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Sobieszewo Island and its beautiful guarded beaches

Sobieszewo Island and its beautiful guarded beaches

The beach on Sobieszewo Island extends for 11 kilometers along the eastern part of Gdańsk Bay. It is one of the most beautiful bathing resorts of the Polish coast, as it is very wide and sandy. Cyanobacteria, which sometimes occurs in the Baltic Sea posing danger to the swimmers, is not very frequent in this location.

There are two guarded beaches on Sobieszewo Island, open during the summer season: in Sobieszewo (Falowa Street) and in Orle (Lazurowa Street). The lifeguards work there from July 1st untill August 31th, every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The lifeguards are stationed in the trailers on the beach, where they have storage space and first aid spot. Means of transportation at their disposal include boats and kayaks, as well a quad with a special sidecar used for transportation of the injured.

The beach offers showers, beach equipment rental and a playground, as well as changing stations and bike racks. Those who like outdoor sports, will enjoy the volleyball and football fields.

Learn more at http://www.kapieliskagdansk.pl

There are also three more beaches (without the infrastructure) on Sobieszewo Island: Górki Wschodnie, Komary, Świbno.

How to get on Sobieszewska Island?

Public transportation, bike, car, canoe…

Sobieszewo Island is located around 18 km from Gdańsk Old Town and is a leisure destination for both the locals and the tourists. It is green, it is quiet, with sandy beaches and unique natural surroundings, it inspires to relax tourists of all ages. How to get there?

1. Public transportation
To get to Sobieszewo Island take buses number 112 and 186 – both are the lines of public transportation, running every 20 minutes. The bus stop in the direction of Sobieszewo, Świbno, Przegalina and Górki Wschodnie is located in the city center, in front of the railway station Dworzec Główny PKP (Podwale Grodzkie St.) The return stop is located in front of the LOT Airlines building on Wały Jagiellońskie St. The stops are the same for the night buses number 470 and 490. It takes around 35 minutes to reach Sobieszewo Island.

The route of 112 bus line: Gdańsk (Wałowa St.) – city center (railway station Dworzec Główny PKP) – Sobieszewo – Świbno – Przegalina

The route of 186 bus line: Gdańsk (Wałowa St.) – city center (railway station Dworzec Główny PKP) – Sobieszewo

The route of 470 night bus line: city center (railway station Dworzec Główny PKP) – Sobieszewo

The route of 490 night bus line: city center (railway station Dworzec Główny PKP) – Sobieszewo – Świbno – Przegalina
2. By car
There are three options for travelling to Sobieszewo Island by car. The fastest route includes the bridge on Martwa Wisła (a new bridge is under construction), available all year round, 24 h a day. The other options include a road with a bridge on Przegalina floodgate and taking a ferry on Wisła Przekop.

3. By bike (source: www.rowerowa-siec.pl)
Gdańsk Główny – Sobieszewo Island – Gdańsk Główny

The journey starts with the railway station Dworzec Główny PKP in the city center. As we take a bike road, we turn right in the direction of Hucisko crossroad. Then we go straight to the city center, taking Ogarna Street and crossing Krowi Most, until reaching Elbląska Street. As the pedestrian road ends, we take the state road E-7. On the crossroads, we take Benzynowa Street (mind the street lights!), then we turn right into Płońska Street, which is followed by Wałowa Street. We go ahead until we reach crossing of Wałowa and Sobieszewska (road no. 501). We then turn left, and within the distance of 50 meters we should see Gdańsk – Sobieszewo welcome sign.

 

Ornithological station

Envrionmental protection of Sobieszewo Island

Ornithological Station Museum and Institute of Zoology of Polish Academy of Sciences in Górki Wschodnie is a part of the Sobieszewo Island’s landscape since 1957, when he Institute of Zoology of Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) in Warsaw decided to move the Migrating Birds Research Station to the seaside. The place they choose was not random – the Island is located on the European bird migrations trail and is a popular wintering spot for many of them. What is more, there are two nature reserves: Ptasi Raj and Mewia Łacha, and the area is part of the NATURE 2000 project, with the special rights of the protected landscape status.

The common nature protection program for the Island

The natural values of Sobieszewo Island are most certainly its assets, and that is why it should be appreciated and protected with special care. It is the reason why all environmental actions and efforts undertaken by the local organizations, institutions and others, are of such a paramount importance. One of them is “Protect the Nature on Sobieszewo Island” project, running since 2010. It has been initiated by LOTOS SA with other institutions participating: Ornithological Station PAN, KULING Water Birds Research Group, Friends of Sobieszewo Island Association, Biology Sation of the University of Gdańsk and GAK “Wyspa Skarbów” Culture Institute. Thanks to the LOTOS SA financial support, a variety of actions has been made possible.

Ornithological Station in action

Ornithological Station, being a research agency, according to its statute, conducts ornithological research, including the questions of environment, migrations, placement, numbers and clutching of the birds – with the special care for the protection of the birds’ biodiversity. The Station is a part of the state environment monitoring program, provides environmental consulting and scientific education. On the premises there is also Bird Ringing Center, representing Poland in EURING (European Union organization for bird ringing schemes). The Center conducts trainings for the ringing personnel and gathers information on ringed birds in Poland and the ones who come from abroad.

Scientific education for all ages

As the part of the ‘’Protect nature on Sobieszewo Island’’ program, Ornithological Station is in charge of scientific education. It organizes lectures on ornithology, with the use of its spacious premises, large collection of exhibits and the professional knowledge of the lecturers. The lectures are deisgned mainly for the school audiences. The Station also takes part in other events of the program, such as family picnics, the Island Half marathon, or other regional events like Baltic Science Festival, International Migrating Birds Day and others. The Station is open to all kinds of educational initiatives.

Alicja Bielska

Stacja Ornitologiczna MiIZ PAN

[email protected], www.stornit.gda.pl

English translation by Magdalena Szubstarska

Envrionmental protection of Sobieszewo Island

 

Envrionmental protection of Sobieszewo Island

Ornithological Station Museum and Institute of Zoology of Polish Academy of Sciences in Górki Wschodnie is a part of the Sobieszewo Island’s landscape since 1957, when he Institute of Zoology of Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) in Warsaw decided to move the Migrating Birds Research Station to the seaside. The place they choose was not random – the Island is located on the European bird migrations trail and is a popular wintering spot for many of them. What is more, there are two nature reserves: Ptasi Raj and Mewa Łacha, and the area is part of the NATURE 2000 project, with the special rights of the protected landscape status.

The common nature protection program for the Island

The natural values of Sobieszewo Island are most certainly its assets, and that is why it should be appreciated and protected with special care. It is the reason why all environmental actions and efforts undertaken by the local organizations, institutions and others, are of such a paramount importance. One of them is “Protect the Nature on Sobieszewo Island” project, running since 2010. It has been initiated by LOTOS SA with other institutions participating: Ornithological Station PAN, KULING Water Birds Research Group, Friends of Sobieszewo Island Association, Biology Sation of the University of Gdańsk and GAK “Wyspa Skarbów” Culture Institute. Thanks to the LOTOS SA financial support, a variety of actions has been made possible.

Ornithological Station in action

Ornithological Station, being a research agency, according to its statute, conducts ornithological research, including the questions of environment, migrations, placement, numbers and clutching of the birds – with the special care for the protection of the birds’ biodiversity. The Station is a part of the state environment monitoring program, provides environmental consulting and scientific education. On the premises there is also Bird Ringing Center, representing Poland in EURING (European Union organization for bird ringing schemes). The Center conducts trainings for the ringing personnel and gathers information on ringed birds in Poland and the ones who come from abroad.

Scientific education for all ages

As the part of the ‘’Protect nature on Sobieszewo Island’’ program, Ornithological Station is in charge of scientific education. It organizes lectures on ornithology, with the use of its spacious premises, large collection of exhibits and the professional knowledge of the lecturers. The lectures are deisgned mainly for the school audiences. The Station also takes part in other events of the program, such as family picnics, the Island Half marathon, or other regional events like Baltic Science Festival, International Migrating Birds Day and others. The Station is open to all kinds of educational initiatives.

Alicja Bielska

Stacja Ornitologiczna MiIZ PAN

[email protected], www.stornit.gda.pl

English translation by Magdalena Szubstarska

History of Sobieszewo Island

 

How was Sobieszewo Island created?

Sobieszewo is a unique district of the city of Gdańsk, surrounded by the Śmiała Wisła river on the West, the Martwa Wisła river on the South, the Przekop Wisły on the East (all of these being branches of the longest Polish river, the Vistula – Wisła) and to top it all, the Bay of Gdańsk on the Baltic Sea on the North. The Island is a part of the Mierzeja Wiślana.

Sobieszewo Island was partially created as the result of the winter flood of 1840. Due to the ice obstruction near Płonia town, the swollen waters of the Vistula had broken through the dunes near Górki, thus dividing the village (now called Górki Zachodnie and Górki Wschodnie), and creating a new river mouth for the Vistula. Wincenty Pol called the new branch “Śmiała Wisła” in 1842. In this way, a new peninsula was formed – its western part being what now we know as Sobieszewo Island. The final shape of the island is the result of both natural phenomena and the human intervention in the Vistula’s hydrographic system.

How to tame the force of nature? The history of Przekop Wisły

To solve the problem of annual floods in Żuławy, on June 28th 1888 the Prussian Parliament passed the Bill 9303 including the directives on the Vistula dug-through, embankments regulations and construction of floodgates in Przegalin. An artificial canal was dug, measuring 7,1 kilometers from Szewce to the Bay of Gdańsk on the Baltic Sea. The official opening took place on March 31st 1895 at 3.45 pm (see the photo below).

The woods and the beaches of Sobieszewo Island

Sobieszewo Island is an area of about 35 km2 with more than 1000 ha of woods. The beach, 11 kilometers long, is the longest one in Gdańsk. It includes two guarded bathing areas – in Sobieszewo and in Orlinki.

On the Island there are two nature reserves: Ptasi Raj (Birds’ Paradise) on the western end of Śmiała Wisła and Mewia Łacha (Seagull Dune) on the East, near Przekop Wisły.

As an act of recognition of Sobieszewo Island’s natural beauty and unique value, the area has been granted the status of a legally protected nature park.

Historical floodgates, residences, wooden houses…

There is a variety of historical monuments and landmarks to be found on Sobieszewo Island. In Przegalina, there are floodgates built in 1895, perfectly visible from a viewing spot nearby the 2012 bascule bridge. In Świbno, Przegalina and Górki Zachodnie we can admire well-preserved wooden architecture as well as the island’s oldest, historical residences from XVIII and XIX century.

and even seaplanes!

In the times of the Free City of Danzig (1920-1939), Górki Zachodnie was a home to a landing strip for seaplanes (also known as hydroplanes). The buildings of former passenger waiting rooms and the restaurant are now used by the University of Gdańsk for scientific and educational purposes.

The Water Tower and the Forster Residence

Beautiful view of the island and the surroundings can be admired from the top of the Water Tower in Orliinki (known as Zbiornik Kazimierz). Nearby we can find the Forster Residence (Forsterówka) – a wooden mansion built in the 1930s as a summer house to NSDAP gauleiter Albert Forster.

Culture, leisure and recreation on Sobieszewo Island

In the center of Sobieszewo, Gdański Archipelag Kultury „Wyspa Skarbów” runs Wincenty Pol Memorial Room. Wincenty Pol was a poet, geographer and explorer of the Polish lands. The Memorial Room hosts multiple cultural events throughout the year.

Sobieszewo Island is perfect for active leisure with opportunities of sunbathing, sea swimming, sailing, canoeing, fishing, Nordic walking and even backcountry skiing or just plain nature-watching.

Tourist can expect a variety of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, camping areas and private rooms for rent. Multiple bistros and restaurants offer outstanding Polish and local cuisine, not to mention the opportunity to taste fresh Polish fish. Sea souvenirs can be bought in shops on virtually every corner.

The Island can be explored by walking, biking trips, horseback riding and sailing. The proximity of the Gdańsk’s Old Town (c.a. 15 km), makes the stay even more interesting.

The Sobieszewo Island residents welcome everyone to rest and relax in the surroundings of nature all year long.

Mieczysława Cierpioł

English translation by Magdalena Szubstarska

Events on Sobieszewo Island

Picnic with Biology

Biological Station of University of Gdańsk, Water Birds Research Group ‘’Kuling’’ and the partners invite all the citizens and tourists for the Picnic with Biology at the beginning of August on Sobieszewo Island. The program includes workshops, lectures, contests, games and biological and art activities. During the Picnic you will have a lot of fun and get to deepen your biological knowledge, too.

Summer in Świbno

Each year in July, the Świbno volunteer fire department, together with the city department of State Fire Service in Gdańsk and Maritime Search and Rescue Service, organize Summer in Świbno festival. The program includes concerts, contests, and games for children and adults with the use of firefighting equipment, as well as horse rides, pneumatic weapon shootings and an entertainment park for the kids. There is no entry fee, but there sure is a lot of fun!

Kite Carnival

Kite Carnival on Sobieszewo Island is a family event for all the generations. It is organized by Gdańsk Archipelago of Culture “Treasure Island” and Strefa Mocy Foundation. It is a great option for the families who enjoy spending a day outdoors. The event includes the most interesting kite competition for everyone who enjoys kiting.

Exlibris competition

The Gdańsk International Exlibris and Small Graphic Form Competition competitions are organized by Gdańsk Community Foundation and Gdańsk Archipelago of Culture “Treasure Island”. The theme is different every year. Previous editions included themes of the Gdańsk’s lions, sport, the architecture of Gdańsk and Neptune’s dreams. The competition is held every two years. Learn more at http://www.exlibrisgdansk.pl/index.php?jezyk=en

Ideas for Sobieszewo Island – contest

What is your idea for Sobieszewo Island? Contest for the citizens ! The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association, together with the city of Gdańsk as the candidate to host the 25th World Scout Jamboree on Sobieszewo Island in 2023 invite everyone to participate in “Idea for the Island” contest. The partners of the project include Gdańsk Archipelago of Culture “Treasure Island” and the Friends of Sobieszewo Island Association. The submissions, including a short description of the ideas for action are accepted via e-mail at [email protected] until May 31st. The authors of the most interesting proposals will receive financial awards.

“We are looking for interesting ideas, which would aim at promoting this extraordinary area. Especially the most creative ones, which would focus on the unique natural resources and location of the Island”, says Beata Matyjaszczyk from the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association, Sobieszewo Island Social Development Program Coordinator.

The ideas should take into account: the use of natural and cultural potential of Sobieszewo Island, sustainable tourism and recreation development, environmental-friendly actions, and possible socio-economic benefits for the inhabitants of the area.

“We are counting on the citizens’ creativity”, says Łukasz Kłos, Mayor of Gdańsk’s Representative in charge of Jamboree 2023. “The projects can account for organization of a cultural event, recreation ideas, tourists attractions, as well promoting the Island itself (a logo, a slogan, a mascot etc.)”.

The ideas should be submitted via e-mail: [email protected] The proposals should include a maximum one-page description. Learn more about terms and conditions at www.wyspaskarbow.gak.gda.pl

Top 5 ideas will be awarded with financial prizes, 300 PLN each. The contest is a form of brainstorming for the future of Sobieszewo Island. The realization of the winning ideas depends on external circumstances, such as sources of financing and coordination.
The award ceremony will take place on June 7th 2017, at 15.00 in Gdańsk Archipelago of Culture “Treasure Island” on 3 Turystyczna St. on Sobieszewo Island.

World Scout Jamboree is the most important event for World Organization of the Scout Movement, gathering young members of national scout organizations. WOSM is the biggest membership NGO with over 40 million members worldwide.

Learn more about the preparations and the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association and Gdańsk as candidates to host World Scout Jamboree at www.polska2023.pl, www.facebook.com/polska2023.

Sobieszewo Island Partnership

 

A meeting about Sobieszewo Island, organized by Social Developement Department of Gdańsk City Hall took place on April 10th 2017 in Stara Wędzarnia in Gdańsk. The participants discussed the letter of intent and contests for the citizens. They also took part in innovative workshops with Mr. Aldo de Moor from Holland.
During the first part of the meeting, the letter of intent and its concerns were discussed, as well as the ideas of the Sobieszewo Island Partnership and actions, the Island Day, contests for the citizens and their initiatives.
The second part of the meeting was dedicated to one of the latest European social actions methodology, developed on Tilburga University in the Netherlands. The workshops were conducted by Mr. Aldo de Moor, who is an expert in mapping relationships between stakeholders. The most crucial part of mapping is the process of creating the map. The stakeholders meet, looking for the connections, they network and get to know one another. The meeting results in a map of space, illustrating the dependencies between the organizations and people connected by an area, idea or cause.
The Sobieszewo Island Partnership letter of intent will be signed on June 7th.

Sobieszewo Island on Free Time Festival

The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association instructors, involved in the World Scout Jamboree project, took part in Free Time Festival in Gdańsk on April 1st- 2nd 2017. As scouts, they simply could not miss this biggest free time festival, as its idea involves outdoor activities, tourist attractions of Poland and environmental education.

NGOs and institutions from Sobieszewo Island organized a booth where they presented this beautiful area which can potentially be home to thousands of scouts from all over the world during the 25th World Scout Jamboree in 2023. We promoted water and bike trails, bird watching, kite festival, and scouting among the citizens of Gdańsk.

The booth was prepared as the part of the Sobieszewo Island Social Development Program in cooperation with the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association, City of Gdańsk and Sobieszewo citizens.

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