What are the first places to come to mind when you think about spending a weekend along the Baltic coast? For us its Sopot, Jurata, Darlowo and Wladyslawowo. However we realise that the Baltic coast has much more to offer than just beaches and that there are many smaller places just waiting to be discovered. So, if you are thinking about spending a coastal weekend, here are a few recommendations from us.
Smoldzino and Kluki
Smoldzino and Kluki are two villages that often get side-lined in favour of the more famous resorts in Pomerania. Little do people realise that they are the perfect places for active leisure and exploration.
The area between Lake Gardno and Lake Lebsko is home to the Slovinians, an ethnic group who are actually Kashubs that became Germanised and eventually formed a separate community with their own local dialect. After World War II, they were considered Germans and resettled in Germany up until 1960.
Literally a couple of years after the last villagers resettled, an open-air Museum of Slovinian Village (Muzeum Wsi Slowinskiej w Klukach) was opened. Today, it shows an insight into the everyday life and customs of the former inhabitants of the region. Visitors can learn about the Slovinian occupations, fishing and peat digging, and see the farmsteads they left behind – wattle and daub houses with thatched roofs.
If you are looking to spend time in a peaceful seaside village yet not be completely off the grid, then Czarny Mlyn is the perfect place for you. It is not far away from Jastrzebia Gora, so you can go there whenever you feel the need to go to town.
However, the real reason why you should visit Czôrni Młin (that’s how the Kashubs call it), are the nature reserves of Bielawa and Bielawskie Bloto, which are not far off and can be easily reached by bike or on foot and of course the beautiful farm tourism accommodations. This is a great place to just relax in the middle of forests and lakes, recharge your batteries, regain your peace of mind and commune with nature.
If you are tired of beaches and sunbathing, then its time you visit Steblewo. Just drive 30 km south of Gdansk and find yourself in idyllic nature with rolling cornfields and lanes of weeping willows in the charming village of Steblewo in Zulawy Gdanskie.
The area is a haven for bikers with picturesque bike trails, and has abundant rafting sites and unusual attractions, such as the ruins of a Gothic church in which Mass is still celebrated today.
One of the major attractions, and a symbol of Stablewo and its surrounding villages are the remnants of the Mennonites, settlers from the Netherlands. You can see historic houses and windmills which have survived to this day. Not far away, in Palczewo, there’s a lovely wooden church, which is popular amongst couples from Gdansk who often arrange their weddings there because of its character.
While you’re in the area, you also have to go to one of the local restaurants and taste local specialities: a meatball soup or Werderkäse cheese made according to an old Mennonite recipe.
When you’re in Pomerania, you can go to the beach practically any time, which can sometimes get monotonous, even for the most fervent fans of sunbathing. A visit to one of the places listed here can be refreshing (like the sea breeze) and guarantees new experiences and some good rest. On top of that, all the places have one thing in common: they aren’t far away from the beach, so if you really miss the feel of sand and the sound of waves, you can always get back there in no time.