The charms of Sopot Beach were discovered in the early 19th Century. Dr Haffner, the founder of Sopot, chose this location on purpose. He was convinced that Europeans’ hygiene needed improvement and believed in sea bathing, which led to developing a European health resort out of a small fishing village. Sopot beach, located in the centre of the curved shore of Zatoka Gdańska (Gdansk Bay), is spacious and wide enough to accommodate thousands of beachgoers. Water here is usually slightly warmer than at the beaches of Gdańsk and Gdynia, not to mention the areas open to the Baltic Basin.
In Dr Haffner’s times there was a strict division of bathing zones, the main criterion being the gender of holiday makers. There were separate bathing zones for women and men, especially because the men used to bath nude. Ladies, on the other hand used to wear long shirts. A man could go to the beach with a woman only if they were a married couple or in a special family zone which could only be entered if they were looking after a child. Therefore, it was often the case that unmarried couples went to the beach together having “rented” a child from one of the local families. This was illegal and if discovered, severely punished.
Today the restrictions from two hundred years ago are long gone. Good fun is available under the surveillance of a lifeguard. Practically the whole beach is guarded. Guests can use the swimming and beach equipment from the rentals and play beach volleyball and football on the specially-designated pitches.
The walking area at the back of the beach is a beautiful track behind the dunes, available both for pedestrians and bikers. It runs along the town next to some interesting examples of health-resort architecture.
Golden sand, good company and various attractions – it all makes the Sopot Beach one of the most popular and picturesque beach areas in Poland.