In Lithuania, nature’s wonders are always just around the corner. Explore the great outdoors on foot, on two wheels, or while paddling in the Curonian Lagoon. Find the wildest beaches, awe-inspiring dunes, the spirit of adventure and the sort of tranquillity only the sight of smashing waves can grant.
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Kopgalis is the most recent area to develop in the Curonian Spit, with its landmass continuously forming well into the 19th century. Here you'll find not only two of the most popular beaches among locals, but also the Smiltynė Wellness Trail, which offers a pleasant stroll through the woods. History lovers will find old fishing vessels, World War II bunkers and a 19th-century fortification.
Thanks to its numerous beaches next to the Baltic Sea, Klaipėda is a great choice not only for summer vacations, but also for active leisure. The favourite beach among cyclists is arguably the one unofficially called the Cyclists' Beach (not marked on the map), located in Smiltynė, 7-8 km from the Old Ferry Terminal, right on the municipal border. On the way to the beach you’ll find plenty of tables for a picnic or a short rest. Beware, though – the beach is “wild”, with no changing cabins, cafes, lifeguards, or other infrastructure. And yet, owing to its wild and secluded nature, cyclists often see it as iconic.
A monument dedicated to Ludwig Hagen – one of the people responsible for the afforestation of the Curonian Spit – was built on Hagen's Dune during the interwar period. In the 19th century, he wrote, tested and developed a technique for shaping the cliffs along the Baltic seashore. The modest obelisk reads “In memoriam of Ludwig Hagen” in German and Lithuanian. The so-called Hagen Mountain is a 36.5 meters tall sand dune, located next to Smiltynė in Klaipėda, 600 m west of the new ferry terminal.
The Klaipėda University Botanical Garden
Kretingos g. 92, Klaipėda
Opened in 1993, the Botanical Garden is located in a beautiful valley of the Danė River, where ancient oaks harken back to the times of Prussian kings, and the unique range of local flora allows visitors to get a better sense of the Baltic seashore. The Botanical Garden exhibits a total of almost 4,000 species, including rare Baltic dune plants.
The Black Stronghold
Kukuliškių k., Klaipėdos r.
The Black Stronghold and the associated coastal defense battery erected by the Germans in World War II are now home to a museum that’s usually open on weekends or by request made to Klaipėda’s Memel Nord organisation. These defensive fortifications arose when Klaipėda was annexed to Germany. Although the original plan was to build two coastal artillery batteries – one in Smiltynė, near Kopgalis (Memel Sud), and one in Kukuliškiai Village next to Giruliai (Memel Nord) – only the latter was actually finished.