Poland Beach Travel Guide
Poland may seem like an unlikely place to have a seaside holiday. There's something of a popular stereotype that imagines a country of rain, snow and clouds, and, for some reason, disconcertingly commonly, landlocked. I've had to correct so many people who thought that Poland was actually amongst that minority of European countries that had no coastline. Trust me, it does, and it's fantastic.
The 700km of coastline that spans the north of Poland, from the German border in the west, to the isolated Russian enclave of Kaliningrad in the east, is home to a really beautiful array of beaches, many of which have claimed national park status and even UNESCO ecosystem reserve status in the last decades. From the rolling sand dunes of the Słowiński Park Narodowy, to the summertime hotspots in and around the northern city of Łeba, Poland actually has some serious clout when it comes to talking about beaches.
If you're looking to head up north to see Poland’s coast, the best way is usually to get a direct train service or bus connection to the city of Gdansk. From there, it's easy to spread out east or west, to see the real gems of the Balkan coast lands.
particularly remarkable is the Mierzeja Helska (the Hel Peninsula), a strikingly thin piece of land that juts out into the Baltic Sea just north of Gdansk. Today it’s famous for its beaches, but it was also the last point of Polish Army resistance to the German invasion in 1939, where just a few thousand men held out in Spartan style against hard odds. With its 35km long arching geographical form, there is usually loads of uncrowded sand stretches to choose from here, and in the summer temperatures are regularly in the upper 20's. What's more, it is extremely easy to reach from Gdansk itself, so it's a great option for visitors who only have a few days in the north.
Further to the west, many visitors find the beaches around the small town of Mielno to be among the best in the country. Here the sand is very clean, and the wooden coast protectors that jut into the ocean add something of a poetic finish to the magnificent, red Baltic sunsets that can be seen most nights. It's also quite easy to reach from Gdansk, which means you may find it's a little busy during the summer months.
On the far eastern stretch of the Polish coast, the town of Krynica Morska, attracts many visitors, both native and foreign, to enjoy the warm sun and great seas of the Mierzeja Wiślana (Vistula Spit), a natural land bank that stretches from Polish coast into Russian Kaliningrad. On the sea side of the spit, the beaches are known for their length and summer sun, and they are among the most popular in Poland.
On the opposite end of the Polish seaboard, the port city of Świnoujście has established itself as another great destination for beach seekers. The city sits on a series of islands that straddle the German border, with a lagoon to its back, and the Baltic Sea in front. The area is known for its fresh, unpolluted air, and great coastal walking routes.
So, far from being a non-player in that much contested of European destination leagues, Poland has some real clout when it comes to beaches. While not the scorching heat and clear watered stretches of the Med, the Baltic coast has a unique beauty and a thriving ecosystem, with everything from trekking to surfing, biking to kite boarding, Poland's beaches are definitely worth considering.