Hańcza Lake – the deepest lake in Poland

Lake Hańcza is located in the Suwałki Lake District. It is the deepest lake in Poland and in the entire central part of the European Lowlands. It is located in the Suwałki Landscape Park and is fully protected. It was created by melting the glacial waters in a deep gutter created by the glacier. There are numerous boulders on the shores, some of them several meters in diameter. The accumulation of boulders is so large that they appear to be intentionally placed. The Czarna Hańcza river flows through them. Lake Hańcza is an oligotrophic reservoir, with the character of an alpine lake – clean, transparent, well-oxygenated waters with scarce organic sediments and low fertility. The waters of Lake Hańcza are classified as class I cleanliness, the transparency is up to 6 meters. Sand and gravel bottom. The lake is large for the Suwałki Region. It has 311 hectares of land. The maximum depth is 108 meters and the average depth is 39 meters.

Lake Hańcza
Lake Hańcza

The lake is located about 30 kilometers north of Suwałki. From this town, go north along the provincial road number 655 to Jeleniewo and turn left there towards Kruszki. Then the signs lead to the lake to the village of Bachanowo. You can also get to the lake from the side of Gołdapia or Olecko. Both routes lead largely along district roads and you should equip yourself with an appropriate map for such a trip.

What is worth seeing at Lake Hańcza

  • Boczniel boulder hill
  • Bachanowo boulder
  • Beach in Błaskowizna
  • Beach in Stara Hańcza
  • The seat of the Suwałki Landscape Park in Turtul
  • “Na Ozie” viewing point in Smolniki
  • Pedestrian crossing in the middle of nowhere (on the road connecting Bachanowo and Turtul)

Lake Hańcza is open to tourists, even though it is located in a landscape park. For this reason, tourism is developed so that it interferes with the environment as little as possible. There are 6 Green Velo stations in the area (MOR: Okliny, Pobłędzie, Mierkinie, Bachanowo, Rutka and Szurpiły). There is no hotel here, but there are many agritourism farms offering accommodation of various standards. There are two public beaches by the lake: in Błaskowizna and in Stara Hańcza. Both have parking lots and a place to lay out a blanket, but the first one is more extensive. The main diving base is also located here.

Due to favorable conditions, i.e. great depth and outstanding water transparency, the lake is often visited by advanced technical divers. When diving to a depth of several meters, we can usually expect visibility at the level of 3 to 6 meters. However, below a depth of 20 meters, we practically always have a very good view of 8-12 meters. Most divers go to the central part of the eastern shore. There are parking lots and access to the water adapted to the needs of divers. There are also attractive underwater rock walls on this side.

Contrary to appearances, fishing on Lake Hańcza is allowed. Of course, internal combustion engines cannot be used. In the lake there are such fish as: pike, burbot, perch, whitefish, whitefish, eel and many other quiet feeding fish. The biggest attraction, however, is the presence of lake trout in its unfathomable depths. This fish already existed in Hańcza (and several other lakes in the Suwałki Region) in the 15th century. It was reintroduced into the lake in October 1991, simultaneously introducing a total ban on its fishing for three years. Sea trout in the lake has caught on wonderfully. Currently, there are pieces over 9 kg. Lake Hańcza is leased by the PZW Fishing Farm in Suwałki and the purchase of a fishing permit is required.

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