Before you visit us, get to know Kociewie, Bory Tucholskie and the Kociewie Sea. Check what interesting you can find in our area.
What is Bory Tucholskie?
Bory Tucholskie, where our house is located, is one of the largest forest complexes (mainly pine) in Poland, located within the Pomeranian and Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeships. This area is covered with many clean lakes and rivers, some of them are located within the Bory Tucholskie National Park. It is here, east of the village of Małe Swornegacie, that you can see one of the oldest trees in Poland - the over 600-year-old Oak Bartuś. The largest rivers are the Wda and Brda, which, flowing through these areas, carved out charming valleys.
Bory Tucholskie is characterized by a very rich flora and fauna - for this reason, a large part of them is included in the Natura 2000 area. In the autumn forests, full of mushrooms, you can meet large animals such as roe deer, deer and wild boars. The singing of birds, of which more than 80 species live here, can be heard everywhere. The most interesting are the gray heron, crane, osprey, white-tailed eagle, black stork and eagle owl. The lakes are full of fish - there are e.g. European eel, pike, perch, chub, ide or rudd.
Where is Kociewie?
The picturesque land called Kociewie is an ethnic and cultural Pomeranian region inhabited by over 250,000 people. inhabitants, located in the basin of the Wda and Wierzyca, in the districts of Starogard, Tczew and partly Świecie. The inhabitants of Kociewie living here speak their own Kociewie dialect, which is diverse in selected areas. The largest city (next to Tczew and Świecie nad Wisłą) is Starogard, considered the capital of Kociewie.
On February 10, the World Kociewie Day is celebrated - a great opportunity to learn about the customs and culture of this region at organized festivals and meetings. You can also try local delicacies, such as ruchanki, i.e. yeast pancakes. Kociewie cuisine is characterized by a combination of different flavors and its ingredients are mainly potatoes, rutabaga, cabbage, onion and milk. Soups were the most common on local tables, including parzybroda (white cabbage cabbage soup), swede with goose meat and vegetable broth - gapsi broth (or poraraj). Potatoes are used to make dumplings with greaves and sauerkraut (naked naked cabbage) as well as refkacze (noodles on pork fat) and Szandar (baby cake).
The names of contemporary Kociewiaks are associated with the southern part of the region, e.g. Janusz Józefowicz, Robert Mazurek, Tobiasz Staniszewski, Robert Janowski, and with the northern part - in Skórcz - Sławomir Pstrong, in Starogard Gdański Kazimierz Dejna had roots, in Tczew - Grzegorz Ciechowski, in Osiek - Wojciech Cejrowski, who willingly talks about his homeland in his TV programs.
Source of information about Kociewie: kitchen.kociewie.eu and starogard.pl/kociewie/
Lake Kałębie, popularly known as the "Kociewskie Sea", is located between the villages of Osiek and Radogoszcz and covers over 470 hectares. The length of Kałębie is about 4 km, it is a rather shallow lake with a depth of up to 5 m (that's why it freezes regularly and quickly in winter). In the lake you can catch record-breaking bream up to 7 kg, there are also large pikes, perches, tenches and eels. The lake is a gutter, flow-through and connects to Lake Czarne and Lake Słone. There are two charming islands on the lake.
Due to the size of the lake and the northern winds, the Kociewie Sea is ideal for water sports, including sailing and windsurfing. In winter, at lower temperatures, it is possible to see iceboats on it.
There are several beaches around the lake and many piers. We most often use the beach in the village of Radogoszcz, where there is also a magnificent pier (about 800m from our house). A larger beach, also with piers, is located in Osiek, right next to the Firyn sailing station.
What to do and visit in our area - in Kociewie and in Bory Tucholskie?
Bicycle routes – over 800 kilometers of bicycle routes, known as Kociewskie Bicycle Routes, run through the region. A few selected routes:
Trail in the Lower Vistula Valley, 431 km long with a total elevation gain of 5,400 m. Black, with a difficult level of difficulty. The longest (in its entirety) of the trails running through Kociewie leads from Toruń to Tczew.
The Grzymisław trail is 99 km long with a total elevation gain of 1230 m. The color of the trail is red, the trail is easy. The most interesting of the trails with the theme of the cultural heritage of Kociewie. It will take about 2 days to overcome. On the way, the monuments of Tczew, the cathedral complex in Pelplin, the charming town of Gniew with the Teutonic castle and the market square, and Nowe located on the high Vistula escarpment.
The Lake Trail is 70 km long with a total elevation gain of 845 m. A green, easy trail with a leitmotif of lakes and the surrounding forests of Bory Tucholskie. Along the way, numerous examples of wooden regional architecture.
The Borowiacki trail is 64 km long with a total elevation gain of 930 m. The red trail is easy. It gives you the opportunity to get to know the richness of the fauna and flora of Bory Tucholskie.
St. Patrick's Trail Rocha with a length of 39 km with the sum of elevation gains of 445 m. Yellow trail with an easy difficulty level, connecting Starogard Gdański with Osiek by the lake. Kałębie with a number of historic churches on the route.
More at polskanarowerze.pl/kociewskie-trasy-rowerowe
Sails on the Kociewskie Sea - if you stay with us for a few days, you can spend at least one of them sailing. You can charter a sailboat in the Firyn hostelry in Osiek. In the summer, sailing camps are also organized in the hostel. For those who are interested - the possibility of obtaining a sailor's license. More at www.firyn.com
Windsurfing lessons - if you prefer a sail with a board under your feet, we invite you to windsurfing lessons at the UKS Kałebie branch in Wycinki. The reservoir is ideal for this sport - it is shallow and windy. Regattas are often organized there, and there have even been Polish championships! More at www.uksosiek.pl
Canoeing in the Wda and Brda valleys - in Bory Tucholskie there are several trails ideal for canoeing, adapted to age, skills and planned time for the trip. We recommend the route Wdecki Młyn - Tleń, starting just 13 km from our house.
Ideas for a trip
Wirty Arboretum - a place of unforgettable natural experiences - The oldest forest botanical garden in Poland, located near Starogard Gdański. You can see over 830 species and varieties of trees and shrubs here, e.g. walnut "Wirty", which is a mixture of walnut and black walnut, and the oldest and largest Greek fir in Poland, as well as a tree with two types of leaves: hornbeam and oak. More at arboretumlesne.gdansk.lasy.gov.pl
Aqueduct in Fojutowo - a monument of hydrotechnical architecture, which is the intersection of two watercourses: Czerska Struga and the Great Brda Canal. It is the longest facility of this type in Poland (over 75 m).
The Shipwreck Conservation Center in Tczew - a branch of the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk presents, among others. fragments of shipwrecks raised from the bottom of the Baltic Sea, ancient boats from Poland and a number of exotic vessels from around the world.
Festival of Taste in Gruczno - is one of the largest outdoor culinary events in the region, usually organized at the end of August. At the event you can get to know the richness and culture of the table as well as the handicraft of the Lower Vistula Valley, Kociewie, Chełmińskie Lake District, Krajna and Kujawy. The event is accompanied by interesting artistic performances and concerts. Find out more at www.festiwalsmaku.pl
Grodzisko Owidz - located near Starogard, a restored stronghold from the 9th century, which was inhabited by Slavs. In the summer and autumn, a number of festivals and outdoor events take place here. More at www.owidz.pl
Pelplin - the spiritual capital of the region - with the Gothic Cathedral Basilica with the painting "The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary" by Herman Han. In September and December, it is worth visiting the Cistercian Fair with a program of concerts of early music, tasting traditional food and drinks, an antiques and crafts market and a medieval procession. More at jarmarkcysterski.diecezja-pelplin.pl
The castle in Gniew - was the seat of the commander, and later the Polish starost, including the most famous - Jan Sobieski. This Teutonic castle dates back to the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. It is well preserved, tournaments and historical reenactments are held on its premises in the summer. More at www.zamkipolskie.com/gniew/gniew.html
Castle in Świecie - another well-preserved castle from the 14th century and the only water castle in the Teutonic state. Unfortunately, due to renovation, it is currently closed. Before heading in its direction, it is worth visiting: www.oksir.eu/zamek
The Old Town in Grudziądz with a complex of granaries - Grudziądz is a city often underestimated by potential tourists until they arrive. The charming old town with narrow streets with brick buildings, the market square with the bench of Nicolaus Copernicus, the ruins of the Teutonic castle with the Klimek tower (a stunning view of the Vistula valley), the water gate with granaries over the Vistula boulevard (very worth a visit). Must see is Reja and Spichrzowa Streets - also a good place to relax with a coffee. For military lovers - Grudziądz Fortress (an active military station) with the Citadel.