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Sobieszewo Island – a handful of autumn ideas for active leisure

Although tanning or bathing in the Baltic is not an option in autumn, there are plenty of other attractions on Sobieszewo Island. It is a perfect place to spend your time actively surrounded by nature.

Sobieszewo Island – a handful of autumn ideas for active leisure

© tronic81 /

The island is located only 15 km away from Gdansk city centre. It is circled by the waters of Gdansk Bay, Martwa Wisła, Śmiała Wisła and Przekop. You can get here via public transport from Gdansk (buses from Gdansk Main Station No.:112, 186, 212), as well as by car over the pontoon bridge, which cheerfully bounces on the waters of Martwa Wisła. The trip from Gdansk city centre takes about half an hour. 

Sobieszewo Island is a paradise for nature lovers. Its Western part boasts picturesque lakes: Karaś and Ptasi Raj. The stone dike, which was constructed at the end of the 19th century, is especially worth a visit for its particularly scenic view of Ptasi Raj and Śmiała Wisła. Even in autumn you will observe many species of birds. You can also take the educational nature route, which is marked on trees with signs representing a bird. It is a magnificent route for those who love walks. On the way you will stumble upon an observation tower, which is worth a climb, as well as many other spots for bird observation.

A cycling trip around the island is a great idea. For example, you can set out form Sobieszów, cross over the waters of Martwa Wisła, to Przegalin, with its beautiful 19th century water gate. On your way you will pass buildings resembling Mennonite architecture, as well as charming ruins of farm houses. Przegalin is not far from Świbno. Your route will be crossed by tracks of narrow gauge railway. It’s hard to believe that a hundred years ago the train from Gdansk crossed the Przekop with the use of a special railway ferry and reached Malbork. It is said that there were even special theatre carriages on that train. Today, fragments of narrow gauge tracks serve as tokens of this magnificent history. In summer, you can take a ferry from Świbno to Mikoszew, however, at the end of September the ferry suspends its operation for the next 9 months, so you will not be able to cross the river then. If you have enough strength, you can look for the green route, which partially intertwines with St. Jacob’s route, and proceed through the sandy forest paths to Sobieszewo. The road may not be easy, but it is stunning. Both the cycling route (blue) and the hiking route (green), criss-cross all the time. The hiking route is 10 km, and the bike route, which takes you around the whole island, is 24 km. Forest sections of the route are recommended for the more experienced cyclist with good equipment.

History enthusiasts will also find things of interest; for example the Mennonite 17th century stalls, which can be found right by the church in Sobieszewo. Apart from that, there is the Forster mansion, an old NSDAP centre, which today serves as a meeting place for Polish and German youth.
Do not forget to wrap up warm, take a rain coat and good walking shoes, as the island is quite windy in autumn. Numerous tourist information boards will help you find your way around the routes, monuments and bike hire facilities. Unfortunately, a hungry tourist will only find a restaurant in Sobieszewo. Everything is closed off-season in other towns.

While sipping coffee in one of the restaurants in Sobieszewo, you can spare a thought for Marysieńka Sobieska, after whom Sobieszewo is said to have been named. Well, if a queen visited this island, it must be worth it.

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