If you didn’t already know, we have almost 3,000 lakes in Lithuania. Hidden deep in the woods and soaking up the sun rays at campsites, rural homesteads, manors and luxury hotels, the lakes invite you to dive into a different type of recreation. One that promises serenity and fresh air that revives the tired body, drives away stress, clears the thoughts, and provides the opportunity to experience Lithuania’s fantastic nature.
That’s what makes Vilnius charming – if you’re passing out from the heat, all you have to do is get on a bus and within half an hour, you’re sitting on the shore of a river or a lake. If you want some exercise, you can just throw on your running shoes and jog there from the centre of town. After a good run, is there really anything better than plunging into the refreshing water and watching the tips of the pine trees sway as you float on your back? There are about 90 lakes around Vilnius. There are public beaches at Salotė, Tapeliai, Balžis and the Žalieji (“Green”) Lakes, and the beaches next to hotels and rural tourism homesteads offer a variety of services. Take your pick!
The most romantic place you can find. The Medieval castle playing in the reflections of the surrounding lakes promises not only relaxation or active recreation near the water, but historical intrigue as well. Once you reach Trakai from Vilnius by train, bus, car or bike, set aside the entire day for swimming in the lakes of Akmena, Totoriškės, Galvė or Luka. If you get hungry, there are plenty of places to replenish – at a traditional Karaim kybyn place, at a restaurant on the shore of a lake, at a beach bar, or at a campsite near a public beach where you can have your own picnic.
Wherever you go, there’s a lake. Isn’t that why the district of Zarasai is called lake country? In summer, 305 lakes invite you to inhale the air sounding of silence, wade in their clear water, cool off in their refreshing depths, and stop time. The lake resort of Zarasai is also located on a lake. Lake Zarasaitis features a lake swimming pool as well as a 10-metre diving platform. WAKE INN Zarasai is a great place not only for swimming, but also for some exciting water recreation. Famous for its horse races in winter, Lake Sartai is a popular place in summer as well, with changing cabins, exercise equipment and swings on its beach. Around the Zarasai lakes, rural tourism homesteads abound, so if you want to stay longer, check them out.
If you find yourself in Samogitia, don’t miss the fabled Lake Plateliai, which is known for its picturesque shores. The locals will advise you not to swim in the lake at night – even if you’re not frightened by the moaning coming from the dark waters, long-haired fairies will still grab you by the leg! But during the daytime, neither tourists nor locals can resist this incredible lake located in the territory of Žemaitija National Park. Its bays and peninsulas harbour numerous recreation areas, rural tourism homesteads and hotels, and it is surrounded by a bike path. You can take the path to find the most beautiful swimming areas. Find out the secrets of Lake Plateliai yourself! Or choose any of the other 32 lakes in the district of Plungė.
The rivers and lake shores overgrown with wild blueberry bushes in the district of Varėna are a true paradise for nature lovers. You can get to the beach of Lake Žiežulis by taking the lovely educational trail, while others can be reached on sandy forest paths or by taking the road to one of the many well-kept rural homesteads. You’ll have a chance to swim and pick berries, and don’t forget a basket for mushrooms, because this is Dzūkija – famous not only for its 144 lakes, but also for its edible natural riches.
Situated in Aukštaitija National Park in the district of Utena, Tauragnas is the deepest lake in Lithuania. Experienced swimmers sometimes take on the challenge of swimming to the peninsula in the middle of the lake to take in Taurapilis – one of the highest hill forts in Lithuania. The shore of the lake is equipped with shelters, outdoor furniture, a beach volleyball court and a playground. Utena District has 185 lakes and 33 supervised swimming areas. Choose whichever one your heart is leaning towards, whether it’s on the shores of the Vyžuonėlis or the Dauniškis in the town of Utena, hidden in a forest, or in one of the many well-maintained rural tourism homesteads.
In the eastern part of the country, the hills and ravines are spotted with mystical forests and interlaced with streams, and those longing for solitude are drawn in by the abundance of lakes. There are said to be over 200 lakes in the Ignalina region, including Dringis, Lūšiai and Baluošas, which will no doubt mesmerize you. Ignalina is also an excellent place to visit a picturesque rural tourism homestead.
If you’re looking for lakes here, first find Lake Asveja, which is the longest in Lithuania. Just be careful – in some places, it’s as deep as 50 metres. Surrounded by picturesque pine forests and famous for its soft sandy beaches, Lake Kertuojai in Labanoras Regional Park is one of the most beautiful in this area. No less appealing are the nearby Juodieji Lakajai and Baltieji Lakajai. There are a total of 279 lakes in the Molėtai region, which has five state reserves within its territory. You will definitely find a place to go swimming, whether it’s in a secluded forest or at one of the many areas managed by entertainment complexes, campsites or rural tourism homesteads offering active recreation.