True Lithuania

Resorts of Lithuania

For such a short seashore (99 kilometers) Lithuania surely has much to offer. Many different resort towns adorns its wide sandy beaches. In the north there is the “flagship” Palanga with its loud music, funfairs, loads of entertainment and hordes of people. Then even closer to the Latvian border is smaller Šventoji that has the image of a family resort. Klaipėda is a port city but its forested seaside districts do have a resort feel.

Half of the Lithuania's shore length is part of the Curonian Spit national park – the large moving dunes now mostly covered by a pine forest but impressive both where they is forested and where it isn’t, its former fishing villages full of wooden homes and villas of centuries gone by. That is Neringa. This resort (or rather an ecological long group of resorts), the most expensive in Lithuania, would not look out of place in any western country.

Crowded beach in Palanga on a hot and sunny summer day. Short coastine means many sunbathers per beach kilometer, but you may always find a more isolated place outside the cities and resorts. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

What you won’t find on Lithuania’s shores are the monstrous Mediterranean-type hotels. With a shoreline so short it is treasured and conserved. All beaches are public (free to use) and beyond beaches there are stretches of pine forests left for hiking and cycling (cars are largely banned there). Any real estate closer to the sea is extremely expensive and the lack of coastline is so intense that Lithuanians bought up almost every house in certain seaside villages in Latvia just beyond the state boundary.

Unfortunately, the architecturally unappealing large Soviet buildings reached even Neringa, let alone Palanga. They are built further from the coast but still stick out above the trees.

The summer sun is definitely hot and the dunes (a feature of many beaches) cover the wind, but the sea water stays cool, with 20 C water temperature considered especially warm. Lithuanians enjoy refreshing themselves in the sea after (or in-between) baking in the sun.

Although it is the seashore most Lithuanians visit in summer if they could, not every Lithuania’s resort is there. Another type of resorts are the spa towns which have been growing in popularity lately, frequented both by Lithuanians and tourists alike.

Both Lithuanian seaside resorts and spa towns tend to be surrounded by pristine nature, especially forests. This is an image of Nida in the Curonian Spit. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The largest Lithuanian spa resort is Druskininkai, built in the 19th century on the banks of Nemunas river after mineral springs have been discovered there. It has gone beyond spa in recent decades, adding an indoor snow arena, a cable car, an adventure park and a museum of Soviet sculptures, among other attractions.

Birštonas is the second largest Lithuanian spa town that has also been recently successfully reinventing itself after years of stagnation. All-in-all, the spa tourism .

A map of Lithuania's resorts. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

See also:Top 10 places for Fun and Rest in Lithuania

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