The prevailing landscape in Poland is lowland. The lowlands are a part of the North European Plain with an average height of 173 meters. Uplands and highlands are located in the more mountainous south. Poland's highest peak, Rysy in the Tatra Mountains, is nearly 2,500m high.
The Vistula, Odra, Warta and Bug are Poland's main rivers. The rivers cross the plains, flowing from south to north. An important element of Polish landscape are the lakes. There are over 9,300 lakes in Poland. The largest and the most popular Lakeland is the Masurian Lake District in the north east. This area is also famous for primeval forests which are home to majestic old trees, rare plants and wild animals.
Geographical regions of Poland
North: There is a wide strip of plains along the seacoast stretching from Germany to Russia. This is the Pomerania region, divided into west and east part, with many smaller districts. The landscape is dominated by lakes, rivers, bays, deltas, dunes, bogs and seaside cliffs running along wide and sandy beaches. An interesting region is the Żuławy area in the north, where depressions sloping as low as 1,8 m below sea level occur.
The Pomeranian Bay and the Gulf of Gdansk are the two major Polish bays. Gdansk is Poland's biggest harbor as well as a main urban center together with Sopot, Gdynia and Szczecin. Wolin and Uznam - the country's two biggest islands are located in the west. The second biggest river - Odra - flows from the south, mostly along the western country border.
Center: A Lakeland region extends to the south of the seacoast. It is famous for hundreds of lakes, bays, meadows and hillocks. Wide river valleys split this region into three main parts: the Pomeranian Lakeland, the Masurian Lakeland, and the Great Poland Lakeland.
Lowland landscape is typical for north and central Poland. Main rivers divide the area into the Silesian Plain (upper Odra), Great Poland Plain (middle Warta basin), the Mazovian Plain and the Podlasian Plain (middle Vistula basin).
South: South east part of the country is occupied by Poland's Upland. There are Sudeten Mountains in the west. The Sudeten are part of the larger Bohemian Massif. Their highest range is Krakonosze and the highest peak of Karkonosze is Sniezka (1602 m). There are many lower ranges in the area such as Góry Stołowe and Góry Bielskie. The first one is famous for amazing rock forms that create corridors and labirynths.
The very south of the country is occupied by valleys and Carpathian Mountains with many linked chains. The highest range with many picturesque tarns, alms and caves is the Tatra Mountains divided into the High and the Western Tatras. The highest peak in the Tatras is Rysy (2499 m). The Beskid Mountains are found to the west and east of Tatras. Beautiful Pieniny and Bieszczady Mountains occupy the east part of the country, the latter being famous for grassy alms, where unique animals live, such as wolves and bears. The highest summit of the range is Tarnica ( 1,346 m high).