What to do on the Slovincian Coast?
The area of the Slovincian Coast is a true treasure trove of uncanny tourist and culture spots. Just get off the beaten track to see the region from an entirely different perspective. So, what’s the best way to spend your time here?
Follow the lost cultures
For starters, visit the Museum of the Slovincian Countryside (or: the Museum of the Slovincian Village) in the town of Kluki, like I did. Driving towards my destination, I enjoyed countryside views, stumbled upon several roe deer, to finally set my eyes on the picturesque wattle and daub huts that caught my attention from afar. Their main features include a tall, usually straw roof, and white walls with tarred, wooden beams.
After you leave the car park, a wondrous, checkered landscape awaits for you. Strolling around the settlement is a literal time travelling experience, with buildings representing a typical Slovincian fishing settlement from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Slovincians were part of the Kashubian people who created their own dialect and culture. Unfortunately, after WWII, Slovincians were considered German, and were forced to flee due to repressions. There are 18 originally preserved buildings in the settlement, 3 of which are exactly where they had been built. The remaining ones were saved from destruction and transported from different areas. You will have the opportunity to admire not only the original interiors, but also well-kept premises that make you feel like you’re a truly welcome guest in a place where people go around their businesses. If you’re planning a visit be sure to check if there aren’t any ethnographic workshops taking place that the museum is famous for.
The Rowokół Hill – a mysterious place of power on the Slovincian Coast
The next stop on my journey was the Rowokół Hill, known as the holy mountain. It’s quite conspicuous despite its 115 metres, as it towers over the neighbouring area. Its peculiar, cone-like shape reminiscent of a volcano fires up imagination. As it turned out, not only mine.
A walking trail leads from the car park to the top of the hill, a forest path that transforms into impressive, wooden staircase. According to archaeological research, the first traces of settlement on the hill date back to 3,000 B.C.. Around the 9th century, the Slovincians worshipped the god of fire, Swarożyc (Svarogich), as remains of stone ramparts would suggest. The hill was well-known to the fishermen, as they used the fires that burnt on top of it as a beacon and a sort of lighthouse. The route is short, but it’s worth spending more time on exploration and simple admiration of the views on the way up. On the very top, there are several information boards and an observation tower, which offers a breath-taking view of the Słowiński Park Narodowy (Slovincian National Park).
The Słowiński Park Narodowy (Slovincian National Park)
Łącka and Czołpińska dunes are, without a doubt, a landmark of the Slovincian Coast. I cannot imagine omitting them while exploring the area! It’s a European-scale phenomenon, as the shifting (or, simply, moving) sand dunes can “travel” up to 10 metres a year! There is no direct road access to any of them so regardless of which one you choose to visit, be prepared for a solid walk. The kaleidoscope of the scenery: marshes, forest, desert wilderness will not inform you of your journey’s progress. The sound of the sea, and its scent, on the other hand – will. On the top, a breath-taking view on the Baltic Sea and lakes that surround the dunes awaits. At the foot of the dunes, wide, picturesque, uncrowded beaches are within a hand’s reach. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic and some R&R. In high season, you can take a Melex or rent a bike.
Accommodation with a view on the world
If you’re looking for an original place to sleep, go to Ptasia Osada (Bird Settlement). It’s a real, slow-style accommodation for everyone. Designer housing are a perfect example of how to give a second life to “forgotten” pieces of architecture and furniture at the same follow latest trends. The luxurious interiors offer astonishing views on the lake Gardno and the surrounding, picturesque area. It’s a half-hour bicycle ride to a wild beach with an ancient forest. The same path leads to the dunes. One of the greatest attractions is, undoubtedly, birdwatching under careful supervision of a professional. There are over 270 species of birds in the Slovincian National Park.
The Slovincian Coast – flavours and art
As an amateur of regional cuisine, I can with full confidence recommend a well-know place in the area. The artistic aura of “Gościniec u Biernackich” (The Biernacki Inn) spreads across the entire place, even before you notice all the awards and commendations. Upon entering the restaurant, it’s impossible to grasp the number of sculptures and paintings that are there. There is also room for works by renowned painters, local artists, as well as students of the Academy of Fine Arts – the inn has been cooperating with the university for years. The inn can accommodate up to 50 people, and each room is decorated in a different manner. Excellent, traditional Polish cuisine, based on local recipes is the icing on this intriguing cake.
History cast in clay
I’ve left the best for last. The Clay Homestead (Gliniana Zagroda) has been created as a unique place. Even people who have nothing in common with pottery and art will not walk past it indifferently. Ania, the owner simply infects with her passion, creating a unique atmosphere of the place, sharing interesting facts and history of the area.
“Clay workshops” integrate, calm down and allow us to understand that our only limit is our imagination. It’s great entertainment for all participants, and the works created there will be an original souvenir. In the historic barn, which has been converted into a studio and atelier, you can buy stylish home accessories. All the places described are very intimate, so make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment due to lack of seats. The region offers an enchanting aura all year round.