Rebellious, quirky and vibrant, Lithuania (Lietuva) is Europe's best-kept secret. Shoved successively between Russian pillar and Nazi post, tenacious little Lithuania stunned the world when it played David and Goliath with the might of the Soviet Union - and won its independence just over a decade ago. Today the nation that vanished from the maps of Europe is back with a vengeance: it's part of the EU, was the first of the 25 EU players to give the European Constitution a stamp of approval and is a fully fledged 'n' fighting partner of NATO - home no less to four F-16 military alliance jet fighters used to police Baltic skies.
This is a country with a colourful history, once boasting an empire stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Its raw pagan roots fuse with Catholic fervour - the Polish inheritance that sets it apart from its Baltic brothers - to create a land where Catholics and Orthodox mingle happily in the forest to pick wild berries and mushrooms from nature's altar. Its capital, Vilnius, is an incredibly small place (can this really be a capital city?) with astonishing contrasts - eerie shadowy courtyards, eccentric artist community, awesome arts and beautiful baroque. Its natural treasures - forests, lakes, the magical Curonian Spit in Western Lithuania - shimmer, while its oddities - the Hill of Crosses in and a Soviet sculpture park - add a flavour found nowhere else.
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Best places to stay in Lithuania
Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania - Lithuania (Chapter)
Rebellious, quirky and vibrant, Lithuania (Lietuva) is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. Though the country rarely makes it into newspapers outside its, the southernmost of the three Baltic countries holds a bag of treats.
Forget the Med: five stunning stretches of coast in northern Europe
Travellers flock to the Mediterranean shores of Italy, France and Spain, but for deliciously different places to dip your toes, look a little further north on your map of Europe. You’ll need a sweater if you visit outside the summer, but the views, dunes and magical history are worth a slightly paler suntan...
Lithuania destination guides
Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania travel guide
Lands of crumbling castles, soaring dunes, pagan rituals, towering pine forests, quaking lakelands and churning northern seas – a trip to the Baltic proves that fairy tales do come true…
Baltics to St Petersburg
Decades after the fall of communism, the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia remain a mystery to most travellers. We’re not complaining, though; more mystery means fewer crowds and an easier time getting to know these fantastic countries.
Vilnius City Sightseeing Tour
See the best that Vilnus has to offer. During the Vilnius City Sightseeing Tour you will see the following places of interest: Gediminas Avenue until you reach the Parliament.
Not many people have heard of Grutas Park in Lithuania. Even if you call it by its more popular nickname, Stalin World, it is still comparatively unknown. But the existence of Stalin World shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise...
Europe on a Shoestring - Lithuania (Chapter)
Those with a passion for baroque architecture, ancient castles and archaeological treasures will find plenty in the capital and beyond. Throw in a whirlwind of great restaurants, beer gardens and bars, modern-art spaces and late-night clubbing,...
Best beaches to swing a hammock
Ahh, your own place in the sun. In this excerpt from Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Experiences, we show how to make like a beach bum and head for the world's 10 most idyllic, sun-kissed refuges. 1. Dahab, Egypt Dahab means 'gold' in Arabic – a name given to the area because of its golden sands...
Private Tour to Aukstaitija National Park
At over 400 km2, Lithuania's first national park (1974) offers a breathtaking break away from it all. Thirty rivers, over one hundred lakes, large wooded areas featuring 200-year-old-plus oaks, marshes, and villages entirely overlooked by the creeping claws of progress all make for the ideal antidote to life in the last lane.