Welcome to "The Land of the Snail"

“The Land of the Snail” is an extremely diverse landscape. It consists of three very different areas: flat Elbląg Marshland, hilly, covered with beech forests of the Elbląg Upland and the shore of the Vistula Lagoon as well as the western part of the Warmian plains. Elbląg, Frombork and Braniewo are the three most important, worthy of attention and longer stay of the city in this region – that can offer to the vistors unfogettable experience as well as picturesque views. Each enjoys rich and inspiring history, traces of which one can discover with enormous pleasure.  

Elbląg is an important communication center and the second largest city in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. This Hanseatic city has been competing with Gdańsk for centuries for the status of the most important port in the Republic of Poland. Rebuilt after the destruction during the World War II, it is an interesting place to visit. It is a symbol of the successful “retroversion” reconstruction thanks to which one can admire beautiful reconstructed old town. 

To the west and south of Elbląg there is the Vistula delta and the fertile  Elbląg Marshland (Żuławy Elbląskie). Although flat as a table, Marshland

is not monotonous at all. The magic of this area is created by majestic weeping willows, bending over the ubiquitous canals in thought. In most villages you can see huge, brick, gothic churches and characteristic arcaded houses - former residences of rich peasants. The pearl of Marshland

is the shallow, overgrown Drużno Lake, which is a paradise for water and marsh birds. In this area there is a small village calles Raczki Elbląskie - the lowest point in Poland. The entire area of ​​ Marshland is a wet depression, drained thanks to many years of patient work of human hands. The spirit of the Mennonites - Dutch religious exiles who found their second homeland here during the First Polish Republic is floating over the land. Their melioration skills significantly shaped the present-day appearance of Marshland.

A unique attraction of the area on a European scale is the Elbląg Canal, put into operation in 2015 after several years of renovation, and built in the 19th century. It leads from Elbląg to Ostróda. A cruise on this route gives you the opportunity to travel by ship on ... grass. This is because, apart from the locks, a number of slipways - unique monuments of hydraulic engineering - have been built on the waterway.

The Elbląg Upland is the central part of the Land of the Snail. The whole area is cut by numerous valleys and ravines, overgrown with dense beech forests and protected as the "Elbląg Upland Landscape Park". More than a hundred years ago, these areas were the hunting grounds of the German Emperor Wilhelm II, who often visited his residence in Kadyny.

Below the Elbląg Upland hills, on the shore of the Vistula Lagoon, there are beautifully situated towns of Suchacz, Kadyny, Tolkmicko and Frombork - the city of Nicolaus Copernicus. Here, from the top of the Radziejowska Tower on the Cathedral Hill, you can admire the panorama of the Vistula Lagoon, the vast meadows of the Warmian Plain with the Bauda and Pasłęka rivers, up to Braniewo visible on the horizon, the oldest city in Warmia and its first capital, coming to existence in the Middle Ages, belonged to Hanseatic League as an important commercial port. Despite the World War II damage, several interesting monuments have been preserved in it from the old days.

The Land of the Ślimaka abounds in many unique tourist attractions. Staying in each of the three facilities on the cochlear trail, you can freely compose your stay by visiting many interesting places. It is impossible to get bored here! And it's very easy to fall in love both figuratively and literally.

Below are a few selected proposals located in the vicinity of each of the project partners. We hope that this will allow you to spend your time in the "Land of the Snail" in the most interesting way and come back here to discover new attractions during your next stay. In this way, every day new versions of the network tourist product "In the Land of the Snail" will be created, and each of them will discover the taste of this unique region with all senses.

Attractions in the vicinity of the NOVA Restaurant:

 - Buczyniec Ramp
 - Teutonic castle in Pasłęk

Attractions near the marina of Grupa Wodna:

 - The Old Town with the cathedral in Elbląg
 - Drużno Lake
 - Kadyny
 - Green Velo Eastern Bicycle Trail

Attractions in the vicinity of Jarzębinowy Dobrostan:

 - The Cathedral Hill in Frombork
 - The Vistula Lagoon
 - Marina in Nowa Pasłęka
 - Krynica Morska


A big tourist attraction is the shallow, overgrown delta lake in Żuławy Wiślane, which is a part of the Vistula Lagoon cut off by alluvia. It is one of the most beautiful places on the Żuławy Loop and on the Elbląg Canal route, which was also appreciated by National Geographic while filming nature films here. The water table area is 1790.1 ha. The water table is located at a height of 0.1 m above sea level. The average depth of the lake is 1.2 m. The lake is a part of the former sea bay. As a result of gradual silting and overgrowing, an area unique in Europe was created - a refuge for water birds.

Lake Drużno presents great natural value:

- Since 1966, the lake and the surrounding areas have been creating the Drużno Lake reserve, which protects the breeding sites of water and marsh birds.

- 210 species of waterfowl and marsh birds have been observed on Drużno, 110 of which nest here permanently. You can meet here, among others Black-headed gulls, terns, grebes, ducks, as well as white-tailed eagles, common bitterns, robins, Eurasian magpie, common cranes, rowan, black-and-forest, nightingales, gray wagtails, black storks, common blindheads, buzzards, brook, moth and swan.


- A fairway, which is an extension of the Elbląg Canal and further the Ostróda-Elbląg Canal, passes through Lake Drużno,

- In the 9th century, on this lake, near today's Janów, there was a port and a Viking emporium of Baltic trade.


The Elbląg Canal, built in the years 1844-1860, is the only facility of this type in the world. The system of lakes, canals, locks and slipways ensures navigability on a waterway with a total length of 84.2 km, connecting Ostróda with Elbląg.

A unique attraction of the Elbląg Canal is the possibility of "sailing a boat on the grass". It's about overcoming the difference in water levels using a ramp. The ship is hauled onto a special trolley and goes along the tracks until it reaches the water again.

The ramp in Buczyniec was built in 1860. The difference in levels is 20.6 m and the track length is 490 m. It is the longest incline on the Elbląg Canal. Next to the upper station of the incline, it is worth visiting the Chamber of History of the Elbląg Canal and the machine rooms of the incline, and by the path next to it, you can admire the historic structural elements of the incline. Also here is the Żegluga Ostródzko-Elbląska marina, where a turntable for ships operates on the widened section of the canal. At the lower station of the ramp there is an obelisk commemorating the builder of the canal - George Jacob Steenke.

You can use the grass cruise on the route from Buczyniec to Elbląg or Elbląg - Buczyniec. During the 4-hour cruise, there are five slipways: Buczyniec, Kąty, Oleśnica, Jelenie and Całówny, all built on the Elbląg Canal. You can also go on a cruise in Buczyniec only down one incline and back up after turning on the water. This is an option for the impatient as it only lasts an hour.


The Old Town of Elbląg is a place that every tourist should visit. As a result of the war activities of World War II, the Old Town was almost completely destroyed. For several years, the reconstruction of the Old Town has been carried out, which boasts a historic urban layout, an outer ward, a monastery and hospital complex, a church path characteristic of Elbląg, and a complex of reconstructed tenement houses. The Old Town is being rebuilt using the retroversion method, which is a unique undertaking in the world.

You can find many tourist attractions here, incl. Gothic buildings: Art Center - Galeria El, Targowa Gate, St. St. Nicholas. The top of the cathedral is a great vantage point thanks to one of the highest church towers in Poland, 95 m high.

The Elbląg Old Town is one of the largest in Europe, in terms of area, covered by comprehensive archaeological research. Based on the huge amount of excavated artefacts, from the 13th to the 19th century, it is known what the everyday life of the former inhabitants of Elbląg, how they lived, worked, played, dressed, and ate what they ate. Among the several hundred thousand exhibits found, the most valuable are: eight musical instruments, 23 wax tablets, six pilgrim marks, magnificent Moorish medieval plates, toys, weapons, glassware. The multiplicity and variety of discovered objects testifies to the intense commercial contacts of former Elbląg inhabitants with almost all of Europe, from Norway to Spain, England and Italy, as well as to their wealth.

You can get acquainted with the history of the city and the harvest of excavations in the museum in the preserved wing of the outer bailey. The following monuments attract attention: the Market Gate, St. Mary's Church, the former church and the hospital of St. Spirit, the town hall rebuilt in a modern form and the old-style tenement houses.


- A fairway, which is an extension of the Elbląg Canal and further the Ostróda-Elbląg Canal, passes through Lake Drużno,

- In the 9th century, on this lake, near today's Janów, there was a port and a Viking emporium of Baltic trade.


This charming town is located on the Vistula Lagoon, about 23 km from Elbląg, in the beautiful natural area of ​​the Elbląg Upland Landscape Park and the Kadyński Las Reserve.

Nowadays, a small village has a very rich history. The first mention of Kadyny comes from 1255. There was a Teutonic manor farm and a hunting lodge here. The defensive Teutonic court was built in the 13th century. One of the owners of Kadyn, Eduard Birkner, bequeathed the village to Emperor Wilhelm II, who became the property on December 15, 1898. It was then that the property was rebuilt and an imperial summer residence was created here. A ceramic manufactory was also established here, specializing in the production of majolica, which was appreciated in the country and abroad.

It is worth visiting: the palace and manor complex from the 17th and 20th centuries, the farm buildings, now a horse stud, the park next to the palace, the Franciscan monastery complex, the chapel of St. Of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the roadside chapel. Holy Cross from 1777.

The immediate vicinity has beautifully situated hiking, biking and horse trails, and for lovers of sun and water, the "Srebrna Riviera" beach complex with a beach, tavern and sports field awaits - a great place for windsurfing and kitesurfing.


The Cathedral Hill in Frombork is a monument of the highest class. Destroyed and rebuilt many times, it retained the basic elements of the medieval architectural layout. The exceptional importance of this place is raised by historical traditions and the figure of Nicolaus Copernicus, the most famous astronomer of modern Europe, the creator of the heliocentric system. The cathedral complex was fortified, surrounded by walls and prepared for defense.

On the hill, the biggest tourist attractions are:

- Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Andrew the Apostle, was established in the 14th century, in which Nicolaus Copernicus was buried in 1543, and from 1994 a historical monument by order of the President of the Republic of Poland.

- Nicolaus Copernicus Museum in the former bishop's palace, presenting permanent exhibitions on Nicolaus Copernicus and astronomy in navigation and geodesy. A visit to the Planetarium is also an extraordinary experience for visitors to the Museum.

- Copernicus Tower (Copernicus' apartment inside the walls), the oldest element of the fortifications of the Cathedral Hill. Built before 1400, the upper storeys were rebuilt many times in the 15th - 18th centuries, burned down in 1945, reconstructed - the works were completed in 1965. The tower was owned by Nicolaus Copernicus in 1504-1543.

- The Radziejowski Tower with the thickest 7-meter walls in Poland and the 28.5 m long Foucault pendulum operated for visitors. The tower offers a wonderful view of the Cathedral Complex, Frombork and its surroundings, as well as the Vistula Lagoon.

Frombork's attractiveness is increased by its location on the shores of the Vistula Lagoon, a fantastic viewpoint over the Lagoon is the extremely well-kept city beach. A great attraction are also boat trips on the Vistula Lagoon, starting in the charming port in Frombork.


A bicycle route leading through five voivodeships in eastern Poland. The main route and local connecting sections have a total length of 2,071 km. It is one of the longest bicycle routes in Poland.

The uniqueness and diversity of the regions through which the route leads are emphasized by tourist attractions, both those located directly on the route and those located in the area of ​​the 20-kilometer corridor on both sides of the route. On the entire Green Velo trail, only between Elbląg and Braniewo you can find places where you can see the surface of the Baltic Sea from the saddle of a bicycle.

Green Velo starts in Elbląg, from where it heads north-east along the Vistula Lagoon. It goes through Suchacz, Kadyny, Tolkmicko, Frombork, Nowa Pasłęka and almost on the border with the Kaliningrad Region it reaches Braniewo.

In this section of the trail, we can distinguish routes:

- The "Święty Kamień" bicycle trail with a length of 14.8 km and a travel time of 1:40 hours

- MTB Bicycle Trail of the Elbląg Forest District, 22.8 km long and travel time 2:30 h

- The Trail of the Elbląg Upland "To the Waters", 17.4 km long and travel time 2:30 h

- Kadyńska Route with a length of 26.1 km and a travel time of 3:15 hours

- Around Lake Drużno with a length of 45.4 km and travel time 3:15 hours

On the website www.greenvelo.pl you can find information about 57 places recommended for cyclists in this region.


A tourist town on the Vistula Spit, between the Bay of Gdańsk and the Vistula Lagoon. Krynica Morska is the undisputed sailing capital of the Lagoon, one of the most popular towns on the Baltic Sea. It is characterized by beautiful, wide sea beaches, developed commercial, gastronomic and hotel facilities. An attraction offering a panoramic view of the Vistula Lagoon is the Lighthouse. The first traces of settlement in this area come from the years 1258-1282. The village has a seaport, four marinas and a summer bathing area. It has campsites, campsites, numerous holiday centers and hotels. In the season, there is a connection by coastal shipping ships to Tolkmicko and Frombork and cruises on the Vistula Lagoon.

Krynica Morska also has valuable natural values. The land area of ​​Krynica Morska is located entirely within the "Mierzeja Wiślana" Landscape Park, in the western part of Krynica, in the Przebrno district, there is the Buki Mierzeja Wiślana nature reserve. In turn, the sea area of ​​the Krynica Morska commune is included in the special bird protection area.

The most interesting tourist attractions are:

- Camelby Garb - the highest dune on the Vistula Spit (49.5 m above sea level), the only natural point on the spit, from which you can see the Gdańsk Bay and the Vistula Lagoon, as well as the Elbląg Upland,

- a lighthouse with a unique view of the Lagoon,

- a ditch on the Vistula Spit near the city under construction.


The Nowa Pasłęka harbor is the most eastern Polish port located on one of the estuary canals of the Pasłęka River. Nowa Pasłęka is the equivalent of Piaski on the Vistula Spit. The picturesque surroundings are reminiscent of the landscape of the Netherlands. In the newly built marina, sailors have a slip at their disposal, about one hundred meters of illuminated, fortified quay, equipped with fenders, y-booms and mooring devices. The section of the quay near the drawbridge is suitable for overboard mooring for larger vessels. Electricity boxes are located along the quay with y-booms.

The port is guarded 24 hours a day, each guest has access to sanitary services and a car park. The marina with berths is equipped with electricity, drinking water, waste collection, repair, renovation and yacht development.

From this marina, you can go towards the Elbląg Canal, Jeziorak, Gdańsk Bay or travel along the Żuławy Loop and sail to the Russian side of the Vistula Lagoon.


- There is a working road drawbridge here.

- Near the village there is a shell beach with shells on the ground.

- The water border of Poland with the Kaliningrad District in Russia runs through the Vistula Lagoon nearby.


The brick castle was built by the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century on the site of an earlier stronghold erected by the Prussian tribe, who used the location of the hill convenient for defense, with high and steep slopes accessible only from the town side.

The Teutonic castle was at the same time integrated with the city and clearly separated from it, i.e. it was within the city walls, but the castle area was separated from the city buildings by additional fortifications and a moat. Initially, the building was small and had only one wing and two towers, because it only housed the seat of the Teutonic prosecutor subordinate to the Elbląg commandry. Then the castle was gradually expanded, until 1945, when it was set on fire by the Red Army. Its present appearance is largely due to the reconstruction that took place in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, the castle houses the seat of the City Council, a library, a Historical Chamber, a cinema and a common room for children.

Many legends circulated about the mysterious tunnels under the castle. Archaeological research from the 1980s showed that there was one such passage between the castle and the nearby church of St. Bartholomew. Other rumors pointed to tunnels towards the village of Robity, which may be related to the events of 1414, when the Polish army met with the Teutonic Knights from Pasłęk, who suddenly disappeared from the sight of their opponents after performing an offensive maneuver. Currently, however, access to all corridors is impossible.

Treasure hunters and researchers of history secrets mention the castle in Pasłęk as one of the possible places to hide the legendary Amber Room. As the premises allowing for such a hypothesis, the stories of Pasłęcz residents who lived during the war described how in 1944 military trucks brought to the castle undefined contents, which were then left in the basement of the building, known for its microclimate friendly to works of art. It is also mentioned that Erich Koch, a Prussian gauleiter, supposedly having information about the chamber, had property in this area and was a frequent guest in Pasłęk, at meetings of the local NSDAP. He also must have known that in 1943 an offer to hide an undefined "amber treasure" was made to the owner of a nearby palace in Słobity, who refused. Finally, in 1980, two dowsers found large amounts of amber in the mined and bricked-up part of the cellars of one of the towers.

In this quiet, atmospheric town with well-preserved historic buildings, in addition to the Teutonic castle, the following are also worth seeing:

- Gothic three-nave church of Saint Bartholomew from the first half of the 14th century.

- City walls with towers (Stone Tower) and gates (Mill Gate), built between the 13th and 15th centuries, surrounding the Old Town,

- Gothic town hall from the 14th century.

- A dozen or so tenement houses from the 18th and 19th centuries (ul. Chrobrego, Dąbrowskiego, Osińskiego, Sienkiewicza).


The Vistula Lagoon is a large bay of the Baltic Sea with a total area of ​​over 800 km², of which 328 km² is within the borders of Poland. The lagoon is separated from the open sea by the Vistula Spit, and connected with it by the Piławska Strait. The state border with Russia runs diagonally across the reservoir to its longitudinal axis. The average depth of the reservoir is 2.7 m, length of the reservoir is 90.7 km (including 35.1 km in Poland), width from 6.8 to 13 km.

The Vistula Lagoon is characterized by very rapid changes in the water level, up to 1.5 m per day, caused by winds. At the banks, there are vast strips of reeds, hundreds of meters wide.

This area is of great importance to nature - it is home to the most numerous cormorant breeding colony in the country, it is also a breeding ground for gray herons and one of the most important breeding areas for herring in this part of the Baltic Sea. This corner is crowded with thousands of water and wetland birds, which eagerly stop here during their wanderings. There are also many tourist attractions in the area, attracting holidaymakers from all over Poland.

Since 2020, a spit cut has been carried out near Krynica Morska, enabling direct navigation from the Vistula Lagoon to the Baltic Sea.

The Vistula Lagoon is also a reservoir convenient for water sports. Its shallow waters heat up quickly and you can windsurf here even in spring. It is also a good place for sailors - open to other waters through the Elbląg Canal, with a large infrastructure and a multitude of ports. In winter, iceboats dominate the Vistula Lagoon.

The lagoon is an important tourist attraction, popular both during the summer season and in winter, spring and autumn. There are many charming towns and bathing places on the Lagoon, such as Frombork, Tolkmicko, Suchacz, Kadyny, Stara Pasłęka, Kąty Rybackie, Krynica Morska.

A popular tourist attraction are cruises on the lagoon by cruise ships or a water tram. You can choose sightseeing routes or trips to other places. It can also be traversed by motorboats, jet skis, pedal boats, you can also sail.

The largest rivers flowing into the lagoon are: Pregoła, Pasłęka, Elbląg, Nogat, Szkarpawa and Świeża. Thanks to these rivers, fresh water constantly flows into the lagoon, during storms, the salty waters of the Baltic Sea break into the lagoon through the Piławska Strait, which causes that the Vistula Lagoon is characterized by a slight salinity, which decreases with the distance from the strait.