The Pope’s Trail – Czarna Hańcza River and Augustów Canal – 6 days COMFORT

An incredible adventure on one of the most beautiful kayaking trails in Poland - Czarna Hańcza and Augustów Canal - Post-Camaldolian Monastery on the route. '2023 DATES.



6/4 days

53 km

Villa Skomanda in Augustów

HB - breakfasts, dinners



An incredible adventure on one of the most beautiful kayaking trails in Poland. The route starts in the Post-Camaldolian Monastery in in the area of Wigry National Park with its picturesque Wigry Lake. Then it continues on Czarna Hańcza River, and Augustów Canal, regulated by manually operated locks.

This is where Pope John Paul II used to admire Suwałki-Augustów Lakeland in a kayak as a young priest, Karol Wojtyła.

The route is relatively easy, perfect for beginners and kids. The river is wide, relatively fast, free of portages (the practice of carrying kayak/canoe over land), with a numerous bends and curves.


This kayaking trip is perfect for everyone, both young and old, who appreciates nature and peacefulness.

Wigry - Pokamedulski Klasztor, spływ kajakowy
Szlak Papieski, spływ kajakowy 4 dni SZOT
Szlak Papieski, spływ kajakowy 4 dni SZOT
Czarna Hancza Kanal Augustowski splywy
Kanal Augustowski szlak papieski splywy


SCzHP1 |01.07-06.07.2023 Reserve
SCzHP2 |12.08-17.08.2023 Reserve


1st day

Arrival in Augustów, check-in.   /from 3 PM to 11 PM/

The SZOT Base (how to find us) is located on 8 hectares of land. There are Villa Skomanda – a hotel with a restaurant, bungalow – rooms with separate entrances from the veranda, 4-person summer houses. There is also the SZOT tourist office, kayak and canoes rental, a playground for children, a traditional wood-fired sauna, a sheltered barbecue area with a bonfire place, and a large car park. Everything in a fenced area, surrounded by a forest and a large green space.
We are situated in a picturesque part of Augustów town, close to Augustów Primeval Forest, Augustów Canal, and “Green Velo” cycle trail.

2nd day

9:00 AM    Transportation to the kayaking starting point – Wigry Lake. We start with a short individual sightseeing of the Post-Camaldolese monastery complex, a place where Pope John Paul II rested during his pilgrimage to Poland in 1999. From here extends admiring view on the panorama of Wigry Lake.

Before we start the kayaking, a short briefing will be provided (organizational and safety issues; kayaking instructions).

Kayaking route: Wigry – Maćkowa Ruda   /10 km

Our starting point is the area of Wigry National Park – Wigry Lake; Postaw Lake; Czarna Hańcza River meandering among tall reeds and water plants. While passing some small villages, the river occasionally divides, and thus we can see multiple small grassy islands along the way. Transportation from the ending point back to Augustów.

3rd day

Transportation to the kayaking starting point.

Kayaking route: Maćkowa Ruda – Gulbin   /14 km

This section of the river is very calm and attractive. It is surrounded by high, steep riverbanks overgrown with trees. At the very beginning, the current is fast-flowing but safe; then, the speed decreases. Multiple bends, bifurcations, and backwater areas covered with rustling reeds are common here. The river is pretty wide and overgrown with numerous water plants, what makes the view even more magnificent. Transportation from the ending point back to Augustów.

Bonfire party with sausages in the evening.

4th day

Transportation to the kayaking starting point.

Kayaking route: Gulbin – Okółek   /13 km

At the very beginning the river flows in a valley with its banks covered with forests, from time to time passing small villages with its buildings on the shores. Then it enters into the dense forest complex of the Augustów Primeval Forest, meandering more and more. Finally, it meanders among marshy meadows and high rushes. The current is lazy but it facilitate paddling, the bottom of the river is covered with lush rush plants. The river is not very wide, with convenient places for a stop and a bath. Transportation from the ending point back to Augustów.

5th day

Kayaking route: Okółek – Mikaszówka   /17 km

This section of the river is calm and runs mostly along primeval grasslands. The current is slow, and riverbanks are covered with tall reeds, there are no obstacles. After 4 km the landscape changes, we kayak into the very “heart” of the Augustów Primeval Forest. The Czarna Hańcza River runs through deep corners of forested swamplands. Then, the river narrows and strongly meanders. On the route there are some natural obstacles in form of fallen trees, which can be kayaked over. The last two kilometers we kayak through the Augustów Canal regulated by historic, manually operated locks (must-see!). Transportation from the ending point back to Augustów.

6th day

After breakfast, check-out, Guests departure.

Or extend your stay and: sightseeing Augustów, cycling trip (bike rental on site at Villa Skomanda), a cruise and many other attractions.

We also offer one-day trips: to the Suwałki- Augustów Lake district, to Lithuania – Vilnius and Trakai.

Reservation of excursions at the reception desk; pick-up of participants and return transport to Villa Skomanda.


  • 1689 PLN /person
  • 1139 PLN /children up to 12, sharing a room with 2 people
  • 1559 PLN /children up to 12, sharing a room with 1 person
  • 1319 PLN /3rd person in a room
    BUNGALOW Option – in a double room


  • 1509 PLN /person
  • 1379 PLN /children up to 12
    SUMMER-HOUSE Option in a 4-person house


  • 1619 PLN /person
  • 1489 PLN /children up to 12
    SUMMER-HOUSE Option in a 3-person house


  • 1879 PLN /person
  • 1749 PLN /children up to 12
    SUMMER-HOUSE Option in a 2-person house


  • 1279 PLN /person
  • 1149 PLN /children up to 12
    CAMPSITE Option – SZOT campsite


Price includes

  • seat in a double polyethylene kayak VISTA / CRUISER II / HORIZON with paddling gear (paddle, life jacket, soft seat) – 4 days
  • 5 x night’s accommodation – depending on your chosen option
  • 5 x catering (breakfast, dinner); children up to 12 – ½ servings
  • bonfire party with sausages
  • daily transportations of people to the kayaking starting point and back (in accordance with the schedule)
  • lifeguard / kayaking instructor guidance – 4 days
  • Wigry National Park ticket
  • kayaks’ launching fees
  • accident insurance (UNIQA 20 000 PLN)
  • Guarantee Fund contribution of 2 PLN
  • Tourist Relief Fund contribution of 2 PLN

In the backyard you will find:

  • outdoor, wood-burning sauna
  • volleyball court
  • sheltered barbeque area with a fireplace
  • playground for children
  • rental office: kayaks, bikes, Nordic-walking poles
  • parking area

Parking lot during the kayaking tour – free.

For our regular guests we offer an additional discount.

Paid separately

  • local fee (cash only) – 10 PLN/person/trip
  • locks on Augustów Canal (7 on the route) – 4,70 PLN/per kayak/per lock (payable on the spot; at the lock; daily operated till 7 PM),
  • extra charge for the single bungalow room – 490 PLN /person /trip
  • CAMPSITE option only – warm shower in SZOT Base – 5 PLN/shower
  • renting a single CAROLINA/ CUSTOMLINE kayak or kayaking in a double kayak individually – 80 PLN /trip
  • renting a waterproof bag (55l) or barrel (3,5l/10,4l) – 28 PLN /trip + deposit of 50 PLN
  • sauna bathing – 250 PLN /2 hours /group
  • available to purchase in the SZOT office: maps, waterproof mobile phone cases, sport gloves, sun hats and raincoats.

Additional information

  • If you want to spend your free time in an active way, you are more than welcome to join us and become a kayaker! No matter how old or fit you are, our kayakers are of different age and shape. They are families with children or students, seniors, couples and those kayaking on their own. Simply everyone who just wishes to spend their free time actively, in fresh air and surrounded by beautiful nature. Anyone who wants to meet new people, looks for an adventure, and who enjoys spending free time with family and friends.
  • Trip members must be in an appropriate state of health, which allows to participate in a kayaking trip. Kids and teenagers can take part in a kayaking trip only under supervision of their parents or legal age guardians.
  • Accommodation:
    • Bungalow (wooden) – 2-person rooms with an additional bed – folding sofa. Facilities: fridge, coffee and tea set, bedding, bathroom, shower
    • Summer houses – Designed for 4 persons; with a wooden terrace and bedroom in the attic. On the ground floor there is a living room with a bathroom.
    • SZOT campsite next to Villa Skomanda; toilets with sinks are available, showers are charged extra.
  • In the backyard you will find: a playground for children, outdoor wood-fired sauna, sheltered area with a fireplace, bicycles for rent
  • Food: delicious, home-made meals with elements of regional cuisine in Villa Skomanda. Dinner is served on the first; breakfast on the last day of your stay
  • We provide first-quality 1-, 2-, and 3-person kayaks
  • The minimum number of participants: 8
  • There is a possibility to book an extra night before or after the kayaking trip – with a discount
  • We suggest you to take: comfortable, lightweight footwear – sandals/ slides/ water shoes, mosquito repellant, fleece sweatshirts, warm clothes suitable for night weather conditions, fingerless gloves, raincoats, and of course, a GOOD MOOD!

Attractions in Augustów; distances from SZOT Base:

  • Cruises along picturesque lakes and Augustów Canal – 2 km
  • Catamaran Port – 3 km
  • Marian Shrine located on the island in Studzieniczna – 11.5 km
  • Water ski lift on Necko Lake – 3.6 km / car – 3 km / walk
  • Ride on the Narrow Gauge Railway in Wigry – 26 km
  • Tennis courts – 3.5 km
  • Municipal Aquapark (swimming pools, slide, jacuzzi, sauna) – 1.2 km
  • Bowling club – 0.9 km

Get into a kayak and get inspired with us! 😉



Spływy kajakowe z pasją, wycieczki autokarowe, imprezy dla firm
ul. Konwaliowa 2
Augustów 16-300, Polska

+48 87 644 67 58

+48 601 146 703