Whether it is serenity, inspiration or a boost of new energy you’re looking for this spring, discover it and Neringa’s endless charms with an array of locally curated walking and cycling routes. Alongside the Curonian Spit’s legendary white sand beaches, perfumed pine forests and pristine dunes as far as the eye can see, these routes take you on unexpected trips through its natural, cultural, historical and leisure treasures.
With warmer days upon us, gift you mind, body and soul with a spring break in Neringa, a UNESCO World Heritage site, thrilling yet tranquil gem of unique coastal nature, a true haven for artists and travellers, set in between the gentle sway of the Curonian Lagoon and the emerald depths of the Baltic Sea.
To take a pause from the hustle and bustle of life, the “Inspiration of the Curonian Spit” route tempts the visitors with four unique locations, starting with a nostalgic look around the red and white striped Nida’s lighthouse at the pine-lined top of Urbo hill. The route tells a dramatic centuries-old history of the real-life struggle to conquer the relentless sand that buried entire villages of Neringa in its path.
Then, let your curiosity take you to the neighbouring Preila’s (or Artists’) dune for one of the peninsula’s most astonishing panoramas: feast your eyes on the sea views to the west, the horizons of the lagoon to the east and the stupendous sand dune complex.
Climb down the heights of the dune to be greeted by the tranquillity of the Curonian Lagoon in Pervalka. The smile-inducing calls of gulls, the caresses of wind and the gentle rhythm of waves take you to a place where the time stands still. The settlement’s iconic symbol does not disappoint - a postcard worthy view of Pervalka’s romantic lighthouse on a tiny island, counting over a hundred years, is a sight to remember.
The route culminates on Avikalnis’ view point with yet another majestic view: the vast swathes of mesmerising parabolic dunes, the atmospheric nature reserve of Nagliai and the picturesque fragments of ancient, fairytale-like pine forests.
To experience deeper the true identity of the sand-formed land that is Neringa, the pedestrian route “Climb the Dune” invites you to learn about the unique landscape and geology of the dunes. Marvel at the variety of parabolic, linear, crescentic and dome shaped dunes as well as learning about the ever changing nature of this natural marvel.
Neringa is a top location to open your cycling season this spring. Dust off your trusty two-wheeled friend or rent one in the many rental spots dotted around the main Neringa’s settlements, and let your hair lose through its 52 kilometres of pine-lined bicycle routes. Fresh air a plenty, follow the “Ride and Learn” route from nostalgic Nida to bustling Smiltynė, ticking off Neringa’s 36 top sights, dotted along its modern and comfortably flat web of bicycle tracks.
Around 30 kilometres north of Nida, you will be greeted in Juodkrante, a 15th century settlement with a vibrant history. A land that once belonged to crusaders, Prussia and Germany, Juodkrante evokes the spirit of exploration to a whole new level. Follow the “Undiscovered Land of Juodkrantė” route to navigate the sentimental streets filled with architecturally splendid villas of years gone by. Then, let your mind wander through the rich historical heritage of the area in the local Museum of Martynas Liudvikas Rėza.
You are never too far from the spells on Neringa’s authentic nature: start a stroll from the Amber Bay of Juodkrantė and awaken your senses with the old forest’s calming views that stretch alongside the canyons of dunes and Lapnugaris hill. There is the unfailing attraction of the Hill of Witches with its many mythological statues as well as the exhilarating hubbub of the cormorants and herons colony, just one kilometre from Juodkrante’s town centre.
If you are a culture fan or an art lover, Neringa is your home away from home. “Nida’s TOP 10” and “Sculptural Neringa” are routes that celebrate Neringa’s status as a sanctuary for artists, creatives and intellectuals, its vast cultural heritage and most famous personalities.
There is truly something for everyone in Neringa: you are bound to have a spring holiday filled with heaps of memories to treasure. And when you are gazing at its ethereal horizon from a ferry taking you home, with gulls waving you ‘goodbye’, and the fresh heap of joyous energy from your Curonian adventures, make a promise to come back to Neringa - for lots more.
All these routes are available as leaflets to download here and in Neringa’s toursim centres in Nida (Naglių st. 18E) and Juodkrantė (L. Rėzos g. 8).
Photo credits: A. Kundrotas