This week-long trip combines Lithuania's biggest cities with its natural scenery, starting in the lively capital city of Vilnius with a guided walking tour of its historic medieval core. Explore the old town of Kaunas and escape into the countryside with trips to Takai Castle on Lake Galvė and the ancient sites of Kernavė. End your trip in the coastal city of Klaipėda, relaxing and biking along the sand dunes of Curonian Spit.

Highlights

  • Explore the historic old towns of Vilnius and Klaipėda
  • Discover Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania
  • Walk the sand dunes and bike along the Curonian Spit
  • Visit the rural countryside and ancient sites of Kernavė
  • Enjoy the Trakai Castle on Lake Galvė

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Vilnius - Explore the ancient sites of Kernavė Vilnius
Day 2 Visit Trakai Castle on Lake Galvė Vilnius
Day 3 Explore Lithuania's old capital of Kaunas Kaunas
Day 4 Take the train to Klaipėda and enjoy a walking tour Klaipeda
Day 5 Transfer to Nida and walk along the dunes of Curonian Spit Neringa
Day 6 Cycle along on the Curonian Spit and visit the Hill of Witches Neringa
Day 7 Depart Lithuania via Vilnius Vilnius

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Vilnius - Explore the ancient sites of Kernavė

Aerial View of Vilnius
Aerial View of Vilnius

Welcome to Lithuania!

Upon arriving at the airport in Vilnius, you'll transfer to your accommodation in the city center and meet your guide for a short walking tour of the Old Town. This historic area of the city is also a UNESCO Heritage Site and home to an ancient university founded by the Jesuits. You'll start at the 16th-century Gates of Dawn and visit some of the religious sites, including St. Anne's Church, Church of St. John, and Vilnius Cathedral. You'll also visit Town Hall Square, the parliament building, and browse the boutiques and cafes lining the pedestrian streets.

In the afternoon, you'll take a bus to the town of Kernavė to explore its picturesque backcountry and visit some historical sites. You'll explore an ancient oak forest and enjoy the river valleys in Neris Regional Park, then discover the fort hills and ancient settlements dating back to 9,000 B.C.E. 

In the evening, you'll return to Vilnius in time to enjoy dinner in its Old Town. Check out the restaurants along Stiklių Street.

Day 2: Visit Trakai Castle on Lake Galvė

Trakai Castle on Lake Galvé
Trakai Castle on Lake Galvé

In the morning, you'll transfer west from Vilnius to the town of Trakai. This medieval town sits on a peninsula on Lake Galvė and is home to about 5,000 people. It's surrounded by scenic countryside and Trakai Historical National Park, a protected area of 32 square miles (82 square km).

Amid the woodlands and islands on the lake is the main landmark of the area, the Gothic-style Trakai Castle. This impressive fortification was built in the 14th century out of red brick and stone. 

After exploring the castle, you'll stretch your legs with a stroll around the park. In the afternoon, you'll return to Vilnius and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.

Day 3: Explore Lithuania's old capital of Kaunas

Streets of Kaunas, Lithuania
Streets of Kaunas, Lithuania

Today you'll enjoy a tour of Kaunas, the former capital of Lithuania and one of the country's most cultural cities. This scenic settlement is set between the Nemunas and Neris rivers and features a historic Old Town with a white-washed baroque Town Hall. Stroll through the historic streets and make your way to the city's must-sees, which include Kaunas Castle and St. George the Martyr Church. End your morning walking through Confluence Park with its striking river views.

After the tour of Kaunus, you'll visit a quirky institution called the Devils’ Museum. Here you'll view thousands of devil sculptures, made from wood, stone, ceramic, and paper. Collected from all across the world, these figurines have funny, clever, interesting, and naughty expressions. Many of the devils have been incorporated into useful objects such as pipes and nutcrackers.

In the afternoon, you'll settle into your accommodation in Kaunas and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. For dinner, you'll find plenty of restaurants along the pedestrian street, Vilniaus gatvė.

Day 4: Take the train to Klaipėda and enjoy a walking tour

Port of Klaipeda
Port of Klaipeda

After breakfast, you'll take a train to the coastal city of Klaipėda. It first became a part of Lithuania in 1923 and has a long history as a German town called Memel. After settling into your accommodation, you'll meet your host for a walking tour through the Old Town. Enjoy strolling its cobblestone streets and old guild houses, visiting sites like Theater Square and the Aennchen von Tharau Fountain.

Afterward, you'll explore Klaipeda Castle and its Castle Museum, enjoying the views from the waterfront. In the late afternoon, wander the city streets and enjoy the shops and boutiques. Lithuania is known for its craft beer and there are several bars allowing you to taste different varieties. When you're ready for dinner, you'll find several options in the Old Town.

Day 5: Transfer to Nida and walk along the dunes of Curonian Spit

Beaches of Klaipeda
Beaches of Klaipeda

Today's destination is the resort town of Nida. Popular with summer vacationers, Nida and nearby Neringa are filled with attractive beaches and historic landmarks, like Thomas Mann’s summer house. After checking into your hotel, you'll have the day to relax by the water and explore Curonian Spit National Park.

The Curonian Spit is a 60-mile (98-km) long sand-dune spit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea, lined with chains of sand dunes rising up to 200 feet (60 m) high. You'll walk seven miles (11 km) through the different landscapes of the spit: coastal, pine forests, and sand dunes in and around Nida. Enjoy the scenes of breaking waves, pine forests, and old Curonian houses, as well as the fresh sea air. The walk will take about 3.5 hours. 

Afterward, you'll return to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening on your own.

Day 6: Cycle along on the Curonian Spit and visit the Hill of Witches

Sand Dunes on Curonian Spit
Sand Dunes on Curonian Spit

You'll have a full day to bike the coastal landscapes along the Curonian Spit. This long stretch of sand is dotted with small fishing villages, pine forests, and endless sand dunes. You'll first cycle to the summer house of the famous German writer, Thomas Mann. Here you'll enjoy impressive views of the spit and make your way to the 170-foot (52-m) high Parnidžio Dune. Relax on the beach before heading back to the village of Nida.

On the way back, you'll discover the Hill of Witches, which is located in the waterfront village of Juodkrantė. Despite the spooky name, this landmark is actually a collection of over 80 wooden sculptures atop a forested sand dune, all crafted by local artists depicting themes of paganism and Lithuanian folklore. You'll enjoy some time in the town and its sandy beach.

Day 7: Depart Lithuania via Vilnius

Skyline of Vilnius
Skyline of Vilnius

Enjoy your final morning in Nida on the coast. When you're ready, you'll return to Vilnius in time to catch your flight.