Places for nature outings
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!
The Girionys recreation area located on the shore of Kaunas Reservoir provides not only shelter from the sun and rain with shelters crafted by woodworkers, but also a feast for the eyes – a view of the reservoir and the towers of Pažaislis Monastery on the other side.
Every year, Trakų Vokė Manor announces the beginning of picnic season. People picnic here from early spring, when the first thunderstorms already allow you to sit on the grass, until late autumn, when the white manor house is framed by the colourful leaves of the trees. Children, pets, picnic baskets and barbecues are recommended. The hosts offer entertainment, a background of music, and tours of the manor.
The Paežerė campsite at Plateliai Lake is a favourite among people who have families, or who like to fish or sail. This is a place where you can pitch a tent, get settled in a shelter, or grab a picnic basket and a row boat and take in the blue distance from the middle of the lake.
After walking through all of the authentic ethnographic villages scattered around Tauragnas, stretch out your legs on the shore of the deepest lake in Lithuania. Situated in Aukštaitija National Park, the lake and its surroundings draw in nature lovers. They can admire the panorama of the lake from either of the two pontoons, picnic in a shelter, fish, row, and play volleyball on the sandy shore. There is also a playground here for children. In winter, this place is popular among ice fishers and skaters.
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.
Mushrooms, berries, fishing, or perhaps – just a romantic night under the stars. And that’s not all you’ll find at the Siesartis campsite – it also has a football field and a volleyball court, row boats that you can take to the nearby Birutė Island, and shelters that will protect you from the rain.
It has long been said that all the witches of Samogitia flock to Šatrijos Kalnas on summer nights. You can find out yourself if, of course, you dare to spend the night under the stars. But during the daytime, a picnic in the company not of witches but of good friends will be spiced up by the views of the surroundings.
Picnicking in a spot where rivers intersect is a remarkable experience. They say this is a special place filled with positive energy. The Merkinė hill fort, which opens up the confluence of the Nemunas and the Merkys, is an impressive place for a picnic. Once you recharge, you will be able to take on other activities as well – this important town in Lithuanian history and its surroundings can give you an unforgettable experience.
It is not only one of the six watermills in Aukštaitija National Park that attracts picnickers to this rest area. The swift Žeimena River, which flows out of Lake Žeimenys not far from the Pakretuonė campsite, is a favourite among water-based tourists. The campsite caretakers have built docks for them, as well as shelters, tables, benches and camp fire spots.
Neris Regional Park recommends a picnic at a million-star hotel alongside the Bražuolė brook. The stars will appear when the night is lit by the light of a camp fire, when the smell of meat cooking fills the campsite, and when the talk becomes quiet so that it is easier to hear the sound of the birds and the crickets.