Welcome to Western Lithuania
Topping the bill is a unique gem: Curonian Spit (Kursių Nerija), a skinny leg of sand that stalks into Russia. So precious and extraordinary is this slice between the relentless Baltic Sea and the lapping Curonian Lagoon that Unesco added it to its World Heritage list in 2000. Its historical fishing villages and East Prussian past are fascinating backdrops to the real attraction: giant sand dunes and dense pine forests.
The gateway to the spit is Klaipėda, the country’s third-largest city and only major port. This busy city with its tiny Old Town and constant flow of ferries has its own rhythms. To the north is Palanga, a party town if ever there was one; finding a room here in summer can be a challenge.
South of Klaipėda, the Nemunas Delta Regional Park is an oasis for birds and bird lovers. Inland, the Žemaitija National Park was once home to a secret Soviet nuclear base. The base has been converted to the Cold War Museum and is a must for history buffs.