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Discover Nida and the Curonian Spit in Lithuania

Nida (Neringa) and the Curonian Spit


The Curonian Spit has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a real miracle created by sand, wind and people between two bodies of water. It includes an impressive panorama of dunes – the white Volant sand beauties playing with the wind; the still, Gray (Dead) Dunes that once covered over several villages; and green, sandy hills overgrown with old woods. Romantic settlements that have preserved a traditional fishermen’s architectural style harmoniously match the surrounding nature. The eastern coasts of the Curonian Bay are completely different. The fishing delta of the Nemunas fascinates visitors with the beauty of its lush wild nature, fauna, and abundance of birds. The old fishing villages – Rusnė, Mingė, Kintai and Dreverna – smell of freshly smoked fish. The Ventės ragas lighthouse looks like a beacon for migrating birds; it seems to welcome the winged travelers to the nearby bird ringing station – one of the oldest in Europe.
Neringa is a pearl of Lithuania and Europe, the Mecca of artists, a relaxation oasis for the tired. The Neringa town was established only in 1961, yet the history of the town, surrounded by Curonian Bay and the Baltic sea, traces back to the times of the giants. Legend tells of a kind-hearted giantess Neringa, who had poured the Curonian Spit peninsula in order to create a safe haven for local fishermen and protect them from fierce monsters of the sea. For centuries this legend inspired the people living, working, and creating here. The local people are distinguished for their strong and hardened characters, credibility and hospitality. For many centuries the region attracts artists from all over the world. The legend of Neringa, hypnotising images and unique tradition are the Muses inspiring painters, photographers and writers. Neringa resort is established in the Curionian Spit National park which was included into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000 as a cultural landscape object, precious for multiple nature and cultural heritage treasures. About 900 plant species are found in the park flora, 31 are included in the Red List of Lithuania. About 40 mammal species are met in the Curonian Spit. The moose – the largest and the most widely known – is often considered to be a symbol of the spit. It’s a permanent home for about 300 species of birds. The most spectacular are great cormorants, grey herons and sea-eagles. The Curonian peninsula is crossed by the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea bird migration route. Millions of birds of different species fly over the spit every spring and autumn. The location is a heaven for bird observers.
Beyond natural resources and a rich cultural heritage, Neringa offers a modern tourism infrastructure and active recreation possibilities. Special attention is given to outdoor recreation facilities: games and sports fields, bicycle paths, forest infrastructure (cognitive paths, sightseeing grounds), silence and non-smoking zones, sports and recreation inventory.
Sand dunes with rare vegetation, seaside forests with centuries-old trees and highland pine overgrowth planted by humans, white sand beaches, town infrastructure (streets, embankments, old town with typical regional architecture), sightseeing objects, aroma of smoked fish, cultural and sports events – are the attractions creating the uniqueness of this region and remaining in the heart of every visitor.

We recommend a visit to:

Hill of Witches – exposition of wooden sculptures in Juodkrantė

The Hill of Witches is one of the most beautiful and the oldest parabolic dunes in Juodkrantė.
Inspired by this special place, artists carved sculptures of the characters of centuries-old legends and tales. Over 80 oak sculptures are currently displayed on the Hill of Witches.

Heron and cormorant colony in Juodkrantė

The largest and one of the oldest colonies of grey herons (Ardea cinerea L.) and the great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo L.) known in Lithuania are settled in Juodkrantė. These colonies are observed from the end of the 19th century. Currently there are around 2500 nests of the great cormorant and over 500 nests of grey heron.

The Cognitive path in the Naglių nature reserve („the Dead Dunes“)

Naglių nature reserve occupies an area of 1680 ha. Discover the Grey (Dead) Dunes, former settlement sites covered by sand, self-sown forest vegetation and centuries-old wood soils buried underneath the sand. Stroll the cognitive path and enjoy the sights of dunes with impressive hollows and washouts, formed by strong winds.

The Parnidžio dune with a Solar Clock-Calendar

Astronomically the Parnidžio dune is an ideal and the only suitable place for such clock in Lithuania where an absolute mathematical horizon opens up. It is the only place where you will see the sun rising from the water and setting into the water – from the bay to the sea. The height of the Parnidžio dune is 52 m above the sea level.

The Memorial Museum of Thomas Mann

In 1929–1930, based on architect‘s Reissmann project, a house resembling of fishermen‘s hut was built in Nida, on a Mother-in-Law Hill. The famous writer Thomas Mann and his family spent three summers (1930–1932) in this house. Now the Memorial museum of Thomas Mann is open here

For more information, please visit the website www.visitneringa.com

Source: Lithuanian Seaside at a glance

Here’s a sampling of major yearly recurring events in the Curonian Spit:

International Folk Music Festival “Tek sauluže ant maraciu”

Festival “Tek sauluže ant maraciu” brings together Lithuanian and foreign traditional and modern folk ensembles as well as folk artists and craftsmen.
Period: June
For more info visit the official website www.visitneringa.com

International Thomas Mann Festival in Nida

Local and foreign visitors are attracted by the high-level music program, inspiring discussions, thoughtful exhibitions and entertaining cinema nights.
Period: July
For more info visit the official website www.mann.lt

The lagoon coast Fisherman’s Feast

This fishing traditions cherishing feast presents fishermen cultural, culinary, musical and ethnographical traditions from all the regions of the lagoon coast.
Period: July
For more info visit the official website www.neringa.lt

International “Curonian lagoon” regatta

It is one of the biggest sailing events in Lithuania.
Period: July/August
For more info visit the official website www.lbs.lt

International Jazz Music Festival “Nida Jazz Marathon”

“Nida Jazz Marathon” gives people the opportunity to spend their leisure time, to talk, to listen to various forms of jazz music, to enrich their jazz cultural experience.
Period: July/August
For more info visit the official website www.nidajazz.lt

International Festival “Musical August on the sea front”

One of the greatest traditional summer festivals of western Lithuania every year invites coastal residents and holiday makers to the opera and symphonic music feast.
Period: August
For more info visit the official website www.klaipedosmuzikinis.lt

International Film Festival “Baltic wave”

“Baltic Wave” – the only international Film Festival of three Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Creative meetings, educational afternoons, children and youth animation school take place during the festival, where children work together with professional animators on animation movie creation.
Period: August
For more info visit the official website www.visitneringa.lt

Days of Old Crafts in Neringa

Festival presents the prehistoric period, Middle Ages, renaissance and the XIX–XX centuries’ crafts, which are demonstrated in the craftsmen yard arranged in the square of Nida quay by Lithuanian museums’ professionals and ancient crafts’ traditions preservers from Latvia, Russia and Poland.
Period: August
For more info visit the official website www.neringosmuziejus.lt

Folk Feast “Pusk, vejuži!”

This festival is dedicated to folklore collectors of Minor Lithuania. Everyone can admire in the feast the traditional costumes of Minor Lithuania, listen to the ancient songs, dance, play fishermen games, try traditional dishes and sail on ancient boat – kurenas.
Period: August/September
For more info visit the official website www.lrezoskc.lt

International Half Marathon Run of Nida

Event is designed for all healthy lifestyle and running enthusiasts. Every year it attracts increasing number of participants.
Period: September
For more info visit the official website www.nsportmok.lt

Birthday Celebration of Neringa Town

The traditional cycle of events, including artistic, sports and wellness programs. Cycle’s accent – Neringa art collectives’ joint concert characterized by the diversified artistic expression of Neringa citizens.
Period: November
For more info visit the official website www.neringa.lt

New Year Celebration

The integral part of New Year’s Eve – the festive evening concert. Chiming twelve o’clock everyone is invited to Neringa municipality square to have great New Year’s first hours. Traditionally, on the 1st of January everyone gathers in Nida to taste curonian fish soup.
Period: December
For more info visit the official website www.neringa.lt