We look forward to summer
We start counting down the days after Christmas. In summer, we go on canoe trips, try to master power kites or hop into a saddle for horseback riding, or count the stars while sitting by a campfire. In summer, we listen to blues on the shores of lakes. At the foot of mounds, we learn to forge iron, hollow wood to build boats and make magic drinks that gave our ancestors the strength to create this great country of Lithuania. Our summers have the smell of childhood, mist rising from the meadows, fresh milk, sand castles and translucent pieces of amber found on the beach early in the morning. They sound like the songs of migrating birds and crickets in wild meadows, and silence. Wrap your arms around it. Get closer to yourself, to the things that are real.
Our summers are short. That’s why we rush to feel them, enjoy them and experience them, and to sing and run our hearts out. We don’t sleep much, drowning ourselves in Culture Night and listening to music in blossoming botanical gardens, old monasteries and industrial regions. During the summertime, events move to the shore – we wave to the ships that have raised their sails and envelope ourselves in the frenzy of the Sea Festival and the rhythm of contemporary music on the beaches. Car and motorcycle racing, running paths in the Lithuania’s green forests, yacht and kiteboard competitions in the Curonian Lagoon, and knight tournaments at hill forts – every weekend in summer is dedicated to making exciting memories. So that we have something to keep us warm in the winter.
Sometimes it seems like Lithuania is one big forest. Covered with fragrant pine forests, embellished with ancient centuries-old oaks, and enticing with its white-barked birches and mysterious fir groves. Having even made their way into the centre of town, forests invite you to get away from it all, even if it’s just for the evening or the weekend. The wonderful views that open up at the campsites and forest areas, the vast meadows, or the foot of a hill fort will take your breath away – you’ll want to check to make sure you’re not dreaming. And if you’re not dreaming, why don’t you stick around for a bit? If the rules of the forest or the national or regional park permit, you can set up camp here or just spend half the day having a picnic on the grass. Good weather, great company, tasty snacks, the smoke of the bonfire, and a beautiful place. That’s everything you need for a perfect outing. And one thing is for sure: Lithuania has no shortage of beautiful places. Protect our environment – every plant, berry stalk, shrub, tree, and piece of moss is part of nature’s miracle. Pick a region, find information on tourist or visitor information centre websites, and go!
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.
Summer has its own flavour. “Discover it in the open air,” suggest the organisers of Open Kitchen, which is basically one big urban picnic.
It takes place at Tymas Market Place in the very centre of Vilnius every Friday, while Kaunas picnics on Thursdays at Nemunas Island. The atmosphere at both locations is as amazing as the food.
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.
You have no idea how much we look forward to summer! The days when we can jump over the waves in the refreshing Baltic Sea. And the nights in the warm blanket of the lake, still as a mirror, reflecting the stars. The white sandy beaches of the Curonian Spit, Klaipėda, Palanga and Šventoji, and the shores of Lithuania’s beautiful lakes and rivers, welcome visitors from the very first days of summer right up until autumn. There is a memorable place for everyone – on a lifeguarded beach at the shore, at a luxurious hotel or rural homestead, or in a tent on the shore of a lake.
Travelling by bike is a great way to get to know the most beautiful corners of Lithuania up close.
For example, you can ride through the streets of the old towns of Vilnius and Kaunas, you can cover a cycling route of more than 100 km along the Lithuanian seaside, or you can bike around Lake Plateliai in Samogitia.
Nature has given us natural riches that we have long relied upon to deal with a variety of health challenges or simply to regain our strength. The effect of mineral water, herb or mud treatments inspired by deep traditions and applied with a professional approach is undoubted. All you have to do is choose the most appropriate natural remedy for you.
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.
Places where you can play, discover, learn and experience. Little discoverers are just waiting for adults to take them by the hand and show them a world full of interesting things.
When Helen Mirren walks into her home as Catherine the Great in the new HBO mini series named after the famous Russian Empress, she’s not really in the actual rooms of the famed Tsarskoye Selo palace just south of Saint Petersburg. She’s actually in the historical Vilnius University Library in Vilnius, Lithuania. This and many more secrets are shared in a new guide entitled Vilnius On Screen. It’s a perfect read for those interested in what goes on behind the scenes of the latest productions by the likes of HBO, Netflix, National Geographic, Sky TV, and many more. The guide invites readers to take a deep dive into renowned film and television titles like War and Peace, Jack the Ripper, the Conductor, and more – and shows them how Vilnius provided the setting they needed to bring their stories to life.
Lithuanians drink amber tea, nettle wine, blueberry kvass and dandelion coffee, and they extract so much mineral water they can bathe in it. And, every spring, they drink juice from the trees.
Seasonal food is the main characteristic of Lithuanian cuisine. The sap from maple or birch trees has for a long time been the first natural treat of the year. The time to enjoy this slightly sweet nutritional drink, one sip of which embraces an entire waking forest, is the month of March.
Last year was a record one for the Lithuanian tourism sector. In 2018, 3.6 million tourists travelled in our country and spent at least one night here: of these, 1.7 million were people from abroad, while 1.9 million were from Lithuania.
It is now possible to travel back in time to when Vilnius was known as the Jerusalem of the North. Unlocking the Jewish cultural heritage deeply embedded into the city’s streets, buildings, and history has just become a lot easier thanks to the new free guide entitled, Discover Jewish Heritage in Vilnius.
Your urban birding can start right in the centre of the old town, that is designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. While admiring the medieval architecture, also dish out equal admiration for the Black Redstarts that adorn many of the city’s pinnacles.