Getty Images


Old Baltic legends say it was the giantess Neringa who created Curonian Spit, and her masterpiece is surely Nida. Its hazy pine forests clasp Parnidis Dune, the largest on the peninsula. Boardwalks snake up to the height of the dune, a huge crest of wind-caressed sand that offers golden views into Russian Kaliningrad. Down in Nida village, brightly painted wooden houses and puffing fish smokeries work their magic on visitors.

As Curonian Spit's tourism hot spot, Nida is an easy base, replete with restaurants and guesthouses. The fishing village turned artists' colony now welcomes busloads of visitors, including Germans exploring historical East Prussia.

Nida is 48km from Klaipėda and 3km from the Russian border; the town stretches for 2km, but its centre is at the southern end, behind the harbour.