Trip to Gryfino to the Włóczykij Travel Festival was also my first visit to the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. I have never travelled too much around Poland. This time, covering nearly 400 kilometres one way, I decided to take the opportunity to explore the area: Szczecin, Świnoujście, as well as Międzyzdroje and Woliński National Park, to which I will devote this article.
A seaside town located on the island of Wolin in the northwestern part of the country. The island is surrounded by the waters of the Baltic Sea, the Szczecin Lagoon and the rivers Dziwna and Świna. Very popular among tourists, especially in the summer.
Until the turn of the 19th and 20th century, Międzyzdroje was a small fishing village. At that time, however, the first spa facilities began to appear, bringing more and more tourists and patients.
In February life goes on slowly. Booths with waffles, ice cream, fries, casseroles and everything else that tourists like the most are still closed and waiting for the beginning of the season. I pass many attractions that are focused on families with children: Wax Museum, Miniature Park, 7D Cinema, Labyrinth of Mirrors, Planetarium. They often look quite kitschy and they probably are. I am seriously wondering if I would like to be here this summer.
The most interesting attraction in the city is the wide beach, perfect for long walks. The more to the east, the higher the cliffs towering above it, overgrown by forests belonging to the Wolin National Park.
I have no idea what is exciting about a walk on the pier. Maybe because I have access to it every day in Gdańsk. In Międzyzdroje, the first wooden bridge was built in 1885. It was repeatedly destroyed by the sea and warfare. Currently, the pier is 395 meters long and after expansion in 2004, it is also a marina for cruise ships. Its concrete construction, however, gives a rather gloomy impression. Souvenir stalls and pubs reign before the entrance.
A three-level, modern facility near the entrance to the pier, commissioned in 2019. Tourists can admire, among others sharks, rays, octopus, jellyfish and eels and go through a 16-meter glass half-tunnel. Opinions about this place are mixed, especially when it comes to the ratio of the size of the place to the price. A normal ticket costs as much as 45 PLN, a reduced ticket 35 PLN.
Promenade of stars
The first palm prints were made in 1996 on the occasion of the Festival of Stars. They were submitted by artists such as Beata Tyszkiewicz, Krystyna Janda, Maja Komorowska, Bogusław Linda, Daniel Olbrychski, Janusz Gajos, Jarosław Jakimowicz, Zbigniew Zamachowski and Zbigniew Preiser. Today in Międzyzdroje there are already over 100 handprints of more or less distinguished representatives of Polish culture.
Woliński National Park
Definitely the most interesting part of my stay in Międzyzdroje and surroundings. The national park was created in 1960 and is located on the largest Polish island – Wolin. The most attractive places in the park are the cliff coast, the Świna delta and the lakes. The park covers 10.937 hectares and it is a very pleasant area for long walks.
The highest cliff of the Polish coast (93 m a.s.l.) located about 4 kilometres from Międzyzdroje. It’s best to get there on foot, but you can also park the car park 600 meters away from the viewpoint.
Museum of Woliński National Park
5 exhibition halls with dioramas depicting flora and fauna occurring in the national park. A normal ticket costs PLN 7, a reduced ticket PLN 5.
A short walk from the parking lot rewards tourists with the beautiful panorama of the Szczecin Lagoon, the backwaters of the Reversed Delta of Świna and the waters of the Wicko Wielkie Lake. Visible islands are mainly wetlands and close to 150 species of birds nest in their area. They were created as a result of moving sand and mules through the reverse current of the river during strong winds blowing from the north.
Located about 6 km from Międzyzdroje, it is the remains of a chalk mine that operated until 1954. Because of the white chalky bottom and the light reflection, it has a unique green colour.
The vantage point rising 56.9 m a.s.l. is a popular destination for walks in Międzyzdroje. It offers a view of the city, pier and of course the waters of the Baltic Sea. It’s best to get there along the black trail departing from Campingowa Street and return along the beach along the red trail (about 1.5 km in total).
Located on the red trail, about 11 km from Międzyzdroje. The lighthouse is fully automated and inaccessible to visitors.
Bisons Show Farm
The resort is located in a forest, on a green walking trail, about 1.5 km from the city centre. The main attraction is, of course, bison. In addition, you can also see deer, roe deer, wild boars and white-tailed eagles. A normal ticket costs PLN 7, a reduced ticket PLN 5.
The map can be downloaded from the national park website.
Blue trail (26 km) – National Park office – V3 weapon position – Turquoise Lake – Zielonka Hill – Lubin church – Wolinian oak – Karnocice – Dargobądź – Mokrzyca Mała – Wolin
I walked a fragment of the trail from the church in Lubin to the Wolinian oak. It’s about an hour journey through the forest (there and back). On the way in the distance, I saw an animal running across the road, looking like a small wild boar but it quickly disappeared behind the trees.
Wolinian Oak is one of the oldest trees in the Woliński National Park and its age is estimated between 450 and 750 years.
Red trail (19 km): National Park office – beach – Mount Kawcza – beach – Kikut Lighthouse – Kaprowo Lake – Kołczewo
Green trail (15 km): National Park office – Bisons Show Farm – Warnowo – Czajcze Lake – Kołczewo Lake – Kołczewo
I went on long, full-day trekking along the green and red trails.
First, passing the lakes Czajcze, Żółwinowskie and Kaprowo I followed the green trail to Kołczewo. From there, I hitchhiked to Wisełka, where I entered the red trail, heading back towards Międzyzdroje.
Following the red trail along the beach, the cliffs grew higher and the beach narrowed. At some point, the torn cliff blocked the way to the other side completely. I decided to go back a few hundred meters and try to go up the cliff.
Finally, I found a suitable, less steep place and continued walking towards the city. The path here was much less visible, but it was enough to follow the cliff edge. Finally, I reached Mount Gosań and not far behind it I managed to find a convenient place to descent to the beach.
The whole trip was about 24 km (7 hours).
Is it worth going on a trip to Międzyzdroje and Woliński National Park?
Yes and no. Międzyzdroje is definitely a place where I wouldn’t like to spend my holidays and see all these rather shoddy attractions in the high season. In low season, it is a quiet place with a very nice and wide beach. Just like anywhere in the world – the fewer tourists, the better. Combined with numerous hiking trails in the Woliński National Park, it’s an attractive place for a weekend getaway in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship.