WHAT THE HEL IS GOING ON?
Short trip to Hel peninsula
When the weather is good you can easily see this strange, small line on the horizon from every beach, and each of the high buildings in Gdansk. This line is the Hel peninsula, a long and narrow strip of sand, that stretches about 33 kilometers (21 miles) from the Polish mainland. If you could see the peninsula from a bird's eye view it would appear like a very long flag - with three colors - yellow on the top and bottom, and green in the middle. Basically, it is the sandy beaches from the sea and bay sides with the forest in the middle.
The peninsula is approximately 35 kilometers (23 miles) long, from 100 meters (110 yards) to 3 kilometers (2 miles) in width, and from 20 to 50 meters (22-55 yards) high. There is one city (Hel) and a few mainly touristic villages (Chalupy, Jastarnia, Jurata).
The main attraction obviously is the beautiful beaches. It is the most popular place for windsurfing in Poland- the bay is shallow, and often offers good wind and the waves are not very high. In the summer season, there are hundreds of windsurfers in the good weather.
Hel is also a very good place for divers. Hundreds of wrecks were sunk there throughout the ages - from the middle ages, till the present times. Underwater there are also locomotives, and ... the city itself the original Hel, which was eventually sunk by the sea in the XVIII century.
Today Hel is located about 1.5 kilometers (a little under a mile) from the old one. It is a small and definitely charming city - with an interesting gothic church from the XV century, which houses today the fisheries museum, with a lighthouse, built in 1942, and some small fisher houses from 18th, and 19th century. Also worth to visit is a sealarium.
There are a lot of interesting things for militaries lovers as well. Hel was an important military port in the first half of the 20th century. There are a lot of fortifications to visit as well as the Museum defense of the coast. It is also worthwhile to take a walk to the beautiful beach with the marvelous panorama at the end of the peninsula. It is a good idea to take a break there. After all, it is not easy to get back from Hel (even if it is written without double: L).