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Central Lithuania
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Introducing Central Lithuania

Most people only give Central Lithuania a quick glance – generally from the seat of their bus or train as they’re travelling from capital to coast. This flat land between the country’s big attractions is often written off as dull, but such a conclusion would be foolhardy, for here resides Lithuania’s most bizarre sight, along with cities of substance and bucolic splendour as far as the eye can see.

Proud Kaunas, the alternative Lithuanian capital between WWI and WWII and the country’s perpetual ‘number two’ city, holds court in the heart of the country. Its Old Town is as intriguing as its mass of museums and art galleries, and there is no better place to base yourself for central-country forays. Within easy reach of Kaunas is Birštonas, a tiny spa town where both jazz and mud treatments are serious business.

Still in the process of reinvention is Šiauliai, once a closed city in Soviet times that sheltered the USSR’s largest military base outside Russia. This northern city is full of surprises, proffering up the weird and the wonderful: not many places can boast a Bicycle Museum and a Museum of Cats. Yet most tourists make the pilgrimage here for the papal-blessed Hill of Crosses 10km to the north, and leave awed by the strength and devotion of the Lithuanian people.