ORIGINAL TEXTBOOK / Tour GUIDE
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT MANY SERVICE INFORMATION CHANGED MEANWHILE .
HERE WILL BE AN UPDATE ON THE SEPARATE ROUTES ELSEWHERE
Baltic Bicycle Tour “BaltiCCycle ‘2001”
- Baltic Bicycle Tour “BaltiCCycle ‘2001” 1
- Tour Guide 1
- Content 1
- International bicycle cycle “BaltiCCycle ‘2001” Tour Guide 15
Tallinn – Kloogaranna – Paldiski 17
Limestone coast at Rannamõisa 17
Suurupi lighthouses (1859) and stone beacon (1760) 17
Limestone coast at Türisalu 17
Manor and park at Keila-Joa, Keila waterfall 17
Paldiski – Padise – Nõva – Roosta Holiday Village 18
Põõsaspea cape and Spitham village 19
Roosta – Haapsalu – Rohuküla – ferry to Heltermaa – Kärdla 19
The Karst region of Salajõe 19
Manor house and park of Uuemõisa 20
Kärdla – Luidja – Emmaste – Sõru – ferry to Saaremaa 21
Leisi – Metsküla – Panga – Mustjala – Pidula 23
Neolithic living place and ancient castle at Võhma 23
Cloughs of Küdema and Lepakõrve 23
Pidula – Kihelkonna – Lümanda – Tehumardi – Nasva 24
Natural Protection Area of Viidumäe 24
Coastline Tehumardi – Kuressaare: 25
The Bishop Castle of Kuressaare 25
The Town Hall of Kuressaare. 26
St Laurence’s Church in Kuressaare. 26
[A-2] Riga– Liepoja – Klaipėda 27
Kandava – Sabile – Renda- Sandcaves- Mežvalde – Kuldīga 28
Kuldiga – Ivande –Edole – Alsunga – Jurkalne 29
Jurkalne – Pavilosta – Liepoja 30
Pape- Nida- Lithuanian border- Palanga- Klaipėda 31
Vilnius – Trakai – Aukštadvaris – Birštonas – Prienai – Kaunas – Jurbarkas – Šilutė – Klaipėda 32
Trakai historical national park 32
Bicycle repair, market and rent services: 33
Nemunas Loops Regional Park 35
Punia – Birštonas – Duobakalnis 35
Kaunas lagoon Regional Park 36
Duobakalnis – Kaunas – Zapyškis 37
The ensemble of the monastery of Pažaislis 37
Bicycle repair and rent services 39
The length of the route – 71.3 km 41
Bicycle repair and rent center 43
Bicycle repair and market services 45
The length – 45,5 km (gravel – 19,5 km, asphlalt – 26 km): Ventė horn –10– Kintai –7– Svencelė –4– Dreverna –3– Vilhelm channel –10– Kairiai ground –11,5– Klaipėda center. 46
Bicycle repair, market and rent services 47
Curronian Spit national park 48
Zelenogradsk (Crantz, Krantas) 50
Zelenogradskas – Kaliningradas 51
Kaliningrad (Karaliaučius, Tvangystė) 51
Kaliningradas (Karaliaučius) 52
Bicycle repair, market and rent services 52
Soshovka (Aukštagiriai, Buominė), Lodging 53
6-7 days (look at A-3 route 6-7 days) 55
Bicycle repair, market and rent services 58
[B-3] Vilnius – Kėdainiai – Šiluva – Telšiai – Plateliai – Kretinga – Klaipėda 58
Kurtuvėnai Regional Park – www.kurtuva.lt 61
International bicycle tour “BaltiCCycle ‘2001”
Lithuanian Cyclist’s Community
Latvian Cyclist’s Club “Velogrupa”
Estonian Cyclist’s Club “Vänta Aga”
Klaipeda and Kaliningrad municipalities
Bicycle Information Centre“dvirINFO” (VsI “Du ratai”)
Klaipėda Environmental Club “Žvejonė”
Seaside Regional Park
European Union PHARE Small project fund
Klaipėda town municipality Environmental protection fund
General supporter – mineral water “Aquarel”
Main supporters – “Panther” bicycles, tourism agency “Krantas Travel”
Supporters: “Falck security”, “Campus”, “Wellman”
The book was prepared by:
Vaiva Milončiūtė – German
Frank Wurft – German
Jakaterina Vlasova – English
Janina Kalnėnaitė – English
Viesturs Silenieks – Latvian
Rein Lepik – Estonian
Authors of photos:
“Nepriklausomų projektų agentūra”
© Lithuanian Cyclists’ Community, 2001
Taikos pr. 42-3, Klaipėda, Lithuania
International cycling tour “BaltiCCycle” steering you through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Kaliningrad District (Russia) to arrive in Klaipeda, for the Sea Festival July 14th – 29th, 2001
“BaltiCCycle” is an international cycling tour through three Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania; and Kalniningrad. There are four main routes (A) and a few alternative ones (B), which start in several different places at different time: in Tallinn (Estonia) – 14th of July, in Vilnius (Lithuania) – 20th of July, in Klaipėda (Lithuania) and Riga (Latvia) – 21st of July, and all the routes finish in Klaipėda during the Sea Festival in July, 27-29.
“BaltiCCycle” is organised by the Lithuanian Cyclists’ Community together with Latvian and Estonian cyclists organizations, with the help of Klaipėda and Kaliningrad towns municipalities. Main sponsors of the project are the European Union’s PHARE Small Projects Fund and Nature Protection Fund of Klaipėda city.
The project aims to promote Lithuania and its neighboring Baltic States as one of the most attractive bicycle tourism destination in Europe, and in that way to encourage foreign tourists and local communities to travel there by bicycles – the most ecological mean of transport.
“BaltiCCycle” is very good opportunity to explore the Baltic States and to come by bicycles to one of the most impressive festivals of the Baltic countries – the Sea Festival in Klaipėda. Don’t worry, you can make it!! The routes cover 50-80 km per day, which may sound a lot but in reality is a relaxing pack. We pass by the most beautiful nature spots, hear endless folk stories, get acquainted with the national and regional parks, museums and estates, castles, islands…. We sleep in tents at camping sites or for an extra charge in hotels, farmsteads etc. We eat in local restaurants and cafés or prepare food by ourselves from locally grown ecological products.
The tour book gives recommendations on various accommodations, catering, bicycle repair and other services as well as places of interest. This book doesn’t answer to all your questions, but it helps to find necessary information along the routes.
We wish you good luck and nice trip!!!
Organisers of “BaltiCCycle”
[A-1] Tallinn – Riga
1st day (14.07, Saturday)
Tallinn – Kloogaranna – Paldiski
Route length – 55 km (asphalt roads). Start of the trip in July 14th, at 12.00 at City Hall of Tallinn (Raekoja plats).
Night in the tents in Paldiski town.
The capital of Estonia, information in the Internet: www.tallinn.ee
Open Air Museum on the way just before leaving the city. Restored old village houses from different regions of Estonia.
Limestone coast at Rannamõisa
A steep coast rising just from the sea, the highest parts reaching 35 meters
Manor and park of Muraste
A small manor originated from the 17th century, the present buildings dating back to the 19th century. The two-storied main building in the center is an example of neo- renaissance style.
Suurupi lighthouses (1859) and stone beacon (1760)
Limestone coast at Türisalu
- 45 meters high, beautiful, easily reachable
Manor and park at Keila-Joa, Keila waterfall
Keila-Joa manor which was built approximately in 1830 (designed by A. I. Stackenschneider) remained the only example of neo styles in Estonian manor architecture for a quarter of century. The heart of the manor stands on the high bank of the Keila river. Winding paths took the walkers through the park rich in species, to the sea, passing numerous pavilions and statues, greenhouses and romantic ruins of Meremõisa. Especially picturesque is the 6-metre-high Keila waterfall. Since 1856 till nationalization the manor belonged to the Volkonski family. The Soviet government gave the manor to the Soviet Army.
Rapids of Treppoja
Streams forming several rapids in Klooga-Ranna, unique in Estonia
A top secret military area at the Soviet times. Former submarine training center. Ruines of military buildings. Beautiful nature at the peninsula.
- St Nicholas’ Church at Paldiski
The church was ready in 1841 and was named after the Tsar as well as the Saint Nicholas who was mainly the seamen’s patron.
- St George’s Orthodox Church
Built in 1784-1787. The main entrance is in classicist style, the helmet of the tower in baroque
- Bastions of Paldiski Fortress
Paldiski fortress consists of four bastions, which were built in 1718 – 1725 by the order of Peter I who also was the designer of the fortress. Paldiski was to become a powerful military harbor where the Dutch security system was used, just like in Moscow.
- Vääna – Jõesuu camping “Sürpriis”, tel. 6789315, camping site for tents and caravans
- Türisalu accommodation in tents and guest house “Igihaljas” Tammsaare tee 63-45, tel. 05021346; 6542418
- Laulasmaa 2 hostels: Education and Holiday Center of Laulasmaa tel. 6715521 ;05109192, and Hostel KeVa tel. 6715553; 6045347.
- Dining House Rekset tel. 6715633
- Paldiski Restaurant and guesthouse “Valge Laev” Rae 32, tel. 6742095
- Department store Rae 23 tel. 6741316
2nd day (15.07, Sunday)
Paldiski – Padise – Nõva – Roosta Holiday Village
Route length – 73 km. Night in the camp near Roosta village (Roosta Puhkekula).
Monastery and manor of Padise
The monastery belonged to the Cistercian Order. The first stone building was a chapel which was completed in the middle of the13th cent. In 1317 – 43 the other buildings were founded. During the Livonia War the monastery was turned into a military base. In 1580 it was destroyed. The Manor of Padise was given to Th. Ramm, the Mayor of Riga, by Gustav II Adolf in 1622. At first, only monastery was used for living. At the end of the 18th century the manor house was built. A park designed in free style with fishing ponds, picturesque river banks, and orchard, was founded around the house.
- Harju – Risti – church
- Vihterpalu – manor
The north-western part of Estonia has been a living area for Swedes. During the World War II the coasts remained unpopulated and the Soviet border guards occupied the region. As the region was closed for tourists, the beautiful nature has remained untouched. The coast is sandy, in some places covered with forests. Landscape reserve of Nõva is situated in the communes of Noarootsi and Nõva. It was founded to protect the unique coast landscape and plant communities of North-Western Estonia.
Here you can find a medical service center ( tel. 04793318), post office (93310), commune council house with a possibility to use Internet, a school, a cemetery, shop, a monument to the participants on the War of Independence.
Wooden St Olaf’s Church at Nõva
Small wooden church built in 1635. The inner architecture is similar to that of Gotland’s. The church is proud of the organ which was made by a local man called Targema at the beginning of the 20th century.
Port, stony coast, watchtower, park of pines, petrol station, limestone at the coast, big rock Toomanina Suurkivi
Cobblestone road between Peraküla and Tantsujärve dating back to the years of the First World War, thicket of reeds – former lakes of Peraküla overgrown with reeds, lakes of Peraküla, Farm museum of Põlluotsa ( a village swing, village hop site, exhibitions, local landscape videos), a swimming place on the northern shore of lake Toatse.
Põõsaspea cape and Spitham village
The most north-western point of continental Estonia. Lighthouse and watchtower, erratic boulders, rocky coast, view to Osmussaar, bird watching.
Port, ruins of Russian coast defense battery founded before the First World War, petrol station
The ruins of a chapel and cemetery founded in the 17th century. The chapel was first built of wood, the present stone chapel dates back to the year 1834.
Tuksi is the center of the present Riguldi area. A shop and a post office.
- Camping at Roosta Holiday Village (Roosta Puhkeküla), Elbiku Village 91202. Noarootsi Commune, Läänemaa, tel. 047 97230, fax. 047 97245, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org 31 houses of different size, camping sit, catering
- Bar-shop-resting house Laimi at Nõva tel. 04793389
- Boarding house Bergsby Tuksi Village 91202, Noarootsi Commune, Läänemaa, tel. 047 97290, 050 23042, accommodation for 16 people
- Resting house Tuksi Elbiku Village 91202, Noarootsi Commune Läänemaa tel. 047 97228, 050 44115 Accommodation for 28 people.
- Peeter Pärnaste Tourism Farm Aulepa Village 91001 Noarootsi Commune Läänemaa, tel. 047 29228, 051 10796, accommodation for 7 people
- Kiige Tourism Farm, Linnamäe, Oru Commune, Läänemaa tel. 047 95492, email@example.com accommodation for 10 people, catering
- Käbi Guest House, Herjava Village, tel 047 31165, accommodation for 19 people, catering, bar.
3rd day (16.07, Monday)
Roosta – Haapsalu – Rohuküla – ferry to Heltermaa – Kärdla
Route length – 75 km. Cost of the ticket for the cyclist Rohukula-heltermaa: 45+2065 EEK (≈ 4.5 EUR)
Tour camp in the coast of Hiiuma island near “Hausma” common lodging house (1,5 km from Kardla). Food shops are in Suuremoisa and Kardla towns.
The manor was founded in 1604, the manor house was built in the 18th century. The manor belonged to the kin of Taube and was the largest in Noarootsi parish. At Hara bay there is a former fishermen’s village, beautiful view to open sea and the northern part of Noarootsi peninsula. The isle of Vormsi is seen in the distance.
A small village. Not far from the village there is a medieval sanctuary in the marsh ( Karumägi ) and the ruins of the log path leading to the asylum. Pärnaste lime tree ( 25 m ), an ancient sacrificial stone
Landscape Reserve of Silma
The area is to protect the lakes and thickets of reeds of Haapsalu Bay and Noa- rootsi Peninsula, the nesting and feathering places of water birds and communities of plants in danger, to preserve and protect the meadows near the sea.
The Karst region of Salajõe
Situated between Sutlepa and Linnamäe. To the north-east of the road the Salajõgi disappears under the ground. The hiding area is about 600 m long and 100 m wide. During the floods the water reaches like a vast lake to the road.
Manor house and park of Uuemõisa
A manor house in the baroque style dating back to the 19th century.
The center of Läänemaa, Haapsalu has been mentioned as a town already more than 720 years ago. The ruins of the bishop castle dating back to the 13th century give the town a special ancient look. Haapsalu was known as a summer resort among Russian tsars and aristocracy already in the 19th century.
The airport was used as a radar station for MIG planes till the Soviet Union split up.
Ruins of Ungru Castle
The castle belonged to the well-known pirate Baron Von Unger-Sternberg. The Baron wanted to build the castle for his lover from Merseburg and make look just like her home castle. But the Miss died and the castle remained unfinished.
Ferries go to Vormsi and Hiiumaa.
The county of Hiiumaa is the smallest in Estonia – only 1023 km2 together with smaller islands. The biggest islands are Hiiumaa (989km2), Kassari (19 km2) and Vohilaid (4 km2). There are numerous islets and reefs in the surrounding sea (about 200). The sea near the coast is dangerously low.
The island of Hiiumaa started rising from the sea approximately 10 000 years ago. The first part to show itself was Kõpu peninsula. The highest point of Hiiumaa is 68.5 m. Generally the land is flat, there are only some steep hills ( Kõpu, Palade,Tahkuna). The diameter from west to east is 60 km, from north to south 40 km. The length of the borderline is 325 m.
Harbor of Heltermaa
In 1870 the port was built to Heltermaa, because the sea was too low at Vahtrepa.
By now Heltermaa has become the most important harbor in Hiiumaa. In the terminal there is an info-stand and tourism info.
The village is situated not far from Suuremõisa. It is one of the oldest settlements with the oldest church in Hiiumaa. St Laurence’s church was built without any tower, as it is characteristic to churches in Muhumaa. It is believed that the church was finished in 1259. In Soviet times the church was used as a grain store and was in rather bad state. By now it is restored and ceremonies and concerts are held there.
In 1636 Joachim Winter, a sculptor from Haapsalu made the stone pulpit which is unique in Estonia.
Next to the church there stands a chapel where countess Ebba-Margaretha Stenbock (1704-1776) is buried. Her great-grandfather Jacob de la Gardie was once the owner of the whole Hiiumaa.
The road towards Hellamaa goes through seaside villages. In the sea you can see several islets: Vormsi, Vohilaid, Harilaid, Hellamaa Reef etc.
Suursadam is first mentioned in the papers as Sääre harbor ( Serle Ham ) in 1593. In 1848 a big ferry “Hioma” was built here, which was the first Estonian ship sailing across the equator round Cape Hoorne into the Pacific Ocean in 1854.
It is interesting to walk along Sääre nina (nose of Sääre) that reaches into the sea as far as 2 km.
It is quite near to Palade. The old farm house was built in the 19th century. The barn and chambers are furnished with the things the last family who lived there.
Kärdla is the capital of Hiiumaa. It is situated in an ancient meteorite crater. The meteorite fell to the place 400-500 million years ago, forming a crater with the diameter of 4.5 km. The edges of the crater can be seen at Paluküla and Tubala.
At Paluküla there is a tower from the platform of which the whole crater is seen.
The new center of The Museum of Hiiumaa is situated at 8 Vabriku Square. The so called Long House (Pikk Maja) houses the exhibitions and science center of the museum. The Pikk Maja was built in 1830’s as a living house for Ungern-Sternberg who was the owner of the Kärdla Woolen Cloth Factory.
- . Hotels in Haapsalu, information www.tourism.ee/haapsalu/est
- Hotel Rohuküla, Rohuküla 90531, Ridala, tel. 32 166, fax 91 124, accommodation for 34 people, bar
- Mihkli Guest House Mäeküla 90531, Ridala tel. 26195, 050 27488, accommodation for 39 people, catering when ordered in advance, sauna, camping site
- Troika Hostel Puss Village 90531, Riddle tel. 29 710, 050 15511, www.tooraku.ee, accommodation for 16 people, catering when ordered in advance, bicycles, boats
- Hausma Hostel, (1,5 km from Kärdla) places for the tents at the coast, rooms in the house for extra payment. tel. 046 29190, mob. 050 31929
- Hotel Heltermaa at the port. tel. 046 94146.
- Hotel Padu, Heltermaa mnt. 22, Kärdla. tel. 046 33037, mob. 050 51671.
- Guest House Sõnajala, Leigri väljak 3, Kärdla. tel. 046 31220.
- Malvaste tourism farm. Malvaste village, tel. 046 99901, mob. 051 74848.
- Shops in Suuremõisa and Kärdla.
Hiiu str. 1, Kärdla
tel.. 046 22233, mob. 051 82233
4th day (17.07, Tuesday)
Kärdla – Luidja – Emmaste – Sõru – ferry to Saaremaa
Route length – 64 km. Proposed extra trips to Kopu peninsula and Kassari.
The cost for a cyclist from Hiiumaa island to Saaremaa island: 50+30=80 EEK (≈ 6 EUR)
The tour camp on the coast, 2 km from Triigi port.
It is about 5 km to the west of Kärdla. It is one of the most popular places in Hiiumaa.
A legend tells us about two wedding parties who met at the crossroad and started a fight. From one party the pride got killed and a groom from the other. The survivors got married and in memory of the victims the first cross was put up.
A more truthful story about why people put crosses on that hill is that so they memorize the Swedes who were forced to leave their homes in 1781. The Swedes from Reigi were given orders to leave their home island. On That hill they held a ceremony and put up the first cross. Nowadays it is a tradition that everyone who passes Ristimägi makes a cross out of natural material and leaves it on the hill.
Tahkuna peninsula is mostly sandy, covered with pine and spruce forests. Tahkuna is really rich in berries and mushrooms. For a long time the Swedes were the inhabitants at Tahkuna.
Just before Malvaste the road turns to the right and leads you to Mihkli museum. It is a unique preserved farm complex in Northern Europe. You can get acquainted with various buildings, including smoke sauna from the 18-19th century.
At the tip of Tahkuna cape there is a lighthouse. The constructions of the lighthouse were made in Paris in 1874 and they were installed in 1785. The lighthouse is 42.6 m tall and seamen can see its light in 18 sea miles.
A memorial to those who perished in the ferry “Estonia” catastrophe stands on the coast.
Church of Reigi
This church became independent in 1627. At first it was built of wood. In 1802 the present stone building was completed. The builder was the owner of Kõrgessaare manor and half of Hiiumaa O.R.L Von Ungern Sternberg. He had the church built in memory of his son who committed a suicide. The son is buried in the churchyard.
Kõrgessaare – Viskoosa
Viskoosa is situated in the center of the former Kõrgessaare manor. The first data about Kõrgessaare go back to the year 1532. Here was one of the oldest manors in Hiiumaa which was established in 1552.
At Luidja you can enjoy the beautiful sand beach and see the Luidja alder grove which is taken under protection because of its uniqueness. The black alder was brought here to clog the moving sand which used to constipate the road.
The whole Kõpu peninsula is worth seeing. It was the first part of Hiiumaa to rise from the sea. The Landscape is full of forests. There grow more than 80 species of plants that are rare in the Baltic countries.
It is the best known sightseeing in Hiiumaa, having become a symbol of the island. Already in 1490 the Hansa League demanded that a lighthouse should be erected on the island. The lighthouse was completed in 1531.
The Valley of Vanajõe
Heading on towards Emmaste you suddenly see a 10-metre-deep valley on the flat landscape, and a stream flowing on the bottom of it. The rapid stream makes its bed wider every year.
The history of Emmaste is connected with the manor bearing the same name. The manor was known already in 1780. The church of Emmaste has been working since 1867
The southern coast of Hiiumaa is washed by the Straits of Soela. From Sõru port you can go by boat to Saaremaa. Sõru port was built in the 19th century. If you are interested in the way coast people lived you should visit Sõru Museum.
Before leaving for Saaremaa you should also see Kassari, one of most interesting places in Hiiumaa. Kassari is protected from the cold north winds, therefore the flora of the area is different. There are many junipers and brier roses. On the shore in reed thickets there are most suitable places for bird watching.
People like to walk along Sääre – a narrow gravel range reaching the sea for 2 km. There are a lot of islets seen in the sea.
The Hiiumaa Museum in the old schoolhouse is also worth seeing.
Sinima Holiday Village, by the way from Luidja to Emmaste, mob. 050 63613.
Shop in Emmaste village.
The camp 2 km from Triigi port and some rooms for tourists in port hotel, tel. 04573203;
Leisi village: Aia g. 7, tel. 04573298, Mere g. 1a, tel. 04573183, 04573195.
5th day (18.07, Wednesday)
Leisi – Metsküla – Panga – Mustjala – Pidula
Route length – 62 km. Night in the tents in Pidula Kalakasvatus camp (Pidula fish farm).
Just some hundred meters from the harbor there is a dendrology park and bewitching place of Vigala Sass.
In the center of Leisi most of the buildings, original constructions of land-stone and wood, are dated from the beginning of the last century. There is information point, several restaurants, shops, post office, bank, bed-and-breakfast.
Limestone coast of Panga
The steep limestone coast of Panga ( Mustjala) is situated on the northern coast of Saaremaa near Panga village. The maximum height is 21.3 m, length about 2.5 km. It is the highest in Saaremaa and Muhumaa.
The steep coasts in Saaremaa consist only of limestone, thus differing from the coasts of Northern Estonia. You can watch thick stratums of limestone. There is also an undersea scarpwhich can be noticed in stormy weather.
In the highest part of the coast there is an ancient place of sacrifice where people brought sacrifices to the sea.
Neolithic living place and ancient castle at Võhma
The Stone Age living place was found in 1986 at Mustjala, Võhma village. It is an old coast village. A dark sooty fireplace was found in the depth of 25-30 cm in the yellow sand.
In the eastern part of the village a place was found which can be called eastern stronghold. It is a big concentric circle made of stones (the biggest diameter 55 m) In some places the walls are interrupted, leaving the entrances open.
Cloughs of Küdema and Lepakõrve
The places are the largest and most interesting Karst areas in Saaremaa. At Küdema you find the Karst to the south of the village. It is an oval crater, 35 m long and 5 m deep where the stream flowing from Ohtja lake disappears under the ground.
Lepakõrve Karst area is 3-4 km to the north-east of Küdema village, by the road leading to Paatsa village. Today the streambed is filled with water only in springtime.
The length of the Lepakõrve Karst area is about 120 m, the depth at the back verge is 7 m.
Manor of Pidula
When driving from Kihelkonna to Mustjala you cannot miss a tall stone-roofed simple looking stone building. It is the manor house of Pidula. The building is considered to be one of the most beautiful baroque manor houses in Estonia. It is said to date back to the middle of the 18th century, some later built parts were made at the beginning of the 19th century. The building is decorated with limestone corners and a low porch with two columns at the entrance.
Around the manor house there is the park designed in baroque. At Pidula was the earliest hospital in Saaremaa. The order knights built it in about 1240.
Springs at Odalätsi
On the 9th km of Kihelkonna-Pidula road you find the springs of Odalätsi, left to the road. The water of the springs comes from the marshes nearby, and from lake Karujärv. It flows along the Karst clefts and finds its way out through several breaches at Odalätsi village. Bits further the springs join, making up the so called Pidula millstream.
- Camp at Pidula Kalakasvatus (Pidula Fish Farm). Campsite of the tour. Tents, rooms for extra payment. tel. 045 46513.
- Tuhkana-Ranna Resthouse, Murika village,Pammana peninsula. tel.045 55931, mob. 051 87629.
- Paatsa Holiday Village, tel. GSM 052 08779.
- Hostel of Mustjala Nature School. Mustjala village. Ph. 045 79737, mob. 051 39604.
- Loode Tourism Farm. Kuralase village, Tagamõisa peninsula. tel. 045 26260. Mob. 050 56227.
6th day (19.07, Thursday)
Pidula – Kihelkonna – Lümanda – Tehumardi – Nasva
Route length – 73 km.
St Michael’s church at Kihelkonna
Today the church is very impressive with its slender and tall western tower, but that was built much later, in 1897-1899. The church itself is one of the oldest in Saaremaa.
At the beginning of the Medieval time Kihelkonna was one of the most important centers in Saaremaa. There was an important harbor, and the road connecting the western part of Saaremaa and continental Estonia, passed it. The Bishop of Saare- Lääne, as well as the Teutonic Order took part in the foundation of the church. The construction work of the church was completed in the 1270’s. The church was meant to be a refuge. there were rooms above the aisles where people could enter through the staircase built into the northern wall.
There is nothing left from the medieval furnishing, but you can see several contemporary pieces of art in the church. The organ built by J.A.Stein, an organ master from Pärnu, is also worth mentioning.
At Viki village, 2 km towards Kuressaare from the Kihelkonna crossing, there stands one of the most original museums, Mihkli Farm Museum.
There you can see the whole complex of farm buildings, and all sorts of utensils and tackles. Almost all the things are made by the people who lived on the farm during the last two centuries, six generations of farming people.
Mihkli is the oldest farm at Viki village. The farm flourished in the middle of the 19th century, when most of the present buildings were constructed.
Mihkli is a typical farm in Western Saaremaa, interesting for its architecture. Most of the buildings are built in circle, the center of which is the inner yard. One part of the yard is separated for flowers. Around the farm there grow old ashes, the branches of which were used to feed sheep in old times.
Vilsandi National Park
Vilsandi National Park is situated on the western coast of Saaremaa. It includes about 100 small islands. There are several natural landscape complexes, most interesting of which are the small sea islets. The area is rich in various species of birds, plants characteristic to sea coast and sea fauna.
The center of the Vilsandi National Park is at Loona manor.
Natural Protection Area of Viidumäe
Viidumäe Protection Area is situated on the ancient coast terrace of Antsülusjärve. The area of it is 1873 ha. It is the highest and oldest part of Saaremaa, the so called “spine” of Saaremaa which started to rise from the sea 10 000 years ago. The following 2000 years formed the coast terrace that can be seen today and which is 18 m high. There is a watchtower on Rauna hill from the top of which you can enjoy the beautiful view of whole Saaremaa.
The area is relatively small, but amazingly rich in various species of plants, mushrooms and animals. It is caused by the maritime climate and changing relief. Over 660 species of vein plants and over 630 species of butterflies have been found here.
A big part of Viidumäe ( 85% ) is covered with forests. The under-terraced marshes formed by springs are the only growth places in the world for Saaremaa cockscomb, that was found here in 1933.
Dunes and coast of Järve
The sandy coast goes along the seaside from Tehumardi towards Kuressaare. There are low (8m ) sand hill groups, covered with pine forests. The beautiful beach is about 10-15 m wide.
- Loona Guest House. Loona village. tel. 045 46510.
- Lümanda Holiday village (at Lümanda Söögimaja). tel. 045 76493, mob. 050 33019.
Coastline Tehumardi – Kuressaare:
- Keskranna Resthouse. Keskranna village. tel. 045 36180, mob. 051 05048.
- Hotel Männikäbi. Mändjala village. tel. 045 44100, mob. 050 58272.
- Pilliroo Resthouse. Mändjala village. tel. 045 55582, mob. 052 98860.
- Pääsu Farm. Mändjala village. tel. 045 33784, mob. 052 97492.
- Hotel of Nasva Yachts Club. Nasva village. tel. 045 44044.
- Accommodation in Kuressaare: info www.tourism.ee/oesel/est tel. 045 33120.
7th day (20.07, Friday)
Kuressaare (Estonia) – Riga (Latvia): by ferry from Kuressaare to Riga or to Virtsu in Estonia mainland and then by bus to Riga
The cost of the ticket for a cyclist from Saaremaa island to Virtsu: 35+15=50 EEK (≈ 3.5 EUR)
The cost of the ticket for a cyclist from Saaremaaa island to Riga: 375+54=429 EEK (≈ 29 EUR)
It is the main city of Saaremaa island, which has many visiting places:
Oaks of Loode
Loode oak grove is at ten minutes’ walk from the Kuressaare castle tower and Tori bridge. It is one of the few naturally grown oak parks.
The place has been favored among holiday makers who enjoy walking along the beach.
The Bishop Castle of Kuressaare
- Kuressaare castle’s Convent building has been restored and today it is one of the most impressive examples of medieval architecture in the Baltic countries. It gives the visitors aesthetic experience as well as knowledge of history. You can feel the medieval atmosphere and get into contact with the past. The history of the construction of the castle is closely connected with the Estonians’ struggle against German feudal landlords. In 1227 the last Estonian county – Saaremaa fell under the ruling of crusading knights. The function of the castle was to be an administrative center, to enable to hold a meeting (convents ) for quite a big crowd of people, to offer a refuge during wars and uprisings.
The assembly hall.
- The assembly hall was festively opened in1889. In the central part of the building there was a restaurant in the so called White Hall, in the wings you could find a summer theatre, a reading hall, a card playing room, Ladies’ Hall, a clerk’s apartment and a watchtower. The house was open only during the summer session, from June till the end of August. The building was restored and newly opened in 1989.
- In the second half of the 19th century Kuressaare started to create green belts around the castle, for the town became more and more known as a summer resort. The famous Kuressaare park was founded by the mayor H. Von der Borg. The park was designed in free style and was surrounded by a wooden fence.
The Town Hall of Kuressaare.
- In the 17th century three town halls were almost simultaneously built in Estonia. Kuressaare (Arensburg) town hall was built in 1654-1670, Narva got its town hall in the years 1668-1671, and Tartu (old) town hall was ready in 1693. The best preserved from these three is the Kuressaare town hall.
The Weigh house.
- The house was built in 1663, the number of the year is seen in the roof stones.The house was used to weigh the goods. Here were the most accurate scales of the town. The goods were checked and stored, and the taxis were paid in the weigh house.
St Laurence’s Church in Kuressaare.
- In the historical central square of Kuressaare one can see an original church, St Laurence’s church. It is not the first church in Kuressaare. The medieval church which stood near the castle was destroyed in the fire in 1612. Soon after the fire a new lot was separated next to the central square and the new church was opened in 1630. It is a simple rectangle building. The main walls have survived in their original state.
You can take self-guided or organizers route along the city. Booklet,,Riga Visitors’ Guide’’ is available in the Tourist Info Center on 6 Ratslaukums (Old Riga) tel. 7207800. . It includes Riga’s, map, description about highlights, museums, accommodation etc. Riga is the central capital of the Baltic states, a large educational, political, economical, financial, industrial giant compare with other part oh Latvia. In 2001 Riga celebrates 800 years from foundation as city (but before there were village of Livi tribe).
In Latvia Bike Tour will starts from Monument of Liberty what survived during Soviet occupation as a symbol of freedom and now it is a place for popular and official happenings. Visitors should see highlights of Old Riga: The Dome Cathedral, St. Peter’s church ( the viewpoint from its top), Riga Castle (President’s residence), Saeima (parliament), ‘’Three Brothers’’- old houses, Powder Tower, Swedish Gate, the rebuilt House of Blackheads etc. Such places of interest as the monument to the most famous Latvian poet Rainis, Latvian National Opera, Orthodox Cathedral, Central market situated near Old Riga. Open Air Museum (folk buildings into pine-tree forest) is the highlight outside the center.
There are few activities as part of Riga 800 Festival on 20th in Riga:
*Concerts of ancient music in different places,
*exhibition Riga before 100 years in Museum of History of Riga and Navigation,
*Livi exhibition in History Museum of Latvia (Livi people are closely to Estonians and Finish people, they are historical inhabitants of Latvia).
[A-2] Riga– Liepoja – Klaipėda
1st day (21.07, Saturday)
Riga – Jurmala – Kemeri
The length of the route – 75 km: Riga center –6- Imanta –9- bicycle path to Jūrmala (Priedaine) – 50- Klapkalnciems – Jaunķemeri –3- sleeping place near Kemeri national park administation building “Meža māja”.
Tourism info centers:
- Jūrmala- Jomas str.42,
- Ķemeri National Park infocentre,
- Meža māja’’ is into Ķemeri city park,7765386, Tukums- Pils str.3, 3124451
- Tukums – Pils g. 3, tel. 3124451.
Private campsite ‘Sveikuli’, manager Z.Freimanis, the cost 1 ls/person, tel.31 25626, mob.9232026
2nd day (22.07, Sunday)
Ķemeri – Tukums- Kandava
Sleeping place near Kandava open-air swimming pool, the alternative – hostel for 1ls.
By the way to Tukums you can enjoy beautiful lake Valguma where residence of head of soviet government has situated. There is very interesting road building and maintenance museum in renewed Šlokenbeka estate before Tukums. Then you will have an opportunity to try EuroVelo local (guided) route Tukums- Milzukalns- Rauda. There will be very small local roads along hills with nice views. Bicyclists can enjoy Kurzeme nature and adventures what they cannot find on the motored.
10km from Tukums along the old motored, crossing to Kaive- 5km gravel road to Kaive oak-tree, crossing to Pūre 8km gravel road to Pūre, then along motored to Sabile 25km, after Pūre crossing to Kandava.
Sleeping place- campground near by Kandava open-air swimming pool, alternatives- hostel of tech price 1 LVL,
You can see highlights: the widest oak-tree (10,0m around) at Kaive. It is advised to visit Kandava’s old upper town and hillfort.
Private campsite”Abavas Rumba”, the cost 1lat/tent, the owner J.Pilegis, mob.9460824;
Campsite “Pedvale”, the cost 1 lat/tent, the owner O.Feldbergs, mob.9133374;
Hotel “Kurcemes Dveice” in Sabile – Ventspilis street 70, 3252113, 2,5-3,5 Ls and so called in Egypt near Abava (you won’t have to pay here, but there won’t br the drinking water and toilet).
3rd day (23.07, Monday)
Kandava – Sabile – Renda- Sandcaves- Mežvalde – Kuldīga
Route length – 60km, 47km of them motored to Kuldīga, others sand and gravel roads to sand caves and sleeping place, in Kuldīga crossing to sand caves near the old bridge.
The EuroVelo route from Kandava to Sabile is going along the beautiful valley of the river Abava what is nature protection area. Sabile’s highlights are the most north open-air grape garden in the world and Pedvale’s very unusual open air art exhibition (you should follow trail few kilometers like in nature park because art is integrated in fine surroundings. There is reconstructed synagogue and hillfort at Sabile, too. Sabile is informal capital of Gypsy.
There is possible to go additional 9km along asphalt Sabile- Stende-Vegi to see unique collection. This is one of the highlights of Kurzeme at Stende- the private collection in the flat what is in the same time branch of county museum and place to live for its owner Brazma’s family. Always person collects or makes as pieces of art one kind of items. There are stuffed birds and small mammals, his own paintings from nature and literature stories, ancient weapons, collection of ancient and nowadays money, selection of tour’s head with hole and stone weapon into it left by stone age hunter, models of hillforts, wood works, his own made jewelry from umber and silver, etc.
There are 3 highlights at Kuldīga:
the Ventas Rumba, the widest (241m) waterfall in Eastern Europe,
labyrinth of sand caves (more than four hundred meters),
Old town as state protected architectural heritage.
- Hostel,,Virkas Muiža’’, Virkas g. 27, Kuldiga, tel. 3323480, the cost 3-4 LVL;
- Ekotourism farm “Upmali, Renda, tel. 33 47280;
“Rumba” hotel near Rumba;
- Kuldiga TIC, Pilsetas laukums, tel. 3322259;
Bicycle shop and repair, in TIC building, Kuldiga.
Brazma homestead to call to Igo Midrijanį, tel. 3341416;
Talsi region museum, tel. 3222770;
Talsi TIC, tel. 3224165;
4th day (24.07, Tuesday)
Kuldiga – Ivande –Edole – Alsunga – Jurkalne
The length of the route – 60 km (50 km – asphalt). Sleeping place near Jurkalne campsite near the beach.
On the way you can see (if it is working then) how works sincere old watermill technology at Īvande. Īvande manor house is used as adult educational center, primary school, hostel, office of selfgovernment. This is a nice place and park about 200m from main road. Ēdole’s castle and park is a highlight what a crowd of tourists visits. Alsunga is Suiti center. Suiti is very different and specific Latvian folklore area (5 communities). They separate from conventional Latvian folklore by way of singing and clothes. There will be a folklore performance on hillfort at Alsunga on 14.00. Jūrkalne is a highlight of Latvia’s beaches. It is famous by very high vertical dune along the beach.
Jūrkalne campsite,,Vēverlejas’’- near beach, price 2LVL/tent, owner A. Egle beside in house,,Kāpas’’, tel. 36 97164;
- Village tourism homestead,,Lūši’’ 6LVL,3697131, Sauna
Bicycle repair center, Kungu street 20, Liepaja.
5th day (25.07, Wednesday)
Jurkalne – Pavilosta – Liepoja
Route length – 70km, 10km to Pāvilosta crossing along the worst quality road in Latvia (but it is designed to cover by asphalt soon), 7km along gravel from Saraiķi, the other distance is quite asphalt road. Crossings to Pāvilosta and back (3km one way) and to Vērgale and back (3km one way), crossing from main road to Saraiķi, before Saraiķi to Liepāja. At Ulmale 1km additional sandy local road can lead you to the best accessible stone with hole used for blood during old ceremonies.
Sleeping place- Campground,,Beverliņi’’ in nature protection and recreation area in Liepāja.
Pāvilosta is a small lovely seaside town. There is local Marine museum. This beach is the best to pick up amber. Vērgale several times has win notional competition as cleanest and nicest villages. There is interesting local museum, open air swimming pool there.
Campsite “Beverlini” in Liepaja nature reserve.
Bicycle repair, Kungu str.20, Liepaja.
6th day (26.07, Thursday)
Liepaja – -Bernati – Pape
Route length – 45km: 19km busy motored, 8km bad gravel road, 12km beach, and some km local road.
We enter Liepāja trough Karosta suburb. Karosta (War port in English) was closed residential area from both tsars’ Russia and Soviet Union. Navy families lived there. When Latvia renew independence several years it was very unusual dead town but now slowly it is changed to area for international activities. You can see large Russian church on the way, too. EuroVelo bike tourists are advised not to follow the signs for transit cars in Liepāja but ride trough center of the city and stay few hours in city. Before Bernāti EuroVelo turns to old asphalt road trough this long village with small private tourism accommodations, cafe, shop, may be in future possible place for repair service for bikes. After Bernāti main path EuroVelo separates in two opportunities. You can get a very busy asphalt road for all distance to Lithuanian border. Other alternative route will be guided for Baltic Bicycle Tour 2001+ and is the best chance to enjoy nature and adventures to turn after Bernāti to gravel, sandy, but strong beach, trails along grass and sand. On this way you can enjoy not only awful gravel but completely lonely beach (this was former restricted soviet military area but now- birds and plants protection territory. It is so unusual for Europe to be so far from other people on so wonderful beach with the only natural sounds of birds and waves. NOT PICK UP AMBER THERE! Soviets had exercises to bomb ships there. You can see pieces of phosphorus what is visually impossible to separate from umber but what shall you seriously injure when it warms in jour hand or pocked. You may see ruins of these bombed ships, too. Near Jūrmalciems you can see small private fishing boats where fishing is going on like in, old times’’. Near Pape you will have one of the two possibilities to see in Europe (the first one was in the Netherlands) wild horses. These species were artificially renewed from domestic ones in the Netherlands. Their tasks are to graze grass on loans with rich biodiversity not to allow them to be covered by bushes. Wild horses live in large territory but everybody is allowed to enter it (but follow regulations!).. There is an interesting lighthouse at Pape, too. There is a large diversity of birds in the lake Pape. There is built special tower for tourists to watch them. You will have the opportunity to do it in early morning because there will be a camp place at Pape. This is a place to stay for followers along main road, too. Closely to Pape you can see small nice ethnographical stile Lithuanian village. Then trail is going along wild meadows, pinafores, along dunes to Nida. Then little km gravel road to Lithuanian border.
Tourism infocentre Liepāja, Lielā str.11, tel. 3421002
Sleeping place campground at Pape, alternatives to go main motored and stay at one of lot tourism farms near main road at Nīca.
7th day (27.07, Friday)
Pape- Nida- Lithuanian border- Palanga- Klaipėda
Through Latvia 10km along grass, sand, gravel, then from Šventoji to Klaipeda mainly asphalt bicycle path.
Please, remember that in Latvian side you are in nature protection area.
The most interesting cultural heritage – the park, projected by Rene Andre. This park is very good example of productive relation between nature and culture. There is the Amber museum in the manor, equipped by the count Tiškevičius, which has almost the biggest Amber exposition in all the Europe.
In the end of 19 cent. the village Karklė has continued from Giruliai to Nemirseta (now there is the Seaside Regional Park). Local inhabitants – curronians lived from fishing, domestic animals and from the amber. In 1911 there was built evangelic church. Later there was the polygon of Soviet Army. Now it is an etnoculture reserve.
Vilnius – Trakai – Aukštadvaris – Birštonas – Prienai – Kaunas – Jurbarkas – Šilutė – Klaipėda
The proposed route Vilnius – Klaipėda is extremely rich with values of the cultural heritage. Having departed from Vilnius, in no time, you will appear in the homeland of Vytautas the great, in the Old Trakai. According to legends, before 1323, Gediminas founded a capital here. Accommodation – Trakai’s historical national park. Trakai will be followed by Nemunas’ region full of historical objects and beautiful castles. Later, the Little Lithuania comes, the land that took an integral part in the Lithuanian ethnic evolution. Finally, you will meet in Klaipėda, on the Sea Fest; and will get the chance to swim in the Baltic Sea.
Information about Vilnius:
In the publications “Vilnius in your pocket”
http://www.inyourpocket.com/Lithuania/Vilnius_home.shtml (in Lithuanian and English languages)
1st day (20.07, Friday)
The length of the route – 38 km (asphalt roads). Start in Cathedral Square in Vilnius at 12:00). Vilnius –18– Lentvaris –11– Old Trakai –5– Trakai –4– sleeping place near lake Totoriškiai.
Vilnius – www.vilnius.lt
Information about Vilnius in the publications “Vilnius in Your Pocket” http://www.inyourpocket.com/Lithuania/Vilnius_home.shtml (in Lithuanian and in English).
The estate of Liovariškiai is mentioned from the XVII century. Later in the XIX century, this estate turned into the settlement of Lentvaris. It is believed that this name comes from a personal name. In the 2nd half of the XIX century, the counts Tiškevičiai have built here an English neogothic castle. In the 7th decade of the XIX century, according to the landscape architect E.Andrea’s project, a park was started.
Trakai historical national park
It was founded in 1991 to seek protection of Trakai as Lithuania’s self-dependence center with its authentic natural surrounding. This is the only national park in Lithuania, as well as in the whole Europe. The popular local sight is the Island Castle (XIV – XV century).
Events and Entertainment
- Trakai History Museum, Kęstutis str. 4, tel. (238) 55294;
- Stud farm club “Perkūno žirgai”, Užtrakis str. 12a, (286) 12478, 55776, 55769;
- Diving club “Akva”, Slėnis str. 1, Totoriškiai village, tel. (285) 50220, 25244;
- Hotel “Ars Viva”, Liubartas str. 17, Žvėrynas, tel. (22) 752495;
- Youth Hostel, Ukmergė str. 25, tel. (22) 722270;
- Campsite “Kempingas slėnyje”, Slėnis str.. 1, tel. (238) 51387, mob. (286) 46320;
- Trakai sport club, Karaimai str. 73, tel. (238) 55501, 52501;
- “Liepsnelė” (resting place), Žemaitė str. 2, tel. (238) 52221;
- Hotel “Galvė”, Karaimai str.41, tel. (238) 51345;
- A.Morkūnienė farmstead, Šaudyklos str. 6, tel. (238) 52811, mob. (287) 21811;
- A.Gedvilas farmstead, Jovariškiai village, Trakai region., tel. (238) 47494, 74416;
Bicycle repair, market and rent services:
- Bicycle shops “Dviračių centras”, Laisvė str. 77, Ukmergės 10a, tel. (22) 742826, 754581;
- “Bicycle shop”, Kalvarijų 61, Vilnius (Kalvarijai market place), tel. (22) 752263;
- Bicycle shop “G.M.Umarai”, Savanorių 40, Pilies str.. 9-12, tel. (22) 232292, 612004;
- Bicycle shop “Klion”, Birbynių str. 4a, tel. (22) 628521;
- Tourist shop “Sport, Tourism”, Kalvarijų 6, tel. (22) 752147;
- Sport shop “Viskas sportui”, Geležinio Vilko str. 12-6, tel. (22) 617128, (298) 75319;
- Bicycles shop, Fino 10, Fabijoniškių str. 61, tel. (22) 724452, 734025;
- Bicycle repair and rent “Arčiau gamtos”, Mokyklos g. 3, (22) 701119, (287) 73845;
- R.Mališka bicycles repair shop, Ukmergės str. 315B, tel. (287) 78547;
- Tourism information center, Pilies str.. 42, Vilniaus str. 22, tel. (22) 626470, 629660;
Medical station, tel. 03, (22) 724112;
Police, tel. 02, (22) 331168;
Travel agency “Krantas Travel” www.krantas.lt, Pylimo str. 4, tel. (22) 227084;
Safeguard company “Falck Security” www.falck-security.lt, Juozapavičiaus str. 6/2, tel. (22) 755880, (286) 50651;
Vilnius town municipality, Gedimino avenue 9, tel. (22) 620160 – mayor, 613091 – tourism department, 618825 –environmental protection department;
- Tourism information center, Vytauto str.69, tel. (238) 51934;
- Medical station, tel. 03, (238) 55803;
- Police, tel. 02, (238) 55912;
- Trakai history national park, Karaimų str. 5, tel. (238) 55753;
- Trakai town municipality, Vytauto str. 33, tel. (238) 55486 – mayor, 51987 –cultural and tourism department;
2nd day (21.07, Saturday)
Trakai – Punia
The length of the route – 79,0 km (gravel – 15 km, asphalt – 64 km): Totoriškiai lake –20– Semeliškės –13– Čižiūnai –4– Aukštadvaris –4– Totoriškės –4– Vaickūniškės –20– Butrimonys –10,5– Punia –3,5– sleeping place near Punia forest, sleeping place near Nemunas river.
The old part of Semeliškės is the urban monument, which was being formed from 13-14 cent. till the end of the 19 cent. It is thought that many of the town layout’s elements are authentic in essence because there is no data that they were ever changed (the form of the square was the only one that was changed). Both of the cult buildings (Catholic and Orthodox churches) were slightly brightened. Moreover, the church lacks a tower. Semeliškės’ central composition is original due to the wood houses typical to the architecture of Eastern Lithuania.
Auštadvaris Regional Park
It was founded in 1992 for the purposes of protection of valuable Verksnė and Streva rivers’ landscape. The park takes up a territory of 15350 hectares, the bigger part of which are forests. There are 72 lakes; the biggest is called Vikoksnis.
The town is situated on the right Verkne river’s shore, not far form the lakes of Marcius and Skreblius.
The town is announced an urban reserve, the purpose of which is to preserve the planned and spatial structure of Aukštadvaris and its nature’s and cultural values. It is surrounded by a kind of crown of 250 hills with a multitude of lakes and thick forests. The town of Aukštadvaris was mentioned already in XV cent. as a grand duke’s estate situated near the historical royal road joining the castles of Vilnius, Trakai, and Birštonas. The town protects a former St. Dominique monastery built in the first half of the XVII cent., but later rebuilt a few times. Also, it protects neogothic elements of the Church of the Christ’s Change, built in 1913. The farmstead of Auštadvaris is also left form the older times. Further, its park guards a huge oak tree, now called the oak of Adam Mickevičius.
This is a town of a well-known historical past – the reserve of historical landscape. The sight of Punia – the mound that is frequently called the hill of Margis. It is one of the biggest ones in Lithuania (in the 16-17 cent, the place of the castle and the battle with the crusaders). It is situated in the junction of the rivers Nemunas and Punele. The name of Punia became known due to the historical tradition to connect the place with the mentioned in 1336 in the writings Pilenia, whose leader was a brave hero Margiris. It is thought that there stood a famous castle of Pilėnai on a mound. Its defenders burnt themselves because they did not want to surrender to the crusaders.
In the written sources of the 15 cent, Punia was a well-known settlement with the castle and a market square. Punia’s district was also mentioned. The first church was built in 1425.
During the 16-17 cent, it became one of the most important ethnographical centers of Lithuania. On Punia’s mound, on the place of the former wooden castle, there is a magnificent palace now, the residence of the Punia’s authorities. In 1503, Punia got the rights to be called Madgeburg.
Punia was destroyed during the Northern war. The town and the palace on the mound were burnt. In 1857, Punia’s church was built. Its sculptures of the 17-19 cent are ones of the most well-known cultural monuments.
Nemunas Loops Regional Park
The most valuable place of Punia’s loop is the unique landscape of Punia’s pinewood that preserved the features of the first primitive Lithuanian woods. These murmuring 100-yer-old trees are priceless treasures not only to scholars. This is one of the most valuable woods in Lithuania, the biggest Lithuanian wood in the river’s valley (more than 2700 ha). Foresters say that having come to Alytus and not visiting Punia’s wood is the same as going to Rome and not seeing the Pope.
- Rest house “Deimantas”, Semeliškės, tel. (238) 31072;Individual person V.Bielinienė, Pušyno str. 6, Aukštadvaris, tel. (238) 65346;
- J.Ulevičius, Pušyno g. 5, Aukštadvaris, tel. (238) 65381;
- Resting place “Vernėjus” (director R.Jagėla), Nikronių village, Aukštadvaris., tel. (238) 65586;
Aukštadvaris local administration, Vytauto str. 33, Trakai, tel. (238) 65342;
Aukštadvaris Regional Park, Draugystės str. 2, Aukštadvaris, tel. (238) 65246;
3rd day (22.07, Sunday)
Punia – Birštonas – Duobakalnis
The length of the route – 60 km (gravel – 24 km, asphalt– 36 km): sleeping place –3,5– Punia –5– Šilėnai –3,5– Nemajūnai –9– Birštonas –6,5– Prienai –4,5– Bagrėnas –4– Ašminta –8– Pakuonis –8– Piliuona –8– sleeping place near Duobakalnis resting place.
The city’s history is not only the history of a resort. In the crusaders’ chronicles, Birštonas is mentioned form 14 cent. On a high hill of Vytautas, there stood a wooden castle – one of the castles’ chains which protected the land form the crusaders’ attacks. After the battle of Žalgiris when the crusaders stopped attacking Lithuania, the castles lost their defense purposes. Later, all the animals were driven to the grand loop of Nemunas near Birštonas from the nearby woods and being hunted there. The history of the resort is not that long. Although the spurring salty springs are mentioned already in the 15 cent., only in 1846 people started to use their healing qualities. This year is considered the date of the resort’s foundation.
Prienai’s estate was first mentioned in 1502 in the writings of the grand duke Alexander. In 1609, the settlement got the town’s rights. In 1785, a paper workshop (one of the biggest in Lithuania at that time) was founded. Its building is the industrial historical monument now.
One of the places of cultural heritage is the water mill. In 1997, international tree carvers’ symposium took place. The whole row of wooden sculptures on the topic of “Nature – the Spring of Culture” was left after it. Prienai’s church is attributed to the most interesting wooden churches of the Latin cross style in Lithuania.
Places to visit:
The forest of Žverinčius is spreading on the loop of Nemunas-Prienai. It is unique due to the Scotch pine. There are nature’s cognitive and bicycle paths .
Kaunas lagoon Regional Park
It was established in 1992 in order to preserve Kaunas lagoon’s natural ecosystem and values of the cultural heritage. The waters are 44 m above the sea level; the highest place is in the forest of Pastrevis with 93 m above the sea level. The deepest place of the lagoon reaches 22 m. the park is especially interesting for the variety of dendro-flora; foresters have moved many unique trees and bushes from their dendropark to the coast of the lagoon. Due to erosion, there are many various vivid precipices and rock exposures. Places of interests:
Arlaviškiai juniper bushes
It is strongly recommended to visit the barn pulled up from the bottom of the lagoon. The remains of the poet Jonas Aistis rest here.
The oak tree of Pažaislis. This is the thickest oak in the region of Kaunas. Its size is 6.7 m, height – 23 m, age – about 800 years. The tree grows near the gates of the monastery of Pažaislis.
The twins of Dubrava. Near the park, there grow an oak and a pine-tree stuck together. The pine-tree is 32 m and an oak is 28 m height. The trees are announced the nature’s object of the State’s protection.
The grove of cork trees. In the foot of the Samylai mound, in the 10th plot, there grow two different groups of 25 trees. The cork trees impress with their soft and uneven crust, which was used to make corks.
The grove of firs. It is situated 800m away from the Samyliai mound in the 1st plot. For an unknown reason, the trees form a few tops.
The spring of Duobakalnis. Near the arbor of Duobakalnis’ resting place, there is a water reservoir that never dries. Its streams separate into two brooks. One of these brooks goes into the prepared cascade where one can have some drinking water.
It is settled on both sides of Kuonė river. It got its name from the river.
Pakuonis is known from the 18 cent.. It was mentioned in the list of the parish’s villages in 1744. In 1794, Juozapas Osipovskis, Lithuania’s general major, and the monitor of Pagermuonis built the church.
When the church got old, the dean Kazimieras Jasiuliavičius – Jasulaitis with the congregation built a small stone chapel in 1883. During WWI, the Russians blew the church’s tower that was never rebuilt.
During the times of press prohibition, Pakuonis was one of the biggest press spreading centers.
In the south – western coast of Dubrava forest, on the right Nemunas’ shore, there is Guogai village, and 3 km to the north from it, is Piliuona village. On the junction of the two villages, on the steep Nemunas’ shore (that used to be as much as 8-10 m high); there was a mound here that was guarded in the North and South by Nemunas.
Accoding to archeologists, Guogai – Piliuona mound and the settlement date back to the 3-4 cent. AB.
The ancient people that took up industry and animal breeding lived here until the 13 cent.
Events and entertainment
Birštonas History museum, Vytauto str. 9, Birštonas, tel. (210)
Prienai region museum, F.Martišiaus str. 13, Prienai, tel. (249) 60379;
- Skriaudžiai town open-air museum, tel. (249) 42222;
Restaurant “Sėklytė”, Prienų str. 7, Birštonas, tel. (210) 65800;
Cafe “Guogis”, Tylioji 12, Prienai, tel. (249) 52541;
“Lithuanian meals”, Vytauto str. 23, Prienai, tel. (249) 51403;
- Hotel “Koras”, J.Tumo-Vaižganto str. 13a, Birštonas, tel. (210) 56209;
Police, Jaunimo str. 2, tel. 02, (210) 65537;
Birštonas municipality, Jaunimo str. 2, tel. (210) 65553;
Nemunas loops regional park, Tylioji str. 1, tel. (210) 65610;
Medical center, tel. 03, (249) 51203;
Police, tel. 02, (249) 60353;
Prienas region municipality, Laisvės a. 12, tel. (249) 61105;
4th day (23.07, Monday)
Duobakalnis – Kaunas – Zapyškis
The length of the route – 53,5 km (gravel – 9,5 km, asphalt – 44 km): Duobakalnis –15– Vaišvydava –7,5– Pažaislis –11– Kaunas center –6,5– Marvelė –9,5– Kačerginė –4– Zapyškis (sleeping place near Zapyškis church).
The ensemble of the monastery of Pažaislis
This is a unique building ensemble of 17-18 cent., one of the most valuable monuments of baroque style not only in Lithuania, but in the whole north-eastern Europe. It has the status of the landscape architectural reserve. The complex of the buildings is made up of the baroque church, monasteries, big gate arches, forestry, a well, a tower, and other assisting buildings. The harmony of impressive surrounding and beautiful architecture will inspire everyone who will visit this place. About 140 different-size frescoes decorate the ensemble of the buildings.
From the old times, the monastery is famous for the respected picture of the believers. After 50 years, in July the 15th, 2000, one of the most precious relics of the 17 cent., the picture of God’s mother was returned to its historical place once again. Before, this picture was called “The mother of beautiful love with the baby”.
It started to become famous as a resting place in the beginning of the 20 cent. In the summer of 1906, Jonas Biliūnas (1879-1907) was spending time here. He wrote his famous story “Brisiaus galas” here. From 1961 till 1967 (Mokyklos str.,34), there lived and died Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas (1893-1967), the writer and academician. Now in the house of the writer, there is a memorial exposition.
The old sight of Zapyškis is the church of red bricks that is right on the shore of Nemunas river. Historical sources state that the church was built in the 16 cent.. before the year 1578. Poilas, the son of Jonas Sapiega, inherited the settlement of Zapyškis and built the church, which was rebuilt several times later. At the moment, the church of Zapiškis is one of the brightest monuments of the late gothic in Lithuania.
Events and entertainment
M.Žilinskas art gallery, Nepriklausomybės square 12, (27) 204906;
T.Ivanauskas zoology museum, Laisvės a. 106, (27) 229675;
M.K.Čiurlionis art museum, V.Putvinskio str. 55, (27) 204446;
- Vytautas the Great museum, K.Donelaičio str. 64, (27) 229606;
Devil museum, V.Putvinskio str. 64, (27) 203514;
Lithuanian aviation museum, Veiverių str. 132, (27) 295547;
Pažaislis architecture ansamble, Kauno jūros av. 31, (27) 756485;
Zoology park, Radvilėnų road 21, (27) 730640;
- Lithuanian meals, M.Daukšos str. 23, Kaunas, tel. (27) 227068;
- A.Peimienės homestead, Jadagonių village, Zapyškis, tel. (27) 542386, 221817, mob. (285) 78599;
V.Sedleckienės homestead, Papiškių village, Zapyškis., tel. (27) 542244, mob. (298) 70044;
Guest house, Prancūzų str. 59, (27) 748972;
- Youth hostel, Poilsio str. 12, (27) 543373;
Hotel “Takioji Neris”, Donelaičio str. 27, tel.(27) 204224;
Hotel “Kaunas”, Laisvės str.79, tel. (27)323110;
Bicycle repair and rent services
Gintarius bicycle shop, I.Kanto 6, Kaunas, tel. (27) 208765;
“Dainava” (JSC “Terama”), Taikos av. 90, Savanorių av. 66, tel. (27) 760326, 207420;
- “Bicycle center”, Jonavos 160, tel. (27) 731502;
“Du ratai”, M.Daukšos 24, Chemijos av.”, P.Lukšio 66, tel. (27) 201752, 350085, 728693;
“Bicycle and motorbikes shop”, Svirbygalos 47, (near Aleksotas market place), (27) 291781;
“Juzė”, Savanorių 225, (27) 730591;
“Vygonė”, Savanorių 153, (27) 720214;
- Tourism information center (TIC), A.Mickevičiaus 36/Laisvės a. 40, tel. (27) 323436;
TIC, “Mūsų Odisėja”, M.K.Čiurlionio 15, tel. (27) 220426;
Kauno marios national park, Miškininkų 2, Vaišvydava, Kaunas region., tel. (27) 383070;
- Kaunas town municipality, Laisvės a. 96, Kaunas, tel. (27) 425088, 426058 – mayor, 422467 – environmental protection department;
Kaunas bus station, tel. (27) 227942;
Kaunas train station, tel. (27) 221093;
Travel agency “Krantas Travel” www.krantas.lt, Kanto g. 22, tel. (27) 337258;
Security “Falck Security” www.falck-security.lt, Savanorių 192, tel. (27) 332191, (286) 50651;
Medical centre, tel. 03, (27) 452627;
Police, tel. 02, (27) 322811;
Kačerginė local administration, Savanorių av. 371, Kaunas, tel. (27) 569391;
Zapyškis local administration, Savanorių pr. 371, Kaunas, tel. (27) 542217;
5th day (24.07, Tuesday)
Zapyškis – Šilinė
The length of the route – 60 km (gravel – 10,5 km, asphalt – 49,5 km): Zapyškis – 13,5 – Mikytai –1,5– ferry through Nemunas (for cyclist – 1 Lt) – Vilkija –12,5– Seredžius –10– Veliuona –11– Raudonė –11,5- Šilinė (sleeping place near Šilinė information center).
In the historical sources, Vilkija is mentioned from 1430 09 22. In 1450, the documents of Gdansk’s traders mention Vilkija’s customhouse, the first in Lithuania, by the way. The customhouse stimulated Vilkija’s growth. At this time, not only water, but also a land trading road form Vilnius to Karaliaučius went through Vilkija. In the 16 cent., Vilkija’s district was formed; it became the estate of a grand duke. Later, Vilkija acquired the rights of a town. Even form afar, on a high Nemunas’ shore, you could see two redbrick towers of the neogothic church of St. Jurgis.
There is an interesting mound called the hill of Palemon, where the Roman grand duke Palemon, who fled from Neronas’s persecution in the 1st century AC, is buried. This legend is mentioned in the chronicles of Lithuania. Contemporary historians think that there stood a castle of Pieštvė on a hill that defended itself from the crusaders in 1293 – 1363. On a small hill, there is the estate of Seredžius. 1 km to the west of the town, there stands XIX century classical Belveder’s palace.
The river Nemunas used to be the nature’s border with the Prussian lands, where already in the 13 cent., the crusaders’ order was established. Wanting to defend themselves from the attackers, the Lithuanians built castles. One of those castles was the castle of Viliuona that stood on a mound where the rivers Nemunas and Viliuona joint. Now, this mound is called the grave of Gediminas. In 1337, the crusaders had built their own castle there, called Bajerburg. It was supposed to help them destroy Viliuona and open up the ways to the land’s depth. It stood on the hills of Pilaičiai, to the West from Viliuona. Even nowadays you could see those little hills for centuries having polished by the floods caused by Nemunas. In 1412, Vytautas built a new stone castle in Viliuona on a mound that is called the Castle Rock and that is in the West from the mound of Gediminas’ grave. During the late centuries, Viliuona used to be a quiet developing town that, in 1500, was granted the rights to be called Madgeburg. A monument of renaissance culture – built in 1636-1644 the church of St. Maria’s ascendance to heavens (rebuilt in 1887 and 1930). The estate of Viliuona, the monument of classical architecture of the beginning of the 19 cent., is the former Viluina’s farmstead with a park containing some rare species of trees; among them is the only in Lithuania the yellow tulip-tree.
The castle of Panemunė
The castle is situated on the high shore of Nemunas hidden between the trees.
The construction of its representative rooms has started in around the year 1604 by a forest trader J.Eperjesas, who moved from Hungary, and finished in about 1610. Žemaitija noblemen Geldaugai bought the castle in 1759 and rebuilt it in their way. It acquired some classical features. The castle and Galdaugai’s wealth got into the property of czar’s Russia’s treasury. In 1867, it became ruled over by a lord named Puslovkis. In 1925, the castle was sold in the auction. During the times of the World War II, it was harshly damaged and, in time, fell in at all.
During 1961-1962, the castle was reconstructed and its surrounding and the cascade system of the ponds were restored. On his trip along the Nemunas river in 1903, a famous Russian painter N.Rerich painted the castle.
The castle of Raudonė
After the battle of Žalgiris in 1410, the trade increased and the Nemunas’ feudists started getting rich very quickly. One of them, K.Kirsensteinas, even built a residence in Raudonė, which is now considered a civil building of the early renaissance of our country. However, up to these days, the walls of the first rooms had greatly changed. In the 18 cent., Raudonė got into the hands of Olendskiai. This renaissance castle ensemble with a closed yard turned into a castle with an open one. Around 1810, Olendskiai sold the castle to the earl P.Zubov who later reconstructed the interior. Zubov’s daughter Sofia rebuilt the castle again in 1854-1877, and it acquired neogothic featured. This very version of it we see today.
During the times of Nazis, it was severely damaged. In 1965, it was restored and added to a school. The castle is surrounded by an old park that has many unique species of trees, such as the Siberian fir, the cedar pine, and the gray walnut. The oak of Gediminas is one of the park’s sights.
The small museum is established in Šilinė’s reconstructed inn. It is interesting due to the modern concept that represents the mode of life and crafts of the old time near Nemunas’ inhabitants. Because the museum is designed, first of all, for the new generator, its exhibits are not decaying behind the glass, but rather allowed to be touched, taken into hands and tested. Here also established Nemunas region RP infocentre.
Regional Park of Panemunė
The park stretches along both shores of Nemunas (there are also 72 small rivers). The most picturesque valleys with the impressive gullies are near the rivers Armena, Kartupis, Nyka, and Nykutė. On dry slopes, there are some unique warm-liking plant communities left. In Gelgaudiškės Park, there grows the thickest pine-tree in Lithuania. Especially rich and interesting is the cultural heritage. It was discussed earlier describing the park settlements of Veliuona, Seredžiai, Raudonė, and Panemunė. Very interesting is the park settlement Plokščiai separated by the river-street.
Events and entertainment
- Veliuona castle;
- Belvederis castle and park, Seredžius;
- Raudonė castle and mill, castle tower;
- Rock music festival, in the park of Raudonė castle, tel. (248) 72929, 71707;
- Cafe “Dubysa”, Seredžius, tel. (248) 42362;
- Cafe, Veliuona, tel. (248) 42915;
- Romo and Eimanto Zaleckai homestead, Padubysis village, Vilkija, tel. (27) 252274, 560346, mob. (286) 33209;
- V.Kringelienės homestead, Klausučių village., Seredžius, tel. (248) 43684, 43763;
- J.Ramonienės homestead, Papiškių v., Veliuona, tel. (248) 42886, 51204;
- S.Balsevičiaus homestead, Raudonė, tel. (248) 45367;
- I.Kazakevičienės homestead, Raudonė, tel. (248) 45441;
- Raudonė castle, Raudonė, tel. (248) 45445, 44491, mob. (298) 47928;
- Vilkijos local administation, Savanorių av. 371, Kaunas, tel. (27) 556332;
- Panemunės regional park, S.Dariaus ir S.Girėno str. 98, Jurbarkas, tel. (248) 72956;
6th day (25.07, Wednesday)
The length of the route – 71.3 km (gravel – 4.2 km, asphalt – 67.1 km): Šilinė –4–Skirsnemunė –9– Jurbarkas –13– Smalininkai –13– Viešvilė –20– Vilkyškiai –6,5– Lumpėnai –4– Bitėnai –1,5– Rambynas hill.
Jurbarkas is situated on the right Nemunas’ shore, the junction of three rivers – Nemunas, Mituva, and Imsrė. It was first mentioned in 1259 in P. Duisburg’s chronicle, right after the crusaders had built Georgenborg castle here.
Places to visit:
- The history museum of Jurbarkas, Vydūno str. 24, tel. (248) 52710
- The mound of Bišpilis
- The monument of Vytautas the Great (archit. V.Grybas, 1930)
- The church of Holy Trinity (1907)
In ancient times there lived pitch makers and they give the name to this place. But in 1422 year because of the Meln Peace agreement there was made the board through Smalininkai and then it was dependent to Ordain. There was built the port in this town in 1888.
There is large forest in the surrounding. Also there are small lake and very nice park in Viešvilė. Not far away you can visit the mound. Viešvilė name was mentioned already in 1402. From ancient times there is small but cozy church. Viešvilė became the wood manufacturing center from the end of 19 century.
Having shown respect to the resting Vydūnas, it is worth to go to Vilkyčiai and admire the left valuable urban set with the yard, built in 1770-71 evangelical church. The first church was built in 1561, but, in 1758, the Russians ruined it.
By the way, the plague of 1710 greatly emptied the villages of the eastern Prussians. After that a lot of colonists arrived here. This period was called the colonization of Zacburg people. In the center, there stands a small esthetical monument that the Austrian government provided in 1998. Nearby, there is an old monument dedicated to the perished in the WWI people of Vilkyčiai perish.
The pine-tree of witches
18 trunk pine is the nature’s monument. Interesting by, there are more strangely bedded trees in this region.
Those who are interested in the history of the estate is recommended to turn to the gravel road and go to Šereitlaukis. There are quite a lot of buildings of a farmer baron Conrad fon Dreseler’s estate – a distillery, a stable, a warehouse, servant’s rooms with decorative elements, such as typical to this land wooden columns. In 1907 hundreds of stallions were sold in Šereitlaukis. Mostly high class Arabic horses was held here. This is an impressive set testifying about the rich farmer life. During the times of independence (before the war), a walking boarder point and a customhouse used to be here.
A modern view of Šereitlaukis is quite terrible. Local inhabitants are gone; only newcomers (colonists) from the Great Lithuania. Industrial culture also made its harm – former fashionable buildings are bulked by the worthless constructions, sheds and barracks from all the sides. Undoubtedly, the Soviet occupation had an impact on the downfall of the Lithuanian mentality. However, nowadays, this Lithuanian Shanghai is worth visiting.
Nearby, there is a mound, the hat of Napoleon. Now, there exists a legend that it was formed by the soldiers of Napoleon’s army who poured it with their hats.
Settled near Rambynas the village of Bitėnai meets travelers with a huge colony of starks in the summer time. In one of the local farmstead, there live not less than 5 families of them. Interestingly, this colony settled in farmstead where, during the German reign, youth center used to be.
The most important place in Bitėnai is the reconstructed farmer printing-house of Martynas Jankus. There is rather modest exposition about this important to the Lithuanian history person’s life. Working as the head of the Little Lithuania’s resume committee, Martynas played a decisive role in the revolt of 1923. The building is renovated and invites you with shining from afar lights.
“Standing on the other shore Rambynas is barely 150feel high (47m), it is held a high and holly rock by Lithuania’s’ specialists. Separated from the river only by a narrow border, Rambynas looks naked and upright…From very Smolensk and Moscow, here came grand dukes and kings with sacrificial gifts that they put on the cult stone. Having touched the stone, the sick got healed. Just married couples climbed the rock praying for the blessing for their marriage; women in child-breath thanked for the recovery and asked the blessing for newborn. Still in the beginning of the century, there was not a single wedding ceremony that passing by did not climb the rock in order to pray by the stone.”
Otto Glagau – the German traveler and journalist of the beginning of the XIX century.
Events and entertainment
- K.Glinskis museum, Vydūno str. 45, Jurbarkas, tel. (248) 53522;
- Jurbarko region history museum, Vydūno str. 24, tel. (248) 52710;
- B.Lendraitienės cafe, S.Dariaus and S.Girėno str. 96, tel. (248) 52204;
- “Karšuva”, V.Kudirkos str. 11, tel. (248) 52763;
- “Prieplauka”, Tilžės str. 15, tel. (248) 54262;
- “Aidas”, Vytauto Didžiojo str. 3a, tel. (248) 54310;
- O.Norvaišienės homestead, Smalininkai, (248) 56415;
- Guest house “Smalininkai”, tel. (248) 56415;
- I.Banaitienės homestead, Viešvilė, tel. (248) 49480;
- L.Greičiuvienės homestead, Upelio str. 2, Viešvilė, (248) 49365;
- Hostel “Agirija”, K.Donelaičio 10, Panemunė, tel. (241) 42377, mob. (286) 48660;
Bicycle repair and rent center
- Bicycle shop and repair, Valančiaus 4, Jurbarkas, tel. (248) 71660;
- Tourism information center, Dariaus and Girėno str. 94, Jurbarkas, tel. (248) 51204;
- Medical center, Jurbarkas, tel. 03, (248) 53186;
- Police, tel. 02, (248) 51253;
- Jurbarkas region municipality, Dariaus and Girėno str. 96, tel. (248) 71605;
- Rambynas regional park, Lumpėnai, Pagėgiai region., tel. (241) 42810;
7th day (26.07, Thursday)
Rambynas hill – Ventė horn
The length of the route– 78 km (gravel – 22 km, asphalt – 56 km): Rambynas hill –6,5– Mikytai –4– Pagėgiai –9– Rukai –6,5– Usėnai – 12 – Leitgiriai –4– Kantariškės –15– Pagryniai –3– Šilutė –9– Rusnė –9– Uostadvaris – by ferry boat to persikėlimas laivu į Ventės ragą (kaina 2-3 Lt) – nakvynė poilsiavietėje prie ornitologinės stoties.
It is named after Gėdė river that takes its start in the meadows of the Old Nemunas.
The village started to grow only in 1875, when Klaipėda – Tilžės railway was led through Pagėgiai.
During 1929 – 1930, the 3-story new beautiful stone gymnasium was built. It was called after Kristijonas Donelaitis in 1935.
Rukai village is near Kamana river. Contemporary stone (red – brick) church was built in 1886.
Other than that, Rukai had the old Lutheran chapel that was supported and financed by the American synod.
Usėnai village, the former estate, is 5 km to the North from Plaškiai. Veržė river flows through it.
In the old times, Usėnai used to be a more powerful administrational center with the market square and several shops.
The village is in the right Gedė’s shore. It is known from the 17 cent. In 1793, Plaškiai church was baptized. In 1896, the new stone church was put up on its place.
It was an important spiritual regional center.
After it got independence, one local inhabitant tore off the roof of a house, however, that did not prevent him from becoming the major of Šilutė.
During WWI, Plaškiai was greatly damaged.
Rusnė is the old fishermen’s settlement. It was first mentioned in the end of the 14 cent. The Lithuanians and the Kuršiai inhabited it. Prussian grand duke Albert’s order to hold services in the Lithuanian and Kuršiai languages testify about that. For many centuries, along with Klaipėda’s region, Rusnė belonged to the German feudalistic that tried to “germanize” the local people, but failed to eliminate Lithuanian roots. The street of Žveju (fishermen) is held a monument of the old Rusnė’s architecture. It is a former village of Skirvytėlė, now belonging to the city of Rusnė. You could also see living and industrial buildings of the end of 19 cent. beginning of the 20 cent architecture typical to the coastal territory. The walls of the houses are usually boarded and full of writings. The roofs are covered with reed or with tiles. In 1907, water station was built in Rusnė. This station is considered a symbol of human persistency in the battle with the element the Nemunas’ waters. The first banks in the flooded fields were put up in 1888 after the catastrophe of flood. However, the low delta’s places were not enough to dry up the land. Water stations were still needed. They were designed to pump up the dampness. Now, this station is restored and turned into a museum. The old station’s steam engine in a unique exhibit.
Events and entertainment
- Martynas Jankus memorial museum, Bitėnų v., near Rambynas hill, tel. (241) 42811;
- Zudermanas museum, quondam Macikai war prisoners camps“Stalag Luft VI” and Soviet concentration camp place, Macikai v. (3 km. from Šilutė), tel. (241) 53002;
- Šilutė manor, Lietuvininkų str. 2, Šilutė;
- Šilutės museum, tel. (241) 62209;
- Polders museum, Uostadvaris, tel. (241) 58359;
- Etnographical museum- homestead (K.Banys), tel. (241) 58169;
- Vilkėnai mill (hotel-restourant), Švėkšna, Šilutės region, tel. (241) 48371;
- Bear restourant “Ventės ragas”, Lietuvininkų str. 43, tel. (241) 52195;
- “Žibintas”, Vydūno 2, tel. (241) 52463;
- Cafe “Gilija”, Vytauto str. 15, Šilutė, tel. (241) 52572;
- Bar “Žibai”, Miško str. 7, tel. (241) 53590, 52539;
- “Senas židinys”, Lietuvininkų 41;
- Homestead “Jotovila”, Pagėgiai, tel. (241) 56551;
- S.Knapkio homestead, Pagėgiai, tel. (241) 58142;
- Šilutė tourism hotel, Lietuvininkų str. 72, Šilutė, tel. (241) 51804;
- Hotel “Nemunas”, Lietuvininkų str. 36, Šilutė, (241) 53002, 52078;
- Jūratės Bandzienės homestead, Lietuvininkų str. 10, Šilutė, tel. (241) 51344;
- Vilkėnai mill (hotel restourant), Švėkšna, Šilutės region, tel. (241) 48371;
- Šalkauskai homestead, Lakštingalų 3, Rusnė, tel. (241) 58328, mob. (286) 12397;
- Drobnai homestead, Lakštingalų 2, Rusnė, tel. (241) 58189, mob. (287) 74687;
- Knapkiai homestead, Skirvytėlės 9, Rusnė, tel. (241) 58142;
- Gečai homestead, Lakštingalų 4, Rusnė, tel. (241) 58174;
- Ventė tourism centre, Šturmai, Šilutės reg., tel. (241) 44534;
- Resting place “Minija”, Kintai, tel. (241) 47375;
Bicycle repair and market services
- Market centre “Litorina”, Lietuvininkų 58, Šilutė;
- R.Jaruškevičiaus company (second-hand bicycles and their parts ), Dariaus and Girėno 9, Šilutė, tel. (241) 62223;
- Medical centre, Pagėgiai, tel. 03, (241) 57329;
- Pagėgiai police, tel. 02, (241) 57350;
- Pagėgiai municipality, tel. Vilniaus str. 9, tel. (241) 57294;
- Šilutė medical centre, Šilutė, tel. 03, (241) 62060;
- Pagėgiai police, tel. 02, (241) 78131;
- Šilutė region municipality, Dariaus and Girėno str. 1, Šilutė, tel, (241) 79227;
- Nemunas delta regional park direction, Lietuvininkų 10, Šilutė, tel. (241) 75050;
8th day (27.07, Friday)
Ventė horn – Klaipėda
The length – 45,5 km (gravel – 19,5 km, asphalt – 26 km): Ventė horn –10– Kintai –7– Svencelė –4– Dreverna –3– Vilhelm channel –10– Kairiai ground –11,5– Klaipėda center.
It is famous for the station of birds’ ringing. There is also a small ornithological museum. During migration, a few hundred thousands of the feathered cross the nazi.
Fishermen’s settlement that during the 18-19 cent. was famous for its market places. Even the Evangelical church built in 1705 remained. Unfortunately, none of the seaside settlements can be proud of the fish now. There were times when lots of various kinds of fish were caught here. But now many of them are either disappearing or are on the verge of it. One of the reason because of the harsh exploitation of the lagoon.
Dreverna is another fish trading center, known from the 13 cent. Its sights are the original and posh weathercocks that still exist nowadays.
Its length is 24 m, size – 30 m. it is very much liked by the lovers of the fish because of the sometimes-rich catch. It was dug when Klaipėda was under the Prussian king Frydrich Vilhelm III. At that time, rafts were drifted to Klaipėda’s port through Nemunas. However, bad weather conditions prevent them. For that reason, in 1863, the digging works were started. The channel was finished during I870-1871French-Prussian war by the French prisoners.
The ground of Kairiai
This is the heritage of the military army, now owned by the Lithuanian troops. Scientists have found a lot of nature’s values here. That is why two botanic reserves are established here – Kliošiai and Lūžija.
Events and entertainment
Vydūnas museum, Kintai, tel. (241) 47379;
Ornithology museum (L.Jezerskas), Ventės ragas, tel. (241) 44515;
Marine museum and dolphinarium, Smiltynės str. 3, (26) 391101;
Nature museum, Smiltynės str. 10, (26) 391177;
History museum of Lithuania Minor, Didžioji vandens str. 6, (26) 410523;
Clock museum, Liepų str 12, (26) 410412;
Simon Dach house, Jūros 7, tel. (26) 311481;
Restaurant – jazz club “KURPIAI”, Kurpių 1a, tel. (26) 410555, (299) 28136;
Bar-gallery “PĖDA”, Turgaus 10, tel. (26) 410710, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Entertainment centre “PARADOX” www.paradox.lt, Minijos 2, tel. (26) 496849;
Cinema theatre “ŽEMAITIJA”, H.Manto 31, tel. (26) 314090;
Campsite “Žuvėdra” www.techas.lt/zuvedra/, Giruliai, Klaipėda, tel. (26) 490105, 385828, mob. (285) 36148, email@example.com;
Hostel of Klaipėda youth tourism centre, Šlaito 14, Giruliai, tel. (26) 490106;
Klaipėda sport health centre, Smiltynės str. 13, tel. (26) 391167;
“Palva”, Smiltynės g. 19, tel. (26) 391155;
”Klaipėda”, Naujoji Sodo str. 1, tel. (26) 394372;
“Lūgnė” www.pajuris.lt, Galinio Pylimo 16, tel. (26) 411884;
“Pajūris” www.pajuris.lt, Šlaito 18a, Giruliai, tel. (26) 490093;
Bed and Breakfast (B&B), Litinterp, S.Šimkaus 21-4, tel. (26) 411814;
Bicycle repair, market and rent services
“Panther dviračiai”, Turgaus sq. 23 (near Old market place), tel. (26) 412038;
“Dviračiai”, Turgaus sq. 25 (near Old market), tel. (26) 411949;
“Dviračių centras”, Taikos av. 78, tel. (26) 342601;
“Dviračių centras”, Šilutės pl. 23a (8 warehouse), t./f. (26) 383349;
“Sporto prekės”, Tiltų str19, tel. (26) 217264;
“Atletas”, Turgaus str. 3, tel. (26) 310689;
“Jovaras”, Lietuvininkų sq. 4, tel. (26) 212633;
Juozapas Paulauskas, Nidos str. 76, tel. (26) 279852;
VšĮ “DU RATAI” (bicycle rent), Taikos pr. 42-3, tel. (26) 380714, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.dviratis.lt ;
Tourism information centre, Tomo 2, tel. (26) 412181, email@example.com;
Bicycles information centre “dvirINFO” www.dviratis.lt, Taikos av. 42-3, Klaipėda, tel. (26) 380714, dvirINFO@dviratis.lt,
Curonian Spit national park’s information centre in Smiltynė, Smiltynės str. 11, tel. (26) 391179;
European information Centre, Turgaus str. 8 (Klaipėdos t. smunicipality library), tel. (26) 314722, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Travel agency “Krantas Travel” www.krantas.lt, Lietuvininkų a. 5, tel. (26) 395111, Teatro a. 5, tel. (26) 395211;
AB “Smiltynės perkėla”, 1st passing place – Žvejų 8; 2nd passing place – Nemuno 8, tel. (26) 367003;
Falck Security www.falck-security.lt, Šermukšnių 26, tel. (26) 485548, (286) 50651;
[A-4] Klaipėda – Nida – Kaliningradas – Sovetskas – Klaipėda
1st day (21.07, Saturday)
Klaipėda – Nida
The length – 50 km (asphalt): Klaipėda –0,5– Old Ferry Port to Smiltynės (ticket for a cyclist – 2 Lt = 0.6 EUR) – Smiltynė –19– Juodkrantė –17– Pervalka –6– Preila –5– Nida (sleeping place in Nida).
The sea festival, the sea, Lithuanian beer!!!
Those who want to get to know the city and its sights closer can get information in the info centre.
Information about Klaipeda and the cultural events you can find in the publications: “Renginiai ir lankytinos vietos. Klaipėda+Neringa. 2001 VI-VII” (in Lithuanian, English, German), “Klaipėda in Your Pocket” (in English and german), Internet www.klaipeda.lt (in Lithuanian)
Curronian Spit national park
It was established to preserve, in natural and cultural sense, the set of Lithuania’s seaside landscape, unique in Europe dune crests, and values of ethno-cultural legacy.
the great crests of the Curonian Spit, the old parabolic dunes across Juodkrantė, the grey dunes on Agila – Nagliai stripe, “blowing” Parnidis and Sklandytojas dunes, the covered old soil, seaside and coastal hair-grass, a protective dune crest, peculiar Curonian Spit’s plant and animal communities, forests and woods, ecosystems of the lagoon and the sea. Birds’ migration path goes through the Spit. Various species of birds fly back every spring and autumn. 30 km away from Klaipėda, there is a birds’ ringing station. Beautiful sights open up from the outlook ground: Garniai hill, Nagliai nature’s reserve, Parnidis and Vecekrugas and the foot of Karvaičiai dunes, Pervalka gulf, and the dune, called the head of a bear.
The cultural heritage:
In the settlements of Nida, Juodkrantė, Preila, Pervalka, and Smiltynė, the seaside cultural heritage is extant: ethnographic fishermen’s farmsteads, the old resting villas, and typical to the wooden architecture buildings. It is interesting to visit Nida’s and Juodkrantė’s Evangelical-Lutheran churches, the old Nida’s places cemetery, memorial places, and some covered with sand villages. There are several museums –a natural museum of the Curonian Spit national park, maritime museums and aquarium in Smiltynė, fishermen’s ethnographical farmsteads, inhabitants’ business exposition, amber gallery museum, and T. Mann’s cultural centre in Nida.
Events and entertainment
Tomas Manas museum, Skruzdynės 11, Nida, tel. (259) 52260;
International Tomas Manas festival in Nida, 2001 07 14-22, tel. (259) 52622;
Neringa etnographical museum, Nagliai str. 4, Nida, tel. (259) 52372;
Kazimieras Mizgiris amber gallery -museum, Pamario str. 20, Nida;
“Ąžuolynas”, L.Rėzos str. 54, Juodkrantė, tel. (259) 53316, 53310;
“Eglių slėnis”, Ievos kalno str. 28, Juodkrantė, tel. (259) 53170;
Guest house, Green road 8, Juodkrantė (near the sea), tel. (298) 54046, 12067;
Prival flats and rooms (ask in TIC);
TIC in Juodkrantė, L.Rėzos str. 54, (259) 53485, 53490;
Nida cultural and tourism information centre “Agila”, Taikos 4, tel. (259) 52345, email@example.com;
Medicine centre (Nida hospital), Taikos str. 11, Nida, tel. 03, (259) 52215;
Medicine centre (Preila medicine centre), Preilos 57, Preila, tel. 03, (259) 55127;
Police, Taikos str. 5, Nida, tel. 02, (259) 52202, 52484;
Nerija town administration, Taikos str. 2, Nida, tel. (259) 52234;
2nd day (22.07, Sunday)
Nida – Zelenogradsk
Route length – 56,5 km (asphalt roads): Nida –10– Morskoje –10– Rybačij (Rasytė) –22– Lesnoj (Šarkuva) –10– Zelenogradsk (Krantas) –3,5– Malinovka –1– sleeping place near the sea.
A town in the Curonian Spit, on the shore of the lagoon, in the gulf of the Black Rock. This is a settlement where Neolithic inhumation was found. In 1372, it was mentioned as Rositen. In 1330, the crusaders built a castle in the attempt to stop the attacks of the Lithuanians. In the 16 cent. in Rasyte, there was a nice brickfield.
O.Glogan wrote about Rasyte in 1869,”…across is a big and wide lagoon gulf. Quite big fishermen’s sailing boats float on its waters, Rasyte is the biggest, nicest and the richest Spit’s settlement. Here, the owner of the lagoon and Spit resides…” The contemporary stone church is built in 1873. To the south from the church, there is a long and covered with tiles house (a present lumber mill).
In 1907, the first Lithuanian ornithology station was established here. In 1922, it moved to a 2-story building built in 1901 (across it is a school built I 1738) that works even up-to-date. The station’s founder is a well-known otnythologist Jonas Tymanas (1863-1983). His important work about Rasyte, published in 1927, made the village and the author himself famous worldwide.
In 1864-1903, the dunes’ inspector Francas Efas 1828-1904) worked in Rasyte and made a lot while struggling with the sand; he was the first one who became worried about Rasyte’s fate because it and other Spit’s villages were threatened by the upcoming dunes.
A former village of the Curonian Spit).The Curonian Spit was inhabited a long time ago. 1-4 cent Graves with the found there Roman empires coins testifies that. Bowls with ashes, amber spindles and metal and iron artifacts were also found. In another place there are 11-13 cent. graves.
Not everyone knows that the old inhabitants of Šarkuva were not Kurshes but the Sembs that lived here before 14 cent. In 1677, the last inhabitant who spoke the Semb language died there.
In 1715, Šarkuva was covered with the sliding dunes and the village moved to another place.
In 1797, O. Glogan Document states, “…the ghost of famine made the people wander. The inhabitants of other villages did not like them. There appeared various rumors about the wanderers, these were called the Lagoon pirates”. The stone church was built in 1901.
Near Šarkuva, in the old Šarkuva, to be precise, the Spit is the narrowest because the sea rips it. Already in 1904, it was started to be reinforced because the danger of loosing an important road from Karaliaučiai to Klaipėda was to be faced. 4500-long sand pier was built here in 1642. But in 1791, the sea water broke through to the lagoon. The last time it happened in the winter of 1982/83. Along from Šarkuva to the south extends the 19 cent. forest-farm-stead, called Šakalinė. Probably, in the 15-18 cent. there were hawk hunting schools with the center in Šarkuva. The hawks were tamed in this school.
Zelenogradsk (Crantz, Krantas)
The resort-city based on the high steep coast of the Baltic Sea. From the old times, it was called Krantas (the shore), or Krants, by the local people. In the first half of the 20 cent., it was also called Pajurkrantis (the sea coast).
When the Lithuanians through the Curonian Spit could not suddenly entered into the stolen by the crusaders land of Semba, the master Konrad had built Noihauz castle in the South from present-time Krantas.
In the 15 cent. Krantas, there was an inn. With time, Krantas grew into a resort (5000 inhabitants) with annual 18000 visitors in the summer. Between the wars, a lot of summers, resting houses and convalescent houses were rebuilt. In 1829, the place was visited by Lithuanian and Polish poet Adamas Mickevičius.
Events and entertainment
Horses rent, Malinovka (60 rubl./hour.)
Bar “Volna”, Lenin str. 36, tel. +7 01150 31746;
Bar “777”, Lenin str. 6, tel. +7 01150 31034;
Cafe “Novyj Vodolej”, Lenin str. 6; “Vodolej 2”, Moskovskaja 12;
Disco club “Karmen”, Moskovskij 3;
Cyclist cal stay in Kuršiai lagoon National park territory, but only in the Morskoje, Rybačis settlements.
Motel “Dosug”, Dachnaya str. 5a, Morskoje, tel. +7 01150 21285, 21109, mob. +7 01298 39950;
Hotel “Postoyaly Dvor”, tel. +7 01150 21296;
“Rossiten”, Gagarino str. 7, tel. +7 01150 21391;
“Usadba Tronnikova”, Pogranichnaya g. 4, tel. +7 01150 21204;
“Darij”, Stroitelej str. 6, tel. +7 01150 21313;
“Usadba Matujnina”, Naberegnaya str. 6, tel. +7 01150 21297;
“Usadba Timokhinoj”, Zarechnaya str. 15, tel. +7 01150 21254;
- Camp site “Duny”, tel. +7 01150 28280;
- Hotel “Kurshskaya Kosa”, Centralnaya str. 17, tel. +7 01150 28242;
Guest house “Gellian”, Vzmorje g. 12, tel. +7 0119 371220;
Turbazė “Baltika”, tel. +7 01150 28286;
“Usadba Mazourenok”, Vzmorje str. 22, tel. +7 01150 28272;
“Usadba Korotkikh”, Pobedy str 34, tel. +7 01150 21300;
“Usadba Loukina”, Tsentralnaya str. 14, tel. +7 01150 28173.
“Sportivnaja”, Pogranichnaja str. 14a, tel. +7 01150 32905;
Hotel “Koroleva Louisa”, Moskovskaja str. 50, tel. +7 01150 32168;
“Baltijskaja Korona”, Volodarskogo str. 8, tel. +7 01150 32 490;
- “Topaz”, Lenino str. 60a, tel. +7 01150 31 200.
Zelenogradsk tourism center, Moskovskaja str. 34, tel. +7 01150 31092;
3rd day (23.07, Monday)
Zelenogradsk – Kaliningrad
Route length – 94 km (asphalt roads): Malinovka –7– Kovrovo (Naucava, Nausava) –8– Romanovo (Dievenis) –6– Pionerskas (Naujieji Kuršiai) –11– Svetlogorskas (Raušiai, Rūšiai) –5– Primorje (Didieji Kuršiai) –3– Orechovo –2– Majskij (Malviškiai) –4– Krasnotorovka (Hailigenkroicas) –6– Ruskoje (Girmava) –6– Dvoriki (Mažasis Dirškaimis) –2– Družba (Alna, Alenburgas) –9– Kumačiovo (Kumėnai) –5– Pereslavskoje (Drugėnai) –9– Cholmogorovka (Lapgarbis) –4– Lermontovo–7– Kaliningrad (Karaliaučius, Tvangystė), overnight at school No.49, Kirov str. 26, tel. (0112) 215945, 210821, 7-8 min walk from the city centre.
It is formed from an estate and several farmsteads. The most important place, the cemetery, is to the west from the settlement. One of the best-examined burial places became a standard monument describing material Prussian culture. The earlier graves are of the 1 cent. From the 5 cent., the burnt dead bodies were buried outside of urns. Not burnt horses’ carcasses were found. 6 Roman coins were also discovered.
The place testifies a history of accommodation.
On Bėtė river, there is Dievenis mound called Pilgar.
This is a cozy resort with 50 m-high rock exposures, seacoast shops. Orthodox Church was built a few decades ago is an interesting place to visit. The Soviet bomb was dropped right on a Kindergarten. Only a pit was left. However, over a night, everything was put into order so that to present a perfect Soviet reality where none of these could happen.
There is a Concert hall in the city, which has a very good organ. One can also use the funicular-way on the promenade, permanent fair of souvenirs and amber goods.
There was an old Prussian castle. In 1255, it got into the hands of the Order. During the Great Prussian riot in 1270, a wooden castle was rebuilt. There are several mounds.
Later, Gimava castle became the Order’s important point of strategic resistance. In the 14 cent., the Order’s stone castle was built in the new place. In 1580, amber storage were moved from the ruined castle, and Girmava became the centre of amber tillage.
In 1610, a part of the castle was rebuilt into a church. The Soviets several times dropped bombs on it. Later, between its remains, amber was found; but then it was completely ruined. In 1992, the fragments of its walls were found.
Kaliningrad (Karaliaučius, Tvangystė)
It is the biggest East Prussian city, a former capital and the cultural centre of the little Lithuania until the mid 19 cent.. It is situated on both sides of Prieglius.
Teutonic chronicler Petras Pusburgietis wrote that the Prussians called this place Tvangstė.
Tvangstė castle stood on a hill, on the right Prieglius river. The crusaders burnt it in 1255 and built their own. The castle was named the Royal Hill to respect the Czech King.
In 16 cent., there lived about 20% of Lithuanians in Karaliaučius.
It has many gravestones. Here the grand dukes were buried in 1572. There is a mausoleum of I.Kant.
On the left from Cathedral there is a university. Together with the cathedral’s school, it forms a closed ensemble with the gates to St. Peter’s square. The university worked until 1861 when it got new rooms. It was founded in 1967. There is an exposition dedicated to I.Kant. The university was opened in 1544, August the 14. 4 departments of Theology, Law, medicine, and Liberal arts were established. A lot of famous people worked here.
During 1721 – 1740, theology professor was Jonas Jokūbas Kvantas. He released “The New Testament”, “Psalms”, “Ageda”, and “Chatechism” and in 1735 – the entire Holy writings.
Professor’s Liudvik Rėza’s merit is important to the university. He established Lithuanian Bible broadening community.
The city is a middle age so-called South Venice turned into a pile of ashes. Now there live about 3 000 Lithuanians in Kaliningrad.
“Baltyskya Zhemchuzhina”, Baltiyskaya str. 15a, tel. +7 01153 33552
“RUS”, Verestshagino str. 10, tel. +7 01153 33705;
“Rauschen-1”, Klainingrado av. 70b, tel. +7 01153 36183;
“Rauschen-2”, Lenino g. 48 sq., tel. +7 01153 33452;
“Baltika”, Vereshagino str. 8, tel. +7 01153 33082;
“Volna”, Kaliningrado av. 68, tel. +7 01153 33 733;
“Lazourny Bereg”, Dinamo str. 1, tel. +7 01153 33108;
“Lazour”, Kaliningrado av. 74, tel. +7 01153 33733;
“Mebelshik”, Lenino str. 1, tel. +7 01153 33793;
“Svetlogorsk”, Gagarino str. 12, tel. +7 01153 33440;
“Yantarnny Bereg”, Kaliningrado av. 79, tel. +7 01153 33040;
“Komandor”, Stchastlivaya strg. 1, tel. +7 0112 341820;
“Deima”, Tolstikovo str. 1, tel. +7 0112 410814;
- “Kaliningard”, Lenino av. 1, tel. +7 0112 350500;
- “Chaika”, Pougachevo str. 13, tel. +7 0112 210729;
- “Baltika”, Maskvos av., tel. +7 0112 437977;
“Zolotaya Boukhta”, Khmelnitzkio str. 53, tel. +7 0112 445878;
“Moskva”, Taikos (Mira) pr. 19, tel. +7 0112 272089;
- “Patriot”, Ozernaya str. 25, tel. +7 0112 275023;
- “Tourist”, Nevskogo str. 53, tel. +7 0112 460801.
Bicycle repair, market and rent services
Bicycle repair, rent – tourist club (Ignatenko Dmitrij), K.Markso str. 14, Svetlogorskas, tel. +7 01153 33214 (II-VII 10:00-18:00, I – don’t work).
“Veloservice”, Moskovsky pr. 123, Kaliningrad 236006, tel. (0112) 339298;
“Velocenter-Skaut”, Azovskaya g. 3, Kaliningrad 236040, tel. (0112) 555491.
4th day (24.07, Tuesday)
Kaliningrad – Sosnovka
Route length – 81 km (asphalt roads): Kaliningrad (Karaliaučius, Tvangystė) –6– Isakovo –3– Zaozerje –2– Prochorovka –6– Dobroje –6– Gribojedovo –4– Zarečje (Kaimas) –9– Osinovka –2– Demidovo –5– Slavinsk (Auksapiai) –8– Nachimovo (Perkūnai) –10– Poleskas (Labguva) –8– Šolochovo –10– Sosnovka (Aukštagiriai) –2–sleeping place in a forest near hotel “FORSTHAUS”.
A very ruined village. It was founded by Helvigas Von Goldbachas, who fought with the resistant spirit of local Prussians. It was a two-street village with more than 40 farmsteads.
Soshovka (Aukštagiriai, Buominė), Lodging
It is mentioned in 1312. When Aukštagiriai got the status of an independent parish, the priest P.Korzitzkijus built a church here. There is 23,8% of Lithuanians here. The services were held in Lithuanian.
Labguva is an old town 3 km from the southern shore of the Curonian spit. Deimana or Laba in older times, flows through the town. In 1697 Deimena was joined by one channel with Nemunas.
In 1258, in Zabguva, there stood Sembės castle and a small Settlement near it. The crusaders burned the castle in 1277 and settled there. In 1288 they built a new stone castle. Before the 16 cent. it was rebuilt and reconstucted several times.
In winter of 1352, ruled by Kęstutis Lithuanians devastated Labguva and its neighborhood. Labguva castle served for the crusaders as an important resistance point in the battles with Prussians and Lithuanians. Now there is a ship building manufactory. In 1656.11.20 the contract with Labguva guaranteed the Prussian independence. During the 1710-1711 plague a lot of local Lithuanians died. Labguva was colonized, however, in the 19 cent., the services were still held in Lithuania.
It is supposed that churches in Labguva near the castle appeared already in 1258. In the end of the 14 century in the west of the castle there was built a gothic church made of field stones. In 1871 it was renewed. During 1562-1587 one of the Lithuanian writing starters, Jonas Bretkūnas, served here as a priest.
There served as a parson Jonas Bretkūnas J.Bretkūnas work made an impact on the evolution of Lithuanian language. He made a lot of innovations. His most important work is “Postilė” (1591). This was the first illustrated Lithuanian book on the topic Holy writings. J. Bretkūnas established a club of the old-times lovers and history researchers. We may call him the first Lithuanian historian.
In around 1890 Jurgis Mikšas moved to Labguva. When “Aušra” (newspaper) started its days, he was the first chairman of “Birutė” committee and published a newspaper “Nemuno sargas” (“the guard of Nemunas”) in small Lithuania. In Labguva J.Mikšas worked as a court translator; he was against the Lithuanian “germanization”. He translated from German S. Markus “Private testament” and “Miserys testament”.
Working during 1851-1886 in Labguva K. F. Veis printing house released 2 Lithuanian books for the small Lithuania.
In the southern Labguvas parish, there were 1 060 Lithuanian in 1897 (30% of the inhabitants).
- “Domik Lesnika” (FORSTHAUS), Sosnovka, tel. +7 011258 23247, 23298
“Usadba Brysozovskogo”, Slavianskoje, tel. +7 01158 24694;
“Forsthause-3”, Zarechje, tel. +7 011258 23122.
5th day (25.07, Wednesday)
Sosnovka – Rambynas
Route length – 87 km (gravel – 4 km, asphalt roads – 83 km): Sosnovka (Aukštagiriai, Buominė) –11– Zalesje (Mielaukiai) –10– Bolšakovo (Skaisgiriai) –6– Ochotnoje (Lydimaičiai) –10– Gastelovo (Metežerynai) –12– Timiriazevo (Naujoji, Joneikiškiai) –8– Slavsk (Gastos) –15– Sovetskas (Tilžė) –1– Panemunė –4– Mikytai –6– Lumpėnai –4– Bitėnai
Turning from Zalesje 10 km to the left, there is Gromovo where there are the “remains of the old German civilization”, according to local bicyclists.
The town in the crossroads of three high-ways, on the shore of Pvitiltė river. This served as a lodging for the crusaders on their way from Karaliaučius to Raganė. In 1698, Sakisgiriai parish was established and a church that worked until the middle of the 18 century was built. The new church raised in 1773 and was rebuilt in 1849 and finally ruined in 1944. Now it has a cinema hall in it.
Lithuanians songs writer and interpretation Motiejus Vilhelmas Meisneris worked in Skaisgiriai. There lived one of the bible translators Adom Fridrich Simelpengis.
In around 1890, the folklorist Vilius Kalvaitis was travelling in Skaisgiriai and its neighborhood and wrote Lithuanian folk songs.
Also, a priest and a member of Lithuanian national union Jonas Pipiras worked here. For 8 years he had studied in Tilžė and during 1855-1858 in Karaliaučius university. In Klaipėda he was publishing a newspaper “Aušros žvaigždelės spinduliai”. He published his set of songs. Standing on a pulpit, he encouraged the congregation not to give up Lithuanian language. He always joined petitioning to the government about the return of the Lithuaniana language to the schools. When he died he was burred in Skaisgiriai churchyard.
Before the war, Skaisgiriai was famous for its market places. People sell pigs, corn, fruit, vegetables, butter and berries. To buy these goods the traders from Raganė, Labguva, Tilžė and even Berlin came.
In 1905, there were 2468 inhabitants in Skaisgiriai. Only 158 of them spoke Lithuanian.
In 1650, the church was started from the 17 cent, the school near the church was working, where in 1821-26 Frydrichas Kuršaitis worked. Around it in the 17-20 cent., there was a setlement. In 1939, it had 1374 inhabitants. During the Soviet times, it was damaged. The church have burnt in 1995.
The town is situated in 13,5 km to the west from Tilžė. At first, it used to be an estate, from which a village grew. The first church and the parish were established in 1686. Later, the church was reconstructed several times.
Until the beginning of the 20 cent.., in the district of Gastos, there lived almost only Lithuanians. In 1870, in the parish, there were 6908 inhabitants, 1700 from them are Lithuanians (24,6%).
Until 1907, in the school, the Lithuanian language was studied. In 1912, there were only 4,8% Lithuanians.
2 km to the east of Gastos in the present village of Noragėliai, Lithuanian linguist Fridrichas Kuršaitis was born in 1806, April the 24th. He studied in the owned by his father school, later in Elbing gymnasium and Karaliaučiai University. In 1865, he became Karaliaučiai University’s professor. He was the first one to explain the accents of the Lithuanian language. F. Kuršaitis’ works are significant even today.
About 40% of the Slavsk’ inhabitants are Lithuanians.
Tilžė is a town on a junction of Nemunas and Tilžė. The name derives from a word to stream, to float.
The town’s eastern coast was called Prussian Tilžė, its southern coast – Kalkapiai, the western one till Smalupė river – Stolbekiai. Near Tilžės’ gapes, there used to be the settlement of Skaluviai, called Spitrė.
During the Lithuanian – Teutonic wars of 1278 – 1422, Spitrė castle was always built and ruined.
In the 19 cent., beautiful neoclassic buildings, the custom – house, the post office, several schools, vinegar plant, sugar, cellulose, beer, soap, candy, oil fabrics, several mills, leather workshops, and dairy were established. Tilžė is famous for cheese. Tilžė grew the most when Karaliaučius – Klaipėda highway was built. In 1853, the first train came from Karaliaučiai to Tilžė.
When the Prussian Catholicism changed the Reformation, its inhabitants were forced to convert from the Catholic to the Evangelical Lutheran religion. Only after the Olyva agreement in 1666, the Prussian citizens regained freedom in faith. In 1851, Catholics built the new church.
The half of the church was damaged in 1944, and the remained pseudo gothic facade was blown in 1983.
Tilžė’s Catholic parish was Lithuanian. 2300 people belonged to it in 1940. When the Lithuanian press was prohibited in 1864 in the Great Lithuania, Žemaitija bishop Motiejus Valančius prompted the release of the Lithuanian books in Tilžė and their shipment to the Great Lithuania.
In 1586, in Tilžė, there is a provincial school established. It prepared the candidates for Karaliaučiai University’s protestant priests. Lithuanian language was studied there. In 1812, the school is reorganized into the classical gymnasium and called the royal one.
Hotel “Renata”, Lermontovo str. 2, Bolšakovo, tel. +7 01163 37265;
“Forsthause-3”, Zarechje, tel. +7 01158 23122
Hotel “Gorodskaja”, Školnaja 7, Slavskas, tel. +7 01163 31031;
Hotel “Rosija”, Lunačarskio str. 2, Sovetskas, tel. +7 01161 75372;
- Hotel “Tilsitsky Dvor”, Iskry str. 15, Sovetskas, tel. +7 01161 71171;
6-7 days (look at A-3 route 7-8 days)
[B-2] Riga – Šiauliai – Klaipėda
The length of the route – 273 km
start from Riga city Tourist information center(Town square) – 24 – Jūrmala – 24 – Ķemeri – 18 – Tīreļi – 15 – Valgunde – 11 – Jelgava – 9 –Svēte – 14 – Zaļenieki – 10 – Tērvete – 12 – Mūrmuiža –5,6 – Tīsi – 4 -Eleja -6 – Meitene (border crossing of Lithuania) – 12- Joniškis – 18- Skaistgirys – 11 – Žagarė – 11 – Domeikiai – 4 – Juodeikiai – 11 – Šakyna – 13 – Gruzdžiai – 21 – Šiauliai – 18 – Kurtuvėnai – further look at B-3 route.
Events and entertainment
Places of interest:
- sulphur spring in Ķemeri
abbey of orthodox in Valgunde
Castle and museum in Jelgava
Nature park with statues in Tervete
Hillfort of Vilce in Mūrmuiža
Former rocket base 4 km before Eleja
Museum – house of poetess Aspazija, Z.Meierovica prospects 20, Jūrmala
City museum of Jurmala, Tirgoņu str. 29, Jūrmala, tel. 7764746
Open: 11.00-17.00 Mo, Tu-closed
Ticket price for children: 0.10 Ls
Ticket price for adults: 0.40 Ls
Museum of the history of tennis, Strēlnieku prospects 50/52, Jūrmala, tel. 7769254
Open: every day 9.00-20.00
Memorial house of producer Aleksandrs Rusteiķis, J.Pliekšāna str. 53, Jūrmala
Memorial room of composer J. Zālītis, Lielupe, 19. līnija 4, Jūrmala
Museum of Latvian prison history, Piestātnes str. 6/8, Jūrmala,
Open 9.00-20.00; Close -Saturdays and Sundays, tel. 7754536
- Memorial museum of Ludis Bērziņš, Poruka prospects 27, Jūrmala
Open: Tu-Fr : 11.00-17.00, Sa :12.00-16.00, Su, Mo-closed, tel: 7769152, 7760244
Museum of Ķemeri, Durbes str. 21-3, Jūrmala
Open: Fr : 10.00-19.00, tel.: 7765017, 7753202
Memorial room of , E. Birznieka – Upīša str. 15, Jūrmala
Memorial summer house of writers and poets , J.Pliekšāna str. 5/7, Jūrmala
Open: 11.00-17.00 Mo, Tu-closed, tel.: 7764495, 7764295
- Open air museum of fisherman’s, Tīklu str. 1a, Jūrmala
Open: 10.00-18.00, excursion in fabric, tel.: 7751121
Memorial museum of Ādolfs Alunāns
Filozofu str. 3, Jelgava
Open: 10.00- 5.00 Sa, Su, Mo-closed.
Ticket price for children: 0.10 LsTicket price for adults: 0.30 Ls, tel: 3027948, 3021180
- Museum of Southern electric power network, Elektrības str. 10, Jelgava
- Railway museum, Stacijas str. 3, Jelgava
Open: 12.00-15.00Mo, Tu – closed.
Ticket price for children: 0.20 LsTicket price for adults: 1.00 Ls, tel: 3042494
Sugar fabric museum of Jelgava, Cukura str. 22, Jelgava
History and art museum of Ģedert Elias, Akadēmijas str. 10,
Open: Tu -Fr :10.00-17.00, Sa 10.00-16.00, Su-closed
Ticket price for children: 0.30 Ls ticket price for adults: 0.50 Ls tel: 3023383, 3027948
- Museum of Jelgava water system
Jura Mātera str., Jelgava
Musem of Latvian Agricultural university, crypt of Kurzeme and Zemgale dukes,
Lielā str. 2, Jelgava
Open: 10.00-16.00 Sa, Su-closed, tel: 3025329, 3005617
Open: 1.june-1.october, tel: 3023383
“Alus zāle”, Eleja, Stacijas str. 2, Eleja parish, tel: 3061473
“Anniņa”, Eleja, Lietuvas str. 42, Eleja parish, tel: 3061165
“Lācītis”, Ozolnieki, Skolas str. 4, Ozolnieki parish, tel: 3050260
“Pauze”, Ozolnieki, Rīgas str. 23, Ozolnieki parish, tel 3050280
“Pie Leona”, Rīgas-Liepājas road, 25.km, Valgunde parish, tel: 3068584
“S Magone”, Zaļenieki, Magone, Zaļenieki parish, tel:.3074325
- In Jurmala there are more than 30 Accomodation possibilities. For information contact Jurmala or Riga TIC
“DL un partneri”, Tirgoņu str. 19, Jūrmala, tel: 7764424 (camping)
Jaunķemeri”, Jaunķemeri, Kolkas str. 6, Jūrmala, tel: 7736575 (camping)
“Vērpji”, Vērpji, Valgunde parish, tel: 3049260
“Zaļenieku arodvidusskolas dienesta viesnīca”, Zaļenieki, Zaļenieku parish, tel: 3074476 (hostel)
“Blankenfeldes muiža”, Blankenfelde, Vilce parish, tel: 3064536
Aronija, Gumbinės str. 10, Šiauliai, (21) 423672
Golden star, Pabalių str. 64, Šiauliai, (21) 435842
Hunters bar, Dubijos str. 20, Šiauliai, (21) 393856
Bar “Naujoji norna”, Tilžės str 126c, Šiauliai, (21) 425594
Saulininkas, S.Laukauskio str. 5a, Šiauliai, (21) 436555
Rainbow, Gytarių str. 25, Šiauliai, (21) 510502
Šaulys, Vasario 16-osios str. 40, Šiauliai, (21) 520812
Bicycle repair, market and rent services
“Velo SOS”, Latvian Cycling information centre, Tel.:. 7507041. Bike repair at any place of city Riga
“Gandrs”, Kalnciema 28, Rīga, Tel.:7614775, shop, rent(24h), repair
“TREK”, Brīvības 111, Rīga, Tel.: 7377155, shop, rent, repair
“ZZK”, Dzelzavas 47, Rīga, Tel.: 7701631, shop, rent, repair
“ZZK”, Jūrmalas gatve 46a, Rīga, Tel.: 2428735 shop
“ZZK”, 13.janvāra/Prāgas stūris, Rīga, Tel.: 7703271 shop
“AAC”, Laivu stacija, Pāvu iela, Mežaparks, Rīga, 9554155, rent
“Iveta-Serviss”, Dubultu prospekts 100, Jūrmala, Tel.: 7767464
Tourism information centre
Rīga TIC, Rātslaukums 6, Rīga, Tel.: 7044377
Jūrmala TIC, Jomas g. 42, Jūrmala, Tel.: 7764276, open – Mo-Fr 10.00 – 21.00
Jelgava TIC, Lielā g. 6, Jelgava, Tel.: 3023874, open Mo-Fr 8.30-18.00
[B-3] Vilnius – Kėdainiai – Šiluva – Telšiai – Plateliai – Kretinga – Klaipėda
The route is intended for those bicyclists – “fans” who became bared with the main route and want to take part in the campaign and to socialize with other bicyclist on the sea feast. This is indeed not an easy route, especially the Vilnius – Ukmergė stripe with quite a few gravel roads. However, it was tried to find some other passage from Vilnius to Ukmergė. The entire route is indeed interesting. It goes through 7 national parks, a half of which would not be familiar to the traveler. In Vilnius side we will pass by a very popular and liked by consents of pagan religion Neris park. We will also go through an interesting church of Sudervė. Later, we will cross a rich with history town of Kėdainiai that has a tough downtown. There were moments in history when this town overtook even Vilnius due to its culture and development. Then, goes mystic and mysterious Žemaitija with its Orvydai farmstead – shrine. If you choose this route, you will have to plan your time, weigh your strength and find lodging on your own. We suggest that you plan lodging places in the national parks if you have opportunities. The directorates are informed about the campaign; so they will offer all the necessary information.
The length of the route about 430 km: Vilnius –5– Pilaitės region –14,5– Čekiškės –5– Sudervė –9,5– Dūkštos –4– Airėnai –3– Miežionys –2,5– Klišabalė –2– Kernavė –2,5– Musninkai –14– Liukonys –4,5– Galvonai –14– Pabaiskas –9,5– Ukmergė –2– Deltuva –21– Bukonys –2– Pasraučiai –5,5– Šėta –16– Kėdainiai –12– Josvainiai –14,5– Jakšiai –5– Paaluonys –1– Gėluva –0,5– Ariogala –5,5– Požėčiai –4– Betygala –2– Berteškiai –3– Skirmantiškės –6– Kiaulakiai –6– Grudziškės –2– Raseiniai –16– Šiluva –3– Roglaičiai –3– Tytuvėnai –6– Pavydai –12– Kelmė –4– Kukečiai –23– Kurtuvėnai – 10– Juodlės ež. –3– Šaukėnai –5,5– Beržėnai –11,5– Užventis –1– Dangvietai –9– Žeduvėnai –4– Šatrijos kalnas –2– Luokė –6– Rūdupiai –5,5– Viešvėnai –2– Rainiai –4– Telšiai –10– Alsėdžiai –17– Plateliai –5,5– Gintališkės –8– Laiviai –1– Salantai –5–Kalnalis –1– Nasrėnai –3– Kūlupėnai –17– Kretinga –15– Palanga –1– Nemirseta –10 – Karklė –5– Klaipėda.
Information about Vilnius in the publiocations -“Vilnius in Your Pocket” http://www.inyourpocket.com/Lithuania/Vilnius_home.shtml (in Lithuanian and in English), internet: www.vilnius.lt
Neris Regional Park
It was established to protect an especially valued system of mid-rivers loops, communities of the arbors Neris valley, and rich cultural values. However, what distinguish it from other parks are the on-going meetings of pagan believers and natural regenerative religious cults.
Values of Neris:
The park’s axle is the arboreous Neris valley with its bright terraces, pockets, Sviliškiai loops, and the picturesque junction of Neris and Dūkšta rivers. Erosive Dūkšta valley, the river itself flowing through stones, and small rivers of Aliosė, Čekonė are of a special value. In Dūkšta natural reserve, the fragments of one of the biggest oakery in Lithuania are guarded. There are the stone with the writings of runes and the nature’s monuments – oaks called the kings of Vaigeliškiai and Dūkšta.
Rare plants are guarded in Verpiai lake swamps and Bražuolė valley; and the population of big dormice – in Semeninkai zoological reserve and Dūkšta river’s valley.
There is one of the oldest accommodative systems in Lithuania on the stripe between Vilnius and Kernavė. The mounds of Buivydai, Briedeliškiai, Velniakampis, and Naujoji banks and the barrow of Karmazinai remind of ancestry’s times. Very interesting is the church of Dūkštos’ town made of stones, the farmstead of Paneriai estate with a park, and Šilėnai village with the wooden chapel. The village of Čikoniškė is well – known for its palm binding traditions. In Dūkštos’ forest, you can see the written on stone runes that are illegible. So people interpret them differently. Mostly, it is said about the treasures dug under these stones. A lot of men tried their luck digging, but failed. One of the most impressive sights of Neris valley in Neris regional park opens up from the wayside’s pitch (Dūkštos – Vievis road).
Along the village edge, there flows a torrential river Dūkšta (the inflow of Neris). In 1647 the first Catholic chapel in Dūkštos was built by the grand dukes Giedraičiai, who owned the nearby lands. A contemporary neogothic church was built in 1550-1556. From Dūkštos you have to make another 3 km towards Sudervės and then turn from the main road making 1 km.
The word means a swampy place.
It is guessed that its neighbourhood was invalidated (2 – 3000 years ago) because a lot of remains and Stone Age artefacts were found. In the 9 cent., Kernavė mound is again reinforced, and in the 16-18 cent. safe castles and settlements used to be here.
In the historical sources, it is mentioned from the 13 cent. Archaeologist P.Tarasenka thinks that already in the 10-13 cent. near Kernavė castle, there stood Kernavė’s town also reinforced with a pier and a ditch.
It is thought that the first wooden Roman – Catholic Church in Kernavė is built during the times of Lithuania’s baptism under Vytautas’ or some other reign.
It got its name from Musė river.
The true historical data about the place appeared from the beg. of 15 cent. The estate belonged to the one of the well – known Vytautas’ lords Kristinus Astikus – Astikevičius.
Later, Muskininkai was visited by Barbora Radvilaitė that became Ž. Augusta’s wife.
St. Barbora’s chapel was established between Muskininkai’s town and the estate.
The first Roman – Catholic Church was already in the beg. of the 16 cent. In 1865, the gothic stone church was built. The old church’s altars were moved to the new one.
1 km to the South from Pabaisk is the estate.
For the remembrance of the battle where Žygimantas took over the throne in 1436, he built a church.
The settlement got the name of Pabaisk (from the Polish Potojowisko – the battle field).
In 1819 – 1836, on a wooden church’s place, the new stone church was built. It exist up until nowadays.
It settled on both sides of Šventoji, right where Ukmergė river flows into it.
This is one of the oldest mentioned Lithuanian settlements (1225).
There are a lot of legends about the Vilkmergė castle.
It is situated on the mid-lowland, on the shores of Nevėžis river. The town’s history dates back to the year 1372 when Kėdainiai was first mentioned in historical sources. In 1590, it acquired the rights of a town and a blazon. In 1614, Kėdainiai and its districts got into the ownership of one of the most influential noblemen, the family of Radvila. 10 artisan shops, 6 market squares, a printing house, schools, a library, a reformers church, city hall, the House of Lords and rectors were there.
In the 18 cent., Kėdainiai greatly suffered from the wars with Sweden. The most of the Old Kėdainiai’s monuments of prosperity are left in the greet market square and on the patulous streets around it. This is a part of the town formed in the beginning of the 16-17 cent.
A former city hall of Kėdainiai was rebuilt from the two-story masonry in 1653-1654. It was in the form of the letter L and had a clock tower. On the first floor, it had shops; there were representative measure – machine and scales as well. Authority’s offices and the court settled in the 2nd floor; the prison and the archive – in the cellar.
Near the city hall, there were the Geneva church (1631-1653) and the belfry. The church of the renaissance style with four baroque towers was being built during the times of religious frights. The later square belfry was already baroque. The house of the Scottish traders is preserved from the 17 cent. The so-called house of rectors was built around 1660. The heads of Kėdainiai schools, or rectors, lived there. Both houses stand looking on the street and are joined by the arch. Their layout and form resemble the Lithuanian living houses. St. Jurgis church and the fort stand on a high shore of Nevėžis. The first church in this district was built in the 15-16 cent., rebuilt – in the 18-19 cent. At first, it was purely gothic, but later it acquired baroque features. In the other side of the town, behind the bus station, is the Lutheran church. It is the 17 cent. building of the moderate renaissance forms. Across the railway station above the trees, these peers an exotic building, a minaret, bricked in 1880-1887.
Dubysa Regional Park
Here is an impressive, wide, and straight-sloped valley of Dubysa seemed by inflows and pockets. Dubysa is one of the most beautiful and popular Lithuanian rivers. The river loops, washes, arboreous slopes, meadows, torrential inflows flowing through the deep valleys make up a peculiar ecosystem. Above are the most interesting cultural values:
The highest in Lithuania Lyduvėnai Railway Bridge, the rock of Žalpiai village, mounds and old graves. Interesting are Uguoniai classical chapel and Maironis farmstead in Pasandravys.
Ariogala is on the left Dubysa’s shore, near the old Žemaičiai highway. This very old settlement was first mentioned in 1253 in the writings of Mindaugas. Often you can find the name of Ariogala in the chronicles where the campaigns of the crusaders to Lithuania are described.
In 1792, Ariogala got the rights of an independent town, yet it grew slowly. It was, burnt during the WWI. St. Mykolas church that was rebuilt in 1939 is interesting in the architectural sense.
This is the town on Žemaičiai heights, in the southeastern part, near Žemaičiai highway. The history of Raseiniai is old. Its name is mentioned from 1253. In the 14-18 cent. Raseiniai was one of the most important centers in Žemaitija. Different public and noblemen’s offices worked here. The poet Dionizas Poška (about 1757-1830) served in Raseiniai’s courts. From 1742, near the monastery, there was a school where the future Vilniaus university professor and a well-known naturalist Stanislovas Bonifacas Jundzilas worked. The church of St. Marijos ascendance, built in 1782, and the remains of the monastery (17-18 cent.), all left from the older times are the monuments of the Renaissance architecture.
Going from Šiauliai and turning to Kurtuvėnai, in Dubiai, you will get to the landscape reserve. These are the expressive hilly forests and sparkling on the sun lakes. There are beaches near the lakes Geluva and Bijotė, so you can prepare yourselves for a short camping. St. Apastle Jakobs’s church was being built in 1785-1796 according to the project of a famous architect, Vilniaus university professor M. Knakfus. From the 19 cent., there is an old barn left. It used to be a serfs’ theatre. Near the town, there is a legendary Girninkai Hill that was made by Curon on his way to his mother at Kurtuvėnai. It serves a good lookout ground for the tourists. The horse tourism base and the riding school are open all year round.
Kurtuvėnai Regional Park – www.kurtuva.lt
Kurtuvėnai RP was established to protect the lake and arboreous landscape, its natural ecosystem and the values of the cultural heritage. More than 30 lakes and 20 rivers flow in the territory of the park. The most valuable objects of KRP are Pageluotis lakes, Dubysa’s upper valley with forests, Ilga and Šona upper arboreous and swampy valleys, the river of Rauda, and outside formations – the hills of Raudonsparnė, Paraudžiai and Girininkai, the dens of Vainagiai and Dirvonai, and the springs of Svilė.
Its former village estate and a village are not far from the junction of Venta and Aunuva, on Venta’s left shore.
Berženai is known from the 15 cent.
For a long time, it was ruled by dukes Hutten – Čapskiai. They took care of the estate, established a park with menagerie, dug ponds and stoned the gates.
Its name means a bear. Luokė is mentioned already in end of the 14 cent. in a letter of a bishop M. Valančius. Its estate and dioceses belonged to the bishopric.
In 1866, Luokė had a mill, 2 beer plants, a few workshops, several shoemaker’s and sewer’s workshops and about 20 stores and shops.
From the old times, it was famous for its fairs and markets.
The first wooden church was built in 1417 under Vytautas. In 1744, Žemaitija’s bishop J. Zopacinskis built a second wooden church.
In 1819, in the cemetery, a new chapel was built.
A park’s settlement is known as an important religious hearth of Catholic values cherish.
Tourists could be interested to see an event that remained some archaic features – massive forgiveness.
It is situated on Žemaitija heights near the hilly region. It settled between two lakes, Gilius and BridvaišisThe first data about Tytuvėnai came in the 15 cent. from West European scientist N. Kuzietis. In his map of middle Europe, he marked Tytuvėnai (by the way, this was the oldest map with Lithuania on it). The ensemble St. Maria’s church and the monastery are the worthy architectural monuments. It is not solid in the stylistic sense. It is mixed with the gothic, renaissance, and baroque features. The high church and monastery’s roofs are gothic; the church’s front facade with towers is baroque; altars-baroque and rococo; the monastery’s corpuses and the churchyard’s arcades are of the renaissance style. In the artistic sense, the tomb of the church’s fender and monitor A. Valavičius and the paintings on cloth on the Biblical topic by the Italian artist of the 18 cent. are extremely valued.
Tytuvėnai Regional Park:
100-year-old pinewoods surround the extending chain of lakes. Tytuvėnai is the famous Lithuanian pre-war resort that was visited by the Lithuanian celebrities. The park is surrounded not only by lakes, but also by swamps. There are a lot of various kinds of birds, etc. the park’s settlement Šiluva is known as an important hearth of valuable objects of religious Catholicism values’ nurturance. Foreign tourists would be interested to see the still carrying many archaic features the massive forgiveness.
It is a town that has grown near the important road between Riga and Karaliaučius. The settlement is known from 1410. For long centuries, it used to be a humble dusty town on the junction of Kražantė and Vilbėnas rivers. From 1591 till 1940 in Kelmė there lived noblemen Gruževskiai who built a palace here. After the highway from Riga to the Prussian border was led through the town between 1836-1858, Kelmė became the most important post-chase station, alive market place. It is especially famous for its horse markets. One of the old-time monuments, the palace, deserves the most attention. It was built in the 18 cent. and has baroque features. Yet it belongs to the Renaissance style. In the palace, you can see an exposition of regional studies. Architectural monuments – a former Evangelical church, built in 1615, and the renovated in the in the 19 cent. present Catholic Church of St. Maria’s ascendance built in 1901-1908. Contemporary Kelmė is peculiar due to the stone sculptures of the native folk artist J. Liaudanskas, who is dead.
The town in Žemaičiai heights, near the lake of Mastis. Telšiai is surrounded by several hills right in the middle of Žemaičiai heights. For that reason, from the old times it is called the capital of Žemaičiai. Telšiai estate is mentioned in historical sources from the 15 cent. Žemaitija monitorship’s courts took place in Telšiai. The town had the trading privilege. Telšiai is the diocesan centre. There is a baroque St. Antanas Paduvietis’ cathedral built in 1761-1791. It left standing on one of the hills in the downtown. Local master J. Mažeika made the altar in the same baroque style, but with the touch of classicism. The palace of bishops built in 1929, was projected by a famous at that time architect V. Dubeneckis. In the Telšiai museum of regional studies, there is an interesting nowadays exposition of Žemaitija. Here you can see the painting of a famous 16 cent. German painter L. Kranach, called “The recovery of the kings”, a famous Flemish painter J. van Veikersloto “A family’s portrait”, and the works of Vilnius art school painters P. Smuglevičius and K.Ruseckas
It is near Sruoja river. From the old times, it remained a triangle mound, on which there was a well – known Žemaitija bishopric residence built later. The place is known from the times of the battles with the crusaders (1253).
It is possible that during the old faith’s time, Alsėdžiai was a sacrifices’ place.
It is not only a factual place of Žemaitija’s bishopric, but also a centre of that time’s Lithuanian movement.
The old church is an interesting architectural monument. It is made of a pine – tree interesting for its primitive forms and carved altars.
Alsėdžiai is also known for its clay.
The town is near the eastern slope of Žemaičiai heights, on the shore of Venta. The town was always suffering during the Swedish war. The church of St. Maria Magdalene was built in 1825. It has some worthy in the artistic sense religious paintings. The poetess Marija Pečkauskaitė – “The witch of Šatrija” (1877-1930) spend here her childhood in the farmstead. On Žemaitė str. 14 is the house where during 1892-1893 lived J. Žemaitienė with the family. Užventis museums of regional studies settled in the old barn.
Žemaitija national park
The bigger part of the park is taken up by 150-190 m-high hills formed of ice field 12000 years ago. One of the biggest lakes in Žemaitija, Plateliai, is very impressive (all together there are 26 of them). There also are a lot of peculiar ecosystems, swamps, and swampy meadows. In the Plateliai lake, there breeds rare salmon fish. You can get to know the nature’s values on the Šeirė cognitive path. The cultural heritage contains the mounds of Mikytai, Šarnelė, Pučkoriai, Gegrėnai, and Ž. Kalvarija, the old Plateliai estate, and the Pilis Island. Ž. Kalvarija town is an important Žemaitija’s Catholicism spiritual centre with the road of the Christ’s cross.
In Plateliai town, there are an estate park and the part of buildings left. An example of wooden architecture is Beržoras chapel. In Plokštinė, in a former missile base from where, not so long ago, the flying missiles were launched on the European countries, a military exposition is arranged. Šarnelė is significant for the homeland of the well-known Lithuanian poet-existentialist V. Mačernis. However, a short visit is a way not enough in order to uncover all the unique spiritual values hidden in Žemaitija’s corners. Those who want to do this would have to come for a longer period of time.
Salantai is settled on both sides of Salanta’s rives, the inflow of Minija. The settlement became known from the times of the battles with the crusades. Formed in the 16 cent. town’s streets web is extant. Above the old houses, peers a two-tower neogothic church of St. Maria’s ascendance to heaven, built in 1906-1911 by the grandfather of V. Orvydas. The monument of Lithuania’s independence is reconstructed. In the valley of Salanta’s river, then grows a park established in the 19 cent. Near the road from Plungė to Skuodas, there is a farmstead of Orvydai. The idea of a monk V. Orvydas was to fulfil the will of God and establish a church in the open air. According to the degrading atheist society and the majority of superficial publication, this farmstead is the absurd museum, whereas Soviet – time religious people held it a Sanctuary where they felt nearness to the Holy. This is the great monument to the human desire of freedom and evidence that none of the totalitarian systems is an obstacle for a full-fledged life. This is one of the unique places attracting religions pilgrims and mystics. Even though after the death of the farmstead’s founder, this unique place was being destroyed by his relatives, the central altar for sacrifices to bring is still extant. The farmstead of a naturalist-hobbyist Ivanauskas where you can see many cultural animals not seen before is very interesting as well.
Salantai Regional Park
It was established to protect the valley of Erla-Salantas-Minija and its district for the sake of the natural ecosystem and the values of the cultural legacy. The park is rich with the vivid rivers and river valleys, springs, holders and mounds, mythological stones that hide some kind of mysterious archaism. Not without a reason, there are two museums that sing of a stone beauty and such personalities as M.Valančius, Mosėdis museum’s founder doctor Intas, a contemporary mystic and spiritual teacher Vilius Orvydas were born here.
It is an interesting and peculiar town on both sides of Akmena river. The castle of Kretinga was mentioned in 1253 in historical sources. Žemaitija’s people got it back from the Livonian order. Kretinga estate is mentioned from the XVI cent. At first it belonged to the King, and later – to the Žemaitija’s elder J. Katkevičius, who left it to his daughters in 1621. Later the estate belonged to the families of Sapiegai and Masalskiai. In 1794, the earl V.Patackis owned it. In 1806, the estate is sold to P.Zubov. Then, the earl J.Tiškevič bought it from him. In architectural sense, the ensemble of the church and the monastery on the other side of the same street is of a great value. The church of the Christ’s appearance to St. Maria was built in 1617, rebuilt in 1908 and 1941. For that reason, it has a blend of architectural styles of various periods. The window arches and the roof are gothic, and the portal is typical of baroque. The interior contains Renaissance features with those of the baroque. Some altars are Renaissance, the others are baroque. Wooden carvings decorate the pulpit. The benches with the portraits of monks are valuable. The doors with the Renaissance portico decorated with the wooden ornaments are of a rare beauty. The monastery was built in 1610 – 1617 in a Renaissance-baroque manner.
Seaside Regional Park
It was established to preserve the lower seaside landscape, the natural seaside set. The only ethno-cultural reserve is Karklė village, the only extant village of Lithuania’s seaside with several Kuršes’ farmsteads that are left. The most precious part of the park is considered seaside dunes with unique plant communities, some of which grow only on the seaside and a 22 m-high scarp of a rock, called the Dutch hat that overlooks the sea. This one is a perfect place to see off the sun and to open up your heart.
- TIC, Pilies str. 42, Vilniaus str. 22, Vilnius, tel. (22) 626470, 629660;
- TIC, Rotušės sq. 3, Kretinga, (258) 51341;
- TIC, Vilniaus str.213, Šiauliai, (21) 422644;
TIC, Kretingos str. 54, Palanga, (236) 57040;
- TIC, Tomo str. 2, Klaipėda, (26) 213977
Events and entertainment
Kėdainiai regional museum, tel (257) 51330
Former Karmelitai monastery, Didžioji str. 19, 21, Kėdainiai
Kėdainiai St. Jurgis church, Šėtos str. 22, Kėdainiai
City hall art gallery. V.Ulevičius wood sculptures museum, Didžioji str. 1, Kėdainiai, (257) 54551
Betygala museum, Vytauto str. 16, Betygala Raseinių region., (228) 51892;
Raseiniai region history museum, Muziejus str. 3, Raseiniai, (228) 51892
Forest museum, Miškininkai str. 6, Tytuvėnai, (297) 56651
Tytuvėnai church and monastery ensemble, Tytuvėnai
Kelmės region museum, Dvaro str. 5, Kelmė, (297) 51995;
Horse riding and fishing Kurtuvėnai region park, tel. (21) 370333, firstname.lastname@example.org ;
Bishop M.Valančiaus motherland museum, Nasrėnai village., Kūlupėnai, (258) 48722
Žemaičiai museum ALKA, Muziejus str. 31, Telšiai, (294) 70266
Žemaitijos village museum, Parko 8, Telšiai, (294) 53833
- P. Višinskis memorial museum, Ušnėnai village, Užventis, (297) 49721
- Užventis region museum, Užventis, (297) 57305
- R.Budrikaitės horse riding school, Plokščiai village, Plateliai, (218) 49240
Kretinga museum, Vilnius str. 20, Kretinga, (258) 53505
Palanga Amber museum, Vytautas str. 17, Palanga, (236) 53501
Šiauliai – www.siauliai.lt
- Bicycle museum, Vilnius str. 139, Šiauliai, (21) 433788
- Photo museum, Vilnius str.. 140, Šiauliai, (21) 524396
- Frenkel castle, Vilnius str. 74, Šiauliai, (21) 524389
- Cats museum, Žuvininkai str. 18, Šiauliai, (21) 523883
- Radio and television museum, Vilnius str. 174, Šiauliai, (21) 524399
- Šiauliai Aušra museum, Vytautas str. 89, Šiauliai, (21) 521638
Vilnoja, Zdziechovskis str. 27, Sudervė, (22) 590346
Vilainiai, Melioratoris str. 2a, Kėdainiai, (257) 33470
E.Boderndorf homestead, Maslauskiškiai v., Ariogala, Raseiniai region, tel. (228) 46980;
Samana, Taikos str.2, Tytuvėnai, Kelmė region., tel. (297) 56249
A.Dambrausko homestead, Miškininkai 7a, Tytuvėnai, Kelmė region, tel. (297) 56059
J.Jarienės homestead, Basanavičiaus 18b, Tytuvėnai, Kelmė region, tel. (297) 56195
A.Špukienės homestead, Durpynas str. 16a-18, Tytuvėnai, tel.(297) 56072
Križbarkas homestead, Križbarkas v., Kukečiai, tel.(297) 48432
P.Slizevičiaus homestead, Lopetiškės v., Kelmė, (297) 54001
V.J.Balnio homestead, Cedroniškės, Kelmė, tel.(297) 45489
Sedula, Skogalis v., Kelmė, tel.(297) 56795
V. Lušo homestead, Puikiškės v., Kelmė, tel. (297) 45495
S.Ditmanto homestead, Kalno 6, Kelmė, tel. (297) 51962
A.Juškio homestead, Lupikai km, Kukečiai, Kelmė region, tel.(297) 46322
G.Penikienės homestead, Kukečių km, Kelmė region., tel. (297) 42534
L.Sabaliauskienė, Užtvankos str. 5, Kurtuvėnai, Šiauliai region., (21) 370148, 454490;
- Kurtuvėnai regional park guest house, Parko 2, Kurtuvėnai, Šiaulių r., tel. (21) 370336;
Almos Bortgerdt homestead, Pašvinio km., Šiauliai region., tel. (21) 370234;
A.Mickevičiaus homestead, Buišų v., Telšiai, tel. (294) 40375
G.Gaižauskienės homestead, Pakapių v., Telšiai, tel. (294) 43543
Germantas, Kuodžių v., Telšiai, tel.(294) 43773
Branša, Gaudikaičių v., Telšiai, tel.(294) 75088
Roneta, Respublikos str.59, Telšiai, (294) 53597
Telšių hotel, Kęstučio str. 21, Telšiai, (294) 53292
R.Norkienės homestead, Liepų str. 4, Alsėdžiai, Plungė r, (218) 48190
R.Norkienės homestead, Liepų str. 4, Alsėdžiai, Plungė r., (218) 48190
D.Stonienės homestead, Žalioji str. 17, Plateliai, tel.(218) 49175
Linelis, Paplatelės v., Plateliai, tel.(218) 49422
Šaltinėlis, Plateliai, tel.(218) 49315
V.Strakšytės homestead, Žalioji str. 15, Plateliai, tel. (218) 49293
Gelmė, Žemaičių str. 3, Kretinga, tel. (258) 76931
Mėguva, Mėguvos str. 3, Kretinga, tel. (258) 51345
Vienkiemis, Kretinga, tel. (258) 78425
Medical centre, 03, 52507
Police, 02, 54213
Kėdainiai region municipality, J.Basanavičiaus str. 36, Kėdainiai, (257) 55758
Medical centre, 03, tel. (228) 57941
Police, 02, tel. (228) 54158
Raseiniai region municipality, V.Kudirkos str. 5, Raseiniai, tel.(228) 51442
Dubysa regional park, Vilnius str. 99a, Raseiniai, tel. (228) 70330
Tytuvėnai region park, Miškininkai str. 3, Tytuvėnai, tel. (297) 56651
Medical centre, tel. 03, (297) 52120
Police, Vytauto Didžiojo str. 62, Kelmė, tel. 02, (297) 61202
Kelmė region municipality, Vytauto Didžiojo g. 58, Kelmė, tel. (297) 61316
Kurtuvėnai regional park, Parkas str. 2, Kurtuvėnai, tel.(21) 370336
Medical centre, tel. 03, (294) 52103
Police, Respublika str. 28, Telšiai, tel.02, (294) 60343
Telšiai region municipality, Žemaitė str.. 14, Telšiai, tel. (294) 52233
Žemaitija national park Plateliai information centre, Didžioji str. 8, Plateliai, tel. (218) 49231
Žemaitija national park, Didžioji str. 10, Plateliai, tel. (218) 49337
Medical centre, 03, (258) 58251
Salantai regional park, Laiviai str. 9, Salantai, tel.(258) 58761