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The hidden gems of Lithuania

Although a small country, Lithuania is packed full of history and beautiful scenery that you won’t find anywhere else!

The Curonian Spit is an incredible natural beauty that not many tourists have heard of. The spit of land is located in the Baltic Sea and shared by Lithuania and Russia. The area is home to tiny but stunning Germanic villages, rare wildlife and sand – lots of sand! The spit has the highest drifting sand-dune in Europe – Parnidis Dune which has the average height of 35 metres although it can attain a height of 60 metres. Apart from the dunes, the spit also has some of the best beaches on the Baltic Sea.

Just a 15 minute car drive from the Lithuanian city of Šiauliai is the Hill of Crosses. Quite literally, it is a hill with crosses on it. The amount of crosses is unknown, although it was estimated to be 100,000 in 2006. The origin of what started the practice of leaving crosses on the hill is uncertain however it is believed that the first crosses were placed on the hill after the 1831 uprising with people continuing to place crosses on the hill to this day.

Another great reason to visit Lithuania is Trakai Island Castle. The castle is around an hour car journey from Vilnius. Trakai is a huge castle built on its own island which has been beautifully restored. We do highly recommend taking the time to simply wander around the castle grounds and taking in the grandeur of the place.

Lastly, we’d recommend that you make a stop at Grūtas Park (also referred to as Stalin’s World) which is a Soviet memorial park. The park is owned by an entrepreneur who began purchasing Soviet monuments and memorials when Lithuania reclaimed its independence in 1990. The sculpture gallery garden has been created into a Soviet Gulag, with barbed wire and observations towers.