Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Three countries on the shores of the Baltic sea that can convert to a very interesting destination of you next summer holiday. They offer anything you could think of: big metropoles pulsing with (night)life, interesting historical monuments, beaches with soft white sand and azure sea, romantic and calm countryside as well as untouched nature and deep woods. And the best part is that you will have more time for discovering of all the beautiful places. The summer days are longer in these countries.
Lithuania – the southernmost country of the Baltic wake-robin. Where to make a stop in Lithuania and what you should not miss? That to a great extend depends on your personal preferences. We chose for you top three destinations from our point of view. We hope that anybody will be able to choose out of this offer – history geek, beach fan as well as genuine nature lover.
The second biggest city of Lithuania and one of the most interesting places we have visited during our expedition. There are two historical city centers in Kaunas – both worth to be seen. One historical city center origins in the period when the city was founded. There is the town hall and the town hall square around which old churches and narrow streets are concentrated. They hide old houses with cosy cafes, restaurants or small shops. The city also has a medieval castle.
There is however one more historical city center in Kaunas. It was founded in the first half of the 20th century. Due to a 1919 Bolsheviks invasion in the eastern parts of the countries and occupation of Vilnius Kaunas became a temporary capital of Lithuania. These circumstances have caused a big construction boom and general development of the city. And so today you can admire the Art Deco buildings along the Laisvés aléja (The Freedom Avenue) but not only here.
Laisvés aléja is a 2km long avenue that has been converted into a pedestrian zone. A linden alley in its center makes it quite special and the Church of St. Michael the Archangel at its end gives it a specific look. Along the avenue and in its neighborhood you can admire many buildings coming from the period when Kaunas was the capital of Lithuania. You can admire e.g. the building of the main post office (1930-32), Officers palace (1937), Vytautas the Great War Museum, Cinema Romuva (1940) or the Milk center – a multifunctional building with commercial premises as well as apartments (1931-32). Above all of this beauty stands the Church of Christ’s Resurrection. This unique construction (1934-1940) is not only a unique architecture masterpiece. It also symbolizes the liberation and resurrection of the nation of Lithuania. Visitors of the church can take a lift ride up to the roof of the church. It is in fact a viewing platform from which you can observe from above the new historical city center lying along the Laisvés aléja.
More tourist information about Kaunas is available on www.visit.kaunas.lt.
Click on www.lithuania.travel for more information about the country.
The old hanseatic town, actually, the oldest town in Lithuania. In the small but cosy historical center you will find interesting the Fachwerk buildings. Fachwerk is an architectonic style that leaves the bearing parts of construction bare on the facade so they create a kind of facade decoration. These buildings used to be used for various purposes – for living, storing the goods etc. Most of such buildings are concentrated in the Artists Yard.
The best preserved and of the most impressive Fachwerk buildings is the Old Mill Hotel. It is located on the way to the Old ferry terminal.
Another specialty of the Klaipéda historical center are its streets. They are perpendicular. Quite an extraordinary phenomenon for such an old city. The explanation is however very easy. It is a consequence of the fact that the history of the city was for a long time influenced by the Germans.
During a pleasant walk in the Klaipéda city center do not miss the sailing ship Meridianas. It is permanently anchored on the Dané river just a couple of steps away from the Theater square. Story of this sailing ship must have been written by a Hollywood script writer. Sentenced to demolition it was rescued in the last moment by a group of volunteers. Nowadays its board offers a nice restaurant with great food.
Even if you decide to skip Klaipéda during your visit to Lithuania, you definitely should not skip the Curronian Spit and the town Nida.
The Curronian Spit is a narrow piece of land lying between the coast of Kaliningrad area and Klaipéda. The state border cuts the Spit exactly in its middle. The Spit closes the waters of the Baltic see in a calm lagoon. It is possible to cruise the lagoon in order to get from Klaipéda to Nida. The little town lies only a couple of kilometers away from the above mentioned state border. It has an authentic and calm atmosphere and its architecture will for sure amaze you.
At the southern end of the town lies a high shifting dune. Due to natural forces as well as human activities the dune is disappearing. It is not a very fast process though – in the last 30 years the dune has lost about 10 meters of its height to the current 67m. Anyway, you should not hesitate to visit this beautiful and extraordinary place.
The naturists will also enjoy this place. We found the official naturist beach right behind the Nida at the Baltic sea shore. The beach offers soft white sand and azure sea. It looked like a paradise.
And here is a short video from this trip. Have fun:
We spent a couple of weeks in the Baltic countries during our currently ongoing expedition To Gibraltar through Nordkapp. What is the expedition about we have described in our blog on www.vistatravellers.com. Here we also share our travel experience and impressions from the particular countries as well as interesting interviews from abroad. You can also follow us on Facebook in order to find out, how we progress with our expedition: www.facebook.com/vistatravellers.
More photos from Lithuania on www.tomaskozik.com.