In our page About the Seaside we’ve made the point that we’re 700km from the Tricity up on the beautiful Baltic Coast. Even from Krakow it’s 600km – so what do people from the area do when the British would head for the seaside? Why, head for the lakes, of course.
Grodek nad Dunjacem, close to the 1904loghouse
Throughout this part of Poland there are a number of lakes and reservoirs, popular with locals, city-dwellers and visitors for swimming, sunbathing, wind-surfing and boating and the perfect place to spend a few hours, a weekend, or to buy a little holiday cottage and visit throughout the year.
Rafting on the Dunajec
There’s a separate page About (Lake) Czorsztyn and the Dunajec River Gorge, with its famous raft rides, and the area is often bundled with Zakopane by Kraków tour operators as a (long) day trip. So we’re going to give you an idea of what’s on offer closer to Kraków and outelsewhere in Małopolskie.
Just 5km south-east of Kraków’s rynek is Zalew Bagry – a large reservoir and probably the most popular destination for water activities within city limits.
There are three “wild” beaches and a life-guarded bathing area in water checked regularly and certified clean.
There are two marinas and a children’s playground and you can hire kayaks, canoes, pedalos and sailing boats.
Get there on a No 20 tram to Rzebika, then a 10-15 minute walk.
Kryspinów Lagoon is a little farther out – about 12km west, take a No 1, 2 or 6 tram to the terminus at the Salwator roundabout, then a 209 bus to Kryspinów Zalew or a 269 to Budzyń.
Actually two lakes, and formed on the site of a sand mine, what you’ll find is not even IN Kryspinów (they’re actually in the neighbouring village of Budzyń) but it IS said to be the most popular destination of Krakowians on a nice summer day. For sure, it gets extremely busy in hot, sunny weekends.
The main beaches have lifeguards and you can picnic or barbeque on the sands or the grass. There is beach volleyball, a basketball court, and a climbing park (www.parklin.pl).
There is also a water slide that is open on hot days. Rental companies by the water offer paddle boats and sail boats. In the vicinity is a wake park and a windsurfing school. For adults, there is quad biking on a large dirt track, another area with a track for kid size ATV’s, as well as Zorbing for both adults and kids, and a trampoline on sunny days at Dreamlandia (www.dreamlandia.pl).
And a nudist beach.
For those without their own supplies, there are many places to eat around the lakes. There are also toilets.
Parking at the lakes costs 10zl; entry (often not collected on less popular days) is 12zl for adults, 6zl for children and 20zl for a family ticket.
Closer to us are Lakes Czchowskie and Rożnowskie. Gródek nad Dunjacem (Grodek on the river Dunajec) on Lake Rożnowskie is 32km from the 1904loghouse, or 95km from Kraków.
Both reservoirs, and both dating back to the 1940s, you’ll find lots of water activities and places to swim, sunbathe and picnic. Monkey Island, in Lake Rożnowskie was a hill with a settlement but when the valley was flooded it became the island you see today – which is a landscape and bird sanctuary … you may see the rare black stork or one of the other 165 species making the island a home.
Area villages to check out include Tęgoborze
Gródek nad Dunjacem
Poland is beautiful in winter, too!
On the eastern side of Kraków’s Nowa Huta district is Przylasek Rusiecki.
This is a pretty village, dating back to pre-1782. Flooding of gravel quarries has given the area many lakes, lone of which has a beach for swimmers – most of the others are for fishermen!
But there are hundreds – thousands – of spots in Poland where you can slip on your swimmies and join the locals – aqua zones, pools, lakes and rivers … Poland has lots of water and, weather permitting, Poles like to get in it and on it!
Playground by the river in Kamionka Wielka
The Kamienica, where they set up a summer beer garden and splash in the river – most of the folks hado gne for their dinners by the time we got home!