A.Aleksandravičius

Research Suggests Over 300 000 Israelis Intend to Visit Lithuania — Nature and Family Experiences Cited as Main Drivers

Recent market research in Israel indicates Lithuania is receiving more interest from travelers. With undisturbed natural wonders and various forms of entertainment fit for family travel, the country expects many newcomers to discover the country this spring.

Lithuania, a quaint Baltic country rich in urban life and undisturbed natural landmarks, offers many chances for making memories with family. It has especially piqued the interest of Israeli travelers, with recent market research pointing to around 300 000 tourists intending to visit Lithuania in the near future.

Here’s a preview of the family-fit sites found in the country — from the active buzz of its vibrant cities to the outdoorsy thrills of lush nature.

Mid-sized cities reveal stunning sites from air and land

Vilnius, the capital city, is most known for the cobblestone streets and red roofs found in the Old Town of the city — a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Being the only European capital that officially allows hot-air balloon rides above the city, it can be explored both on the ground and in the air, revealing stunning views of its winding rivers, green parks, and various buildings.

Only a half-hour drive away from Vilnius lies Lithuania’s historical capital and a little medieval city named Trakai. The Island Castle — which was the filming site of Gerry Lively’s 2005 film, Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God — is its main attraction. Towering over the landscape, it evokes the Grand Duchy of Lithuania’s glory days.

Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city, served as a temporary capital during the interwar era and currently embodies a mix of youth culture and a rapidly evolving art scene. Families here may find some of Lithuania’s most intriguing Art Deco buildings and green open spaces liberally sprinkled around the city.

Ziplining over rivers and snow arenas for the active family

Families looking for a more active getaway may choose the UNO adventure park, found near the Lithuanian cities of Vilnius, Kaunas, Šiauliai, and Druskininkai. The parks are filled with courses strung along treetops, both leisurely and challenging. The locations in Kaunas and Druskininkai also feature a zipline that takes adventurers for a ride above the river, opening up stunning views of its sparkling surface.

In Lithuania, families may find that iconic cities can be explored in a variety of ways. For one, after touring the medieval paths around the city of Trakai, families may take to the Galvė lake by yacht or paddleboard and explore its calm surface.

Druskininkai — Lithuania’s official wellness resort — offers visitors the Recreation Park and Karolis Dineika Wellness Park. Families may find them perfectly fit to explore on foot or by bike and to breathe in the fresh pine forest air. In addition, the hiking routes, waterfall spas, outdoor gyms, meditation as well as yoga terraces all attract visitors with their tranquility.

Families that enjoy winter sports could try their hand at skiing or snowboarding at the local indoor Snow Arena — the only one of its kind in the Baltics. Covering over 8 hectares and including three ski tracks of different levels, the arena can truly transport visitors into the Alps.

A quirky collection of devils and the only Baltic toy museum

In Lithuania, families may also discover many museums with a superb reputation among critics. This includes the nostalgic, antique-filled Toy Museum or the country’s house of all mind tricks — the Museum of Illusions, which offers disorienting and whimsical visuals perfect for a memorable family photo.

The Devil’s Museum in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city, considered one of the most unusual museums globally, houses around three thousand exhibits from around the world. The collection includes pieces of fine art, applied art, souvenirs, and masks. The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to examine how the mythical creature is represented in over 70 nations, including Lithuania.

Relieving stress with deers, rabbits, dolphins, and cats

A more hands-on approach to discovering nature lies near the town of Rūdeikiškės, which now contains around 70 freely roaming deer. Known as the Deer Spa, the complex provides its services as a form of therapy —  watching, hand-feeding, and being around deer helps to calm the mind, experience joy, and forget worries. Deer Therapy is suitable for all children and adults who want to escape the city and reconnect with nature.

Operating in a similar manner, a 4.5-hectare area outside Utena is known as the Rabbit Valley. Housing over 50 different breeds of rabbit — in addition to deers, cows, goats, and sheep, to name a few — the valley allows visitors to become acquainted with a variety of animals, as well as stroke and feed them. Families may also enjoy simply resting under a pergola with coffee, ice cream, and snacks while appreciating the tranquility of nature.

The Lithuanian Sea Museum is located at Kopgalis, at the northernmost point of the Curonian Spit dunes, where the peninsula ends and Klaipėda city’s Seaport gate to the baltic sea begins. The Lithuanian Sea Museum invites visitors to see the fascinating sea creatures that live on its grounds home, including dolphins and sea lions, as well as fish, penguins, shells, and mollusks. This attracts over half a million visitors annually who want to learn about how to respect and protect sea life.

Families who want to experience the cozy feeling of home while touring can do so at Vilnius’ Cat Café — the only coffee spot in Lithuania that features 15 playful cats. Visitors may kick back and enjoy the many food and drink options available while the felines warm their laps or tug at their sleeves.

Stuffed pastries and chocolate cafés for the sweet-toothed traveler

In the delightful city of Trakai traveling families can visit the chocolate café, where visitors can find a life-size chocolate jaguar, a pirate, scenes from the 2000 comedy-drama film, Chocolat, and over a hundred more delectable sculptures.

After exploring the castle found nearby, families may replenish their strength by sampling stuffed pastries known as kibinai — the town’s most famous dish.

Families that still prefer sweet over savory may try the tall and spiky Lithuanian cake šakotis. The cake is quite difficult to create at home since it is baked on a spit spinning over an open fire. However, travelers may try this technique in Druskininkai at the world’s only šakotis Museum. The Guinness World Record-holding cake, which measures at 3.7 meters and weighs 86 kilos, is on display in the museum.

The Vilnius will also host Lithuania’s Gastronomy Week from the 25th of April to the 1st of May, with restaurants opening their doors to anyone willing to experience their uniquely-crafted menus for this year’s “22 colors” theme, which explores the themes of colors reappearing in the spring.

More information on sites fit for family exploration may be found here.