In a kayak across the rivers of Pętla Żuławska
Szkarpawa i Wisła Królewiecka

Szkarpawa i Wisła Królewiecka

Kayaking attractions

1. Rybina is one of the most important water nodes in Żuławy. There the trails of Szkarpawa, Wisła Królewiecka, as well as Linawa and Tuga are interlaced. At that location it is possible to see two historical road drawbridges and a hand opened rotating narrow gauge railway bridge, unique on a global scale.
2. Chłodniewo and Osłonka pump stations. It is the largest pump complex in the world. They remove water from the vast central part of Żuławy, located below sea level. Without the operation of the pumps located there, with their efficiency at 21 thousand liters per second, the entire Żuławy area would be flooded.
3. Gdańska Głowa. The lock located in the bank of Wisła, separates the main stream of the river (called Przekop Wisły) from the waters of Szkarpawa. In the past this location included a fortress protecting Gdańsk, as well as controlling Wisła’s mouth and delta in the 17th century.

Szkarpawa and Wisła Królewiecka are two of Wisła’s mouth distributaries. Separated from Wisła’s main current with a lock at Gdańska Głowa, they lazily carry their waters across the lowlands of Żuławy towards Zalew Wiślany. They have been developed for the purposes of water tourism in terms of the “Pętla Żuławska” project and are suitable for kayaking. These rivers are wide, almost lacking current, and at places remarkably picturesque. The areas through which they flow are rarely inhabited but rich in charming locations and interesting monuments.
The best place for starting the trip is the centrally located Rybina water node. From that place it is possible to go for a trip towards Zalew Wiślany – or by Wisła Królewiecka through Sztutowo, or Szkarpawa towards Osłonka. Kayaking on the Zalew Wiślany without experience in sea kayaking is not recommended due to the high waves present there. From Rybina it is also possible to go by Tuga to Nowy Dwór Gdański, or by Linawa within the fields of Żuławy. Whereas, paddling towards west it is possible to reach the Gdańska Głowa lock from where the trip may head towards Gdańsk – such a trail will be circa 30 km long.

  • Trail length: 35
  • Number of days: each of the three routes - 1 day
  • Number of portages: 0
  • Recommended route of the trip: (1) Rybina - Osłonka - Rybina (26 km) (2) Rybina - Gdańska Głowa - Rybina (30 km) (3) Rybina - Sztutowo - Rybina (20 km)
  • Difficulty: easy, without obstacles; due to the light current, it is possible to travel in both directions