Day 1…. the weather – hot & sunny (oh yeah – 33 degrees mid August!)
For our 3 day Gdansk and beach break, our hotel was located right next to the beach, in a quiet suburb of Gdansk called Brzezno. The room was spacious with a great sea view – perfect for a weekend of relaxation!
Breakfast – naturally we wanted to fill up for the day and we had choice with a good selection of cold meat, cheese, eggs, tomatoes & cucumber salad, delicious polish bread, sweet pastries, fruit & yoghurt (phew!). Yep, hotels in Poland serve REALLY good breakfasts!(Shout out to Hotel Lival – we love you!)
After breakfast we put on our swimsuits, packed our rucksacks and went to the beach. The day plan was to walk along the beach from Brzezno to Sopot, a distance of about 6km.
Brzezno beach is really nice and quiet with soft white sand that feels gorgeous under your feet. Naturally, first we rushed for a swim. The sea was calm with gentle waves and not too cold at all (21 degrees as we discovered later). It was also nicely shallow for quite a few meters as you get in and gradually getting deeper – perfect if you’ve got little kids…. or lazily enjoy floating like we do. The seagulls gliding on the waves and cruise ships on the horizon completed the picture.
Invigorated by our swim, with the sun behind us and the sea gently washing over our feet, we set out on our walk to Sopot. From a distance we could see red roofs of Sopot beachfront hotels and villas – our goal!
On the way we passed many places along the beach where you could hire a boat, kayak, jet ski or arrange a boat cruise along the Gulf of Gdansk (tempting!). Then, there were volleyball pitches – the favourite sport among the poles on the beach (I was really tempted to join in!).
To cool off, we went for an ice tea to a beach café (nice one with decking on the beach and an area that had dancefloor potential in the sand!). I was surprised how many cafes we saw on the way – you definitely don’t need to worry about taking your own snacks, food or drink to the beach.
Another surprise was a number of slides and bouncy castles for children – it looks like a bucket and a spade is no longer enough on the beach (ah, good old days), although we did see a lot of sand castles as well (and one shaped like a crocodile!).
As we got closer to Sopot, the beaches got more crowded and noisy. We saw people surfing in the sea and conveniently on the beach there was a place to hire the surfing equipment. That stretch of sea in Sopot is perfect for windsurfing.
For lunch we went to the beach restaurant, Bar Przystan (sea themed restaurant/bar with fishing nets and sea memorabilia on the walls), that was recommended to us by a local taxi driver who drove us from the airport. On the menu we found a great selection of fish and after queuing (for a while) we got our huge portions of sole & halibut (fresh!!) with potato pancakes (yum!), chips and salad. The food was very nice and a good value at £12 for two people!
A short walk later, we came up to the famous Sopot pier (Molo), which at 512 meters is one of the longest wooden piers in Europe (and they’re building a yacht marina on the end of it too!).
From the pier there was a mile or so to another beach that we wanted to see – Koliba Beach. This Sopot beach is definitely worth a visit. It oozes old fashioned charm with little wooden bar, tables under palm tree- like umbrellas and in boats, hummocks and white wicker seats that look like taken from the location of ‘Some like it hot’. The beach backs onto the woodland and the whole setting is very charming.
After leaving the beach through the woodland paths we got to the SKM (local trains) train station Kamienny Potok. The train runs every 20 minutes and is a very good way of travelling between Tri-city towns of Gdansk, Sopot & Gdynia. You can buy the tickets on the platforms and they’re good value at around 3zl (60p) for a 20 min journey.
After quick shower in the hotel we took a tram to Gdansk centre to see the old town and have something to eat. At 9pm Gdansk old town is still very lively with lots of people around, street performers and live music. The restaurants and bars serve food till late, perfect after a day of swimming and sunbathing! We settled for pancakes with blueberries at Szydlowski café (and bakery – the cakes in there looked amazing!) – they were delicious!!
On the way back we got the last tram going to Brzezno at 11.40pm and with some help from the locals (we found everyone extremely friendly and willing to help us!) found our hotel. As it turned out, remembering the entrance number (each entrance to the beach was numbered differently) to the beach by the hotel was very useful in locating the hotel when you get off at a different tram stop.
Then off to sleep with the sound of gentle waves outside our window…. Paradise!