Curonian Spit and sights in Klaipeda
We have already talked about our travels in Vilnius и Kaunas, as well as many others sights of Lithuania. But they bypassed the unique natural landmark of this country. Let's fix it and let's talk about curonian spit. Many, of course, have heard about it and know that it originates in Klaipeda and stretches for almost 100 km to the Kaliningrad region. The Curonian Spit is a narrow sandy strip of land separating the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon. Not so long ago, in 2000, this object was included in the list UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, there are many things to see and do in Klaipeda. But first things first.
What is unique about the Curonian Spit
In essence, The Curonian Spit - a peninsula formed during a long sand embankment. In general, this is a national park, a one-time entrance to which costs 1 euro, visit for a month - 5 euro. Sections of the spit are of different widths - from 400 meters to almost 4 km. On it you can find not only sand dunes - two-thirds of the territory is occupied by forests with unusually growing trees and unique flora and fauna, there are species listed in the Red Book.
How to get to Klaipeda
The most budget option a train. There is no direct route from Minsk. There is a train to Vilnius, a ticket will cost from 11 euros. In Vilnius, you will take a train to Klaipeda, for a seat in which you will pay from 15 euros. The whole journey will take about 9 hours.
There is no direct bus service between cities. You can drive to Vilnius or Kaunas by bus Ecolines or Busfor for 10-14 euros. And from there to get to Klaipeda. A ticket from Vilnius will cost about 22 euros, from Kaunas to Klaipeda - 15 euros.
The fastest mode of transport is aircraft. From Minsk in the summer there are flights to the neighboring city of Palanga. The flight lasts a little over an hour. A direct one-way ticket will cost 30-40 euros. From there you need to drive only 30 km. Can rent a car or buy a bus ticket for only 2,50 euros. But keep in mind that buses do not run as often as we would like. Or take a taxi - from 23 euros one way.
Another way to get to Klaipeda - own car. The distance from Minsk to the city along the E28 / M7 highways is 490 km. The journey will take 5 hours. We recommend making stops to see Lithuanian sights.
How to get to the Curonian Spit
On the Lithuanian side, the spit does not adjoin land. To get there, you have to go on a ferryboat. In total, there are two crossings in Klaipeda. The old crossing is for those who go without a car, and the New one allows you and the vehicle to be transported.
The ferry departs approximately 1-2 times per hour. The ticket price is different and depends on how you want to get to the other side, in Smiltyne. If you are traveling without transport or by bicycle, you will pay 1 euro for the crossing. For a motorcycle or moped, you will have to pay extra and buy a ticket for 4,90 euros. Passenger cars are transported for 12,30 euros, and for a large bus you need to pay 39,40 euros.
For current prices and schedules, check this website: keltas.lt
Where to stay in Klaipeda
Who is looking for a place to stay for the night cheaper, book place in the hostel. For example, Klaipeda Hostel, which is located next to the bus station of the city, will cost 10 euro per night in 11-bed room. A single room costs 15 euros, but the bathroom is shared.
One can book an apartment. The cost of this option is from 20 euros and more. Check out Liepu27 or Apartament Birutes.
Great service to find the best price for hotels See here.
Where to stay on the Curonian Spit
If you want to stay in the protected area of the Curonian Spit, there are many options for you. This place is considered to be an elite place for recreation, but among the offers of hotels there are very attractive and not very expensive ones.
For example, in the cold season, you can book Pusynas Apartments with kitchen, bathroom and balcony with a beautiful view for 35 euros for two. Hotels category above Vila Deva 3* or Vila Preiloja will cost 60 euros. Cozy cottages PineHouse, Prie mariu will be 10-20 euros more expensive. During the summer, accommodation prices increase.
Sights of Klaipeda
Memel Castle, founded in 1252 from wood, has not survived. A year later, the stone castle Memel was built, which was later destroyed several times. In the 18th century, the castle was fortified for the last time, after which it lost its military significance. To this day, the towers and defensive walls have not been preserved, but the basements on the rampart have remained intact. Today, a museum of the castle and the city is open within their walls. The object is gradually being restored.
Nearby, on the square, is Klaipeda Drama Theater. It will also be interesting to see the legendary sailboat “meridianas".
An unusual and interesting place to visit in Klaipeda will be Clock Museum. The exposition tells about the history of watches development and tools for their creation. Looking at an old clock in an old mansion is a good option to spend time in the city.
Of the unusual sights, I would like to highlight a number of monuments and sculptures. Chimney sweeper on the roof, a cute legend and a sign about a lucky button are associated with it. Which? You will find out upon arrival :), but I advise you to grab an extra button.
Bronze exposition “Guardian of the Old City“. Represents a Doberman, as if coming out of the wall. small figurine little mouse – another nice monument of Klaipeda. It is also worth adding here “black ghost".
If you arrive in the city by train, do not bypass the city sculpture park named after Martynas Mažvydas. It is located near the Klaipeda railway station.
Next to the park there are buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries with exhibition halls of art galleries of Pranas Domšaitis.
You may also be interested abandoned prison in Klaipeda.
What to see on the Curonian Spit
First of all, inspect the landscapes National Park "Curonian Spit". The reserve is located on the territory of the Neringa resort. From the crossing you can get to the city by your own transport or by minibuses plying from the first crossing. Clean beaches marked with the Blue Flag, the highest dunes in Europe and the purest pine air attract many vacationers.
The 37-km Curonian Spit is not quite ordinary. Strange trees are hiding in a seemingly unremarkable pine forest.
This is one of the main places where tourists go. Tree trunks are bent in different directions, and sometimes closed in a ring. The reason for this is a strong wind that bends the trunks of small fragile trees. They call this place "Dancing Forest".
There are many on the Curonian Spit museums: Maritime Museum and Dolphinarium, Neringa Historical Museum, Ethnographic Museum, Museum of Miniature Art and Exhibition Hall of the Lithuanian Art Museum, Thomas Mann Cultural Center, Amber Museum and Herman Blod Museum.
National park in Smiltyne
The park information center is open from Tuesday to Saturday (9:00-12:00, 13:00-18:00).
National park in the resort village of Nida
The Park Information Center is open daily in summer (9:00-18:00). In May and September, open from Monday to Saturday (9:00-12:00, 12:45-18:00).