If your soul is longing for a meaningful adventure, it’s time to find yourself in Neringa – the glistening gem of the Baltic sea. Set on a mesmerising peninsula of the Curonian Spit between a lagoon and the emerald waters of the sea, Neringa awaits with its many nature and culture delights. Take a step off the beaten track into the magical scenery of unspoilt sand dunes, pine groves, sea and lagoon waters - and let the Neringa, a UNESCO World Heritage site, take your breath away.
Atmospheric sights and flavours
Once you get off a nostalgic ferry that brings locals and visitors to a different world of this spectacular peninsula, dive right into the local life. Start your trip by immersing yourself in the nostalgic Neringa’s villages of Nida, Preila, Pervalka and Juodkrantė. The cultural and historical heritage is carefully preserved and celebrated in Neringa’s many museums. galleries and artists’ retreats. Spot its famous ethnographic weather vanes that adorn many wooden houses across the peninsular and let the plentiful outdoor statues and art installations ignite your curiosity.
Culinary hotspots of Neringa offer a unique sense of the local atmosphere. Travelling southward of the outstretched peninsula, pop in to Juodkrante that is brimming with the spirit of locals. Enjoy a conversation with one of them about the many interest spots, or soak up the relaxed vibe in one of Neringa’s celebrated cafes and restaurants, loved by locals and visitors alike, offering locally-sourced fish dishes, the famous Curonian Spit fish soup and other popular bites.
The lagoon’s fishermen and their generous catches are a real pride and joy of the locals. Bring back something special and delicious from your trip to the ones at home. Most Neringa’s settlements host stalls full of a real gourmet delicacy, locally-caught smoked fish.
Sea breeze and sandy toes
Undoubtedly, one of the unrivalled highlights of Neringa are the white sand beaches on the Baltic coast. The western side of the peninsula is lined with pristine white sand beaches for as far as your eye can see. They cater to every taste: swim, paddle, stroll, try out water sports, or simply sunbathe and admire the exquisite sea and sand dune views.
You will be quick to notice how clean and respected the beaches are here: no wonder the current focus on meaningful travel might leave you picking up that stray piece of litter - as if to preserve the beauty and spirit of this unblemished land. The beaches of Nida and Juodkrantė have had the Blue Flag accreditation of the highest environmental and quality of service standards for over 20 years. The quality of water in the beaches is constantly monitored and the beaches are regularly cleaned.
If you are after deep relaxation, cue nature, a well-known de-stresser: Neringa is full of peaceful locations for those special moments of serendipity. Tranquil spaces are everywhere you look - the majestic travelling sand dunes are entwined by perfumed pines: Neringa’s landscape is 75% forest, ideal to try out forest bathing (shinrin-yoku).
For a perfect mix of nature and local history, head to the 1.1 km trail of Nagliai Nature Reserve, which leads through a mysterious natural phenomenon – dead (gray) sand dunes. This is where four former Curonian Spit villages were buried in the sand a few centuries ago. Strong winds created a unique landscape – hollows and washouts, revealing the soil of an ages-old forest buried in the sand.
To catch one of the most breathtaking, landmark views of Neringa, climb up the Parnidis Dune near Nida. Blown into a huge hill of sand by harsh sea winds, the Parnidis Dune rises up to 52 metres above sea level. A viewpoint constructed at the top of the dune opens up an amazing panorama of the town of Nida, the Curonian lagoon, the Death Valley of untouched dunes, sea and forests. A top place to take a perfect selfie.
There is plenty more to explore in the Curonian Spit: how about a sunset sail in the lagoon, a spot of Nordic walking, fishing, bird watching, a family cycling tour, sightseeing and shopping for Lithuanian crafts of textiles, amber and clay? There is so much to discover and experience in the Curonian Spit - explore meaningful travel in the Curonian Spit and let the one-of-a-kind land of Neringa surprise and inspire you.
Photo credits: A. Kundrotas