Immerse yourself in nature – 50 minutes away from Warsaw
I would love to show you more pictures of this place, but I was a little bit too busy living the moment and I kind of forgot about my camera altogether. UPS… 🙁
When I think about Polish nature sites, I instantly think about the Tatra Mountains (if you like mountains you should read about the 13 Most Stunning Trails In Polish Mountains), the Mazury Lakes and the primeval forests of Białowieża. All of which, unfortunately, are three to six hours away from Warsaw. More than I am willing to drive for a two days weekend escape.
This nice spot is less than one hour away from Warsaw and allows you to escape the city and immerse yourself in nature (without having to drive for hours).
Why we chose this spot:
- We wanted to find something a little different and less known (everybody knows about the Kampinos National Park, right?).
- We wanted a place that can offer a variety of things to do. Such as setting up a tent, fishing in the river, making a fire, roasting sausages on a stick, kayaking, picking mushrooms and renting bikes… You can actually do all that here.
- It’s nearby Warsaw.
The Wkra river area seemed like a perfect idea. If you like nature and active rest, there is so much to do there!
Kayaking and (optionally) sleeping over
As for kayaking, we suggest you go to Top-Kajak. Why? It is a little family business owned by Paweł and Sylwia, two Varsovians who decided to move out of the city for a more relaxed life in the village.
They treated us like family from the very first moment. Although it was our first time at Top-Kajak, they greeted us warmly and told us that – besides renting the kayak – we had the possibility to set up a tent on their terrain and sleep for FREE.
The property has everything we were looking for: a quiet corner to set up our tent, a picturesque river, a barbecue, and a spot for a bonfire. It conquered us from the very first moment!
Be aware: this is not an actual camping! It’s just a kayak rental business, where you can set up your tent for free. (There is no shower or bathroom, just a ToiToi). If you go, please be respectful. 🙂
Some info about the Wkra River:
- Moderate current (easy and rather relaxing. Not the best for adrenaline seekers).
- The average depth of about 1 meter makes it safe also for non-swimmers and children.
The price for a kayak for 2 ppl (or 2 adults + 1 child) varies from 50 PLN (8 km) to 80 PLN (26 km). You can check the many combinations for kayaking trips on their website (in PL).
Info about Top-Kajak:
- 60km from Warsaw
- usually booked up on the weekend. We suggest you go during the week if you have the chance (there are also way fewer people on the river) or, if you can only go on the weekend, that you book in advance.
- Bring a tent, you can sleep there for free.
- The owners speak English and are pretty awesome.
- Being picked up at the end of the kayaking trip is included in the price.
- They are able to accommodate up to 33 people on the kayaks.
We chose the 16 km kayak route because it ends at Koza, a fantastic eatery (not really a restaurant, you pick up plastic plates and cutlery yourself) surrounded by the woods on one side and hugged by the river on the other. The food is glorious (only seasonal, local food) and the prices were relatively low. We couldn’t be happier to end up there because we were really hungry after the kayaking!
They also have free range goats, some sort of a pirate ship, an insect house under construction, and a bonfire. A true hidden gem.
Another option is to BBQ at the campsite. In that case, be aware that you have to bring your own food and coal. You can also make Polish sausages (kiełbasa) directly on the bonfire, in which case you can ask Paweł and Sylwia to lend you the proper sticks. There is also a fridge available to keep your food and beers cold. If you like natural and organic food, the market in the center of Joniec (closest village to Top-Kajak) is ideal for shopping local delicacies directly from the farmers.
It’s amazing to see how easy it is to get away from the city and find yourself totally immersed in nature. You don’t necessarily have to plan a big trip! Next time you are tired of the heat of the city and you need to escape, just pack a tent and go 🙂
We are thinking about organizing a trip to Top-Kajak during the week, as a way to create community and support this amazing little gem of a business. Let us know if you would be interested (just write “kayak” in the subject line)!