A country as compact as Lithuania is ideal for traveling in a camper van as the distance between the most northern and the most southern points takes only 3 hours to complete. Though there are numerous ways of traversing through its lush nature, culturally diverse cities, and picturesque sea resorts, Lithuania Travel has selected top 4 camping routes that capture Lithuania’s essence the best.
With bookings for camping slots increasing by 500% and the demand for RVs soaring, 2021 has been deemed as the year of camping. Therefore, given Lithuania’s compactness and geographical suitability for camping, Lithuania Travel—the country’s national tourism development agency—has compiled a list of the top 4 camping routes for Lithuania’s first-time visitors.
“The camping routes lead to the most spectacular Lithuanian spots and show what it is like to travel in our ethnographically diverse country. Relatively short driving distances allow one to observe rapidly changing scenery in just a matter of a few days: from vast meadows or sandy dunes to archaic-looking cities,” said Inga Valentonienė, Head of Tourism Product and Marketing Department at Lithuania Travel.
- Three Waters in the West
Dedicated to exploring the western part of the country, this 620 km camping route guides to luscious terrains alongside the three most outstanding Lithuania’s water reservoirs: the Baltic Sea, the Curonian Lagoon, and the River Nemunas Delta. The route is best admired at one’s leisure as it reveals natural beauties such as the Curonian Spit—a path of white sand connecting the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon. Preserved by UNESCO, its beaches have been voted as some of the most beautiful in Europe by Lonely Planet.
Accompanied by the mesmerizing waters, the route extends further to Ventė Cape—an essential part of one of the main bird migration routes and home to one of Europe’s first ornithological stations. Just a short drive away, there is an ancient fishing village Dreverna which also serves as a small vessel harbor that reaches deep into the mysterious Samogitia—the last region in the country to preserve its old pagan traditions.
- Three Capitals in the South
The camping route in the South allows exploring the southern part of Lithuania on a 470 km stretch and passes through the three capital towns—Vilnius, Kaunas, and Trakai—all of which are marked by different nature, cultural influences, and history.
Along this path, the travelers get the chance to witness Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture transgress into green parks in Kaunas and see the extravagant modern buildings built side-by-side with the high-rising church towers in Vilnius. And for the grand finale, Trakai—the historical capital of Lithuania—invites its visitors to explore Trakai Island Castle—one of the most picturesque medieval castles in Europe.
The camping spots located in Vilnius and Kaunas offer an unusual attraction for the more thrill-seeking travellers—cruising through the Lithuanian sky with an air balloon. And for those looking to relax and bring some comfort to their camping trip, the balneological resorts of Druskininkai and Birštonas offer a vast selection of spa treatments, mud baths, and the opportunity to taste the natural mineral water from the local water springs.
- Lakes and Manors in the North and East
This 690 km route is perfect for avid nature lovers since it allows them to explore the beauty of nature in both northern and eastern Lithuania. Here, all camper vans are welcome to be parked near Lithuania’s oldest national park located in the Highlands (Aukštaitija) region. Located away from the street bustle and fast-paced city life it invites visitors to immerse themselves into the forest depths, taste the local bounties—like wild mushrooms and berries—and enjoy some forest bathing.
As for other activities offered along the route, the campers are invited to stroll along the treetops in Anykščiai Tree Crown Trail, have a swim in one of the many lakes in Zarasai, and touch a real piece of the Moon in the Lithuanian Museum of Ethnocosmology in Molėtai. Also, those eager to learn more about the region’s history, have the perfect opportunity to explore 19th-century manors. One of them—marked by its characteristic Romantic era elegance—is Astravas Manor in Biržai.
- Cross-Country Route
As a perfect getaway for 2 weeks, Lithuania Travel suggests choosing a scenic 1400 km camping route around the entire Lithuania. Stopping in 29 towns in total, it goes through the three capitals, reaches the largest Lithuanian island Rusnė, and further leads to the “Paradise Road” winding along the River Nemunas full of castles, manors, and riverside views.
On top of that, the visitors get the chance to discover the famous Lithuanian summer resort— Palanga—situated on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Also, Telšiai—the so-called capital town of Samogitia—invites campers for a ride throughout the 7 hills encompassing the entire city. And finally, near the outskirts of Šiauliai, the legendary Hill of Crosses is known as a popular pilgrimage destination which also makes it a suitable visiting spot for campers.