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Walking the Curonian Spit  The Natural Adventure Company

Walking the Curonian Spit

Overview

The Curonian Spit is a 98 km long and 0.4-4 km wide sand peninsula that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. This unique UNESCO World Heritage Site is a fragile, peaceful ecosystem of pine groves and dunes that offers something for everyone. The pine forests are populated by deer, elk, and wild boar and cover about 70% of the area. Only a fraction is urban – like the fishing villages of Nida, Juodkrantė, Pervalka, and Preila.

The Curonian Spit is easily walkable; there is plenty of forest, sand and fresh air and no high altitudes. Experience the calm wilderness and reconnect with nature in this fascinating corner of Lithuania, hike the dunes and recharge.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Klaipėda

Arrive in Klaipėda on your own. The city is a bustling, modern place with a great selection of cafes and restaurants and many annual festivals focusing on jazz, folklore, and the sea. The leisure options on offer range from history tours to water sports, so there is plenty to do if you choose to spend extra nights here, either at the beginning or end of the tour.

  • Accommodation: 3*** hotel in Klaipėda (Memel Hotel or similar)

Day 2: Klaipėda Circular Walk | 8 km

After breakfast, start your tour with a walk on both sides of the northernmost part of Curonian spit – the lagoon coast and the Baltic sea coast. Pass the Ethnographic fisherman’s farmstead and the old ships’ ground as well as the Sea museum and aquarium. Reach Smiltyne and head back to Klaipėda for your second overnight.

  • Walking for the day: 3 hours, 8 km, 18 m
  • Accommodation: 3*** hotel in Klaipėda (Memel Hotel or similar)

Day 3: Klaipėda to Juodkrante | 13.5 km

In the morning, a taxi will pick you up from your accommodation and drive you to Juodkrante, one of the Curonian Spit’s oldest settlements. Start your hike from the area around the fishing harbour known as Amber Bay. Reach the pen-air sculpture gallery Hill of Witches, a coven of wooden sculptures gathered on a forest-clad hill near Juodkrantė, carved by Lithuanian artists over the years since 1979. The 42 metres high hill was a focus of pagan rituals in the centuries before Lithuania adopted Christianity. In the evening, relax at Juodkrante beach, one of the three blue flag beaches on the Curonian Spit.

  • Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 13.5 km, 52 m
  • Accommodation: Family-run guesthouse, apartment or B&B in Juodkrante or Pervalka (Vila Flora or similar)

Day 4: Pervalka to Preila | 15 km

Short morning transfer to the Grey Dunes – another picturesque trail in the Nagliai nature reserve (get your 2€ ticket from the ranger). Start today’s walk further south along the coast of the Curonian Lagoon to Preila. Before entering Pervalka village, you can have a picnic in front of the smallest lighthouse in Lithuania.                                 

  • Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 15 km, 47 m
  • Accommodation: Family-run guest house or apartment in Preila (Vila Baldininkas or similar)

Day 5: Preila to Nida | 13.5 km

Walk from Preila to Nida and visit the Vecekrugas Dune (the Old Inn Hill) – the highest dune in the Curonian spit National Park – 67.2 m. Nida is one of the most beautiful resorts in Lithuania, with the Curonian Lagoon on one side and the fine sandy beaches of the Baltic Coast on the other. Wander around the brightly painted wooden houses. Visit the Ethnographic Fisherman’s Homestead, housed inside a traditional fisherman’s cottage close to the water and packed with authentic furniture, household items and the general detritus of the local fishing industry.   

  • Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 13.5 km, 55 m
  • Accommodation: 3*** hotel or a guesthouse in Nida (Prie Mariu or similar)

Day 6: Free day in Nida | 8.5 km

Walk around the town and visit the Amber Gallery and the famous writer Thomas Mann’s summer home. You can also relax on the beach, cruise in a traditional sailing boat, canoe to see the Dead Dunes and take your pick of the cafes and restaurants.

  • Walking for the day: 3-4 hours, 8.5 km, 45 m
  • Accommodation: 3*** hotel or a guesthouse in Nida (Prie Mariu or similar)

Day 7: Departure

Private transfer to Vilnius and extra nights in a 3*** hotel in the capital available upon request.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in charming centrally located 3*** hotels, guesthouses and apartments. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us, and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

Memel Hotel, Vila Flora, Prie Mariu, Vila Baldininkas or similar

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will give you exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included in Klaipėda (Days 2&3). When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should be bought from local shops. You can have dinner at the village inns and restaurants.

Difficulty & terrain

The Curonian spit is easily walkable with no high altitudes (read more about difficulty grades). The routes are waymarked, and the itinerary is easy to follow. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

The tour is available from May to September. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season. The climate is slightly continental, with cold winters and mild, moderately rainy summers. Winter temperatures are cold, with average highs around 0 °C (32 °F), while in summer, the maximum temperatures range around 20/22 °C (68/72 °F). In the summer, the temperatures are mild during the day and cool at night. Typically, August is a bit rainier than June and July.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

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By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are VilniusKaunasPalanga or Riga.

By train or bus

Transfers from/to Airports

From Vilnius airport to the city:

  • From Vilnius airport take bus 1 or 2 going to the Bus/Train station (ticket fare: 1€) – the journey takes around 15 min.
  • Take a taxi from the airport to the city (to get a taxi use a Taxify or Uber app, do not take one from the streets) – taxi fare should be 5-6€ to the bus/train station.

From Vilnius to Klaipėda:

  • Take a bus at the bus station (3 h 45 min, 15-20€ one way). Tickets can be purchased at the bus station or online (schedules and tickets, visit Autobusubilietai.
  • Take a train from the train station (3 h 45 min – 4 h 10 min, 15-25 € one way). Tickets can be purchased at the train station or online here.

From Kaunas airport to Klaipėda:

Take bus 20 from the airport to Kaunas bus station (ticket fare: 1€) – the journey takes around 50 min. Then another bus from Kaunas to Klaipėda (2 h 35 min, 13-17€ one way).

By Ferry

You can also arrive at the ferry terminal at Klaipėda. Possible options from Kiel & Rostock, Germany and Karlshamn & Trelleborg, Sweden.

Inclusions

Included

  • 2 nights at centrally located 3* hotels with breakfast & 4 nights at guesthouses/apartments without breakfast
  • National Park entry fee
  • Luggage transfers between the accommodations – one bag per person up to 25 kg
  • Individual information package (one per room) including walking route maps and descriptions (electronic copy sent by email in advance and a hard copy provided at the first hotel)
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Day tour by boat to Vente horn and Pamarys fisherman village including lunch (June-September only) – subject to availability
  • Private transfer from Vilnius to Klaipeda
  • Private transfer from Nida to Vilnius
  • Extra nights in Vilnius – 3* hotel – before and/or after the tour

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