Back in June, we took some days off and spent a little over a week in Lithuania. Since we wanted to make the most of our time there, we had been splitting our time between Vilnius and the seaside. This way we could see most of the highlights Lithuania offers! The first half of our trip was dedicated to the Baltic coast and Klaipeda’s region, hence, we created this itinerary to discover the Lithuanian seaside!
There are many options to choose from if you want to spend time on the West coast of Lithuania. We decided to fly to Vilnius and then rent a car to drive towards Klaipeda. This option has been perfect for us, as it allowed us to get our hands on cheap flights as well as gave us freedom and flexibility of having a car. And since we were going to fly out from Vilnius, there was no problem returning it.
We arrived in Vilnius on Sunday afternoon and decided to spend the night there. We drove to Klaipeda on Monday around lunchtime. The drive took us roughly 3 hours. We arrived there late afternoon on Monday and left early morning on Friday, so we had 3 full days to enjoy the area.
You can find all addresses and sights on our Mapstr (with the name ‘northernitinerary’).
Why staying in Klaipeda?
There are a number of advantages when staying in Klaipeda. First, it is the 3rd biggest city in the country, therefore there are a lot of accommodation possibilities. We could find a good hotel deal in the city center for about 120€ for 4 nights. Then, the city is really central to many other places in the region. We did not waste much time driving during the day, and it makes everything look so close. Lastly, Klaipeda is a really nice city sitting just by the sea, where one can always enjoy a nice evening walk.
As you understand, Klaipeda has been our base while visiting the region and therefore we have seen a bit of it every day. We explored one part at a time, usually at the end of the day, to enjoy cooler temperatures and beautiful sunsets.
Day 1 – Olando Kepure & Palanga
On day 1, I believe, Erikas wanted to impress me a little and so we started the day by driving about 20 minutes to Olando Kepure – the Dutchman Cap. This site is located close by Klaipeda and is absolutely unique. After walking through the pine forest on a nice wooden path, the view opens up to the Baltic Sea and a massive hundreds of meters long cliff. The latter is being slowly eaten by the sea, leaving trees hanging halfway in the air. The view is breathtaking and the air so fresh.
We were on the sight around 9:30 in the morning and we’ve had the whole place to ourselves. We could sit on the sand and later on walk along the cliff without having anyone around us. I believe the pictures will speak for themselves.
After spending time around Olando Kepure, we hopped back in the car and drove further up to the beach resort of Palanga. This city is known for being a summer beach resort for Lithuanians, and so has a lot of restaurants, entertainment, and a kilometer-long sandy beach.
We walked along the main road and onto the bridge for a bit till we stopped at ‘Monika’ for lunch. On a hot summer day, you should, for sure, have a bowl of šaltibarščiai. It is a chilled pink soup, made from beetroot which is really refreshing. We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying some quiet time at the beach.
Coming back to Klaipeda in the evening, we enjoyed traditional food at Friedricho pasažas, which was a great choice! The menu has a lot of options and everything is really well done. We’ve started by fried breadsticks with a drink and then potato pancakes for me and pork shoulder with potatoes for Erikas. After dinner we went to have a drink to Sky21, which is a rooftop bar. The terrace there has a great view of the city, the port, and also the Curonian Spit.
Day 2 – the Curonian Spit
We dedicated the full day to the Curonian spit and lagoon as this is something that we both really wanted to see. No lies, it’s been one of the highlights of our trip to Lithuania, and I can tell you I never expected to see it just across the Baltic Sea!
After doing a bit of research, we discovered that you need to pay to drive in the Curonian Spit, and by going just before the high season (starting on June 20th) we would pay only 5€ instead of 20. Therefore, we went on day 2, which was on the 19th of June!
We drove from the hotel to the ferry terminal – about 10 min, and we directly went onto the ferry. After cruising for 10 minutes, no more than this, we disembarked on the other side! We drove south to the toll gate and a little bit further, around kilometer 30, after passing through Neringa, we had our first stop.
On the side of the road there is a parking space, with a tiny entrance to ‘Nagliu Gamtinio rezervato pazintinis takas’, also called ‘Grey Dunes’. The entrance there costs only 2€ and gives you access to the nature reserve offering a breathtaking view.
I need to say that this was my favorite sight and view of this day. It is not packed with people since large tourist buses cannot stop there and very few people know about it. The view is, in my opinion, as good as from the top of Nida’s dunes.
After spending some time walking in the nature reserve of the ‘Grey Dunes’ we headed back on the road and drove further south to Nida. The drive is rather short and really nice as the road goes through the pine forest.
When arrived in Nida we parked the car and walked everywhere as everything is easily accessible. We started by hiking towards the dunes. The path is really well done and there are a lot of explanations along the way, about the area, nature, and evolution of the place. There, we spent some time at the solar clock and on the dunes. Note that this place is accessible by the road, hence, there are a lot of tourist buses and people.
After walking back towards the city, we stopped for a picnic. Following which, we took a walk to the beach. The beach there was probably the nicest and cleanest we have been to when in Lithuania. The sea was not even cold and it felt amazing to bath there, after a full day of walking on the hot sandy dunes. Later on, we headed back to our car and used the same ferry to cruise back to Klaipeda.
Once back in town, we headed out for dinner and then went out to ‘Seven’ for a drink. This bar is really central, which is good if you want to have a walk in the city afterward or just enjoy a beautiful sunset!
Day 3 – the Cold War Museum
Thursday was our last full day before heading back to Vilnius for the weekend. We heard from friends that the Cold War museum is worth a visit, so we headed in this direction to round up our time at the seaside. It took us over one hour to reach Zemaitijos national park, in which the museum is located.
A small fee is required to access the museum for which you are also given guide services. In fact, the museum cannot be visited without a guide as it was one of the USSR nuclear bunkers. The tour takes approximately 45 min in which you get a crazy amount of information! The visits can be done either in English or in Lithuanian.
I’d suggest you keep half a day free to visit this site. It gives a lot of clues about History and consequences on today’s geopolitics. In addition, the museum is located in a national park and can be accessed free of charge. Thus, you can enjoy some time by the lakes or in nature.
On our way back, we stopped at Ausčių Sodyba in Grumbliai for a late lunch and we’ve had the most affordable and delicious fried dumplings! In this tavern, you can enjoy a lot of homemade traditional dishes, which will keep you full till the evening!
We took it easy for the rest of the day since we knew a long drive back was ahead of us the next morning. However, we had a nice dinner and drinks at ‘Bardakas’ in the evening. Depending on the day, they also have live music and all this on a terrace by the water. What a glorious way to end our stay in Klaipeda!
⇒ Let us know! Have you ever been to Lithuania and its seaside? Leave a comment below if there is something you’d like to add to this itinerary!
⇒ We have a lot of pictures on our Instagram, did you see them already?