Go to Hel
Ever wanted to see Hell on the earth? Well, it’s Hel actually, not Hell. The long, narrow peninsula derives its name from the small town located at the very end of it. This small town. however, turns into the alternative capital of Poland in the summer. People from the whole Poland, including polish celebrities, come here to spend their summer holidays – hence it’s sometimes difficult to find a little space for yourself.
Why should you go to Hel?
You’re not going there to take a picture with Polish celebrities, are you? What everyone goes there for, is the Baltic Sea. In the most narrow places, the width of Hel Peninsula is as little as 200 meters. That’s the distance between the open Baltic Sea to the north, and the bay to the south. In the bay, the water is a bit warmer, and there are almost no waves. In the open sea just the opposite, so that’s the best place to practice water sports. It’s not enough to surf, but it’s OK for windsurfing or kitesurfing.
Hel is the most important town in the Peninsula. It was an important resistance point during the first month of the Second World War. It surrendered to Germany on the 2nd of October, 4 days after Warsaw.
Now it’s an important holiday destination, although except for the sea Hel hasn’t much to offer. What’s well worth visiting is a Maritime Station, where seals are healed before being reintroduced to the sea (opening hours 9.30-18.00, entrance fee 5PLN). At 11.00 and 14.00 it is possible to take part in seal feeding.
The other place worth visiting in Hel is the Military Museum. It’s’ buildings are spread across the cape, so be prepared for some walking. The tickets to all objects cost 29PLN, and the museum is open from 10 to 16-19, depending on the month.
Chalupy is a small village located no far from the beginning of the Peninsula. It is famous for its beach. Not that it’s sand comes from the moon or anything like that. It is just the oldest, and the most famous nudist beach in Poland.
How to get to Hel
There are trains to Hel leaving Gdynia Glowna. The trip lasts about 1,5hour and ticket price starts from 17PLN.
In summer there are ferries that go to Hel from Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia at least once a day during the summer holiday. The trip lasts 30 minutes or 1 hour, depending on the boat. The ticket for the fast boat costs 70PLN and for the regular one costs 40PLN. You can also take a bike to a regular boat (+10PLN) and ride it back for at least some distance. There is a good bike path in the peninsula and as you will be going along the train route, you can switch to train at any time.
It is not a good idea to go to Hel by car. There’s only one road on the Hel peninsula which is totally crowded during summer. You will waste your time in the traffic jam, don’t recommend that.