from €49 per person
Route of the excursion: Vilnius – Klaipėda – Juodkrantė – Nida.
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.
Leaving towards Klaipėda early in the morning. Going to the Curonian Spit. Ferry to Smiltynė. A stop in Juodkrantė. Pedestrian tour of the Hill of Witches, souvenirs; a walk along the embankment admiring stone sculpture “Land and water” exposition. A visit to the Museum of Weather wanes. A stop by cormorant colony. Going to Nida. Free time for lunch. Tour of Nida (Fisherman’s ethnographic farmstead, Lagoon shore, Amber museum, H. Blode’s hotel – artists’ colony). Free time and overnight at hotel.
Breakfast. A visit to Parnidis dune and Thomas Mann house-museum. Free time for lunch. Going home. On the way a stop by Nagliai nature reserve to admire the impressive Grey (Dead) Dunes.
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Two days in the Curonian spit
Lithuania’s Baltic seacoast is one of the most beautiful in Europe. Curonian spit is a miracle of nature created by sand, seam wind and human hand. Beautiful dunes of white sand playing with wind, green hills covered by ancient forest… Romantic settlements maintaining traditional fishermen’s architectural style, in harmony with nature. Famous German scientist, geographer A. Humboldt wrote after visiting it at the end of the 19th century: “Curonian Spit is as unique as Italy or Spain, which must be seen by those, who want to charm their spirit by splendid views…”.
Curonian spit is a narrow band 97 km long between the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon formed by sea waves and streams, sand and wind some 5000 years ago. 52 km of it belong to Lithuania, the rest is the territory of Russia. The National Park was established in 1991 to preserve the most valuable Lithuanian seacoast landscape complex from both natural and cultural aspect. Curonian Spit was included in UNESCO World Heritage List as cultural landscape object. Now Curonian Spit by value equals such UNESCO enlisted parks as Iguazu (Argentina), Kakadu (Australia), Kaziranga (India), Tongariro (New Zealand) and others. About 900 flora species are found in the park, about 40 species of mammals and 300 species of birds live permanently. Bird migration route is along Curonian Spit, and millions of birds fly over it every spring and autumn. There live over 40 species of fishes in the Curonian Lagoon.
A nice legend says that a kind-hearted giant Neringa made the Curonian spit, creating a safe shelter for local fishermen from angry sea Gods. This legend serves as a source of inspiration for painters, photographers and writers. The old inhabitants, who settled here were named Curonians. They went fishing to the Lagoon by a flat-bottomed boat Kurėnas. They attached a weathervane to the mast, which showed not only the wind direction but also the boat’s belonging to a specific village. Roofs of their houses were covered by reeds. Houses were decorated, mostly by a gable at each end, with intersecting carvings of stylised horses or birds. Their staple food was fish cooked in various ways, and sometimes crows… The aroma of smoked fish is felt in to date Neringa settlements, and guests are treated to Curonian chowder, smoked eel and breams, dried smelt and vimba fried on fire.
Neringa town was founded in 1961, consisting of four settlements: Nida, Preila, Pervalka and Juodkrantė. Juodkrantė is one of the oldest Curonian settlements. It was first mentioned in historical sources in 1429. Amber was industrially mined in the Curonian Lagoon bay by Juodkrantė in the 2dn half of the 19th century. In 30 years, the Stantien&Becker company mined 2250 tons of amber.
One of the most beautiful old parabolic dunes in Juodkrantė called Raganų kalnu is a special place. Therefore, an idea was developed for folk masters to carve characters of fairy tales and legends from wood to enliven the hill. Currently there are over 80 oak tree sculptures. The authors of the exposition are sculptor S. Šarapovas and architect A. Nasvytis. The road leads through accumulations of witches and devils, fairy tale creatures. Here you can find a witch and if you whisper into its ear, the wish becomes true; there is also a bench after sitting on which people recover from all maladies.
By the Lagoon shore there is a nice embankment made for walking and cycling. It is decorated by stone sculptures, which are the result of 1997 symposium “Land and Water”. There is an interesting “Weather wane gallery” at Rėza str. 13.
Nida is the largest and perhaps the oldest settlement of Neringa at a distance of 45 km from Smiltynė. Here live about 2300 inhabitants. Every year about 700 thousand tourists from Lithuania and Western Europe visit it, especially from Germany. There is a bicycle route connecting Nida to Klaipėda (Smiltynė). It was first mentioned in historical sources in 1366. The settlement moved to the present location in 1730.
The atmosphere of the old Nida could be felt in the ethnic zone by the pier: rectangular network of streets, fishermen’s houses dating back to the 1st half of the 20th century, their end facing the Lagoon, roofs covered by tiles and painted brown. Artists were the first to notice the beauty of Nida. At the end of the 19th century they established the so-called artists’ colony and attracted holidaymakers to this peaceful fishermen’s village. The artists’ colony was in Hermann Blode’s hotel. Artists were lured to Nida by the image of Prussian Sahara, peculiarity of fishermen’s village and most of all, by specific light of the dunes, coast and water.
Parnidis dune with observation platform is one of the most frequently visited sites of Neringa (the height of the dune is 52 m). From here, one can admire the beautiful landscape and its variety: southwards panorama of bare “travelling”, the tallest Sklandytojų dune (68 m) are seen; turning north, one sees Urbas Hill Lighthouse. In 1995, a sundial was erected on the platform of Parnidis dune: 13.8 m high stone pole weighing 36 tons. Astronomically it is an ideal and the only place for the sundial in Lithuania. Absolute mathematical horizon opens from the site. It is only from this location that one can see both sunrise and sunset from water, from the Lagoon to the sea. The structure was badly damaged by hurricane Anatoly in 1999. The sundial was rebuilt in 2011.
Museum of writer Thomas Mann. In 1929-1930 a house reminding a fisherman’s cottage according to architect H. Reisman’s design was built on the Uošvės hill in Nida. The Nobel Prize winner Thomas Mann spent 3 summers there with his family (1930-1932). Here he followed routine regime, continued writing novel “Joseph and his brothers”. Now the house serves as Thomas Mann’s memorial museum, where one can get acquainted with Mann’s personality, moments of life in Nida, relations with Lithuaia. Next to the museum, there is an observation platform “Italian View”.