Discover the Polish Baltic coast with beautiful lagoons, picturesque lakes, high cliffs, walking dunes and wide beaches covered with powdered, almost white sand.
Cycle along the Polish Baltic coast
Uncover the beauty of this region in northern Poland by cycling the Baltic Sea Cycle Route (Euro Velo 10). If the weather is good, you can even take a bath in the Baltic Sea or a coastal lake. You could start in Świnoujście, a city located on 44 islands, near the German border. Take your time to explore its fortifications, the best preserved Prussian coastal artillery fortifications in Europe. The complex is open to visitors.
Further eastwards you will cycle trough the Wolin National Park, along seaside lakes and on very narrow pieces of land (spits) between lake and sea. The Ekopark East, near the SPA resort Kołobrzeg, is an European Bird Refuge located in an unique salt swamp. It is a paradise for ornithologists. A part of the route leads along a former railway from Ustka to Rowy (The trail of the Non-Existent Railways Ustka-Rowy). The Euro Velo 10 route will lead you also through the biosphere reserve Słowiński National Park with huge walking dunes near Łeba.
From Tricity to the “Cow’s tail”
Finally you will reach the vibrant Tricity Gdynia–Sopot–Gdańsk where you can enjoy real city life and visit a lot of interesting museums. You can also choose to follow your way to Hel Peninsula along the Bay of Puck ring trail from Gdynia or Gdańsk to the small city of Hel. Hel Peninsula is a 35-km-long sand bar separating the Bay of Puck from the open Baltic Sea. The width of the peninsula varies from approximately 300 m near Jurata, through 100 m in the most narrow part. The peninsula is called among others the “cow’s tail”, because of its unique form. When you cycle along the Hel peninsula, you will have a magnificent view over the Bay of Puck. If you don’t want to cycle to Hel, take your bike on the ferry from Gdynia, Sopot or Gdańsk to Hel. Tickets cost about 7 €.
May be you will try your hand on wind surfing when you come to Hel. The peninsula is one of the best places in Europe for wind- and kite surfers due to low waves and a lot of wind. There are several windsurfing and kitesurfing schools as well as equipment for rent.
Hidden sandy beaches: quiet and peaceful
Beaches of the polish Baltic coast are wide, soft and white or gold, some of them are utterly peaceful and almost not commercialized. They are hidden by densely coastal pine forests and therefore difficult to reach. From July onward, the sea water temperature is 16-18° C. For most people this is warm enough to cool down during the hot Polish summer. In the small villages you can enjoy fresh fish: smoked, roasted or baked. If you are lucky you can find amber on the beach, when the sea calms down after a storm.
Wejherowo district: uncrowded beaches near Gdańsk
Breathe the uncontaminated sea air with a large amount of iodine, and stroll along the clean nearly-white sand beaches of the commune Choczewo in the Wejherowo district. In these idyllic surroundings in the tiny village of Sasino, you can still find quiet resorts, like Cisowy Zakątek, where you can stay in a design holiday house with a thatched roof. From here you can walk or cycle to the seaside through the coniferous forest and enjoy walking along the peaceful and quiet beach. Climb the nearby lighthouse Stilo in Osetnik to have a wonderful view over the coastal region. Taste delicious regional Kashubian dishes in one of the best restaurants of Poland with the wonderful name: Ewa zaprasza (Eva welcomes you).
Fresh fish directly from the boat
The little village of Chłopy near Koszalin, West Pomeranian Voivodeship, is one of the best preserved fishermen’s villages in Poland. You can walk among the traditional small colourful fishing boats laying on the beach. Flat-bottom vessels were widely used for beach based fishing along the Baltic coast until the mid-20th century. Beach based fishing, however, is practised on a small scale until today. You will find more such sceneries like this in Poland, among others on the peninsula Hel. You can even buy fresh fish directly from the boats.
Hidden beaches in wonderful natural settings
On the narrow spits between the Baltic Sea and the Bukowo Lake and the Kopań Lake are white and empty beaches which are difficult to reach. You can only walk or cycle to the beach. Near the little village Poddąbie (between Ustka and Rowy) the high cliffs and a small river in a canyon make the landscape very picturesque.
Find quiet and peace in the Slowinski National Park with walking dunes and beautiful beaches west from Łeba. On the Sarbska Spit east from Łeba are also very quiet beaches.
Not far from the vibrant city of Gdańsk, starting in Kąty Rybackie you enter the Vistula Spit, ending near the Russian border in Piaski. Here you will find the famous sea resort Krynica Morska, but also a lot of quiet and peaceful beaches.
Coastal bird-watching paradises
In September – half October thousands of cranes migrate from the Szczecin Lagoon and Wolin National Park (north-western Poland). Over 230 bird species have their habitat within the national park, of which breeding: white-tailed eagle, aquatic warbler, dunlin and red-breasted flycatcher. For waterfowls, the protected area provides peace and feeding grounds, especially during spring and autumn migration. A Special Protection Area for birds is located in the near Lower Odra Valley Landscape Park (south of Szczecin). These plains are habitats for birds such as the white-tailed eagle, black kite, black stork, the aquatic warbler, and the corn crake. Here you can also observe the European otter and the European beaver.
Cormorants are best spotted in the Vistula Spit Landscape Park east from the city of Gdańsk. The Kąty Rybackie reserve is home to the largest colony of the great black cormorants in Europe. More than 11000 pairs are nesting within the local reserve.
West Pomeranian Sailing Trail
Sail through rivers, lagoons, lakes and sea along nature reserves, landscape parks and a national park. The West Pomeranian Sailing Trail, marked out between Gryfino (on the Oder River), through the city of Szczecin, the Szczecin Lagoon, the Bay of Pomerania, and the Baltic seacoast around Darłowo leads you through over 20 marinas covering about 300 kilometres of waterways in north-western Poland. The ports are separated by no more than 20 nautical miles which makes the trail suited for less experienced sailors as well as for professionals. More information is available at the website Marinas.pl in the Polish, English and German languages.
Amber – treasure of the Baltic sea
A good autumn or winter storm at the Polish Baltic coast, brings up a lot of amber on the beaches. These prehistoric treasure is known as the “Baltic gold”. Gdańsk, located at the crossroads of historical and present amber trading routes, is called the world’s capital of amber. If you love amber you will like the fascinating Amber Museum located in the beautiful restored prison tower in the very heart of the historic centre of Gdańsk. In March the International Fair of Amber, Jewellery and Gemstones, the biggest fair of this sort in the world, takes place in the Amberexpo. And in August the yearly Ambermart will bring you three days of amber events and workshops. It is the occasion to see a lot of amber products. The event ends with the Mariacka Street Festival, celebrating Gdańsk’s most beautiful street which is famous for its amber galleries.
Spa and wellness on the Baltic Coast
The choice of SPA centers in the Pomeranian and Western Pomeranian Voivodeships is extremely rich. Amber, sea algae, beach sand and natural iodine are the ingredients for treatments in SPA centres along the Polish Baltic coast. The most famous SPA resorts are Sopot, Kołobrzeg, Jastarnia (Hel Peninsula), Międzyzdroje, Świnoujście, Połczyń Zdrój and Ustronie Morskie.
Skiing and ice-skating with a view on the Baltic Sea
Visiting the Tri-City (Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot) during winter, in Łysa Góra in Sopot you will have plenty of opportunities for winter activities. You can go snowboarding, skiing or cross-country skiing. While skiing from the top of Łysa Góra, first have a look on the Baltic Sea. Have you ever experienced cross-country skiing on the beach? This is possible on the Polish Baltic coast, where most winters are cold and snowy. Near the beautiful pier in the historic SPA resort Sopot is an ice-rink with sea view! You can rent equipment in Sopot and Łysa Góra. You will find more information about skiing and ice skating in Pomerania on the website pomorskie.travel.
Every time of the year the Baltic seacoast in Poland is attractive. Enjoy sightseeing, cycling, hiking, swimming, extreme sports and winter sports!
Photo: A. Rokita