Polish Baltic Sea in autumn: tips for a relaxing time by the sea
Those who visit the Polish Baltic Sea in autumn can look forward to a soothing calm in the otherwise bustling region. In the off-season, the clocks tick more slowly. Lonely, wide sandy beaches, empty coastal towns and the glowing autumn forests of the Wollin National Park invite you to slow down.
If you finally want to take a breath, like long walks on the rough sea, want to let the wind blow your head clear and wish for silence, then this post is just right for you.
Here come my tips for Polish Baltic Sea in autumn.
Polish Baltic Sea
The Polish Baltic Sea is the name given to the total of 524 coastal kilometers that stretch from the eastern part of the island of Usedom to the Bay of Gdansk, on the border with Russia.
Here you can expect miles of bright sandy beaches, pine and beech forests, turquoise lakes, historic seaside resorts as well as small, original villages where time seems to have stood still.
Misdroy (Międzyzdroje) is probably the most touristy place on the Polish Baltic Sea – and admittedly not really pretty. The townscape is dominated by prefabricated buildings from the socialist era and the beach promenade is overflowing with small stores selling kitschy souvenirs, cotton candy, oversized pieces of cake in bright colors, balloons and flashing lights.
The only beautiful thing is the wide sandy beach with its pier. It juts out 395 meters into the Polish Baltic Sea. In contrast to the summer, it is wonderfully quiet here in the fall. You can take long walks on the beach, let the Baltic Sea wind blow around your nose and switch off.
With a little luck, you might even find a honey-yellow amber. The fossilized resin is often called the gold of the Baltic Sea and magically attracts collectors. Especially after storms the chance to find amber is said to be very high. But beware, as I have already written in my Usedom contribution, amber can sometimes be confused with phosphorus.
Phosphorus can ignite at temperatures above 20 degrees and cause severe burns. Therefore, you should first store your finds in a glass or tin can and not put them in your pants or jacket pocket.
Wollin National Park
Wollin National Park (Wolinski Park Narodowy) is a nature reserve of about 109 km² on the island of Wollin. The special thing about this national park is its contrasts: on one side sea, on the other side forests. In between, beaches, dunes and a cliff up to 95 meters high.
This fascinating spot on earth was created about 12,000 years ago, towards the end of the last ice age. Strong winds and the waves of the Baltic Sea formed the cliff. As a result of natural forces, the landscape is still constantly changing today. For example, the cliff is said to shift by about 80 centimeters every year.
The Wollin National Park is home to many protected animal and plant species, some of which are even threatened with extinction. Therefore, those who want to explore the park can choose between several well-signposted hiking trails and should not trudge off these paths through the untouched nature.
Viewpoint Coffee Mountain
If you first want to get an overview of the Wollin National Park, I recommend a short hike to the viewpoint of Coffee Mountain (Kawcza Góra).
The path leads from the pier in Misdroy along the beach to a wooden staircase. The many steps take you up to the 57-meter-high Coffee Mountain. In between there are always small platforms with a gigantic view over the Pomeranian Bay.
Once at the top, a winding path leads through beautiful autumn forests back to Misdroy. You should allow about 1.5 hours for this approximately four-kilometer loop.
Red hiking trail
If you want to extend your hike through the Wollin National Park, simply follow the red marked hiking trail from Misdroy to the Latarnia Morska Kikut lighthouse. This trail leads you on a length of about 12 kilometers to the Gosań Mountain, the highest elevation on the Polish Baltic Sea.
The destination of the red trail is the 18-meter high Kikut lighthouse, which stands on a hill in the middle of the forest. Its beacon is fully automatic and can be seen some 16 nautical miles across the Baltic Sea. Unfortunately, the lighthouse is not accessible.
The port city of Kolberg (Kołobrzeg) is the most famous spa town on the Polish Baltic Sea due to its healing climate. During the Second World War, Kolberg was almost completely destroyed. Some buildings, such as the imposing town hall on the market square and the Kolberg Cathedral, have been faithfully rebuilt.
Be sure to visit the beautiful red brick lighthouse. It was built in 1948 by Soviet troops. Today it is no longer in use, but can be climbed for a fee of 8 zloty (about 1.72 euros). The observation deck offers a great view over Kolberg, the harbor, the Polish Baltic Sea, the sandy beach and the dunes.
Jezioro Turkusowe is a picturesque turquoise lake whose shores are lined with dense beech forests. Its unusually intense color, which probably comes out even better in the sunshine than on a gray autumn day, comes from the minerals dissolved in the water. After lime mining ceased after World War II, the chalk quarry was flooded, creating Jezioro Turkusowe.
While the lake seems to be a popular destination in the summer, it is a true oasis of peace in the off-season. On the hiking trail, which leads once around the lake, we did not meet a single person. With dusk setting in, it was almost a bit eerie.
The town of Swinemünde (Świnoujście), with a population of just under 41,500, is located on the Polish side of the island of Usedom, where the Swine flows into the Baltic Sea. Coming from Misdroy, you can reach Swinemünde exclusively by ferry. There are two possibilities:
- As a pedestrian or cyclist you can use the city ferry. It runs every 20 minutes between the train station on the Wollin peninsula and the city center of Świnoujście and is free of charge. Cars are taken by the city ferry, but this applies only to Swinoujscie license plates. The only exception: from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. at night, vehicles with other license plates are also taken.
- If you want to take your car to Swinoujscie, you have to take the Kasibor car ferry and be patient. The ferry is located a few kilometer south of the city center and departs about every 30 minutes. Here, all license plates are allowed and the crossing is also free of charge. The only drawback is that the queue is usually several kilometers long, so you have to expect endless waiting time. Even in the off-season, we stood in line for almost two hours. Therefore, I advise you to leave the car and cross as a pedestrian. Since the ferry traffic of the car ferry is limited at night, you can also use the city ferry from 10 pm.
In addition to a quaint old town and a harbor worth seeing, Swinoujscie has a finely decorated beach promenade with numerous cafes and restaurants to offer. In autumn, some restaurants are already closed. Strolling between fountains is still fun.
By the way, the first bathing season was opened here in Swinoujscie as early as 1824. Swinemünde is therefore the oldest Baltic seaside resort on Usedom. Only then followed Heringsdorf, Ahlbeck and Bansin in the German part of the island.
Bike tour to GermanyIf
always wanted to cross a national border by bike, this tip is just right for you: Rent a bike and ride from Swinoujscie in Poland to the fashionable imperial resorts of Ahlbeck, Heringsdorf and Bansin in Germany.
The approximately nine-kilometer-long bike path leads without ascents through colorful autumn forests, past beautiful villas and along the European Promenade. At the German-Polish border, a stop is worth it for the souvenir photo alone.
Once you reach Ahlbeck, there are plenty of beach cafes to take a break. Be sure to visit the famous piers of the Kaiserbäder. You can find many tips for the German part of Usedom in my Usedom article.
outward or return journey from Germany to the Polish Baltic Sea, a stopover in Stettin (Szczecin)
is a good idea.
The city of about 405,000 inhabitants is considered the gateway to the Polish Baltic Sea and is definitely worth a visit. Behind the ugly prefabricated buildings that you first see, a historic old town awaits you.
Worth seeing are the market square with its colorful houses and the gothic-baroque town hall, the harbor gate, the many brick churches and the Szczecin Castle, which towers over the old town on a hill.
you’re in the
mood for a sweet snack during a stroll through town, stop by Piekarnia ormiańsko-gruzińska. Here you can get warm bread, fresh from the stone oven as well as delicious croissants with crazy fillings, such as blueberry and cream cheese.
really great café that we stumbled into by accident is Kus mnie, which would fit just as well in a hip big city like Berlin. The small store is completely full of plants. There’s cool music playing and the menu features fancy drinks and (not only) vegan…
Continue reading: https://globusliebe.com/polnische-ostsee/