True Lithuania

Lithuania on Bike: Top 10 routes

For decades bicycle was regarded to be either a child's toy or a sports inventory in Lithuania. This changed in the 2000s when a new network of bicycle routes and rent agencies increased the popularity of cycling as a pastime. Here are some of the most rewarding 20-70 km routes in Lithuania that can be traveled on a bike.

Some of these routes are notable for good bicycle path infrastructure, others lack it but offer a possibility to see great sights every 10-20 km and the regular Lithuanian back-roads are not that crowded to seriously hamper bicycle Travel.

1.Ride the entire length of Lithuania's Curonian spit by a long bicycle path with many possible stops en-route for rest and coming in terms with nature. Main sights: Klaipėda Sea Museum, Juodkrantė resort, Juodkrantė cormorant colony, Nagliai dune reserve, Nida Parnidis dune. Distance: ~50 km.

2.Explore the out-of-the-beaten-path Vilnius. Vilnius has developed a good network of bicycle paths, making them a great form of transportation. Moreover, an automated bicycle rent system with many stations is both cheap and convenient. Vilnius Old Town is famous for its churches, nice old streets, and entertainment. However it is in reaching the sights further away where a bicycle truly excels, and the Suburbs of Vilnius have lots of interesting (although less well known) places.

3.Check the most famous stretch of Panemunė (Nemunas Valley) Road is dotted by castle-inspired palaces of 17th-19th-century nobility (Raudondvaris, Raudonė, Panemunė) and offers nice landscapes of Lithuania's top river. Distance: 70 km Kaunas to Skirsnemunė, or 40 km Vikija to Skirsnemunė

4.Traverse the Lithuanian Baltic Sea coastline. A good bicycle-only path passes by the key locations of Seaside Klaipėda, Palanga, and Šventoji - historic resorts and fishing villages. Main sights: Giruliai resort, Karklė seaside cemetery, Olando Kepurė cliff, Palanga Botanical Park, Palanga Manor, Palanga Sea Bridge, Šventoji Pagan Shrine. Distance: ~50 km.

5.Ride Šiauliai-Hill of Crosses-Naisiai route. The road links Lithuania's fourth largest city with the Hill of Crosses, a breathtaking religious site where millions of crosses have been built by millions of pilgrims. Further on one may visit Naisiai village, a pagan alternative to the Hill of Crosses. Šiauliai itself is also famous for its bicycle manufacturing and has a bicycle museum. ~20 km, with 13 km just to the Hill of Crosses.

6.Explore the Samogitian National park on bike. Main sights: Plokštinė Soviet Nuclear Missile site (Cold War museum), Plateliai and Beržoras wooden churches, Orvidas farmstead.

7.Explore the Dzūkija National park on bike. Main sights: Marcinkonys village, Čepkeliai swamp, Ūla rock exposure, Liškiava monastery. Druskininkai resort and Grūtas park of Soviet sculptures are not far away.

8.Explore the Aukštaitija National park on bike. Main sights: Marcinkonys village, Čepkeliai swamp, Ūla rock exposure, Liškiava monastery. Druskininkai resort and Grūtas park of Soviet sculptures are not far away.

9.Ride the heartland of Samogitia. While this area may lack good bicycle paths, it offers a nice pacing of a journey as interesting towns are located every 10-30 km. Top sights are Šiluva Virgin Mary apparition site, Tytuvėnai monastery, the former regional centers Kražiai and Varniai as well as Rietavas. Total length: 75 km.

10.Explore the bicycle paths at Alytus, Lithuania's sixth largest city. They include an all-new bicycle-and-pedestrian bridge over Nemunas, which is the tallest bridge in Lithuania offering great views of the river.

Map of the top 10 bike routes in Lithuania. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

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