Agrotourism in Lithuania

The current state and problems of rural tourism development in the Republic of Lithuania

Khozhempo, V. V. The current state and problems of rural tourism development in the Republic of Lithuania / V. V. Khozhempo, M. E. Sinyagovskaya. – Text : direct // Young Scientist. – 2014. – № 2 (61). – С. 562-564. – URL: https://moluch.ru/archive/61/9267/ (date of reference: 05.09.2022).

The article is devoted to the development and management of rural tourism as a type of tourist services in the Republic of Lithuania. A general characteristic of rural tourism in Lithuania is given, statistical data are given. The most important problems hindering the development of rural tourism in Lithuania are studied, specific recommendations on management of this sphere of tourist services are given.

Keywords: tourism, tourism industry, Republic of Lithuania, rural tourism, tourist

An active development of tourism industry today might be considered one of the most significant phenomena of the XX century that influenced economic, political and social life in most countries. Tourism stimulates the development of related sectors such as transport, construction, communications, agriculture and consumer goods production. Thus, tourism is one of the most promising directions of structural reorganization of the economy.

One of the peculiarities of tourism development nowadays is the expansion of its varieties and consolidation of such kinds of tourism as educational, sports, commercial (business-tourism), therapeutic and health-improving, as well as pilgrimage and cognitive tourism in the market of services. A relatively new type of tourism is rural tourism (agrotourism), the emergence of which is associated with a combination of scientific and technological progress, urbanization and environmental pollution. Today, this direction of tourism is considered one of the most promising, combining a wide range of different types of tourism based on the use of natural, historical and other resources of the countryside.

The purpose of rural tourism is to get acquainted with the natural values of rural areas, tourists visit farms to rest in ecologically clean areas. Agrotourism is increasingly being developed in Eastern European countries such as Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia and Lithuania. Rural tourism in Lithuania is considered one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism services.

Lithuania’s geographical location, the availability of resources for tourism create favorable conditions for the development of tourism in rural areas.

According to the Lithuanian Department of Statistics, over the past decade the number of families involved in rural tourism has increased almost tenfold. In 2011, 252.8 thousand holidaymakers stayed at rural tourism farmsteads, of which 20.6 thousand, or 8%, were foreigners. Vilnius, Kaunas and Alytus counties had the biggest number of holidaymakers (Table).

Number of holidaymakers, overnight stays in rural tourism farmsteads by counties

Number of holidaymakers, thousand.

Number of overnight stays, thousand.

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Relative change from the previous year, %

Average number of overnight stays per vacationer

Source: www.stat.gov.lt – Department of Statistics under the Government of Lithuania

At the moment Lithuania has about 615 homestays owned by the Lithuanian Rural Tourism Association (LAST) and about 25-30 new homestays start operating each year. However, most of these sites offer their services only in the summer season, as they are not adapted (or partially adapted) for recreation in winter.

Today, the symbolic designation “stork”, adopted throughout the European Union, is used to characterize the categories of rural tourism farmsteads in Lithuania. Assigning the appropriate categories to farmsteads allows holidaymakers to better understand the quality of their services and the services offered in a particular farmstead. All farmsteads belonging to the Rural Tourism Association are divided into four categories, based on the classification provision approved by the board of the Association. For example, the first category (1 stork) are homesteads with minimal facilities. The price of an overnight stay in these homesteads is the lowest – 10-30 litas (120-350 rubles). The fourth category (4 storks) are homesteads with full comfort. These homesteads most often accept tourists all year round. The price of one bed is 70-200 litas (820-2350 rbl.) per day. The most expensive cost of a place in the homestead is 450 litas (5,300 rubles) per day.

The development of tourism is equally influenced by both local and foreign tourists, which means that rural tourism in Lithuania at present is not only focused on meeting the needs of foreign tourists. Foreigners are mostly interested in old Lithuanian traditions and visit farmsteads for cognitive purposes. As a rule, local tourists prefer visiting farmsteads for the purpose of family recreation in the countryside.

Although rural tourism in Lithuania has good prospects, there are a number of problems in this sphere today. Among them there are the following main problems: insufficient support of rural tourism as an economic sector; lack of a comprehensive approach to development of tourism potential in Lithuanian regions; insufficient development of regulatory and legal framework; lack of an efficient management mechanism; insufficient development of tourism infrastructure; lack of scientific data enabling to forecast market development in rural tourism and to influence tourism activities; lack of a quality assessment system for rural tourism services; lack of a system for evaluation of rural tourism services.

In order to improve and further develop rural tourism in Lithuania, it seems necessary to offer the following recommendations:

– regular analysis of the rural tourism market in order to determine the range of potential customers;

– Lithuanian authorities should increase the attractiveness of domestic areas among Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian tourists,

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– expanding the circle of international relations to provide necessary and effective information regarding rural tourism;

– development of road and transport infrastructure;

– construction of social and cultural institutions in the style and traditions of the respective territories, restoration of architectural and historical monuments, development of road and transport infrastructure,

– expanding the range of services in rural tourism;

– regular work with the personnel employed in the field of tourism;

– creation of information centers that collect information about the owners of agro-settings, the state of their occupancy, etc;

– formation of multi-purpose tourist and recreational centers;

– lobbying for the adoption of the draft law “On rural green tourism”.

Rural tourism can contribute to solving many problems in Lithuania: employment of local people; creation of an ecological tourist product; rational use of the natural and cultural heritage of the region; support for entrepreneurship in rural areas. Better solution of all existing problems in this sector will have a positive impact on the development of rural tourism, as well as on meeting the needs of holidaymakers.

Lithuanian rural tourism development strategies require clear planning on the level of districts and individual rural communities with the stage of preparing a strategic development plan. However, when drafting regional rural tourism development concepts and introducing foreign experience, the specifics of Lithuania must be taken into account, first of all, the great diversity of regional and local conditions.

1. Durovich A. P. Organization of tourism: textbook / A. P. Durovich. – St. Petersburg: Peter, 2012.

2. Ramanauskienė J. Development of rural tourism in Lithuania // Research Journal of the Lithuanian Agricultural University. – № 9(1). – 2012. – C. 28-33

3. www.stat.gov.lt/lt – Department of Statistics under the Government of Lithuania

4. nakurort.lt/ekoturizm – Ecotourism / Lithuanian resorts

5. www.vse-o-turizme.ru/litva.htm – Lithuania / All about tourism

6. www.atostogoskaime.lt – Lithuanian Rural Tourism Association

7. www.stat.gov.lt – Lithuanian Government Department of Statistics

Basic terms (generated automatically) : rural tourism, Lithuania, rural area, homestead, development, type of tourism, road infrastructure, lack of development, holidaymaker, tourist.

Ecotourism in Lithuania

Rural tourism in Lithuania

If you step away from the stereotypes of a good rest, you can find an interesting and tempting option. We are talking about ecotourism. And it is a happy coincidence that there is a familiar and unknown country just next door.

Lithuania annually receives thousands of visitors wishing to spend their vacations in the countryside. A combination of European comfort, low prices, resort climate and nature, carefully preserved by its inhabitants, has made Lithuania an international center of ecotourism.

Dunes, beaches, pine trees, sea…

Ecotourism does not need a special introduction. It is enough to mention that the most valuable thing in this direction is an opportunity to refuse for some time those “goods of civilization”, which have long been considered to be some special values of our life.

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A week or two at a detached farmstead puts this value system in place. Suddenly you begin to understand that the most important thing in life is crystal clear water in the lake, the smell of the forest, herbs, flowers, and a sip of milk with a piece of warm rye bread, only from the oven.

Ideal places for rural tourism

In Lithuania, it is possible to distinguish four large areas, receiving guests in rural hotels, farmsteads or homesteads. In each of them the specifics of recreation is different. But every region, every tourist hostel has one thing in common: you are welcome.

Curonian Spit

Ecotourism on the Curonian Spit is certainly connected with the sea. This is an ideal place for family vacations with small children. The mild climate will not require acclimatization, endless beaches beckon to spend the whole day building sand castles.

And send the male part of the family on a fishing trip to enjoy the famous Baltic herring with the no less famous Lithuanian beer for dinner.

Curonian Spit National Park

Read about the national park there, as well as about where the Curonian Spit is, on our website.

In southern Lithuania is the ancient resort center of Druskininkai, read about it and all its attractions here.

Žemaitija Park.

This is where the last pagans of Europe lived. Christianity was adopted in this region only in the 19th century, and until now even in the decoration of churches an attentive eye can discern pagan patterns and symbols.

The lakes, forests and history of the region are the main attractions of this area in northwest Lithuania. These also dictate recreation:

  • hiking in the woods;
  • sightseeing of historical monuments;
  • fishing;
  • yachting.

Dzukija Park.

Countryside homestead in Dzukija National Park in Lithuania

Its name comes from the people who live in these places. They are unsurpassed craftsmen who keep the traditions of their crafts and create extraordinary beauty .

The deep untraversed forests are rich in lakes, streams and creeks.

In addition to forest hikes and workshops on forgotten crafts, you can take a real multi-day trip on the water here.

Aukstaite Park.

If it was said “forests and lakes” about the other parks, then this one should say “lakes and forests”.

It would be nice to come here with your own boat, but not everyone can do it. And ok, you can rent a boat in any settlement. Staying on the water is the main entertainment of this region . Fishing, trips to the islands, walks in the woods and fishing again …

That’s it?

No, that’s not it. We haven’t told you yet:

  • that the whole Lithuania is like a big nature reserve. That the words “ecologically pure products” cause even some bewilderment: what else can they be here?
  • That in any place of the country there is a house, which will meet you, as only old friends are welcomed. We did not even say that the Lithuanian forests never run out of mushrooms and berries;
  • that eco-tourism is supported by the government and every year more and more rural houses are ready to welcome travelers.
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How to find them?

By the stars. No, wait, it’s about hotels! And rural guest houses are looked for by storks . A special sign in the form of a white stork on a green background will tell you which houses take tourists. And the number of storks tells about amenities and service.

One bird promises a simple overnight stay, maybe even on fragrant hay. But the price is also low, from 10 euros per night. Five storks is rustic all-inclusive, all amenities amid pastoral scenery.

Homesteads in Lithuania.

We will cite just a few examples, by which you can judge the diversity and quality of rural holidays in Lithuania.

Padvaisko dvaras (Padvaiskas Manor). Five Storks

Padvaiskas homestead

The farmstead is located 25 km. from Vilnius on the old road Moletai. On the territory of the farmstead are built 20 double-bed apartments.

Despite the number of guest rooms, the large size of the farm leaves room for complete privacy .

There is a sauna, a common house for large celebrations, informative tour program. Directly on the territory – pond for swimming, and not far from the estate there are two lakes. There are many berry and mushroom places around.

If desired, you can fish and hunt. Special offer farmstead owners :

  • Treasure hike “Treasure Hunt”;
  • The track for racing on quad bikes or all-terrain vehicles;
  • excursions on this extreme transport.

By the way, the only place in Lithuania, where bullfights are held, is located near the farmstead. Minimum cost for one person per day is 15 EUR.

Aliai homestead, Utena district. Four Storks

Homestead Aliai, Utena district

There are three guest houses on the territory of the homestead. The rent of any of them will cost 60-80 EUR per day and depends on the number of guests, time of the year and duration of the rent.

In addition to relaxing on the nearby lakes and hiking for mushrooms, on the farm you can play croquet, make an excursion to Aukštaitija National Park.

In the neighboring village it is possible to rent an airplane to fly around the area.

A special offer is to work in a ceramics workshop. The farmstead owners are graduates of the Vilnius Academy of Arts; under their guidance you can make your own souvenirs as a souvenir of your trip.

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Address Aliu vienkiemis, Aliaiai village , 28121 Utena district
GPSN coordinates 55’47910 E 25’73204
Phone +370 611 42287
Web site www.aliai.lt

Mažoji Šveicarija homestead, Ažušile Nature Reserve. Three Storks

The farmstead is located near the center of winter sports, so it is especially popular in winter. There is something for everyone during the summer:

  • A track for biking and rollerblading;
  • recreation at the lake.

The main feature of rest in this guest house is the bathhouse. The owner of the homestead is certified by the Baltic Bath Academy and none of the guests have yet complained about his unprofessionalism.

Address Girminių k., Ignalinos Senate, LT-30147 Ignalinos Rd.
Phones +370 686 81872; +370 614 39200
e-mail arnoldosodyba@atostogoskaime.lt

Gojaus smuklė manor, Molėtai district. Two storks

This homestead can receive only nine guests at a time, and it is never empty. Because its main advantage can be appreciated by everyone.

The farmstead specializes in the national cuisine and offers to try authentic dishes cooked according to recipes preserved for centuries.

Address Gojaus smukle, Gojaus kaimas, Luokesos sen., Molėtai 33165
Phone +370 699 94717

Lithuanian dairy products

Today you can find Lithuanian dairy products on the shelves of many countries. But Lithuania keeps the tastiest and most traditional products for her guests!

And what can be tastier than zeppelin in Lithuanian villages? By the way, here is a recipe, any hostess can handle it.

Not only Lithuania is famous for its hospitable manor houses. Estonian castles, manors and estates will also be happy to meet you: https://vpribaltike.com/estoniya/ee-info/zamki-usadbi-i-pomestya-v-estonii.html – get to know them on our website.

Stasės Kraujalienės manor house, Molėtai district. One Stork

The main advantage of this farmstead is the possibility to have an inexpensive, calm and measured rest with children on the shore of a clean lake. Equipped playgrounds for children of all ages are the hallmark of the farmstead.

For parents provided the opportunity to own smoked his catch .

Address Paeisetės k., Čiulėnų sen. LT-33140
Phones +370 647 26919; +370 614 90012

The above mentioned farmsteads are just a small selection of Lithuanian guesthouses. If you wish, it’s easy to find a place to rest that meets all your wishes.

…In a year, when you cut a slice from the baguette you bought in the supermarket, you will remember what it must be like, the true taste of real, honest bread.

The way it was in Lithuania, in a small farmstead, where the hospitable hostess fed you for a whole week. And your hand reaches out to dial a familiar phone number to say, “Labas! I’m on my way!”

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