Shifting Dunes

Gdańsk & Pomerania

The most unusual feature of the national park is the shifting dunes (wydmy ruchome), which create a genuine desert landscape. They’re on the sandbar separating the sea from Lake Łebsko, about 8km west of Łeba. Rommel’s Afrika Korps trained in this desert during WWII, and the site was also a secret missile-testing ground from 1940 to 1945.

The dunes are easily reached from Łeba: take the road west to the hamlet of Rąbka (2.5km), where there’s a car park and the gate to the national park. Private minibuses, open-sided electric cars and motorised trains ply this road in summer, from a stop on al Wojska Polskiego, north of the canal. It’s also an easy walk.

The sealed road continues into the park for another 3.5km to the site of the rocket launcher, now an outdoor museum. From here a wide path goes on through the forest for another 2km to the southern foot of the dunes, where half-buried trees jut out of the sand. As you walk round the bend from the woods, it’s quite a sight – the pale, immense dunes open up in front of you like a desert dropped into the middle of a forest, with a striking contrast at the line where the trees meet the sand. Continue up the vast dunes for a sweeping view of desert, lake, beach, sea and forest.

No cars or buses are allowed beyond the car park. You can walk to the dunes (45 minutes), buy a ticket on one of the small electric cars or rent a bicycle (per hour/day 10/40zł). Coming back, you can either retrace your steps or walk to Łeba along the beach (8km), perhaps stopping for a swim – something you certainly can’t do in the Sahara.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Gdańsk & Pomerania attractions

1. Lake Łebsko


About 16km long and 71 sq km in area, Lake Łebsko is the biggest in Pomerania and the third largest in Poland, after Śniardwy and Mamry in Masuria. It’s…

2. Słowiński National Park

6.88 MILES

This 186-sq-km park takes up the 33km stretch of coast between Łeba and the tourist fishing village of Rowy, complete with two large lakes, Łebsko and…

3. Kluki Skansen

6.95 MILES

Set on the southwestern shore of Lake Łebsko, the tiny isolated hamlet of Kluki was the last holdout of Slovincian culture, now showcased in the centrally…

4. Natural History Museum

11.48 MILES

West of Kluki, outside the park’s boundaries, Smołdzino boasts a fine Natural History Museum, which features collections of flora and fauna from the park…

5. Smołdzino

11.51 MILES

West of Kluki, outside the park boundaries, is the village of Smołdzino, with a fine Natural History Museum that features flora and fauna from the park’s…

6. Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art

25.88 MILES

The main building of Słupsk’s gallery specialises in short-term exhibits of Polish and international artists. Over 30 exhibitions take place here a year…

7. St Hyacinthus' Church

26.01 MILES

The 15th-century St Hyacinthus’ Church, aka St Jack’s as the tourist signposting would have it, is usually closed, though you can now peek in through a…

8. Witkacy Gallery

26.07 MILES

Opened in 2019 in the renovated White Granary building, the 250-piece collection of portraits by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885–1939), aka Witkacy, are…