By bicycle around Sobieszewo Island
The Island is located between two branches of the Vistula river : Wisła Śmiała near Górki Zachodnie, created by nature after the flood in 1846; and Przekop Wisły, created artificially at the end of 19th century. The cycling route is interesting both nature- and culture-wise. In Sobieszewo, we can visit Our Lady of Salette sanctuary, historical floodgate in Przegalina and wooden mansions in Orle. Bird enthusiasts will get excited about „Mewia Łacha” and „Ptasi Raj” nature reserves, which are one of the most unique natural areas in the region. On the beaches, particularly near Przekop Wisły, grey seals can be spotted quite frequently. The route starts and finishes by the floating bridge and bus stop in Sobieszewo. If needed, cars can be parked by the church. The route is largely (24 km) marked as the blue bike route of Wintceny Pol.
Sobieszewo Island is part of Mierzeja Wiślana and is a district of the City of Gdańsk. On the island, there are two nature reserves: Ptasi Raj and Mewia Łacha. Mewia Łacha lays on the area near Przekop Wisły, where one can spot and observe herds of thousands of birds such as seagulls, terns or ducks. Sandy beaches of the reserve are perfect place for seals, from time to time bathing in the sun. The other reserve – Ptasi Raj – is located by lakes of Karaś and Ptasi Raj, separated from Wisła Śmiała with a stone dam. On the shores, reedmace bushes are the perfect shelter for water birds. Around 200 species of birds have been spotted here, with 30-40 clutching eggs and nesting in Ptasi Raj.
Route lenght: 28 km
Surface: asphalt (tarmac), dirt road
Estimated time: 2-3 hours
Reccomended bike type: trekking bicycle
Route: Sobieszewo – Świbno – Sobieszewo
0 km – Sobieszewo. The major important town on Sobieszewo Island. Tourist attractions: Out Lady of Salette church, built in place of the 1620 building which burned down in 1986; the beach, “Wyspa Skarbów” and Wincenty Pol Memorial Room.
0,75 km – the end of the biking road, beginning of the Vistula embankment (Przegalińska St.).
1,75 km – Sobieszewska Pastwa. Historical mansion, now Centre for the Blind, view on the phosphogypsum bing on the other side of Martwa Wisła
8,9 km – Przegalina. Historical floodgates, remains of narrow-gauge railway, Vistula icebreaker harbor, possible turn towards Błotnik (new marina)
11,9 km – Świbno. Ferry to Mikoszewo, fisherman’s wharf, Przekop Wisły centenary (1895-1995) monument
13,0 km – „Mewia Łacha” nature reserve. Nesting area of rare species of tern and plovers, also sighting spot for grey seal.
17,25 km – Orlinki. Hotel „Orle”, the Forster Mansion – a wooden mansion which belonged to SS gauleiter Albert Forster
21,1 km – Sobieszewo. Falowa Street (leading towards the sea and to the city centre), next Barwna Street, Tęczowa Street (bistros, shops, restaurants), “Wyspa Skarbów” cultural center, Wincenty Pol Memorial Room
23,0 km – Sobieszewska Street – Alma II Station, former seaside army station
24,3 km – Karaś Lake. Road to „Ptasi Raj” nature reserve, environmental route, two viewing towers (on the north shore of Karaś Lake and by the Ptasi Raj lake), stone dam separating Karaś Lake and Wisła Śmiała, coastal sand dunes on Mierzeja Messyńska
25,3 km – Górki Wschodnie. The final bus stop, a tavern, car park, dam road, old fishermen housing
27,8 km – Sobieszewo