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Beach and forest
Leba (Poland), June 25th 2013 

Our first acquaintance with Poland was the small town called Miedzyzdroje, just 20 kilometers from the border with Germany, in the far northwest of the country. Miedzyzdroje is one of the many beach resort towns on the northern coast of Poland. It wasn’t the beach that made us decide to spend a few days in Miedzyzdroje; it was actually the Wolin National Park that drew our attention. To be honest, we never ever realized that people would come to the Baltic Coast of Poland for a beach holiday. Are there beach destinations in northwestern Europe? Uh, yes, there are.

Miedzyzdroje has a couple of nice little camp sites, most of them on walking distance from both the center and the beach. After pitching our tent, we decided to take a walk to the beach. Already on our way to the beach, we realized that ‘beach life’ is a serious issue in this little town. Tens of people, complete in bath suites and equipped with all kinds of beach tools, like beach balls, towels, mats and wind shields, were also on their way to the soft sand. But only after we really reached the beach, we were amazed by the huge number of people who made it this far. It looked like if the whole population of Poland decided to come to Miedzyzdroje for a beach holiday. It was strange to see that the beach was completely full and that not many people decided to actually go into the water. The beach temperature was fine … but the water temperature probably not.

The crowded beach of Miedzyzdroje

When we in Western Europe think about a European beach destination, we always think about the countries on the Mediterranean See. And only when the weather is really nice, we are considering the beaches of Belgium, The Netherlands or even Germany. But we never think about the beaches in the North Poland, on the see with the shivering name East Sea. But that is a mistake, because beach life is hot in Poland. And that is understandable. The weather is fine in the summer, the beaches are soft and clean, and there are even beach cafes that sell cold beer for a very reasonable price. Cheers! And if you might have the impression that a typical beach day in Poland is as rare as a bear in the desert, than you’re wrong. Beach life is massively popular in Poland. The Baltic coast is dotted with beach resort towns that make sure that hundreds of thousands of Polish tourists have a great beach holiday, every year again. And not only Polish people enjoy the beach atmosphere on the Baltic Coast, also many Germans (especially Germans from the former GDR) know how to find this place.

The beach of Miedzyzdroje was an unexpected treat for us, because we were mainly attracted by the nearby Wolin National Park. This park is one of the smallest national parks in the country, but it is still an interesting destination. Several biking tracks, and even more hiking trails connect the park highlights with each other. However, most people come here for the small European Bison reserve in where they try to increase the number of bisons with a breeding program. The animal was already extinct, with the exception of the animals that were living in the zoos around the world. The numbers are going up again, but the animal will probably never be introduced in the wild again. Europe is too ‘small’ for animals like these.

The quiet environment of Wolin NP

The main attractions of the parks are the several little lakes that are dotted around the park and that are great destinations on walks and bike rides through the forest. The park also offers a good opportunity to see some wild life. Without specifically looking for it, we saw several barking deer, spotted deer and families of wild boar. The most impressive lakes in the park are in our impression the horseshoe-shaped Lake Czajcze and the turquoise colored Lake Turkusowe. So, Miedzyzdroje impressed us in several ways. The national park is great, the beach life energetic, and the town is still very Polish, despite the fact that it is so close to the German border. That makes Miedzyzdroje a great introduction to Poland. People are still rarely speaking English or German and the menus are still mainly in Polish. A real piece of Poland, just over the border with Germany. Highly recommended!

As long as the color is oke
Beach culture in Poland
Lake Turkusowe
Lake Czajcze
Great views on the nearby delta

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