Welcome to Trakai
With practically the entire town gazetted as a national park, it's fitting that Trakai's very name derives from the Lithuanian word for a forest glade. Its castle roosts on one of 21 islands in Lake Galvė, which opens out from the northern end of the peninsula. The 82-sq-km protected area also encompasses the ruins of an earlier fortification among its woodlands and reed-fringed lakes.
Grand Duke Gediminas is thought to have made Trakai his capital in the 1320s and Kęstutis based his 14th-century court here. Beyond the castle, there's outstanding natural beauty and Karaite culture and cuisine, belonging to a Judaic minority group who have lived in Trakai since medieval times.