Bathing sites in the Małopolska region – a great summer attraction
Leisure by the water
Recreation by the water is one of the best ways of active leisure when you aren’t able to go on vacation. Local beaches located by clear rivers, streams and lakes serve as a place for afternoon and weekend siestas for the whole family. In the Małopolska region, in recent years, several well-organised bathing sites have complemented the sites by the rivers and lakes where people used to bathe unguarded. The new sites predominate in every respect – by their unique location, infrastructure and security. Also, they are often a place for fishing and some of them offer accommodations as well.
Bathing sites in the Małopolska region are mostly water reservoirs in former sandpits and gravel quarries, which over time flooded with groundwater. This is their most valuable feature. Their water is thus biologically clean, not contaminated by bacteria and chemical substances. Anyway,their condition is constantly monitored by the relevant authorities. The Skowronek Reservoir in Alwernia, built on the Brodła River, one of the cleanest watercourses in the Małopolska region, truly stands out here.
Leisure and sports infrastructure
Recreational infrastructure represents one of the biggest attractions of these sites. Most of them have rental facilities for water recreation equipment – kayaks, water bikes, and even windsurfing boards. You can use them in separate areas of the reservoirs at a safe distance from the area where people are swimming. Sandy beaches that slope gently into the water, designated depth zones, even slides – all this is practically the rule here. Moreover, you have access to all the sanitary facilities plus showers. The hosts of this sites care for cleanliness, aware that this is fundamental to their operation. Let’s add to it all the spots on the shore offering recreational activities for children and mini-gyms for adults, and more and more good catering facilities. Some become true recreation centres, offering other attractions such as minigolf, go-kart riding, sports fields, and even salt caves.
Let’s recall that each year in Poland, during the summer holiday season, about five hundred people drown. This most often happen in rivers and locations not designated for safe bathing. The Małopolska bathing sites are well-prepared with respect to safety.
1. Most have a safe, gradual descent to the water; no sharp drop-offs.
2. Areas dedicated to bathing are marked and have information about the water’s depth.
3. Water recreation sites are monitored by lifeguards.
4. Bathing sites are equipped with emergency equipment.
5. Most importantly, when we spend time by the water with our children, let’s make sure we keep an eye on them all the time. It’s our duty. Another, even more important duty of parents is to teach children how to swim. Let’s not forget that for years, the Małopolskie Voivodeship has run a programme called ‘I can swim’, thanks to which thousands of children acquired this essential skill.
Here are some of the bathing sites that are really worth visiting!
Advice for all who want to spend some time by the water
(based on the instructions of the State Fire Service)
Bathing is safest in properly organised and designed locations, which are supervised by the Voluntary Water Rescue Emergency Service or officers of the water police.
- Follow the rules of the bathing site where you spend your time.
- It’s a good to know the signs used at the bathing site: white flag – bathing allowed, red flag – bathing prohibited, no flag – there is no rescue service.
- If your children are in the water, make sure you have them under constant supervision (keep an eye on them all the time), even when they can swim. Even one single inhalation of water can end with drowning.
- The presence of lifeguards doesn’t relieve parents or guardians of the obligation to supervise the child. It is always the parents alone who are responsible for their children.
- Don’t jump into water when your skin is heated after direct contact with the sun. Before entering water, use a shower or gradually splash your chest, neck and legs – you will avoid thermal shock, cramp or fainting.
- Don’t jump into the water in unknown locations where you don’t know the depth of the water and the shape of the bottom, or bed, of the pond, lake, swimming hole, river, etc. You could easily end up dead or seriously injured! It is absolutely forbidden to jump to take a header in such places. Remember not to push other people who are bathing and relaxing.
- Never swim after consuming alcohol.
- Use only reliable and efficient swimming equipment.
- Wear a hat on the shore, especially in the sun, and use sunscreen lotion. Sunbathing is best when done while you’re active, for example when you play volleyball or do a bit of swimming.
- If you witness assistance being given to a person who has been taken out of the water, or if you will, rescued— don’t interfere with the lifeguards or distract them by making comments to them, don’t treat this situation as a training exercise. It is a fight for human life.
- When playing in the water, don’t disturb the rest of others. Keep the bathing site clean – don’t throw any trash, bottles, paper, or packaging into the water.
- Don’t shout by the water, don’t make unnecessary noise, don’t call for help for fun. If you see that someone in water or on the shore needs help from a lifeguard, it’s best to raise both arms and then alternatively cross and spread them above your head.
- When kayaking, paddling a canoe, rowing a boat, or sailing a sailboat, remember to always make your child wear a safety jacket with a collar, which must be adjusted to its weight and height and be securely fastened.