True Lithuania

10 Places for Fun and Rest in Lithuania

Lithuania may have a short summer season (May-September), but Lithuanians know how to use it to the fullest. The seaside resorts swell 10 or even 100 times during summer weekends. At the same time, new indoor developments allow swimming in winter and ski in summer. Here are top 10 ideas for resting and having fun in Lithuania's resorts:

1.Make the best of the Curonian Lagoon at Nida, where many boat owners offer summer activities ranging from angling to gazing at spectacular dunes from the lagoon.

2.Ski regardless of the season at Indoor Ski slope at Druskininkai. Among the world's largest, it even has a cable car approaching it from the town.

3.Chill at the Basanavičiaus street of Palanga, the prime 2 km of fun. The pedestrianized street has many restaurants, bars, and clubs, most of them offering outdoor concerts every summer weekend. There are also funfairs, shops, events and crowds of people. Out of season it is much calmer save for festival weekends.

4.Hike and bike in the Curonian Spit, basing yourself in one of its five villages. 50 km of that slim UNESCO-inscribed forested peninsula is within Lithuania, all of it spanned by a bicycle route that passes interesting locations (bird colony, dunes reserve). Entire western shore is a glorious beach, pretty much empty between villages.

5.Enjoy procedures and mineral waters at the Spas of Druskininkai. Lithuania's 19th-century wooden mineral springs resort has gone upscale, offering high-quality amenities, safeguarded nature and classy activities. It's the only Lithuanian resort to attract more foreigners than locals.

6.Thrill at Druskininkai Water park which has water rides and massive baths complex. For some outdoor fun, you can also visit a nearby Adventure park, offering canopy walkways, ziplining and other tracks.

7.Complete your seaside vacation by witnessing the Baltic Sea sunset. As the entire Lithuanian shoreline faces West you may see it at any place, but Palanga sea bridge is held to be the most romantic location for that view of the reddish sun "drowning" in the sea.

8.Experience how Lithuanians manage to have their seaside holidays their cool climate by sunbathing among the Seaside dunes of Palanga. The dunes cover all the wind and none of the sun. Even in the colder days it may get too hot - but then you can always take a shade under the trees or "get out of dunes" to the nearby sea to cool off.

9.Enjoy the "essence of Lithuania" at one of its countless Countryside tourism farmsteads. Routine activities of times gone-by there become recreation for city-dwellers. They include traditional Baltic bathhouses, lakeside fun (boating, swimming, angling), horse riding, animal contact and others, depending on the farmstead.

10.Sunbath at one of Lithuania's Gender-segregated naturist beaches. They pre-date Western naturism by far. Pre-WW2 Western diplomats used to be appalled that "uncivilized Lithuanians go to the beaches naked". Ironically, merely a few decades passed before naturism became a new fad in the West.

Map of the top 10 locations for recreation and resort entertainment in Lithuania. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

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