Things to do in Klaipeda and the Lithuania Baltic Sea Coast

Things to do in Klaipeda and the Lithuania Baltic Sea Coast

After visiting Vilnius this summer, the Baltic Sea Coast of Lithuania was bumped up my list of places I want to see. It's known locally as a stunning area and a bit of a hidden gem. It might not be the case in the neighbouring countries, but for us Brits it's undiscovered. Based out of Klaipeda I was excited to see all this area has to offer, from countryside to nature, from local traditions to local breweries.This article is a little more than a list, I've covered all the things I suggest you do all year round. Naturally some of these things are only available in the summer, but to make it easy I've split it into sections. Active and Outdoors, general Exploring, Food and Drink and Local Traditions. This way you can easily navigate to what you're interested in. Enjoy!Under exploring I talk about the Curonian Spit in detail, so this one is just focused on the Sand Dunes at the Curonian Spit. There are two main spots people like to check out when it comes to the Sand Dunes. Firstly, the Dead Dunes and the Nagliai self-guided walk, which takes you right into the dunes themselves. Secondly, the Parnidis Dune, which is more of a viewpoint. My suggestion: go to both. In peak times expect them to be busy, and when cruise ships are in, I wouldn't even bother going (I've heard it's madness!). But they are well worth the visit, at the Dead Dunes you won't even feel like you're in Europe, let alone Lithuania. And then the sunset and view over Kaliningrad from the Parnidis Dune are spectacular. Svencele is a so-called kitesurfing Mecca! It's one of those sports that has a fantastic community around it, friendly and welcoming. I wrote about learning to kitesurf in Morocco recently. I plan on it being the next sport I learn properly! In off-season there's nothing here, but during peak season its thriving. The accommodation and restaurants are mostly housed in shipping containers, which give it an industrial hipster vibe. Then the sunsets across the lagoon are unbeatable. This is certainly somewhere I want to come back in summer.Moving on from Kitesurfing to wakeboarding! Let me introduce the 313 Cable Park. Created by wakeboarders for wakeboards, they pitch themselves as not another wakeboard park. And it seems they have taken it to the next level. Most parks have two towers, yet they have five. They’re set up for beginners and pros alike. If you don’t want to wakeboard then there are swimming pools, saunas, terrace bar, outdoor gym, tennis, massage and skateboarding. Wait a second, at night? Are you sure? Yes. Take a guided tour with Wet Weim along the river in hand-made wooden canoes, at night. We explored the embankments of Lithuania’s oldest city, Klaipeda. It’s a spooky feeling, getting into a canoe at night, under the light of the old-fashioned flame or our torch at the front of the canoe. We paddled down to the city centre, passing the magnificent ship of Meridianas. The tour last around 1.5 – 2 hours and Wet Weim also offer canoe tours to the Curonian Spit, birdwatching tours and Canoeing at Trakai Castle.Lithuania has embraced cycling and the Baltic Sea Coast has several cycling routes. You can cycle north as far as Latvia, and to a lot of places on this list. As I mention below, the most cost-effective way to see the Curonian Spit is by bike, but why stop there? It’s a pretty flat coastline, perfect for casual cyclists. There are several bike-rental companies in Klaipeda and a list of trails and a variety of distances on Map my Ride, or look at Cycling Holidays in Klaipeda for tours and further information.

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