Lithuania — with over 3,000 lakes and around 60,000 km of winding streams and rivers — is home to many water enthusiasts. In most cases, a short, 30-minute ride from the bustling city is enough to reach a tranquil lake surrounded by lush forests.
Lithuania's lakes and rivers have something to offer everyone. Whether they are a gourmet interested in Lithuanian cuisine or a sports fan looking for a rush of adrenaline in their next adventure, the following locations reveal why Lithuanians are so keen on spending time by the water.
Dining out in the middle of a lake
Enjoying a course of flavorful meals made from local ingredients does not necessarily mean needing to go to an expensive restaurant. In Lithuania, food lovers can find multiple options for dining out while exploring a river or lake. Starting from July, the country even offers a trip with a new electric catamaran, passing the greenery of Love Island, the rotunda, the Janis oak, and the distances of Latvia.
Heading out of Klaipėda — the country’s largest port city — is the “Fish’s Road” culinary cruise, an exclusive water route through the Curonian Lagoon, the Nemunas Delta, the Minija River, and the King Wilhelm Canal. The cruise is unique in that it sails through four waters on either speedboats or two types of ships, switching from one to the other during the journey. Classic seaside dishes made from the locally caught fish are served throughout the experience.
Active rest in Lithuania’s kitesurfing capital
Travelers that prefer a rush of adrenaline and activity while out by the water may enjoy the town of Svencelė, situated by the Curonian Lagoon. A watersports capital in its own right, over the past few years the town has been discovered by international kitesurfing enthusiasts, adding to the ranks of local sportsmen. It offers shallow waters, constant winds from April to October, and an increasing number of kitesurfing schools.
There are several options for stylish lodging in Svencelė for those desiring complete kitesurfing immersion. Enthusiasts of glamping can stay at Kiteboarding base “Svencelė,” which offers three types of comfortably furnished containers with a full view of the Curonian Lagoon.
Escape into a private island for two
Lithuania is famous for its emerald green forests — woodlands cover almost a third of the country — filled with untamed wildlife and lush flora. Those seeking to become immersed in rejuvenating nature can take a kayak through the country’s southwest — the region of Dzūkija. Travelers have a chance at observing rare birds, such as the black stork or barn owls, while paddling down the river Ūla — famous among adventurers for being fast, narrow, and winding.
Visitors that prefer a more private, quaint escape into nature can head out to the town of Molėtai, which has a small network of private islands for rent in the surrounding lakes. One example is Apple Island, where visitors will find stunning views of the water hugging the island from all directions, hundreds of apple trees that bloom with soft-pink pastels in late summer, and authentic, cozy wooden farmhouses.
On the nearby Bebrusai lake lies the island-camping site “Fisherman's Paradise,” which has a summer house for two persons, a gazebo, a fish smoker, hammocks, and a fireplace — ideal for the feeling of being disconnected from the bustle of cities.
A new way to commute between cities
Travelers looking for a new, exciting way to travel can explore Lithuania’s metropolises without ever needing to leave the water. On the “Žalgiris” boat — departing from Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city — travelers can sail the iconic Nemunas river to the typical small town of Zapyškis.
A route to the wellness-oriented resort town of Birštonas — famous for its fresh air, sanatoriums, and clean parks — is available as well. Throughout the four-hour ride, visitors can admire the wonderful views of Kaunas lagoon regional park and Nemunas river.
Those that wish to not stray far from the capital city of Vilnius also have a plethora of options to sail through the Neris river, observing the impressive old-town architecture as it lights up in the evening.
In search of romance by the seaside
Lithuania’s nature can have a spellbinding effect on those that explore it, with breathtaking views and fresh air that fills one with a deep sense of calmness. One of the most romantic routes lies in the seaside fisherman’s village turned eclectic holiday destination — Nida. Sunset at the Great Dune is a boat trip fit for those who love romance, tranquility, and unique experiences. It is one of the most popular routes, especially for couples who love to watch the sunset from the Curonian Lagoon.
In Trakai — a historic town reminiscent of medieval times — torch-lit night kayaking tours are available, an unusual way to see the area which is usually explored in daylight. The views of the shadow-covered Trakai Island Castle at night are enticing, evoking a sense of mysticism, grandeur, and a time long past, while the glassy surface of lake Galvė offers a sense of tranquility.