<p><strong>Classic European Countryside</strong></p><p>If you join some merry campers at a bonfire in&nbsp;<a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/poland-guide/" target="_blank">Poland</a>'s Masurian woods, sooner or later you'll hear them break into a popular sailing tune that celebrates the Masurian Lakes region.</p><p>"The song lists the many treasures we cherish here," says Maciej Milosz, who co-owns a boat rental company, "including lots of fish to catch, wild mushrooms to eat, and unimaginably vast forests."</p><p>Stretching across northeastern Poland 125 miles north of the capital, Warsaw, the Masurian Lake District claims some 2,000 lakes, many connected by rivers and canals. Always popular with Polish vacationers, the region remains a quintessential example of the simple pleasures of traditional country life.</p><p>In summer months Masuria's lakes ripple with sails, while the red-roofed resort towns of Giz˙ycko and Mikołajki teem with boaters and bathers. If you prefer solitude, head over to Nidzkie or Łuknajno Lakes, nature reserves free of motorboats, where you easily will find a quiet waterside spot. Don't count on being alone, however. The lakes' navy blue waters attract diving cormorants, mute swans, and clamoring storks, while deer, moose, wolves, wild boars, and the elusive lynx roam the Pisz Forest, a remnant of a pristine wilderness that once covered much of northern Poland. It all adds up to even more to sing about.&nbsp;<em>—Adam Robinski</em></p><p><em><a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/best-trips-2016/#/bow-poland-masuria-lakes_92375_600x450.jpg" target="_blank">Read the full article &gt;&gt;</a></em></p>

Masurian Lakes, Poland

Classic European Countryside

If you join some merry campers at a bonfire in Poland's Masurian woods, sooner or later you'll hear them break into a popular sailing tune that celebrates the Masurian Lakes region.

"The song lists the many treasures we cherish here," says Maciej Milosz, who co-owns a boat rental company, "including lots of fish to catch, wild mushrooms to eat, and unimaginably vast forests."

Stretching across northeastern Poland 125 miles north of the capital, Warsaw, the Masurian Lake District claims some 2,000 lakes, many connected by rivers and canals. Always popular with Polish vacationers, the region remains a quintessential example of the simple pleasures of traditional country life.

In summer months Masuria's lakes ripple with sails, while the red-roofed resort towns of Giz˙ycko and Mikołajki teem with boaters and bathers. If you prefer solitude, head over to Nidzkie or Łuknajno Lakes, nature reserves free of motorboats, where you easily will find a quiet waterside spot. Don't count on being alone, however. The lakes' navy blue waters attract diving cormorants, mute swans, and clamoring storks, while deer, moose, wolves, wild boars, and the elusive lynx roam the Pisz Forest, a remnant of a pristine wilderness that once covered much of northern Poland. It all adds up to even more to sing about. —Adam Robinski

Read the full article >>

Photograph by spreephoto.de, Getty Images

Nat Geo 2016 Travel Wander List Pinterest Contest

The judges' votes are in for the winners of the Nat Geo 2016 Travel Wander List Pinterest Contest! We asked our readers to help us determine the best travel destinations for 2016. Thanks to everyone who created #NatGeoWanderListContestPinterest boards with picks for the New Year's must-see destinations. First Prize: Karla's board wins a Canon EOS Rebel T5i SLR camera. Second Prize: Tracey's board wins a National Geographic camera bag. Third Prize: Megha's board wins a copy of the National Geographic bookDestinations of a Lifetime. Thanks again to everyone who participated in the Nat Geo 2016 Travel Wander List Pinterest Contest! Need even more inspiration? Check out a sampling from our annual Best Trips 2016feature below.

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