Arcaded houses, half-timbered churches, hydrotechnical facilities remembering the former settlers of these lands - the Mennonites, and all around a flat area crisscrossed by numerous drainage ditches and canals, the banks of which are overgrown with willows typical of this area. This is the Low Lands which due to its shape, location and natural conditions is an extremely interesting and worth exploring area. We invite you for a tour.
Our proposal is a one-day trip through the Low Lands and the Sobieszewo Island, which was led along marked trails and bicycle routes. Due to the terrain, the lack of hills and driveways, the distance of 63 km should not cause problems even for less experienced lovers of two wheels. Moving on local roads with little car traffic and separate bicycle lanes will greatly facilitate the planned kilometres.
The trip has been organised along the marked bicycle routes – the black Mennonite Route, the red Motlawa Route, and parts of it lead through the international bicycle routes EuroVelo 9 / WTR and EuroVelo10 / 13.
We start the journey like real royals, at the beginning of the Royal Route in Gdansk. This most interesting and at the same time the most visited route of the Main Town was once a place of parades, important ceremonies and triumphant entries of Polish kings to the city. The royal entourage entered the Royal Route through the Upland Gate, which now houses the Pomorskie Tourist Information Centre, and then in front of the western part of the entrance city gate, which later became the Torture Chamber, received greetings from the citizens of this fortified town.
But enough of these historical memories, after all, the bicycle attractions of Gdansk Low Land and Sobieszewo Island are waiting for us! We drive along Dluga Street and Long Market, we pass restored, atmospheric tenement houses, look at the god of the seas – Neptune, and through the Green Gate we enter the Granary Island.
Attention! Bicycle traffic on Dluga Street and Kong Market is admitted, but due to the large number of tourists, especially in the summer season, it is very difficult to move around by bike. If we have time, it is worth taking a bicycle through this section to be able to enjoy the beauty of the Royal Route, but if we want to quickly overcome this crowded section, it is worth choosing an alternative route along Ogarna Street. It is a parallel road with much less traffic and a designated bicycle lane.
The Granary Island is an amazing place that has been living its second life for several years. In the former Gdansk, there is a place with numerous granaries where precious raw materials were stored, today a new meeting place and the social heart of the city. The buildings rebuilt in the last few years gave this place a unique character, and a walk along the shore surrounding the Island, a view of the marina, footbridges and a swing bridge, gives the impression that we are in a large European city.
We leave the historic centre of Gdansk and continue towards the Lower Town. It is an incredibly atmospheric district that has been revitalized over several years, and Lakowa Street has become an alternative meeting place for the inhabitants of the Tri-City. Restored tenement houses, numerous bars, pubs and breakfast markets have given this place a completely different meaning than just the suburbs of the city.
The Lower Town borders with so-called flow around the Motlawa River, the former moat and the mouth of the Motlawa River. Right next to it, there are powerful modern city fortifications, bastions that surrounded Gdansk in the 17th century. At that time, 14 similar objects were built, which now function as viewing points, and thanks to the paths between them, a scenic walking route was created, away from car noise, and at the same time close to the Main City of Gdansk.
Discover Gdansk and its attractions Opened and modern, marked by the history. Welcome to Gdansk
By bike through the Low Lands.
We leave Gdansk and walk along the Motlawa river bank along the black bicycle trail – the Mennonite Trail. On the opposite bank of the river, we can see the markings of the red bicycle trail – the Motlawa Trail, which takes you to Tczew. However, we choose the Mennonite Trail and after driving about 9 km we reach the village of Mokry Dwor, where it is worth visiting the educational farm “at the Miller”. In the restored windmill, we will learn the history of the building from Wyszogrod and other similar facilities, which there used to be many in the Low Lands. We will also have the opportunity to learn the process of baking bread, and even make our own loaf. In Mokry Dwor, it is worth visiting the Open-Air Museum of Low Lands Agricultural Machines, and in the neighbouring Wislina, the wooden Mennonite Bell Tower from 1792.
In this section, we begin to cycle along the black Mennonite and red Motlawa bicycle routes that are parallel. The route will also lead us to one of the most valuable and recognizable architectural buildings in the Low Lands. The arcaded house in Trutnowy was built in 1720 and is the oldest of its kind in the region. Its interior has a preserved layout of the rooms, and after prior telephone information, the building can be visited.
Discover the secrets of the Low Lands with us.
Next, the Mennonite Trail leads us to Cedry Wielkie, where it is worth stopping and tasting the local cuisine inspired by regional customs of Low Lands. We will get to know the flavours of the region in the Cedrowy Dworek restaurant (http://cedrowadworek.pl/) (note – the facility is open only on Saturday and Sunday).
After trying the local specialties, we set off on a further journey. This time we are moving off the beaten track. Driving on local public roads, we move around farmlands cut by crossed pattern of canals and drainage ditches, the network of which was originally designed by the former inhabitants of these lands. We are talking here about the Mennonites – Dutch settlers who were brought to the vicinity of the Low Lands as a support for the development of agriculture in wet and often flooded areas.
Local roads pass Cedry Male, national road No. 7 to Elblag and head towards Blotnik. The white sails of the yachts moored in the marina slowly begin to emerge on the horizon. It is a modern facility built as part of the Low Lands Loop, which has 80 mooring places with full infrastructure for sailors and motorboats.
Going further, we come across a water lock in Przegalina, which separates the two arms of the Vistula River, and its task is to cross the Vistula River and the Vistula Dug Through. The purpose of the lock was also the regulation of the Vistula waters and flood protection of the districts and housing estates of Gdansk located on the Dead Vistula.
In Przegalina, the route of our trip connects with the course of the international bicycle routes EuroVelo 10/13 and EuroVelo 9 / WTR, which will lead us to the centre of Gdansk. But before we get to the end of the route, we also have Sobieszewo Island, where it is also worth spending a bit more time. It is worth visiting one of the fish bard and try the wonderful fish soup or fried fish. Local taverns offer fresh catches, and the staff can often advise you on what fish you like best.
The Sobieszewo Island
The Sobieszewo Island is an amazing place, and although it belongs to Gdansk, you can feel a real holiday atmosphere here, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and large numbers of tourists. There are clean, wide beaches here, and on both ends of the island, there are reserves in which birds and seals feel great. Especially lovers of bird watching will find something for themselves, specially prepared observation shelters in the Bird Paradise Reserve, will help in watching the most interesting species. For those who like to get up early, we recommend a morning walk to the Seagull Sandbank Reserve, the kingdom of seals, which can be counted in the morning as many as several dozen lying on small islands at the Vistula Mouth.
The way back to Gdansk is on a newly built separate bicycle path that will lead us to the point where we started our trip. The route, which is part of the international EuroVelo 10/13 and EuroVelo 9 route, was prepared by local governments as part of an EU-funded project. The road built according to the standards dedicated to international cycling routes, additionally equipped with safe and comfortable places to rest, is an excellent alternative for trips even with the youngest cyclists. The route runs through the outskirts of Gdansk, largely outside the main communication routes of the city, which gives the opportunity to drive in a quiet environment and away from the bustle of passing cars.
A trip through the Gdansk Low Lands is an option for a full-day bicycle trip, not only for cyclists who are physically fit. The route should also be handled by cyclists who start cycling trips longer than local rides. The terrain and the types of roads suggested in our proposal make it possible to get to know the region from the perspective of a bicycle seat to anyone who wants to get to know the Low Lands up close.