Considered to be the largest of the Baltic States, Lithuania is a little seen wonderland of lakes, some 2,800 of them, scattered about its 65,000 square kilometers.
There's more to this country that's been occupied by the Russians, the Nazis, then the Russians again. It's a land of action sports, sandy beaches, old churches, and lively nightlife and cultural pursuits.
Its capital city of Vilnius has the largest Old Town is all of Europe; and filled within it is its St. Ann and Sts. Peter & Paul Churches. Vilnius also hosts a grandiose International Folklore Festival (Skamba Skamba Kankliai) every May in its Old Town, where you find crafts and food, singing, and just about everything else.
One of the most exciting things to do in Vilnius (not including its discos and bars) is bungee jump from its television tower. Or, a hot air balloon ride might be a more prefered option.
Getting from the capital to other parts of Lithuania is somewhat easy. Rail service to places like Kaunas, and sleeper trains that'll zing you along to the Baltic Coast make it an attractive option.
One village that's a must-see (no matter how you get there) is Nida, known more for its action-filled adventures than anything else. Here you can sail, windsurf, paraglide, whatever strikes your fancy. Of course, just walking along its lighthouse is also good.
Palanga is another seaside resort town; and its attractions include an Amber Museum and Botanical Park.
Nature is just what the doctor order in Lithuania. A quarter of the country is covered by forest, and hiking through the UNESCO Curonian Spit National Park is a good way to see its pine forests. You'll find some sand dunes here too, if you're interested.
Some of you might be more interested in castles, and the Trakai Castle (14th century) is beautifully designed with its red brick and red roof. The town of Trakai is located along Lake Galve, a picture perfect place in the heart of Lithuania.
Shopping in Lithuania is a treat, too. Baltic Amber and linens are two of the best deals you can get here in Lithuania. Make sure you bring some home.
Too bad you can't bring home some local dishes from Lithuania, like salti barsciai, a cold soup; or vedarai, a potato sausage.
No concerns about food or water safety here in Lithuania, but you might find the water a bit cloudy due to its minerals. Bottled and/or filtered water is available if you want.
Better yet so you don't have that problem, try some midus, a local spirit made from honey.
Have one after a night on the town in Lithuania, but the choice is yours if you're going to take in an Opera, Ballet, theater, or film.
The last one might be hard if you don't speak Lithuanian, but other than that English is spoken some.
Sound like your kind of place? All you need is a passport or EU Identity Card, no visa or onward ticket required. Sounds simple, because it is.
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