About region
The Vistula Lagoon
Parks & sanctuaries

About the union

Elbląg, local commune
Elbląg, the city
Krynica Morska
Nowy Dwór Gd.

Zalew Wiślany - ogólna

Zalew Wiślany - szlaki turystyczne

Bażantarnia - szlaki turystyczne



Having in mind the idea of taking advantage of numerous values that regions located at the Vistula Lagoon and the Vistula Spit are characterised by, in 1996 six local commune administrations founded the Municipal Union of Communes Located at the Vistula Lagoon. Some time later another three communes expressed their access to the Union so at present it groups the following members from two provinces Pomeranian (Pomorskie) and Warmia-Mazurian (warmińsko-mazurskie):

  • the city of Elblągthe town of Braniewo
  • the town of Krynica Morska
  • the town and commune administration of Frombork
  • the town and commune administration of Tolkmicko
  • the town and commune administration of Nowy Dwór Gdański
  • the commune administration of Elbląg
  • the commune administration of Sztutowo
  • the commune administration of Stegna

The Union's main aims are carrying out various public tasks in the field of environmental protection and activating the whole region as far as economics and tourism are concerned.

Authorities of the Union comprise:
  • Assembly of the Union and its Board.
  • Assembly Chairman: mgr Roman Pawłowski (monitor of Stegna commune administration)
  • Board Chairman: mgr Roman Gliszczyński (v-ce president of the city of Elbląg)
  • Head of Union's Office: mgr Michał Oliwiecki

Union's Office:

82-300 Elbląg
ul. Portowa 1
tel.: (055) 232-95-03 fax. (055) 234-56-31


IN SHORT: The Vistula Lagoon and its vicinity (the Vistula Spit (Mierzeja Wiślana), Żuławy, Elbląg Upland (Wysoczyzna Elblląska) covers the region spreading from the east of outlet of the Vistula River (Wisła) to Gdańsk Bay (Zatoka Gdańska) to Kaliningrad in Russia. The Lagoon acreage amounts to 838 km 2 (within the territory of Poland - 328 km 2); Length: 90.7 km (within the territory of Poland - 35.1 km), width ranges from 6.8 km to 13 km (average depth: 2.7 m)

Several rivers that flow into it replenish the Lagoon: Pregoła (Russia) and Pasłęka, Elbląg and Nogat (Poland). It is also the natural habitat for many species of fish, e.g. eel, pike-perch, perch, roach, bream and herring being among them, and waterfowl.

Numerous passenger, trade and fishing harbours are located at the shores of the Lagoon. Several sea routes enable the communication between the harbours by cargo ships, hydrofoils, barges, passenger ships and fishing boats. In winter it also possible to see ice-boats. Many accommodation and recreation centres are situated around the Vistula Lagoon and their number reaches 328 on the territory of Poland.

SEA COAST: On the Vistula Spit one may encounter magnificent sandy beaches from the side of the Baltic. Their overall length exceeds 75km (49 at the polish side). It is the area marked by outstanding nature, clean water, amber, relaxing silence, unique microclimate and historical buildings. Polish side of the Spit offers 295 accommodation objects ranging from sanatoriums through hotels, accommodation centres and camping sites to boarding-houses. Additionally, the coast of Sambia (Russian side) houses the biggest deposits of amber world-wide.

ŻUŁAWY WISLANE: It is the area located in the delta of the Vistula River, south of the Vistula Lagoon and bordering with Elbląg Upland from the east. The average height of the area is 0 m above the sea level and 181 km2 is actually located below the sea level. Raczki Elbląskie is the lowest point in Poland (- 1.8 m). Żuławy is also the region of fertile soil. Among attractions one can enumerate: hydrotechnical devices, elements of architecture and arts, numerous sanctuaries (e.g. Drużno Lake, Elbląg Bay)

ELBLĄG UPLAND (Wysoczyzna Elbląska): East of Żuławy Wiślane Scenery Park "Elbląg Upland" borders with the south shore of the Vistula Lagoon. Its acreage is 13,460 ha, with 6,775 ha of forests. This diversified area turns out to be extremely interesting due to its landscape and naturalistic features. Further eastward, in the Region of Kaliningrad there are also many sanctuaries and The National Nature Park "Prawdinskij".

THE AREA OF GREAT CHANCES: The Vistula Lagoon is not only the area of interesting nature and economy but also appears to stand good chances for business and tourism. Mineral waters (in Krynica Morska and Frombork), well-developed terrain and industrial, agricultural and tourist objects create strong basis for further activation of region.


Many harbours and marinas function around the whole Lagoon. In the Russian part Kaliningrad, Bałtijsk, Swietłyj and Primorsk belong to the biggest. Polish part possesses 10 ports and 5 marinas including: sea port in Elbląg and smaller ports and marinas in Piaski, Krynica Morska, Kąty Rybackie, Tolkmicko, Nowa Pasłęka. There are two border crossings in Elbląg and Frombork.

There exist several shipping routes among the above mentioned harbours: Elbląg - Kaliningrad, Elbląg - Krynica Morska, Elbląg - Ostróda, Krynica Morska - Kaliningrad, Frombork - Krynica Morska. Additionally tourist cruises are organised in Kąty Rybackie, Piaski and Tolkmicko. In polish harbours and marinas around 121.1thousand passengers are dismissed annually, in Elbląg itself 14.3 - 21.2 thousand. Harbour master's Office is located in Elbląg in other ports and marinas function port-warden's offices.

Cargo shipping is performed among the harbours on the Lagoon and through Pilawa straits to Denmark, Finland and ports in Gdańsk and Szczecin. In 1997 641 thousand tonnes of cargo were transported to Elbląg.

Elbląg harbour is equipped with 2.5 km of landing piers, 2 grain elevators, side tracks, shipyards and yacht marinas.


Polish territory around the Vistula Lagoon is characterised by outstanding landscapes and unique nature. There are 2 scenery parks and 9 sanctuaries.

  • Scenery Park "Elbląg Upland" - joins the seaside landscape with numerous eminences crossed by ravines and canyons. Park's acreage: 13,460 ha. Highest point Góra Milejewska (197 m above the sea level).
  • Sanctuary "Kadyński Las" - created on the acreage of 8 ha in order to protect 200-year old beech and oak forest. The oldest oak in Poland grows in Kadyny (one thousand year old)
  • Sanctuary "Buki Wysoczyzny Elbląskiej " (Beeches of Elbląg Upland) - created for protection of 100-year-old beech forest. Acreage: 94 ha.
  • Sanctuary "Pióropusznikowy Jar" (Ostrich Ravine) - acreage 94 ha. Created for protection of ostrich fern growing in ash-elm forest.
  • Sanctuary "Jezioro Drużno" (Drużno Lake) - ornithological sanctuary covering 3,022 ha created in order to protect waterfowl (over 100 species)
  • Sanctuary "Zatoka Elbląska" (Elbląg Bay) - ornithological sanctuary covering 420 ha for protecting of waterfowl.
  • Scenery Park Mierzeja Wiślana (the Vistula Spit) - acreage: 4,410 ha from Sztutowo to Piaski. Numerous forests and dunes (the highest: Wielbłądzi Grzbiet - Camel's Back- 49 m above the sea level), sandy beaches and springs of warm salt groundwater.
  • Sanctuary of cormorant in Kąty Rybackie - acreage: 14 ha. Created for protection of black cormorant and grey heron.
  • Sanctuary "Buki Mierzei Wislanej" (Beeches of the Vistula Spit) - acreage: 14 ha. Created in order to protect the natural habitat of 150-year-old beeches.
  • Sanctuary "Mewia Łacha" - acreage: 132 ha for protection of sea swallows and other species of birds.


ABOUT THE COMMUNE ADMINISTRATION: Braniwo is localised not far from the border with the Region of Kaliningrad (6km) and close to the Vistula Lagoon (10 km). International routes lead through the town creating the shortest connection between Western and North-East Europe.

HISTORY: Braniewo was founded in 1240. Gained the city rights in 1254 and 1284. It was the firs capital of Warmia, first abode of bishops, sea port, centre of trade and crafts, important intellectual centre.

Tourist values: St. Katherine's Church, St.Antoine's Church, St. Cross Church, the building of "Liceum Hosianum, Cloister of St. Catherine, St. Mary's Granary, The Town Hall, Railway Station.

Braniewo possesses the smallest zoo (3 ha). In June they celebrate "The Days of Beer".

TRADE OFFER: Braniewo frequently called "The Green Town" spends vast financial resources on environmental protection. Authorities created convenient conditions aiming at smooth and intensive economic and touristic development of the town. Such offers comprise: construction of flats and service objects, sports centres, yacht marina, Integrated Cultural Centre East-West, production plants, various objects for trade and services. Additionally, the border crossing in Gronowo-Mamonowo makes Braniewo even more attractive.

ELBLĄG, local commune administration

ABOUT THE LOCAL COMMUNE ADMINISTRATION: It is localised partially on the Elbląg Upland and partially on Żuławy Wiślane in the close vicinity of Drużno Lake. That is why offers interesting landscapes and unique natural environment. Several main roads cross the region of the commune: e.g. E7, no 50, no 508, no 503, together with important railroads. The local commune comprises 23 village administrator's offices.

TOURISTIC VALUES: There are two examples of Prussian mediaeval castles in Janowo and Wehlice. Not far from Janowo early medieval village Truso was discovered and in Tropy Elbląskie one may encounter the unique group of Dutch houses and stables. More examples of places with outstanding historical values can be visited in Władysławowo (cemetery) , Przezmark (parish church). The Elbląg Channel constitutes another attraction of the region as an unquestionable relic of hydrographic art. Drużno Lake is one of many ornithological sanctuaries. The so called "New Holland" attracts the visitors by its peculiar style and spatial arrangement. The overall image of the commune is accomplished by lavish wood fisheries and interesting water courses.

TRADE OFFER: The authorities are very willing to help investors in the fields of agrotouristic, agriculture and food production, tourism and recreation. There are possibilities of modernisation and adapting of the already existing objects. Good communication links, stress put on ecology and convenient geographical localisation enable the establishing of restaurants, sports objects, production plants etc.

ELBLĄG, the city

ABOUT ELBLĄG: Elbląg is located at the meeting point of Żuławy Wiślane and Elbląg Upland, on the river Elbląg connecting Drużno Lake and the Vistula Lagoon. It is an important industrial, administrative and cultural centre. Authorities of the city treat the matters of ecology and environmental protection very seriously. Elbląg as the second biggest city of the province established and maintains numerous contacts with various cities of the world.

HISTORY: The beginnings of Elbląg date back till 1237. In 1246 Elbląg gained the city rights and since XIV century it was an important harbour and trade centre. It was in Elbląg where the first polish battle ship was built. In XIX G.F. Schichau founded and later enlarged production plants specialising in the production of steam machines, locomotives, cranes, ships, fishing boats and war ships. During the World War II 65% of the city was ruined. After the war the city changed into a big industrial centre. There are several colleges and the renovation of The Old City is in progress.

TOURISTIC VALUES: The most important relics: St. Nicolas Church, former St. Mary's Church, Dominican Convent, Market Gate, former Wholly Spirit's Church. Also several historical houses have been preserved: e.g. the house of Adolf Neufeldt, manor from the end of XVIII cetury, historical buildings from the end of XVI c., former manor of August Abberg. Elbląg possesses several peculiar places: El Gallery - gallery of contemporary arts, the biggest European swimming pool at open air, city park - Bażantarnia.

TRADE OFFER: Machine industry, brewery, nutricious industry and furniture making appear to be predominant in the city. The city is looking for investors proposing attractive terrain and objects, rich raw-material background and technical infrastructure accompanied by highly qualified human resources. There are many objects that can be adapted: former brick-yard, The Market Gate, former bus depot. Real estate Fromborska II, multi-storey car parks, hotels are also waiting for investors. The city also offers attractive localisation for building.

Elbląg participates fairly actively in many associations and unions, i.e. Baltic Euroregion and Hanza Town Union.

FROMBORK, the town and commune administration

ABOUT THE COMMUNE: Frombork frequently called the Pearl of the North is located at the very shore of the Vistula Lagoon. The climate is agreeable, nature interesting and localisation - fairly attractive.

History: The beginnings of the town date back till 1270-1278, when the diocese was transferred from Braniewo. But official foundation took place in 1310. Between 1510 and 1543 famous polish astronomer Nicolas Copernicus was writing his "De revolutionibus orbium caelestium". But the real flourishing of the town occurred in the second half of XIX c. when it became famous for Copernicus in Poland and Europe.

TOURISTIC VALUES: There are many object worth seeing on the Cathedral Hill: basilica (baroque organs, 23 altars, monk stallses), bishop's palace, three turreys, two towers, seven canon houses. The Museum of Copernicus invites to planetarium, observatory, Radziejowki's Tower with Foucault's pendulum. Within the territory of the town one may visit: Museum of Medicine, Baudy's Channel, Water Tower, Lutheran church, St George's Chapel and fishing turret.

It is possible to sail to Krynica Morska, Kaliningrad or around the Vistula Lagoon. In winter one may observe the sails of the ice-boats.

TRADE OFFER: Authorities of the town and commune administration offer terrain and objects in the closest vicinity of the harbour suitable for yacht marina, areas around salt spring (800 m from the town centre), localisation for hotels (500 from the town centre) close to the swimming pool with magnificent view of the Lagoon.


ABOUT THE COMMUNE ADMINISTRATION: Krynica Morska is located on the Vistula Spit, between Gdańsk Bay and the Vistula Lagoon. It is characterised by a unique type of climate with clean air and full of iodine, beaches are sandy and picturesque, nature is verified both in flora and landscapes. Krynica is mainly regarded as famous holiday resort offering 9500 lodgings.

HISTORY: The first remarks about Krynica Morska (earlier called Łysica) derive from 1424. Since 1815 village flourished mainly due to its holiday character. It was in 1841 when the regular connection between Elbląg and Łysica was established. That is why in 1895 a new lighthouse was built. In 1991 Krynica Morska, Piaski and Przebrno constituted one town.

TOURISTIC VALUES: During the World War II the Nazis organised one of the branches of Stutthof concentration camp in Przebrno. Thus the monument devoted to those who suffered there. One of main attractions of the region is dunes with three of them extremely high: Wielbłądzi Grzbiet (Camel's Back) - 49 m above the sea level, in Przebrno - 28 m and in Piaski - 31 m. Przebrno is also famous for the "Beeches of the Vistula Spit" Sanctuary.

TRADE OFFER: The town is searching for the investors for the construction of the following objects: modern gym-hall with full facilities for massage, aqua park making use of salt springs, pier directed towards Gdańsk Bay.

NOWY DWÓR GDAŃSKI, the town and commune administration

ABOUT THE COMMUNE ADMINISTRATION: Nowy Dwór Gdański is the town on Żuławy Wiślane located on the river Święta, 23 km away from Elbląg and 40 from Gdańsk. It is the centre of big agricultural region.

HISTORY: Since 1466 Nowy Dwór Gdański and its vicinity was incorporated into region of Malbork. In 1570 Szymon Loitz built a manor and later a castle on the left bank of the river Tuga. Dutch colonists built their village on the right bank of the river. In 1880 Nowy Dwór was given the city rights. During the interwar period the town was incorporated into the territory of Free City of Gdańsk. In 1945 majority of buildings fell was destroyed.

TOURISTIC VALUES: There are many interesting places and objects: tower, draw bridge, former Stobbe's factory. In the surrounding villages one may encounter old churches, houses and graveyards.

TRADE OFFER: Nowy Dwór Gdański awaits the investors tightly connected with agriculture. Suitable objects and terrain ensure prosperity of such business. The idea of "Small Holland " also seems very attractive. It would comprise the area of 180 ha full of hotels, bars , restaurants, shops and replicas of Dutch town elements.

STEGNA, commune administration

ABOUT THE COMMUNE ADMINISTRATION: Stegna is a big tourism centre comprising 13 km of beaches on the coast of Gdańsk Bay. It is also an important communicational junction of the Vistula Spit connecting roads from Gdańsk and Nowy Dwór Gdański.

HISTORY: First remarks about Stegna, Mikoszewo and Jantar come from XIII, XIV and XV centuries. The Dutch colonists drained the ground and transformed it into fertile soil. In 1895 the passage was dug through the Vistula river and a 7-km channel led to the Baltic.

TOURISTIC VALUES: Historical objects in Stegna comprise: wooden houses and a church with outstanding organs. Two draw bridges are located in Rybina. Examples of Dutch architecture from XVIII and XIX centuries can be seen in Drewnica and Żuławki.

In Mikoszewo there is a Sanctuary "Mewia Łacha". But Stegna is mostly famous from the beaches, amber and dunes covered with pine forests.

TRADE OFFER: Fertile soil and close sea shore create good chances for agriculture business, fishing and tourism. Stegna offers terrain for individual building, hotels, boarding houses and various services. Local spa-waters can be used in hotels, swimming pools and sanatoriums.

SZTUTOWO, commune administration

ABOUT THE COMMUNE ADMINISTRATION: Sztutowo is situated in the Scenery Park "Mierzeja Wiślana" (Vistula Spit). From the North it is surrounded by The Baltic and from the southby the Vistula river and the Vistula Lagoon. Thus its unique touristic values.

HISTORY: At the very beginning Sztutowo belonged to the Pomeranian Princes, and in XIII c. it was invaded by the Teutonic Order. An inn became the basis for village development. In XVII c the village played the role of crucial post station on the way Berlin-Gdańsk-Królewiec.

TOURISTIC VALUES: Sztutowo and its surroundings are marked with silence, fresh air, greenery, clean sea, beautiful beaches favourable for fishing and sailing. Kąty Rybackie are famous for two sanctuaries of waterfowl. Two historical objects in Sztutowo comprise: old school and former bakery from XVIII c. Main attraction: Stuthoff Museum - first concentration camp in Poland.

TRADE OFFER: Sztutowo offers the following terrain:

  • developed area at the Vistula river suitable for tourist investment related to shiping.
  • Site for a boarding house
  • Area for stud, inn or camping site for motorised tourists
  • In Kąty Rybackie buildings for adaptation for services related to harbour functioning or trade.


THE CITY AND REGION: Kaliningrad is the regional city of Russian Federation located at the Vistula Lagoon. Network of railroads, three harbours and an airport ensure good connection with Poland, Europe and Russia. Kaliningrad possesses rich layers of amber, crude oil and salt. Transport, metal and amber industry are predominant in the whole region.

History: Kaliningrad was founded in 1255 and gained the city rights in 1286. It was an extremely important Prussian harbour and member of Hanza. Famous Immanuel Kant was tightly connected with a university in Kaliningrad (then called Królewiec) in XVIII c. In XIX and XX c. shipbuilding and machine industry flourished. Almost all historical building were destroyed during World War II.

TOURISTIC VALUES: Sea climate, sandy beaches and mineral waters determined the localisation of numerous sanatoriums and hotels which can accommodate 170 000 guests.

TRADE OFFER: Kaliningrad is the administrative centre of Special Economic Zone. Lots of international and Russian firms have their branches there. Additionally over 2000 small firms function in the whole region. The city offers over 40 investment projects comprising among others: restoration of city markets, hotel construction, business centre construction, filling stations, bus and car factories, shipyards and modernisation of city's infrastructure.


Marked trails
  1. The yellow trail - EL-2103-Y - "Amber"(Jantarowy)
    This trail is a fragment of the International Long-distance Hike Trail "E-9".
    The route: Mikoszewo - Jantar - Stegna - Sztutowo - Kąty Rybackie - Skowronki - Przebrno - Krynica Morska, lighthouse - Wielbłądzi Grzbiet - Krynica Morska, port. Length of the trail: 52 km.
  2. The red trail - EL-06-c - "Copernicus" (Kopernikowski)
    This trail leads from Toruń to Olsztyn. On the route from Elbląg to Braniewo this trail is the last section of the International Long-distance Hike Trail "E-9".
    The route: Elbląg, the town - Elbląg, "Bażantarnia" park - Jagodnik - Próchnik - Łęcze - Suchacz - Kadyny - Enbankments of Tolkmit - Tolkmicko - Święty Kamień -Frombork - Braniewo.
  3. The blue trail - EL-2106-N - "Nadwiślański"
    The route: Sztum, forester's lodge 'Wilki' -Biała Góra - Piekło - "Mątowy" reserve - Mątowy Małe - Mątowy Wielkie "Knybawski" Bridge - Lisewo - Boręty - Palczewo - Nowa Cerkiew - Ostaszewo - Żuławki - Drewnica - Mikoszewo. The length of the trail: 70 km.

  5. The red trail - EL-06-c - "Copernicus" (Kopernikowski); length: 4,5 km
  6. The blue trail - EL-2101-n - "Roundabout" (Okrężny)
    • "Forest" (Leśny), length: 3,6 km
    • "Mountain" (Górski), length: 6,4 km
  7. The green trail - EL-2101-z - "the Path of Lizards" (Ścieżka Jaszczurek), length; 7 km
  8. The yellow trail - EL-2104-y - "Circular" (Okólny), length: 9 km


The terrains around the Vistula Lagoon (Zalew Wiślany) make it possible to organise interesting trips by canoes, yachts, ships and hydrofoils, thanks to the marked out water trails on the dense net of rivers and navigable canals as well as on the Vistula Lagoon.

  • Gdańsk - Martwa Wisła - "PrzegalinaLock" (Śluza Przegalina) - "Gdańska Głowa Lock" (Śluza Gdańska Głowa) - Szkarpawa - Rybina - Vistula Lagoon (Zalew Wiślany) - River Nogat - Jagielloński Canal - Elbląg - River Elbląg - Drużno Lake - Elbląski Cananl - Małdyty - Miłomłyn - Iława.
  • Elbląg - Krynica Morska - Elbląg (Vistula Lagoon) (Zalew Wiślany)
  • Elbląg - Kaliningrad (Russia)- Elbląg (Vistula Lagoon) (Zalew Wiślany)
  • Elbląg - Ostróda (via Drużno Lake and Elbląski Canal)
  • Krynica Morska - Frombork - Krynica Morska (Vistula Lagoon) (Zalew Wiślany)


The unique in the world monument of technology, designed by a German engineer, George J. Steenke. The Canal, built in the years 1848-1881, is 127,5 km long and connects Elbląg with Ostróda. The Canal makes it possible for ships and yachts to cover the route where the difference of water levels between the low-located Drużno Lake and the upper grounds of Iławski Lake District is almost 100 meters. The route: Elbląg - Drużno Lake (0,3 meters above sea level) - Całuny Nowe Slipway - Jelenie (Deer) Slipway - Oleśnica Slipway - Kąty Slipway - Buczyniec Slipway - Pniewskie Lake (99,5 meters above sea level) - Sambród Lake - Małdyty - Ruda Woda (Duckie) Lake - Ilińsk lake (Jelonek) - Miłomłyn lock - Green (Zielona) lock - Drwęckie Lake - Ostróda.


  1. Bay (Nadzalewowa) Railway, built in 1897-1899
    The present route: Elbląg, the Main Station (Dworzec Główny) - Elbląg Zdrój - Rubno Wielkie - Jagodno - Kamienica - Nadbrzeże - suchacz - Kadyny - Tolkmicko - frombork - Braniewo,the Upper Gate (Górna Brama) - Braniewo.
  2. Narrow- gauge on Żuławy, built in 1898-1912 - not working at present
    The route: Gdańsk - crossing the Vistula by ferry in Świbno - Stegna - Stegna - Krynica Morska;
    Nowy Dwór Gdański - Kynica - Stegna;
    Gdańsk - Stegna - Rybina - Nowy Dwór Gdański - Malbork

On these railway routes tourists can admire not only old historic stations and bridges but also beautiful views.


Since the 16th century Mennonites who were persecuted in Holland settled in Poland, mainly on the Żuławy and in the valley of the Vistula. They improved the system of draining and canal building and they lead intensive agriculture. What is left from their times is arcade houses, churches, cemeteries with characteristic steles and winmills.

  • cemeteries: Wikrowo, Władysławowo, Piaski, Stogi (near Malbork), Tropy Elbląskie
  • churches: Jezioro, Elbląg
  • windmills: Wikrowo, Łęcze, Lepno, Palczewo, Drewnica
  • arcade houses and farms: Żuławki, Drewnica, Lubieszewo, Wikrowo, Tropy Elbląskie