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Poland may not be the first seaside destination that comes to mind when booking your summer holiday, but the country’s northern coast is filled with wide sandy beaches and charming coastal towns.
The Baltic Sea (Morze Bałtyckie) has many advantages over resorts by the Mediterranean Sea. It guarantees two things the kids love: a large expanse of shallow water and vast beaches of fine, clean sand!
The most beautiful beaches at the Baltic Sea? That’s a tough question. Those near the Wisła Spit are the whitest; those on Hel are unique because there are two kinds: one in Pucka Bay and the northern beach facing the open sea.
Near Świnoujście they are vast and on Wolin Island the beach is ‘embraced’ by 93 meter high cliffs!
Parents with young children like in particular Świnoujście, Krynica Morska, tiny Pogorzelica, Dźiwnów, Kołobrzeg, Jastarnia and Hel. On these beaches you will find lifeguards, windbreaks, umbrellas, beach games and basket chair rentals, changing rooms and showers by the beach (sometimes you have to pay). Restaurants fronting these beaches also serve those special favourite meals for children.
Then there’s the food. Fish is extremely fresh and fairly inexpensive. Polish dishes familiar to all of you (like pierogi, barszcz, mizeria, gołąbki) somehow taste better when eaten in their native land and seasoned with the sea air. One Polish word all visitors need to learn is gofry, a sweet favourite of ice cream served on a waffle topped with berries and whipped cream.
At the resort towns streets are devoid of chain stores and restaurants, and are instead lined with ice cream shops, fish stands, arcades and souvenir stores. This is where you’ll find the gorgeous and inexpensive amber (bursztyn) for which the Baltic is famous. Young families and school-aged children at summer camp fill the sidewalks. There are go-karts for rent and pony rides on offer.
If you’re looking for gratuitous, luxurious, hedonistic summer fun, your global options are almost limitless. But if you like some shadow mixed in with your sunshine, some history to provide ballast to your floating lounge chair, the small towns of the Polish coast provide an experience like no other.
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.