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Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

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Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

DinYa75 ” 03 Apr 2018, 11:08 am

Good afternoon! Please advise what can be seen on the Curonian Spit from the Lithuanian side? Travelling by car at the end of August. Witches mountain seems to be worth the time to visit. I`m not sure where you can leave the car, is the parking in Juodkranta free? Is it worth a special stop somewhere in Neringa? Thanks.

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

Kygor ” 03 Apr 2018, 12:53

Good afternoon! If you are driving from the side of Klaipeda, almost immediately after the crossing on the right will be a memorial to the Soviet soldiers who died on the Curonian Spit during WWII. Then the road is very narrow and picturesque, without any special attractions, you will pass small towns (or rather villages), you can stop at one of the dunes (in Lithuania it is allowed to walk on them, in contrast to Kaliningrad), but it’s better to come to Nida, there is a huge dune and “pagan” calendar. Nida is a place for a leisurely holiday, the sights are conventional: monuments to the local bard or heroine of the epic. The house of the writer Thomas Mann looks beautiful, but there is almost nothing preserved inside. Nearby is an ancient cemetery with interesting carved crosses, below there is a promenade with stores and cafes, Parking in Nida is free where there is no sign. We usually find a spot in the parking lot of the only supermarket. Or in a guest house, of course. In Juodakranta, if you’re passing through, there’s always a free parking spot near the church. Good luck!

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

Maximus1301 ” 03 Apr 2018, 13:05

DinYa75 wrote(a) 03 Apr 2018, 11:08 am: Good afternoon! Please advise what to see on the Curonian Spit from the Lithuanian side? Travelling by car at the end of August. The Witches Mountain seems to be worth the time to visit. I`m not sure where you can leave the car, is the parking in Juodkranta free? Is it worth making a special stop somewhere in Neringa? Thank you.

1. Maritime Museum. (Smiltine) 2. Dolphinarium. (Smiltine) 3. The mountain of witches. (Juodkranthe) 4. Dunes – between Juodkrnate and Nida, behind Nida. 5. Just beyond Juodkranthe are nesting places for seabirds. 6. Beautiful forest for walking. It would be somewhat more correct if you look at the same Internet sites of the spit from the Lithuanian side, and then ask. If you drive from the side of Klaipeda, about 100 meters after the sign to the Mountain of witches, on the left side, there is an impressive parking lot, free) If you drive up to the parking lot directly to the mountain, you’ll pay money.

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

Maximus1301 ” 03 Apr 2018, 13:07

Kygor wrote(a) 03 Apr 2018, 12:53: You can stop at one of the dunes (in Lithuania it is allowed to walk on them, unlike in Kaliningrad),

Well, what are you so. It is categorically forbidden to walk on the dunes, except for places adapted for hiking, as the information signs in Lithuanian, English and German tell)

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

Kygor ” 03 Apr 2018, 14:30

I apologize if I misinformed anyone. Three times I vacationed in Nida and on all visits I watched tourists walking along the dunes, sometimes in whole groups. And none of the locals interfered. Maybe that’s what threw me off. We were used to the “miltzaners.” And the first time I couldn’t help myself, I climbed. I don’t usually consciously break bans. I didn’t see the sign. Sincerely sorry, thanks for the remark.

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

Maximus1301 ” 03 Apr 2018, 15:42

Kygor wrote(a) 03 Apr 2018, 14:30: I apologize if I misinformed anyone. I’ve vacationed in Nida three times and on all my visits I’ve observed tourists walking along the dunes, sometimes in whole groups. And none of the locals interfered. Maybe that’s what threw me off. We were used to the “miltzaners.” And the first time I couldn’t help myself, I climbed. I don’t usually consciously break bans. I didn’t see the sign. Sincerely sorry, thanks for the remark.

Well, most tourists live by the principle “after us, even the deluge. Unfortunately, the farther away from home, the stronger must be the flood. On the Lithuanian side of all the places on which it is allowed to put “a foot man”, lined with wood, with signs, fences and descriptions. The top layer of dunes is very weak to physical influences, a little stepped on and no those flowers, no those vegetation. Guy: Mentality of the Lithuanians is somewhat different, do not interfere and not yelling (although you have to, probably), but believe me, the opinion of “visitors” make, “good” such an opinion.

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

Kygor ” 03 Apr 2018, 17:24

I admit my guilt completely, but not only Russians walk on the dunes: English speech is heard, I saw Japanese (Chinese? Koreans?). Once we saw a photo session of newlyweds from Israel.

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

Maximus1301 ” 03 Apr 2018, 17:38

Kygor wrote(a) 03 Apr 2018, 17:24: I admit my fault completely, but not only Russians walk on the dunes: English speech is heard, saw Japanese (Chinese? Koreans?). Once observed a photo shoot of newlyweds from Israel.

So I’m talking about tourists in general)) Russians against the background of the other tourists are not so bad)))) You with the young Englishmen probably did not live next door)))) That’s where “brakes are invented by cowards”))))

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

DinYa75 ” 04 Apr 2018, 09:26

Thanks for the prompt answers on the substance of the questions! Mentioned free parking just before the turn to the Witches Mountain (on the left when driving from Klaipeda) – did not find on the maps, if not difficult – tell me the coordinates. About the rules of conduct on the spit – thanks for the reminder, to control myself and fellow travelers, that it was not offensive for the country. So far, was not decided whether to turn in Nida, and where exactly to walk there (in time I would like not more than 1.5 hours).

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

Maximus1301 ” 04 Apr 2018, 15:38

DinYa75 wrote (a) 04 Apr 2018, 09:26: Thanks for the prompt replies on the substance of the questions! Mentioned free parking just before the turn to Witches Mountain (on the left when driving from Klaipeda) – did not find it on the maps, if not difficult – tell me the coordinates. About the rules of conduct on the spit – thanks for the reminder, to control myself and fellow travelers, that it was not offensive for the country. So far, and still undecided, whether to turn in Nida, and where exactly to walk there (in time I would like to not more than 1.5 hours)

Well, you should go for a walk, of course, but if you are so limited in time, then you are unlikely to see anything in Nida. Coordinates: 1. Juodkrante – http://prntscr.com/j0qfmo 2. Nida – http://prntscr.com/j0qh2w All coordinates are given on the way from Klaipeda. YY: Power has a nuclear weapon, it basically doesn’t give a damn what people think about it, but still, we are visiting)))

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

DinYa75 ” 04 Apr 2018, 16:01

Thanks for the pictures, now figured it out. So you can’t see in 2 hours what you can see in 24. If it is not a question of “full immersion in the nature of the spit”, then I do not understand what is the “chip” here. And then what is the difference from the Russian side. No, with Europeans everything is clear, why cross the border, if you can see everything on the Lithuanian side, the service is not worth comparing, as well as prices.

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

Maximus1301 ” 04 Apr 2018, 16:47

DinYa75 wrote(a) 04 Apr 2018, 16:01: Thanks for the pictures, now figured it out. So you can’t see in 2 hours what you can see in 24. If it is not a question of “full immersion in the nature of the spit”, then I do not understand what is the “chip” here. And then what is the difference from the Russian side. No, with Europeans everything is clear, why cross the border, if you can see everything on the Lithuanian side, the service is not worth comparing, as well as prices.

Here you know the case when – “you get and you understand that it’s yours,” or “you get and you understand that well do not go.” Here it is necessary to dive into the environment, to walk through the woods, eat something from the bush, to merge so to speak with the environment, just run certainly possible that would check the box, but it needs? Lithuania it basically that place which the soul is accepted. (IMHO)

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

DinYa75 ” 04 Apr 2018, 17:20

Yes, that’s understandable, I just wanted to know how the spit on the Lithuanian side differs from the spit on the Russian side.

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

Maximus1301 ” 04 Apr 2018, 17:38

DinYa75 wrote (a) 04 Apr 2018, 17:20: Yes, that’s understandable, I just wanted to know how the spit on the Lithuanian side differs from the one on the Russian side.

For a number of reasons, I have never been on the Russian side. But on the Russian side there is a “dancing forest” and wild boar Mashka on the border, 2/3 of the spit is Lithuanian. That’s basically it.

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

Ekantares ” 05 Apr 2018, 09:35

Since there was such a theme tell me: am I right to understand that on arrival at the spit you need to pay the eco fee? And from which pier in Klaipeda ferry to the spit?

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Re: Curonian Spit. Lithuanian side. What to see?

Kygor ” 05 Apr 2018, 10:24

Am I right to understand that when entering the spit you have to pay the eco fee? And from which pier in Klaipeda is the ferry to the spit?

Yes, that’s right. Both from the Kaliningrad and Klaipeda sides, the eco-fee is taken at the entrance. In Russia, a car 300 (maybe more), plus 150 for each passenger (the driver does not pay). The Lithuanians take it depending on the period. I can not say exactly, but I think until mid-June 11 euros, then the price is more expensive, almost 25. And in September, it’s cheaper again. If you’re on foot, you’ll get to the Old Klaipeda Crossing (about 1 euro). By car only at the New crossing (8 Nyamuno Street); a passenger car up to 3 tons is about 11 euros.

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Curonian Spit: the main attractions from the Lithuanian side

The Curonian Spit is a sandy strip with dunes that stretches from the village of Smiltine near Klaipeda to Zelenogradsk near Kaliningrad. The total length of the spit is 98 km, the Lithuanian part occupies 48 km, and the width varies from 400 m to 4 km. In this article I will tell about interesting places of the Lithuanian part.

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The name of the spit came from the local tribe – the kurshi. In 2000 the Curonian Spit was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

On the Lithuanian side of the Curonian Spit is Neringa town. It consists of four villages: Nida, Preila, Pervalka and Juodkrante, which stretch over almost the entire spit.

The main point of attraction here is Parnidžio dune. I also recommend visiting Nida and Juodkrante.

Parnidžio dune and Saulės Laikrodis

The main attraction of the Curonian Spit are the sandy white dunes. They are very light because of the high quartz content – up to 95%. Constant winds move the sands about 10 meters per year.

Parnidžio dune (Parnidžio kopa) rises 52 meters above sea level. From its top, you can see how the sun rises out of the water in the morning and sets in the evening on the other side of the water. Sometimes in the clear, hot weather, a mirage may be seen flying over the horizon, a sailboat.

A walking trail leads to the top of the dune, where a huge sundial (Saulės Laikrodis) is installed. On a circular ground, stone steps mark the divisions on a dial. In the center of the circle is a stele that is almost 14 meters high and weighs 36 tons – the shadow of the stele acts as a clock hand. The stele is engraved with the signs of the runic calendar and pictographs from the wooden calendar of the 17th century. The sculptures on the sides of the platform indicate the spring and autumn equinoxes, summer and winter solstice. To be honest, I was never able to tell the time from these clocks – although there is a stand with a detailed explanation of their work.

General view of the sundial I forgot exactly what this sculpture means, and I can’t read runes

From this observation deck you have a view of the valley of death (Mirties slėnis) . During the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-1871 a French prisoner-of-war camp was located there. Due to the harsh conditions many prisoners died – they were buried there in the cemetery. Since then, these dunes and called the valley of death – and not because of the desert landscape, as many think.

Nida: the history of the Curonians, the house of Thomas Mann and a fisherman’s homestead

Nida is the closest village to the dunes. It is the last stop of the bus, then there is the border with Russia, so you definitely will not pass by. On the Curonian Spit there is a bus 384 on the route Klaipeda – Kaliningrad, you can go around the whole spit at once – don’t forget to take your passport.

History Museum of the Curonian Spit (Kuršių nerijos istorijos muziejaus)

In the settlement, visit the Historical Museum of the Curonian Spit (Kuršių nerijos istorijos muziejaus) to see how the locals used to live. Fishing tackle and boat models are exhibited here – fishing with sailing boats was widespread on the spit. At the same time you can find out why the Couronian people used to salt crows. Initially, crows were eaten out of hunger and despair, but then it became part of the tradition and crow meat became a delicacy. Now, meat cooked à la crow can be tasted during Neringa Day celebrations. The festivities take place throughout the month of November at the 4 settlements.

  • The museum is open daily from 09:00 to 18:00. – 1 €.

Thomas Mann House (Rašytojo Thomo Manno memorialinio muziejaus)

Thomas Mann first came to Nida in 1929 after winning the Nobel Prize. The German writer liked the local nature and built a house here. Mann spent the summer seasons of 1930-1932 in Nida and wrote his novel Joseph and His Brothers here. After Hitler came to power, the writer emigrated to Switzerland, and Goering lived in his cabin for a time.

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In 1996 the house was restored to its original form and the Thomas Mann Museum and Cultural Center was opened. There are no personal belongings of the writer in the museum – they are not preserved in Nida. Historical photographs, manuscripts and editions of his books from different years are on display here.

There is a fascinating view of the Curonian bay which the writer liked so much. Even if you are not very interested in Thomas Mann, stop by the museum for this panorama.

  • The house-museum is open daily from 10:00 to 18:00.
  • The entrance fee is 2,50 €.

In July, Nida hosts the Thomas Mann festival (Thomo Manno festivalis) . The program includes musical performances and readings from the works of the Nobel Prize winner. Tickets for the festival – from 10 €.

Most of the houses in Nida look so bright The air in the Curonian Spit is very clean, also because of the large number of pine trees This is how Nida looks like from the bay

An ethnographic fisherman’s homestead (Nidos žvejo etnografinė sodyba)

Usually a fisherman’s house consisted of two connected buildings – several generations of families lived together. This manor-museum was built in 1927 – and a fisherman, Martin Purvin, and his family actually lived here for a long time. In the museum you can see a typical fisherman’s house of the Curonian Spit completely reconstructed. All exhibits are authentic – they were given to the museum by local residents. Household items – dishes, furniture, fishing tackle are exposed here. The oldest exhibits are about 100 years old. In front of the museum are the authentic boats of the fishermen.

  • Museum is open to visitors from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 to 17:00. – 2 €.

Fishermen of the Curonian Spit used to put carved weathervane (Vėtrungių) on the masts of their kurens (local sailing boats) as identification signs. They were made bright and openwork, decorated with figures of birds and animals, and these symbols were used to understand the place of residence, family composition and the fisherman’s income. In front of the fisherman’s homestead, an open-air gallery of weathercocks (Vėtrungių ekspozicija) is on display. You can buy a colorful weather vane in the souvenir shop of the village.

For lunch I advise to go to Tik Pas Joną . Here they smoke freshly caught fish – bream, perch, pikeperch, flounder. To go with the fish, you can have a beer. The smokehouse restaurant is open from 10:00 to midnight.

In front of the fisherman’s homestead whole gallery of bright weathervane On the weathervane you can read almost the entire history of the life of a fisherman Fisherman’s homestead was covered with reeds, collected from the shore of the bay Genuine fisherman’s boat – darkened by water and time

Where to sleep in Nida

In Nida we don’t want to hurry at all, so I suggest we stay here for the night. You can watch the sunrise on the dunes at the same time.

  • The Old house Nida serves a buffet in the morning – a double room costs from 60 €.
  • Guest house Guboja offers a private terrace and a shared kitchen for 58 €.
  • Hotel Nerija is located near a coniferous forest and is suitable for a secluded holiday. The room costs 95 €. You can spend time in a cozy restaurant, play tennis or stretch your legs on the basketball court.

Huodkrante: The Witches’ Mountain

On the open-air Witches Mountain (Raganų kalnas) are wooden sculptures of folk epics – witches, devils and forest monsters. They have been created by Lithuanian craftsmen since the 1970s. Every summer, a workshop is open here, so the gallery of images is constantly replenished.

There used to be a pagan shrine on this mountain – when Christianity spread in Europe and paganism became prohibited, the Couronians gathered in the forest and secretly conducted their rituals. Up to the beginning of the First World War, they celebrated St. John’s Day (Joniness) and looked for the fern flower. In memory of this tradition and were created the first sculptures on the Mountain of witches.

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At the entrance to Juodkrantė there is a lighthouse (Juodkrantės švyturys) in the forest. It was built in 1953 and still operates and signals to passing ships. The lighthouse can be seen for a radius of 33 kilometers. The black metal tower stands on a metal base so that only the top part of the lighthouse with the lantern can be seen from the sea and the surrounding woods.

On the upper level of the lighthouse there is an observation deck – it is not forbidden to climb.

Smiltene: Maritime Museum

The Lietuvos Jūrų Muziejus (The Maritime Museum Complex) displays the history of shipping, fishing and the study of the seas and sea currents. There is a huge collection of corals and shells – about 5 thousand specimens.

Around the museum are a few life-size models of ships from different eras. The ship of Paulenis is especially distinguished – the local fisherman Gintars Paulenis built a ship on his own in 1994 according to ancient drawings. He sailed it to Sweden and became the first Lithuanian to cross the Baltic Sea on this ancient ship.

There used to be the military fort on the site of the museum, but this part of it is the Oceanarium and Dolphinarium (Delfinariumas) . There live penguins, sea lions and Baltic gray seals. Dolphins take part in demonstration performances and dolphin therapy sessions. And in the canal in front of the fort swim pelicans with pink butts – it was my first meeting with them, so I could not contain my emotions.

  • The museum and the Aquarium are open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:30 to 18:30. Dolphin and sea lion shows are from Tuesday to Saturday, in the summer and winter months the schedule is different – check the website. to the museum costs 7-10 €, depending on the season. The dolphin and sea lion performances are charged separately – another 7-10 € per person. If you buy tickets online it’s 0,5 € cheaper.

The museum is on the right side of the pier in Smiltina, about a 20-minute leisurely walk. You can get there by bus – they don’t have numbers on the spit, so take any bus.

The Maritime Museum is located in the former military fortress trawler “Kolyma” was built in Finland as a contribution after World War II.

How to get to the Curonian Spit

There is ferry from Klaipeda to the Curonian Spit. The ferries go to Smiltine, the trip takes only 4 minutes.

  • Departure from the Old Crossing (Senoji perkėla), ticket – 1 €. Ferries leave every half hour, the first – at 07:00 am, the last – at 22:00. You can take your bicycle with you, the fare is included in the ticket price. There are bicycle paths all over the Curonian Spit.

If you want to travel on the Curonian Spit by car, you have to go to the New ferry crossing (Naujoji perkėla). Ferries from here run 24 hours a day.

  • The ticket for a passenger is 1 €, car fare – 12,3 €.

The fee for cars is 20 € from June till August and 5 € during other months. The fee is paid when leaving the ferry.

Departing passengers on the terminal square in Klaipeda are greeted and greeted by a girl with an air kiss

Departing passengers at the terminal area of Klaipeda are met by a girl with an air kiss

Important thing when you go to the Curonian Spit

Be sure to take a jacket. The winds blow all the time here – even in warm days it may be cool because of the proximity of the sea.

On the dunes of the Curonian Spit you’d like to have a picnic, but it’s not a good idea. I’ve already told about wandering sands – the wind will blow all the open food away with sand in just a couple of minutes. You’ll probably be shaking sand out of your sneakers and clothes for a couple more days.

If you want to swim in the Baltic Sea, then the best time to go is July and early August. But even in this case, the Baltic Sea is a resort for the hardened, there is almost no water “as fresh milk”.

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