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Lithuania for Families

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Nestled on the Eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, Lithuania is a frontier of Western civilization in the vast expanse of Eastern Europe. This week-long family tour blends city and nature experiences, offering a delightful balance of active and leisurely adventures within a short half-hour drive. Discover cities with abundant cultural treasures and pristine natural retreats nestled in forests, along lakes and rivers, and by the Baltic beaches. Tailored for families in search of a harmonious mix of activities, this itinerary guarantees that both children and parents create lasting memories during their holiday.

Day 1: Arrival in Vilnius

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is a city rich in history and natural beauty, giving you the opportunity to blend urban exploration with the wonders of nature. Here are some recommended highlights:

  • Take a scenic hike along the Vilnia River, traversing hillsides beside the city’s iconic landmark, Gediminas Castle Tower.
  • Kayak down the Vilnia River, starting at the ancient water-mill a few miles upstream. Glide beneath the shadow of Gediminas Castle Tower, reaching the larger Neris River before concluding your journey in the heart of the city.
  • Enjoy tree climbing adventures in one of Vilnius’ many lush parks and forests.
  • Engage in interactive workshops and historic reenactments spanning different historic periods at the Museum of National History and the Museum of Technology and Engineering.

Day 2: Day trip to Trakai, approximately 18 miles west of Vilnius

The area surrounding the quaint town of Trakai blends the picturesque charm of five interconnected lakes with a medieval castle complex of immense historical significance to Lithuania. This enchanting locale presents many opportunities to enjoy the beauty of both elements:

Galvė lake in Lithuania
  • Walk or cycle around Lake Galvė to enjoy the playgrounds, swings, and water paddling along the way. Explore the interactive exhibitions of the medieval peninsula and island castles, take an ice cream and coffee break on charming piers, bridges, and viewing platforms;
  • Sail between the islands of Lake Galvė aboard a sail- or sunbattery-powered boat, accompanied by the friendly crew of Trakai Yachtclub. Stop for a swim, sightseeing, or a picnic, admiring the diverse views of the castle.
  • Kayak in neon-lit boats by day or by night, engaging in friendly rowing competitions, birdwatching, and underwater exploration.
  • Glide on stand-up-paddleboards across any of the five lakes in the Trakai region, enjoying the scenic landscape and a leisurely beach day.
  • Experience the fun of hanging out among alpacas and other friendly animals.

In addition to exquisite nature and historic value, Trakai is the center of Karaim culture and heritage. Karaims are the ethnic minority recruited as warriors from the coast of the Black Sea as far back as the 15th century. They are famous for preserving their Turkish language, old religion, and the cuisine of Middle East origin. Make sure to try their traditional pastry – Kybyn, most authentic with lamb, and taste their spicy bitter Krupnikas.

Day 3: Drive to Druskininkai, a spa town on the southern border of Lithuania

Druskininkai, situated along Lithuania’s longest river, the Nemunas, is renowned for its healing pine forests and abundant mineral water springs. Over the past two centuries, the town has developed a robust infrastructure for medical treatments, wellness, and spa services, which keeps this area lively and busy year-round. Beyond its therapeutic offerings, Druskininkai is celebrated in the region for its exceptional entertainment options:

  • A waterpark featuring slides, waves, and streams to keep the children busy and happy, and a sauna center for parents
  • The Snow Arena, a year-round haven for winter enthusiasts seeking skiing masterclasses and winter getaways
  • A cable car shuttle across the Nemunas River that connects the entertainment and spa facilities
  • A mineral water health resort providing a diverse range of treatments, including bubble baths, mud wraps, and salt inhalations.

Day 4: Day excursions within an approximately 45-mile radius of Druskininkai

The southern region of Lithuania, recognized as the ethnographic area of Dzūkija, is cherished for its ancient forests, protected marshlands, and unique landscapes featuring sandy dunes, diverse wildlife, and a network of refreshing creeks. There are abundant ways to immerse yourself in the authentic nature of this area:

  • Tour the marshlands of Čepkeliai State Natural Reserve with a local nature guide to discover unique birds, insects, and plants.
  • Kayak down the creeks and rivers Ūla, Varėnė, and Merkys, passing through memorable towns like Merkinė and Varėna.
  • Pick wild strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, lingonberries, and cranberries, and go mushroom hunting – the most popular regional sport.
  • Take a birdwatching tour in Žuvintas Natural Reserve with a local ranger to learn about the impressive variety of water birds nesting in Lithuania.
rivers Ūla, Lithuania

Day 5: Drive to Anykščiai

Anykščiai, a resort town in eastern Lithuania, embodies the cultural richness of the Aukštaitija ethnic region. Enveloped by a varied, rolling landscape adorned with meandering rivers and pristine blue lakes, the town is a haven for creative individuals, and there are numerous opportunities to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of it all.

  • Walk and cycle on the riverside trail that extends along the Šventoji River, offering additional possibilities to discover the numerous playgrounds. Explore the Treetop Walking Path, a facility with panoramic views of the forest, river, and town from elevated vantage points. Venture into Dainuva Adventure Valley, a park featuring tree-crossing and climbing infrastructure of various difficulty levels.
  • Climb up the tower of Anykščiai St. Matas Church, the tallest in Lithuania;
  • Visit the Museum of Aukštaitija Narrow Gauge Railway with interactive platforms, wagons, exhibits, and a picturesque rides to Lake Rubikiai for a swim, a meal, or a picnic.
  • Explore the maze of various labyrinths, losing yourself and finding hidden wonders along the way.
  • Ride the Alpine Coaster up and down Kalita Hill.
  • Learn and master wake-boarding and water-skiing at Pagojė ponds (Fun fact: Lithuania has the largest number of water sports facilities per capita);
  • Spend a few hours feeding, riding, and learning about horses as well as enjoying local crafts, customs, food, and drinks at the open-air ethnographic complex, the Museum of Horses.
  • Drive among local wild animals just like in an African safari.

Day 6: Day excursions within an approximately 45-mile radius of Anykščiai

Enjoy Aukštaitija’s untouched, authentic nature, creative reinterpretations of ancient traditions, and genuine encounters with the local wildlife. Here are several recommended activities:

  • Learn the craft and magic of the bee universe and honey making, tasting a variety of healthy products straight from the bee-hives.
  • Hang out with the families of rabbits, goats, sheep, and other domestic companions of local farmers.
  • Explore a range of vehicles for traveling, racing, and farming, while the learning about the history of empowered wheels at the Moletai Technical Museum.
  • Rise to the vastness of the universe and dive into the depths of Lithuanian myths using the largest telescope in Lithuania.

Day 7: Drive back to Vilnius.

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