Luthuania Itinerary 2012
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Oct 2, 2012 8:06 AM Last Post By: enepi
Sep 28, 2012 6:17 AM
Luthuania Itinerary 2012Hi fellow travelers
Have some questions related to an itinerary in Lithuania. Going to have enough time to see and visit Vilnius so my questions it related to the sounding areas and the rest of the Country - mainly with 2 itinerary options for 2 days/2 nights (transport will be sorted out for both so that is not the issue) and really appreciate your comments and personal view.
One option is to do something like Vilnius - Kernavé - Trakai - Kaunas - Rumsiskes - Vilnius. As I understand there is the possibilities to visit places like and do (city) tours in: Kernavé, Kernavé Museum, Trakai & the medieval castle of Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Kaunas, Pazaislis Monastery, Rumsiskes Open Air Museum.
Another option is to do something like Vilnius - Hill of Croses - Palanga - Klaipéda - Curonian Spit - Vilnius. Here with the possibilities to visit places and do (city) tours in: Palanga, Palanga Amber Museum, Hill of Croses, former missile base in Plokstine, Klaipéda, Curonian Spit, Hill of Witches, Dead Dunes, Nida, Thomas Mann Museum.
Will be traveling in a few weeks at the end of October which might have some influence on the options (like Baltic Coast of cause being more a Summer attraction). About the longer distance between on one of the options that is also not an issue.
With this in mind I hope to get some input and feedback.
Thanks in advance for your assistance.
Sep 28, 2012 6:31 AM
1Added note (even though not about Lithuania). Does anyone have any experiences or recommendation for any of these bus operators. Will travel on the route from Tallinn to Vilnius. Prices are pretty much the same (between 18-22 EUR - or 35-40 EUR for the more direct/luxury connections).
http://ecolines.net/en/?l=2=en/ (find it really hard to get a price on this web page)
Sep 28, 2012 7:04 AM
Sep 28, 2012 7:16 AM
Sep 28, 2012 10:07 AM
4Time (2days+2 nights) allows to do everything, the question is what mode of transport you're going to choose.
You say "transport will be sorted out for both so that is not the issue", i to be honest am not fluent in english and not sure if i understand here everything - just if "transport is not the issue", then get a car and do everything. "Technically" both options are doable in 2 full days + 1 night between them somewhere near the sea. If you're intend to allot the 2nd night for this trip, well, you have to allot at least a bit of a 3rd day as well then :D .
But this is if you'll be traveling by car. By public transport (only by public trasport) i can't see possibility to do any of them in a reasonable way. Public transport is fitted to the needs of locals. Your "objects of interest" are clear and adequate, but public transport does not go between the "objects of interest". Either everything must be re-arranged, or you should combine different modes of transport or something, but if "it's not the issue", then do any of those two :) .
Selection of objects is normal, your idea also seems clear, could give you some minor corrections of everything, some specific advices and some suggestions in order to make the trip more smooth, less boring, more interesting and more flexible - but it all depends on the chosen mode of transport. I see in fact 3 options: 1- everything, 2- Kernavė-Rumšiškės, 3- seaside, +/- some other things you've mentioned. Advices would be completely different for all 3 options, and there can be as much "sets" of advices as much can be different transport options. Let's first be clear on transport.
Sep 29, 2012 6:02 AM
5Thanks for your notes kazysmmm and as it might not come fully across I will try to explain. There can only be done 1 of the options - not both or a mix of these 2 options. As for transport it is a not myself organizing it and therefore I do not need to worry about that (normally I not a fan of pre-arranged tours but have this golden opportunity so why not go for it).
Therefore my question would be more which option offer the better opportunity to see, get the feel and to learn a bit more of the countryside as well as the capital. Hoping some locals or former visitors have some thoughts to share also taking in the time of the year for visiting.
Edited by: mikkeldk
Sep 29, 2012 8:29 AM
6"...offer the better opportunity to see, get the feel and to learn a bit more of the countryside as well as the capital..."
That "seaside option" could be something "additional" to the first option, but as a separate trip specifically in October and specifically from Vilnius with the return back to Vilnius is not reasonable at all, and without the 1st option it is neither a better opportunity to see and to learn about the countryside, nor there are any other qualities. You may come across some panegyrics about Curonian Spit - i also came across some of them and the visitors (specifically english speakers) are always talking about the summer time. If they went there in October-November they probably would take their words back and be willing to delete everything they wrote previously. Actually, if one have visited Curonian Spit in summer, next visit should be in late autumn or winter, then they could genuinely appreciate the place. But to go there in October for the first time is not only risky (it may rain all the time) but also may be really unpleasant.
Secondly, the "seaside option" can be done at any time and at any oppurtunity on your own, or not on your own, one only have to have an adequate amount of time, nothing more. The first option is more sophisticated as part of it can be done only by car (i.e. not by public transport), but as a whole it is nearly perfect.
Not sure what you mean by "city tours" (in Kernavė and Trakai), it can be called "city tours", of course, but if you'll be visiting the museum in Kernavė and a castle in Trakai you'll do the "tour" automatically. Kernavė is not a large settlement and the museum is near its "historical part" (literally several steps apart). The "Old Town", which was a first lithuanian capital, is an archaeological site, it's not a town, practically it is a valley between the hill forts and the river. All information about it can be found in that museum, but as a "physical object" with the buildings and streets it does not exist. Recent town is slightly away from the river, and it is not an "object of interest".
Similary about Trakai. Once you arrived to Trakai centre, you see everything: the island castle (second lithuanian capital), the peninsula castle (fortified garrison in fact), and these are the main things. By "main things" i mean that this is what lithuanians learn at school about, everything else there is secondary.
I just want to add some hints, as there are the "gaps" on your route, they could be meaningfully completed :).
1. There is a certain distance between Vilnius and Kernavė, and this is one of the nicest and historically richest areas in the country. Nothing can be seen from the road: the road stretches along the edge of the river valley, and the valley itself is overgrown with forest. All “places of interests” are in the valley (including Kernavė itself). Since it’s not you who is responsible for the transport, I simply name some of the names of some places, and if time allows they deserve a visit no less than Kernavė. One can say that Kernavė is a landmark and a spot of final destination, but not an alone-standing separate object. So the names of the places are: Devil’s Corner with the Karmazinai cognitive path, Karmazinai mound in Karmazinai village itself, Buivydai hillfort and Bradeliškiai hillfort (both near each other), mythological boulder of Airėnai near Dūkštos Oakwood west of Dūkštos village (you’ll be passing this village and the boulder in any case). These all are near the main road. The order is as if you are going Vilnius -> Kernavė.
2. Another gap is between Trakai and Kaunas. If you go from Trakai to Kaunas via Aukštadvaris, the gap will be meaningfully completed automatically. Then you enter Kaunas from the south and can smoothly visit Pažaislis before going to the centre or before going to Rumšiškės. As a "compensation" for not visiting Plokštinė rocket base you can hop to a former closed town of KGB, Linksmadvaris, aka Lustberg. It is south of Kaunas. To “hop” means that one have to turn from the road to the right, cross the bridge over pool and enter the town itself. The town is like a military town, no special secrets can be seen. One have to go forwards down the main street, soon the town ends up, the road stretches in front of you and nothing can be seen ahead. Keep on going and as soon as the town disappears behind you, something can be seen ahead – that’s it. The brain of KGB satellite intelligence department. Shame, the main antenna was stolen, the metal was sold to scrap, the other antennas were removed later. However, the other authentic structures and authentic mood are still in tact.
There is one practical tip regarding that “hop” to Linksmadvaris: all surroundings were designed to conceal the town as much s possible, so when you’re already prepared that there soon must be a turn, you see the pool thru the trees, you see the town on the other side, and …. one second and you missed the turn, and the road is too narrow to turn around, and the speed is too high to stop immediately :) . So the tip is: there is a site immediately after the turn, you can safely turn around there, and return those few meters back to the bridge. Just you have to be alert enough and not to miss the site :D .
3. Rumšiškės. It’s a large area, normally people go there for a full day (e.g. as a weekend trip). The weather in the end of October is unpredictable and may be quite unpleasant. So this object can be skipped, i.e. the final decision can be made by arrival to Kaunas.
4. Another "compensation" for not visiting Plokštinė rocket base: it’s not a tourist object (as is Plokštinė base), but actual abandoned rocket base north-east of Kaunas, east of Karmėlava town. It’s a few km detour, not far, so if interest persist it can be visited without problems. Unlike in Rumšiškės, one can enter the base by car and practically everything can be seen from the car, one even can enter inside the rocket hangars by car.
Generally, if you can't change the selection of the objects, there is nothing tragic, the first option is certainly better, golden opportunity indeed :) .
Sep 29, 2012 9:21 PM
7I am not a native but I recently visited Lithuania. I did it the hard way, by public transport. Took the bus from Riga to Siauliai; taxi to the Hill of Crosses; bus from Siauliai to Klaipeda and a couple of hours of sightseeing in Klaipeda. That was day1. Next day took the ferry to Smyltine and then bus to Nida; hiked to the Pernidis? dune and then took the bus back halfway to Juodkrante- visited the Hill of Witches. Unfortunately it was raining hard by then so I could not continue my Couronian spit stay and returned to Klaipeda. That was day 2. The following day I took the bus from Klaipedato Kaunas and had the rest of the day for visiting that city. That was day 3. I could continue with my days, but the total already exceeds the 2day/2night allocated in your question.
Oct 2, 2012 8:06 AM
Since your trip will be at the end of October I'd go for Vilnius - Kernavé - Trakai - Kaunas - Rumsiskes - Vilnius rather than the other one.
I loved the Curonian Spit but I don't think it will be that enjoyable with late October's weather. That and Palanga are outdoors&beach destinations.
If you like basketball or if you just want to see some local action you could try to watch a live Zalgiris basketball game when in Kaunas. Basketball is the national sport in Lithuania and watching a live game there is a lot of fun.
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