The long, thin village of Juodkrantė (ywad-kran-tey) – 'Black Shore', or Schwarzort to Germans – is 20km south of Smiltynė and is spread out along the lagoon. The pace of life here is slow even in the height of summer, and the sweet smell of smoked fish follows you wherever you go.
The small village of Smiltynė is a hop, skip and five-minute ferry ride away across the thin strait that divides Klaipėda from Curonian Spit. This strait-side patch of paradise – packed on summer weekends with Klaipėda residents – has beautiful beaches, sandy dunes and sweet-smelling pine forests.
Juodkrantė to Nida
Heading south from Juodkrantė the road switches to the western side of the Spit. The 16.8-sq-km Naglių Strict Nature Reserve (Naglių rezervatas) here protects the Dead or Grey Dunes (named after the greyish flora that covers them) that stretch 8km south and are 2km wide; a marked footpath leads into the reserve from the main road.