kayak on swider river in poland

Kayaking in Warsaw on Świder River

Świder is small river close to Warsaw. Although Mazovia Province is flat region, Świder is very attractive river and it can be exciting on some parts. I was kayaking on this river three times and every time it was different.

“Świder” in English is “auger” and similar to auger, it’s very sinuous. Every moment there is another turn, from time to time fallen trees or stones which you have to bypass. There’s also a dam which you can swim by kayak only if water is enough deep and you are advanced kayaker. Most of people bypass the dam on riverbank. On most of trail water is shallow but sometimes it can be fast.

My first time on Świder waterway was also my first time in kayak. And first time of my boyfriend (actually he wasn’t my boyfriend yet, it was our second meeting). We managed to finish trail without falling to water, but it was thanks to Artur’s natural abilities :) There was one difficult part at which I decided to go on riverbank because it was afternoon, pretty cool and I didn’t feel like falling to water. Artur swam there by kayak alone and he didn’t fall out of it but others did ;)

My second time on Świder waterway was also my first time in one-person kayak and second time in whichever kayak ;) This trip was much more difficult than first one, because it was after big rains, water level was high and it was pretty fast in some parts. We were in big group, about 30 kayaks and about 10 fell over on some part of trail. Me not :) and I was proud of myself because there was one moment in which I nearly fell over but I managed to overcome it. It was my most adventurous kayak excursion and the one which I liked the most. But if you have never kayaking and you plan to start on Świder, it’s good to check water level before a trip, if you want to be safe. Even if you can swim, it can be hard if you fall to whirlpool.

My third time on Świder I liked the least. It was after many days of hot and dry weather and water level was so low that in many parts of waterway we had to walk… Beside this, the river was full of people because everyone wanted to cool off in this hot summer. On some parts there were traffic jams like in Warsaw in rush hours and also on riverbanks there were plenty of people on beaches and swimming in river. So, it’s good to check water level before, if you want to kayaking, not hiking ;)

How to get to Świder River? If you don’t have a car the easiest way is to go by train to Otwock. There are a few kayak rentals which also provide transport to and from river. I searched for you websites of rentals but unfortunately they don’t have english versions and I don’t know if you understand each other in English.

Świder is perfect for one or half-day kayak excursion. It’s close to Warsaw, it’s placed in nature reserve and it’s fun (unless there is no water ;) ).

See below photos from my first kayak trip.


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  1. Tiep

    Could you tell me when was your third time of kayaking on Świder? I have a plan to go at the beginning of June and it has not rained for a while, so I’m afraid that the river may be too shallow.
    By the way, is there any website that tracks the water level?
    Thank you in advance!

  2. maja

    Hi, I was there in June 2016. It was hot that time, now temperature is lower so water level should be higher. Here you can check the current water level: http://instytutmeteo.pl/aktualne-stany-rzek-w-polsce

  3. Tiep

    Thank you for your feedback,

    But we plan to go also in June. By the way, which portion would you prefer to go on this river? Have you tried Jeziorka?

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