The most famous rivers in Poland
As the saying goes, „You can’t step in the same river twice”. Many rivers have flown through Poland for centuries, and as the country’s landscape and history changed, so did the rivers.
Over the years, the rivers in Poland had a big impact on its landform, as well as the country’s major events. They have witnessed many triumphs and disasters, shaping Poland into the country it is today. In this article you will be able to read about some of the most famous and recognzable rivers in Poland.
Vistula is the longest river in Poland, with the length of 1047 kilometers. The name „Vistula” is more than 2000 years old. The first document mentioning Vistula originated from between 7 and 5 B.C. In the past, Visula played a crucial role in transporting supplies, mostly exporting grain from the area of Poland to western Europe. The importance of the Vistula river in transporting goods is commemorated in numerous archaeological discoveries.
Since 2008, the so-called „Vistula Celebration” is organized, during which people can take part in numerous attractions, such as short cruises on the Vistula river, concerts, exhibits and rescue demonstrations.
Odra is a river in Central Europe, which flows through the area of the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany. It is the second longest river in Poland behind Vistula. The source of the Odra river is located in the eastern part of the Czech Republic, in the Odra Mountains, at th height of 634 meters above the sea level. The biggest cities upon the Odra river are Wroclaw, Szczecin, Ostrawa and Opole. The Odra river was once put to good use – in the 1970s, as much as 14 tons of loads were carried down the river annually.
The area of the waters of the Odra river are legally protected in several areas. At the border crossing between Chalupki and Bogumin there is the area of the Border Meanders of the Odra river.
The source of the river Warta is located at the Krakow-Czestochowa Upland in the former town of Kromolow, which is currently part of Zawiercie. After getting through the Mirow Gorge of the Warta, the river turns slightly to the north, and in Radomsko it turns to the west.
Along the way, the river Warta runs through numerous towns, including Czestochowa, Sieradz, Wroclaw and Uniejow.
Some of the most interesting attractions in this area include the Kostrzyn Fortress, which was constructed in the 16th century, and the „Ujscie Warty” National Park, where you can admire the local wildlife Bug.
Bug is a 772-kilometer long river, which flows through western Ukraine, western Belarus and eastern Poland.
The source of the Bug river is located in Verkhobuz, at the Podole Upland in Ukraine. In most part, Bug flows at the height of 100-200 meters above the sea level. The surroundings of the river Bug stand out with a high diversity of habitats and the species of plants that appear here.
One of the most interesting places upon the river Bug is Okuninka – a summertime village located 7 kilometers away from Wlodawa, upon lake Biale, which is famous for its first class cleanliness.
Narew is the largest tributary of the Vistula river. It begins in the north-east part of the Bialowieza Wilderness, at the height of approximately 159 meters above the sea level. Narew is 484 kilometers long, most of which is located in Poland. Some of the most meaningful tributaries of the Narew river include Narewka, Orlanka, Gac, Szkwa and Ozoga.
Narew is also the location of two artificial waters reservoirs – Siemianowka and the Zegrzynski Lagoon, which was created with the purpose of supplying the Warsaw agglomeration with water for producing electricity and for farmers.
San is a river in south-east Poland. Its source is located at the area of Ukraine, at the height of approximately 925 meters above the sea level, in the western part of Bieszczady, not far from the village of Sianki.
The origins of settlement at the area of the basin of San date all the way back to the 4th century B.C. At that time, Celts have settled at the Upper and Central San, in the surroundings of the current city of Sanok. In this area there are currently 26 archaeological sites with artefacts associated with Celtic culture.
Notec is the largest river in the northern part of Greater Poland. It is popular not only among kayakers, but also motor yacht owners. Notec has an excellent kayaking trail, which is very easy to conquer. It is also incredibly picturesque and perfect for individual and family trips.
This area is not only great for kayaking, but it also has several interesting attractions, such as the Folk Culture Museum in Osiek upon Notec, the town of Czarnkow with its monumental road bridge and the nearby castle in Goraj, as well as the Bismarck tower in Wielen.
Pilica is a river in southern and central Poland. It flows through the Krakow-Czestochowa Upland, and the Central Masovian Upland, and later it falls into the Vistula river, in the surroundings of the village of Ostrowek. Pilica flows through several landscape parks, including the Przedborski Landscape Park and the Sulejow Landscape Park.
In 1974, a dam was constructed in Smardzewice, and the Sulejow Lagoon was created not far from the town of Sulejow. It has a recreational purpose and protects the local areas from the floods.
Wieprz is a tributary of the Vistula river with the length of 303 kilometers. Its source is located not far from Tomaszow Lubelski. Wieprz flows through the picturesque areas of the Lublin Upland, which include the Roztocze National Park and the Nadwieprzanski Landscape Park.
Wieprz also passes through many interesting towns, such as Krasnobrod, Zwierzyniec and Szczebrzeszyn. This river also witnessed some crucial historical events, includind the Poland-Bolshevik war and the September campaign of 1939. Wieprz is the third largest river in the Lublin region after Vistula and Bug.
Dunajec is a river in southern Poland. It is created from the connection of the waters of Czarny Dunajec and Bialy Dunajec. The river is 247 kilometers long, 17 kilometers of which is a border fragment between Sromowce Wyzne and Szczawnica.
Dunajec is very important for local tourism. One of the greatest attractions in this area are rafting trips down the Pieniny Gorge. Apart from that, the area of Lake Roznowskie and Lake Czchowskie are an excellent tourist base, with vacation resorts ad hotels for the peopler from Nowy Sacz, Krakow and Tarnow.