Half of this unique sand spit, created by the sea, 52 km, belongs to Lithuania. The Spit separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic, which is shaped like a flask or bottle, the narrowest part of Klaipeda, and the widest part of Zelenogradsk. The border between Russia and Lithuania passes almost immediately beyond the village of Nida.
The Lithuanian part of the Curonian Spit, in my opinion, is much more interesting, more beautiful than the Kaliningrad part. It attracts tourists, and just having a rest with extraordinary pure nature - curative sea air and beaches, pine forests, rich in mushrooms and berries. The width of the spit within Lithuania ranges from 300 meters in the extreme northern cape, opposite Klaipeda (the border crossing point is located there), up to 3.8 km in the widest point beyond Nida. And in the area of Nida there are the highest dunes in Europe.
On the spit is The longest Lithuanian city is Neringa, (lit. Neringa), which combines five villages Smiltyne, Juodkrante, Pervalka, Preila and Nida. The city stretches for 52 kilometers, its main street is a highway running among the dunes. The total number of inhabitants of the whole Neringa is 3,600 people (as of 2009). Neringa is difficult to call a city in the truest sense of the word. This is a unique natural and urban complex that combines picturesque Baltic landscapes with a careful building that does not disturb the harmony of the environment. Here grow plants that are not found anywhere else in the world, there are wild animals and rare birds. Often handsome elk go straight to the ferry!
Neringa is a quiet, calm, without the hustle and bustle of the city, the only one in the world, more than half of whose territory is occupied by forest. For the uniqueness and pristine nature of the local landscapes in 2000, UNESCO added Neringa to the World Heritage List.
You can get to the Curonian Spit, to Neringa, only by ferry from Klaipeda. The main ferry, which is located in the center of the city, at the mouth of the Dane River, operates year-round, in the summer the ferry runs every half hour, and on weekends even more often, in the winter - every hour. There is one more ferry crossing in the southern part of Klaipeda, closer to the fishing port, mainly for the transport of trucks. Having crossed the bay, a trip along the Curonian Spit can be made either by car, or by bus or taxi, which depart directly from the ferry. They ply to Kaliningrad, to Zelenogradsk, and to Nida almost every half hour.
For a start, I would advise you to go to its northern part, to the right of the ferry. There is an ancient Swedish fortress Kopgalisin which the most interesting is located Maritime Museum with great collections, and next Oceanarium. On the way to the Maritime Museum you can see old fishing vessels such as MRT and STR, put on eternal parking on the shore.
To the left of the ferry is a small village Smiltynewhere paved paths start from leading to the beaches on the Baltic Sea. Three beaches - female, common and male. Paths go through a beautiful pine forest, gradually rising to medium high dunes. Baltic weather is not always happy with the hot sun, but the mass of people still go to the sea, just to walk and breathe the iodine-saturated sea air.
Approximately 9 km from the ferry, in Alksnin, there is a police post, where a fee is charged for entering the territory of Neringa, which is National Park. In January 1945, there were fierce battles with the Nazis for the liberation of Klaipeda in the area of Alksnin. There are mass graves and a monument to Soviet soldiers, carved from a whole piece of stone raised from the bottom of the bay during dredging. And the whole section from Smiltyne to Alksnin was once we walked in and out. What wonderful mushroom spots here! Especially in the thickets of creeping mountain pine in the fall there are many moths.
18 km from the ferry is Juodkrante villagewhich used to be the site of amber mining, and although now this fishing has almost disappeared, there is a good Amber art gallery here. In Soviet times, a large pioneer camp of the Lithuanian fishing fleet administration, a rest house and a boarding house were located here. And now private small hotels, villas, restaurants, cafes are at the service of the guests. Juodkrante is famous for its “The mountain of witches” - Raganu Kalnaswhere there is a unique composition of wooden sculptures: witches, witches, devils, heroes of the legends of Neringa, carved from oak by folk craftsmen from all over Lithuania. A total of 65 sculptures, the work of 49 artists. In the past, this mountain was known as a popular place of celebration of Jonines (Ivan Kupala day), during which barrels of burning tar were rolled from there at night.
The sandy “Dead” or “walking dunes” rise beyond Juodkrante, the height of which reaches 30−40 meters. And here is located State bird sanctuary and ornithological station "Fringila" . During the flight season, numerous flocks of birds stop in these places to rest. Curonian Spit is now becoming wider. Before reaching Juodkrante, it is already possible, having climbed the dune, to see immediately both the Baltic and the Curonian Lagoon. And now the narrow, winding highway goes through the forest, then approaching the bay, then dodging to the sea. By the way, the sands from which the sea has created a scythe are in constant motion. It happened that they fell asleep fishing houses. And because the dunes strengthen intertwined willow twigs. And the whole forest on the spit - man-made, planted and grown by the hands of people, foresters. Therefore he is carefully guarded. But, all the same, people sometimes are careless in handling fire, and forest fires destroy significant parts of the forest.
In the small villages of Pervalka and Preila, it is good to rest with families, especially fishing enthusiasts and mushroom pickers. Here surprisingly mushroom and berry places - gorgeous blueberries.
And here's the main town of Neringa - beauty Nida! Nida is a paradise: there are neat multi-colored houses with red tiled, and often with thatched roofs, flower beds everywhere. Almost every house is a cafe, a pub or a hotel. A lot of rooms for rent in the private sector, and even have a campsite for autotourists.
Immediately after the village is located and Europe's highest moving dune Efa 64 m high. Tourists do not rise on it, so as not to violate the integrity, because the fine sand is greatly showered from the slightest touch. And on the neighboring dune of Parnidis there is an observation deck where you can climb and explore the surroundings.
One of the attractions of Nida is The house-museum of the German Nobel Prize-winning writer Thomas Mannwho in the years 1930-1932 lived here in the summer with his family. A cultural center was founded in the building of the writer's summer residence. Here are organized evenings of classical music, poetry, the days of Thomas Mann every summer, to which many guests come from Germany.
The beaches in Nida, as well as throughout the Curonian Spit, are located on the seashore. And on the shore of the Curonian Lagoon there is a yacht club where you can rent boats. It is also convenient to rent bikes in Nida. It has an excellent bike trail 20 km long connecting Nida, Preila and Pervalka.
So rest in Neringa is a pleasure!