Flights over the most beautiful places in Lithuania, marathons and half marathons, kiteboarding in the Curonian Lagoon, yacht racing, jumping from the highest bridges, dinner in the sky, night hikes through swamps, bike trips to hill forts, walking trails and unexpected encounters in the countryside. You don’t have to bring your own bike, boat or hot air balloon. We have everything here.
The sun rising over the city, the lakes nestled in the woods, the rivers winding through the land, the castles emerging from the fog, and the glittering manor houses. You can never get enough of Lithuania from above. Vilnius is one of the few cities in Europe where hot air balloons are allowed to take off in the centre, right in the Old Town. The important thing is that there isn’t a strong wind, it’s not raining, and there is good visibility of the sky and the ground. The impression is enhanced by the season – a flight over blossoming gardens in spring, over golden trees in autumn, or over Trakai Castle, covered with a sheet of white snow in winter, will be totally different. You’ll bring back yet another impression from Birštonas after rising above the loops of the Nemunas, or after taking in the old Kernavė hill forts from above. A dinner prepared by one of the best chefs in Lithuania in a hot air balloon will also be something you will never forget.
http://www.golfclub.lt/en/Lithuania is the perfect place for people who consider golf to be more than a sport, but also a way to enjoy life and get to know new places. Natural hills and valleys, small little lakes and forests, and fields that are green all summer long – not much needs to be done to turn the usual landscape of our country into an exciting golf course. All of Lithuania’s golf courses are situated near the most beautiful places in the country – by the geographic centre of Europe, in the Pipiriškės Geomorphological Reserve, between the four historical Lithuanian capitals of Kernavė, Trakai, Kaunas and Vilnius, between two lakes near Vilnius, in the Dzūkija region famous for its natural beauty and authenticity, and in the picturesque valley of the Danė River, not far from the shore.
Lithuanians have always considered the horse to be a special animal and a friend. During pagan times, our ancestors used to pray to them; they worked the land with them and kept the enemy out of Lithuania with them. You can learn about the entire history of our horses in the district of Anykščiai at the Horse Museum, and as long as you’re there, don’t pass up the chance to try saddling up yourself.
If you’ve never done this before, an instructor will help you, and if riding is your passion, then go out around Vilnius or take in the fantastic views around Kaunas.
Those experienced at pedalling won’t even get very tired in Lithuania, it’s so small. But they’ll see so much in exchange! Riding a bike is a great way to be active, spend time with good company, or sometimes – just with yourself. This form of travel lets you get to know the land better and visit interesting places. On a bike, you can go to places where cars aren’t welcome – you can ride through the streets of the old towns in Vilnius and Kaunas, and you can cover a route of more than 200 kilometres on the Seaside Cycle Route, from Būtingė in the north to Nida in the south, and along the coast from Klaipėda to Rusnė Island. Or you can ride around Lake Plateliai in Samogitia.
You can’t change the meeting place – as soon as the weather gets warm, kiteboarders flock to their Mecca in Svencelė, a remote corner of the Curonian Lagoon. There are enthusiasts who spend their entire summer here. A real community of kiteboarding fans has formed in the sea containers that are equipped as houses.
Once they learn to kiteboard, enthusiasts spread out across the entire coast of Lithuania – you can see their colourful kites in Nida, Juodkrantė, Palanga and Šventoji.
Lithuania is surprisingly good for wakeboarding – we have more than 30 wake parks set up at various lakes. The fantasy, the sense of freedom, the tricks, and the chance to spend time outdoors with friends entices wakeboarders of all ages. If you want to go wakeboarding, you don’t need any special advance preparation. All you need is the motivation and you’ll be riding on the water your very first time. Waiting for the right wind or wave isn’t necessary!
With national and regional parks, the Curonian Spit, interesting trails hidden in the woods, and roads leading to hill forts, hiking in Lithuania is practically becoming a national sport.
Some people set out for a few hours, while others take off for an entire week. Exercise, meditation, interaction, new acquaintances, and the chance to get to know the land slowly, without rushing, attracts people of all ages. New ideas are often born in groups, and enthusiasts say that walking promotes creativity.
At that moment when you are trying with all your strength not to capsize in a rapid river, the spirit of the conqueror and discoverer becomes especially strong. Just like when you cruise past the currant shrubs showing red on the banks, when you pick handfuls of blackberries, when you spot a rare bird in the woods of Dzūkija, or when you paddle from one lake to another in Aukštaitija. You feel like a discoverer when you set your eyes on the sand dunes of the Curonian Spit as you coast by in a hand-crafted canoe. And when you escape the urban jungle and paddle down the river right into the centre of Vilnius, you almost feel like you have conquered all of Lithuania’s waters.
Our sailors are sailing the world, bringing home Olympic medals and inspiring young people, who are challenging sea dogs in the Kaunas Reservoir or raising their sails on the Curonian Spit. You can set sail with company, or you can go it alone. This is a good beginning for a serious hobby.
Lithuanians are so obsessed with the feeling of freedom under sail that even in winter, they head out to the reservoirs and lakes to sail on ice. Sometimes they even use meadows flooded by the Nemunas, one of our largest rivers.
If there is water, there will also be a boat. A small row boat or paddle boat to go for a ride on the legendary Lake Plateliai, or a small yacht that you can take to see Trakai Castle, shining bright red on the island in the middle of the lake, or to spend the day sailing down the Nemunas to Kadagių Slėnis (“Juniper Valley”) or to Birštonas, an old mineral water resort surrounded by pine forests. It is from a boat on the Curonian Lagoon that the unique dunes of Neringa are best seen. And it’s no secret that on a boat, you can make the catch of your life. No matter where you fish – the Curonian Spit, Nemunas Delta, the national parks of Aukštaitija, Dzūkija or Žemaitija, or the ponds at Karpynė.
A little more warmth in winter, and a lot more fun in summer. This is what awaits at water parks, where adults are as welcome as children. There are even special sauna facilities for adults in Druskininkai, where people who enjoy bathing in the buff will feel at home. If you come to Vilnius for a short holiday, you won’t have to go far to find water amusements – they are just a 15-minute drive from the centre. In Trakai, you can also enjoy several lakes and pool water as well. And if you’re at the shore on a cold day, be sure to visit the park there, which is the ultimate holiday. But if it’s summer and you decide you want to be outside, look for an inflatable water park. Just beware: you might have a hard time getting the kids to leave.
Have you ever heard of an ice boat – a sail boat on runners? Maybe this will be the winter that you dare to try it out? The only condition is that the cold has to lock in the Curonian Lagoon or other body of water with at least 10 centimetres of ice. And then all you need is a few minutes of instruction and you’re set to wrestle with the wind.
We get a lot of snow in winter, so skiing becomes a great pastime and even a serious sport. The elevation is offset by the extraordinary natural beauty and the opportunity to go directly from the four Kalita Hill trails to the mineral springs pool, recover in a traditional Lithuanian sauna, or enjoy a relaxing massage. Kalita Hill has five ski lifts, and there is a rental where you can get everything you need to have fun coming down the slopes.
Ignalina has long been famous for its skiing traditions – it is home to the Lithuanian Winter Sports Centre and has four ski runs, and you can easily bump into one of country’s best skiers on the trails in the forest. If you ski to Samogitia, look for Mortos Kalns, a small but cosy ski centre in the Plungė district. Meanwhile, in Vilnius you can have fun from morning till night at Liepkalnis. Even if the weather doesn’t seem good for skiing, you will always find snow here since they have a powerful snowmaking system. Well, and if you can’t live without snow even in summer, go to Druskininkai, where you can kill two birds with one stone, first getting a bit of winter at the indoor Snow Arena, and then enjoying summer in Druskininkai’s pine forests and spa centres.
Speed, excitement and challenges reign at all five of Lithuania’s karting tracks. They are designed for both sports and entertainment. The Plytinės karting track has been operating in Vilnius for 50 years. The tracks in Aukštadvaris and Anykščiai have just been resurfaced. Summers at the Smalininkai karting track are for children, who come for special camps. Speedway, which is the newest open-air karting track, is located nearby Elektrėnai, alongside the Vilnius–Kaunas highway. Kartlandas has indoor karting tracks in Vilnius and Kaunas, and Kaunas also has Epower Arena, where you can race electric karts. If you want to go for a spin in Klaipėda, look for Pajūrio Kartingai or stop by Gokartas.