European Best Destinations, a travel website dedicated to promoting culture and tourism in Europe,
has published its annual ranking on the top beaches in Europe and Hel Peninsula in the north of
Poland on the Baltic Sea came in the top 10 most beautiful beaches voted by worldwide travelers.
The Hel Peninsula (or Hel Spit) is for many people a paradise on earth. The sandy peninsula juts out from the mainland and digs deep into the Baltic Sea, splitting the waters of the Gulf of Gdansk from the peaceful Puck Bay. People living on the Hel Peninsula call this area the beginning of Poland and do not like it when someone says the opposite. The peninsula is a narrow, 34-km spit, created by sea current flowing from the east along the coast, carrying sand from the bottom of the ocean.
The entire Hel Peninsula belongs to the Coastal Landscape Park, which was established in 1978 to protect this unique part of Poland. The narrowest is at the base, in the vicinity of Władysławowo, it is only about 100 meters, and its width at the end, near Hel, is about 3 kilometers. Therefore, when we look at the map of Poland, it looks like a “cow’s tail.” A railway line and a convenient road with a bicycle path run along the entire Hel Peninsula. Tourists staying here can enjoy the beautiful, uncrowded beaches by the open sea or the beaches located on the Bay of Puck. There are many campsites by the bay that specialize in servicing windsurfers and kitesurfers as the conditions for them are ideal.
A few interesting seaside resorts are located on the peninsula:
WŁADYSŁAWOWO – a popular resort among tourists, located on the Baltic Sea just at the entrance to the Hel Peninsula. Nice sandy beaches and unique surroundings attract crowds of tourists. In Władysławowo, actually in Cetniewo, is the Olympic Preparation Center – where Polish sportsmen prepare. The Alley of Sports is also associated with sport – with outstanding names from Polish sports. Near Władysławowo, you can visit Cape Rozewie to visit the lighthouse in Rozewie.
CHAŁUPY – an old Kashubian summer resort located at the beginning of the Hel Peninsula between Władysławowo and Kuźnica. For most of the summer, the bay offers very good conditions for water sports, especially windsurfing and kitesurfing. There are several campsites that specialize in servicing windsurfers. There is also a small marina where you can rent bikes and eat fish.
KUŹNICA – an old Kashubian fishing village, which has recently turned into a quiet summer resort. Kuźnica is located in the middle of the Hel Peninsula, 12 km from Władysławowo and 20 km from the city of Hel, between Chałupy and Jastarnia. The port and marina in Kuźnica is a perfect base for water sports enthusiasts.
JASTARNIA – the capital of the commune, a tourist town located in the middle of the Hel Pen-
insula between Władysławowo and Hel. The port in Jastarnia is an excellent base for water sports enthusiasts, while ships and hydrofoils sail to Gdynia regularly from here. There is a small airport in Jastarnia – sightseeing flights are organized here in the season. Worth seeing are the bunkers (open
to the public) that were part of the Jastarnia Resistance Center during World War II.
JURATA – a recognized, pre-war resort, a summer resort for the elite, located in the middle of the Hel Peninsula, in the Jastarnia commune, between Jastarnia and the town of Hel. Jurata is located in a pine forest and has a microclimate. A special attraction of Jurata is the walking pier from which you can admire the Bay of Puck and the promenade (Międymorze Street), connecting the Baltic Sea with the Bay of Puck.
HEL – an old Kashubian port city, a summer resort located at the end of the Hel Peninsula. The port of Hel is an excellent base for water sports enthusiasts, while ships sail from here to Gdynia, Gdańsk and Sopot. There is a Fisheries Museum in Hel, where you can climb the observation tower to admire the
panorama of the city, the Coastal Defense Museum and the famous Hel sealarium. An undoubted
attraction is also the lighthouse, open to the public – climbing to the top of the lighthouse will reward you with a picturesque view of the sea and the Hel Peninsula from its summit.
There are also many campsites located along the peninsula that gather windsurfing and kite lovers. For natural reasons, the Hel Spit is one of the best places in Europe to learn kitesurfing and other “board” sports. Almost always there is wind from the open sea to the west and along the inside part of the arch, which is established by the strip, thus pushing surfers in the direction of the land. Ac-
cording to statistics, on average, the wind blows at a speed of 12 knots for 220 days a year. The best
months for kitesurfing are May, June, and September. Surfers prefer the already mentioned north shore of the spit and the waters of the Gulf of Puck. There, even half a mile from the coast, the water
depth ranges from 0.5 to 3 feet. The sea bed is sandy and pleasant. The area is free from dangerous
coral reefs, thorny sea urchins, burning jellyfish or rocks, or other surprises lurking for swimmers in warmer climates. The water of the gulf on the spit side is clean, warm, and low in salt content so that even after prolonged training, it does not dehydrate the skin as much as the salty waters of the
ocean and southern seas.