Why would anyone go to the Baltic Sea? It’s cold and windy. If you plan to visit it in the summer it can be raining and gloomy for most of that time and totally ruin your vacation. Ok so Baltic Sea is perhaps not top holiday destination but it has beautiful sandy beaches. In fact you could walk practically the whole polish coast simply stepping on this soft sand. If you look closely in the sand you can find not only nice sea shells but also little pieces of amber. The water is cold but if you enjoy jumping in the waves Baltic is the place. It is also one of the youngest seas in the world and one of the sweetest. There are no dangerous animals – you can play with our jelly fish if you like. Lots of biking and walking trails and some really intriguing attractions for the whole family make Baltic coast in Poland a place to explore.
Ok there is one more thing I have to warn you about, during summer time cities and little towns by the sea are filled with people. It is always astonishing for me – crowds flowing from streets to the promenades and then on the beach. People lying on the beach like seals side by side, garbage everywhere. You have to slalom to get to the sea. But there is a place where you can see clean, sandy beach – it’s Slowinski National Park. It was created to preserve the beauty of seaside lakes, marches but most of all moving dunes.
What are dunes? They are hills of sand and when the wind blows with the speed of 5m/s they start to move. It can move up to 10 meters per year, so it’s quite visible. There are some extremely resistant to harsh environment plants growing here. Thanks to them not all sand moves.
To see the great moving dune and then get to the beach you need to go to Smoldzinski Las and then follow the signs to Slowinski National Park (Słowiński Park Narodowy). You will have to leave you car on the parking place (Człopino Leśny) and pay for it as well as for entering the park itself (so don’t forget to take cash!). You will also find maps there. You have three different trails to choose from. I recommend first going to the lighthouse in Człopino. On your way you will pass a small settlement where lighthouse keeper lived. There is his house, barn and cow-shed built of bricks around 1870. It’s supposed to be turned into a museum in 2017. On your way you have to walk up the stairs that every day the lighthouse keeper had to climb. The lighthouse itself is build on the highest afforested dune – Czołpinko and has 25 meters. You can climb the lighthouse and observe the beauty of Slowinski Park’s nature from the top. It’s open to the tourist from 22nd May till 31st August.
It takes 30 minutes from the lighthouse to get to the beach. The track goes through fantastic pine forest. Because it’s full of light and trees have entangled shapes you walk through it and wait for fairies to come out. Then you climb up the dune and you see the Baltic Sea. I totally love this moment when this beautiful blue sea appears in front of your eyes. Because there is a lot of sandy dunes to climb it’s not good for strollers or bikes. If you have wheels you need to enter next to Czerwona Szopa (check the map please). It’s a bar in a building out of red brick. The entry on the beach next to it is flat.
After enjoying the beach which is clean and fairly empty (the first time we went there in the evening it was totally empty) you can go along the coast to the east in the direction of Łeba. It’s a long walk around 2 kilometers. When you will enter a big empty beach full of little stones look for signs for Wydma Czołpińska (Człopińska Dune). After entering it you will feel like on a desert. It takes lots of climbing up and down the sand with no place to hide from the sun. Remember it can be hard to climb for small children and take lots of water to drink (there is no place to buy it). After around seven sandy hills you will get down to a forest. There are few benches to sit down and rest after all that climbing. There is around 2 kilometers more to walk in the forest back to the parking space.
The whole trip is around 7 km and will take around 2 hours.
For more information (ticket prices) please check official web page of Slowinski National Park
Kluki – open-air museum of Slovinic people and their culture.
We decided to go to Kluki on Sunday because on that day it’s full of life. Women dressed in folk clothes make breakfast, men repair fishing nets. There are workshops for children – you can make your own doll out of bulrush, buy homemade cake and jars of fantastic honey.
When you come to Kluki the first impression you get is that the whole village is an open-air museum. Typical made out of daub and wattle cottages are on the both sides of the main street. They are surrounded by authentic fences and have small gardens. The interior looks as if the inhabitants left the house moments before, as if you could cross paths with them in the workshop or walk in on them fixing boats. There are animals in their pens. The whole place feels authentic even more on special occasions like Black Wedding in May (1 to 3rd of May), Children’s Day (1st of June) and each Sunday in July and August between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To check the prices and opening hours please have a look here – Kluki web page