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Most famous towns of Lithuania Minor

from 69 per person

Route of the excursion: Vilnius – Telšiai – Plungė – Klaipėda – Palanga.

Three-day tour.

The price shown is for a group of 10 people.

The price includes: guide services.

Transport, food, accommodation and other services – for an extra charge.

Day 1

Leaving early in the morning in the direction of Samogitia. Going to the capital of Samogitia Telšiai, situated on seven hills. A visit to Samogitian Village Museum (8.5 ha) situated along the southwest shore of Mastis Lake. Exhibition includes 16 authentic 19-20 century beginning buildings transferred from Samogitian villages. Exposition acquaints with Samogitian village architecture, everyday life. Arriving to the centre of Telšiai. Tour includes walking in the Old Town (Clock in the Market Square, the Great Samogitian Wall, Amphitheatre, embankment of Mastis Lake, Museum “Alka” etc.), a visit to Telšiai Cathedral of St Francis of Padua. Free time for lunch. After lunch going towards Plungė. Acquaintance with Plungė town and Plungė estate and park. A visit to Neo renaissance style palace of M. Oginskis and Samogitia Art Museum in it. Leaving for Klaipėda. Free time and overnight stay.

Day 2

A short tour of Klaipėda.  Going to Smiltynė by ferry and visiting Lithuanian Sea Museum. Return to Klaipėda and going towards Palanga.  Tasting Samogitian dishes in HBH (Žibininkai village). After lunch going to Palanga. Checking in at hotel. Free time and overnight stay.

Day 3

Tour of Palanga: Birutė Hill, Hurhaus, Tiškevičiai avenue, Sculpture Park, Vytautas str., Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, Basanavičius str., Palangos tiltas. Leisure time in Palanga. Going home towards nightfall.

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Most famous towns of Lithuania Minor and Samogitia

(Telšiai, Plungė, Klaipėda, Palanga)

Lithuania is not a big country but it surprises and fascinates by variety of: landscape, dialects, culture, and people’s mentality. Peculiarity of Lithuania Minor is conditioned by natural conditions, as it is territory by the sea having spent several hundred years under German rule. Arriving to Lithuania Minor one notices different architecture – the relic of German culture – fachwerk style atypical in other regions of Lithuania, weather wanes, cemeteries with specific tomb stones krikštai and others.

Samogitia is an ethnic region in the northeast Lithuania, an especially beautiful area. It is famous for its manor homesteads, hilly relief, dramatic history and specific dialect. Undoubtedly, it attracts by its proximity to the sea. The history of Samogitia is dramatic and moving. For centuries it served as a shield protecting Lithuania against Teutonic Knights attacks. Officially, Samogitia was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 12the century, and after Grunewald battle in 1422, the German order finally confirmed by Melnas treaty the fact that Samogitia is part of GDL.

Telšiai is the capital of Samogitia. It was first mentioned in written sources in 1450. It is situated on seven hills surrounding the Mastis Lake from east and west. According to the legend, Telšiai was founded by hero Džiugas also called Telšis, who lived on Džiugas hill. The central part of Telšiai has the status of urbanistic monument. In the 18th century the head of Telšiai P. Sapiega settled Franciscans on the highest Insula hill by building the Church of St Anthony of Padua for them. Now it is the Cathedral, received the title after Telšiai diocese was established in 1926.  The central two-story altar is exceptional. As well as a gallery along all the perimeter of the second floor, original lateral altars and pulpit (it is thought that gallery altars were created by Tomas Pdhaiskis). Telšiai is richly decorated and quite often, it is called the town of arts.

Samogitian Village Museum covering 15 ha area by the Mastis Lake now includes are 16 authentic 19-20 century beginning buildings with exposition of Samogitian everyday life. Here you can see three farmsteads: of a rich farmer, average one and of poor peasant.

Plungė is one of the largest and most frequently visited Samogitian towns. In the 16th century it is mentioned as a small town. In 1792, it received self-governing rights. In the 19th century Plungė belonged to count Zubov, and in 1873 the Plungė estate, town and its environs were acquired by count Mykolas Oginskis. He established his residence in Plungė famous for its beauty and cultural activities. Architect of German origin K. Lorenz designed a magnificent palace ensemble, which naturally fitted in the park of mixed type. Italian Neo renaissance style palace with two officines and Neo Gothic style stables became the key part of the architectural ensemble. Clock-conservatory looks very interesting, it used to be Zubov’s little castle. M. Oginskis used it as gardener’s place and conservatory. Red brick castle is similar to Palazzo Vechio in Florence. Now it houses Plungė public library. In addition to introducing economic and technological novelties, the owners were involved in educational and patronage activities: they founded an orphanage, financed Lithuanian movement, founded music school and orchestra, in which M. K. Čiurlionis learnt and played. In 1994, the palace opened as Samogicia Art Museum. Annually, international festival is organized named after Mykolas Oginskis, and one of its concerts is dedicated to M. K. Čiurlionis.

Klaipėda is the gate of the country, the oldest city of Lithuania. Livonian Order built the first wooden castle at the mouth of the Danė River in 1252. This fact is considered the foundation of Klaipėda. Later a brick castle was built called Memelburg. Memel is German for the Nemunas River. Later the city was named Klaipėda. The city and its region were ruled by Germans for 500 years. Settlement around the castle developed into town. However, fate was not favourable for it. It burnt many times, was plundered by wars, rulers changed. Until WWI Klaipėda belonged to Germany. On January 9, 1923, there was an uprising, and Klaipėda with its region were joined to Lithuania again. On March 22, 1939, Hitler came to Klaipėda by ship and declared from the theatre balcony that Klaipėda region would belong to Germany forever. Klaipėda suffered a lot during WWII.

The Old Town is the part of the city on the left bank of the Danė River. Many structures here are fachwerk type, when a wooden frame filled with bricks and stones supports all the building and roof. The Old Town is small and cosy, decorated by a number of merry sculptures.

Theatre square is the heart of Klaipėda city, where city events and festivals take place. It was rebuilt after the great fire of 1854, and Neo Classicism style theatre was built instead of the former Classicist one. The main element of the square is sculpture of Annie of Tarau and a fountain surrounding it. It is a monument to Klaipėda-born poet, professor of Konigsberg University Simon Dach, who became famous in Germany, Austria, Switzerland by a love song “Annie of Tarau”, and the bells of Munich Town Hall still play the melody.

Neo Gothic Klaipėda Post Office and Carillon. Central post office was built in 1893. The complex consists of three buildings, and central two-story building with attics is post office. In 1987, concert bells (48 in total) were installed in the Post Office tower. Carillon music is performed every Saturday and Sunday.

Klaipėda is famous for its marine traditions. Since 1934, Jūros šventė (Sea Festival) takes place last July weekend. It is the greatest and most impressive festival in the port.

Taking a ferry across the Curonian Lagoon to Smiltynė, one can visit Lithuanian Sea Museum in Kopgalis. A fortification used to stand there, which after reconstruction in 1979 was transformed into museum complex. Sea Museum presents an attractive picture marine nature and shipping history. Dolphins and Californian sea lions give an attractive performance in the Dolphinarium.

Palanga was established in 1253. The Order was pushed out of Samogitia  after Grunewald battle, and in 1453 Palanga was finally given to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. For many years, it was the most important port of Lithuania, the inhabitants of which went fishing, collected amber and traded with other ports. Since the end of the 18th century, sources mention therapeutic bathing in Palanga. At the beginning of the 19th c. Palanga became famous as summer resort. In 1824, count M. J. Tyszkewicz, tsarist army colonel, acquired Palanga. In 1991, many sanatoria, guesthouses were privatized. Now Palanga is the most popular seacoast resort of Lithuania undoubtedly having its symbols.

One of them and perhaps the most important one is the Jūros tiltas. From it a wonderful view to the dunes and the sea opens. Here one can hear the sea and screams of seagulls.  In the 19the century, count Tyszkewicz constructed a pier for ships; however storms used to cover it by sand. Later the pier became a favourite site for walks. In 1998, a new pier was built put on concrete poles (length 470 m).

One more symbol of the resort is Kurhaus. In 1875-1876, count Tyszkewicz built a service centre, which then was called Kurhaus. It contained resort hotel with a restaurant, a casino, chess and billiard halls, a library.

Palanga Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary is a Neo Gothic church with a tower of 76 m. An impressive pulpit and three altars decorated by bas-relieves made of French marble (sculptor Mona). Count Felix Tyszkewicz financed the construction.

Palanga Botanical Park (Birutės Park) is one of the most beautiful parks in Eastern Europe of English style with classicism elements of planning. The park was laid out in 1837 by count Felix Tyszkewicz in Birutės forest considered sacred. The author of the design is a famous French landscape architect E. F. Andre. It is thought that about 500 species of trees and bushes brought from Berlin, Koningsberg as well as from other European botanical gardens were planted. The dominating species is pine, black alders, firs and other trees grow there. In 1897, in the central part of the park Neo Renaissance Palace (arch. F. Švechtenas) was built, residence of counts Felix and Antonina Tyszkewicz. They lived here until 1941. Amber museum was established in it in 1963. Now it contains over 30 000 exhibits.