more
Springtime is becoming more and more inviting for active outdoor recreation. Sailing is a great way to spend time in our region. Many enthusiasts of this form of recreation are surely yearning to feel the Masurian wind tousle their hair. Apart from the sense of freedom that sailing offers, there are also multiple other advantages of this form of recreation.Find out more