Lithuania Destination Guide and Cruise Finder

Lithuania Cruise Destination Guide
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Regional differences of Lithuanian culture reflect the complicated historical development of the country. Since the thirteenth century five ethnographic areas, or regions, have historically formed in the current territory of Lithuania:

Lithuania regions map for article.png

Literally Highlands, northeastern and eastern region.
Samogitia, literally Lowlands, north-western region.
Dzukija (Dainava)
Southeastern region.
Suvalkija (Suduva)
South-western region.
Lithuania Minor
Sea-coast region.

These ethnographic regions even today differ by dialects, ways of life and behaviour styles, while until the turn of the last century there were pronounced differences in dress and homestead styles as well as village planning.

Lithuania is justly proud of its unfailing treasures of folklore: colourful clothing, meandering songs, an abundance of tales and stories, sonorous dialects and voluble language. This ethnographic heritage is nourished by ethnographic and folklore companies and barn theatres. Recent years have witnessed the revival of ethnographic crafts and culinary traditions. Folk craft fairs and live craft days are organized during many events and festivals.

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Passenger train interior, there also are older type and compartment-type cars in the same train. Note another train outside: a double-decker EMU EJ575 which run exclusively Vilnius-Kaunas-Vilnius route; any other suburban routes are served by regular low-floor DMUs. The regular passenger trains (depicted interior) have steep stairs, disabled persons will need assistance, details on LitRail website.

Much of Lithuania’s natural beauty is well preserved. The eastern part of the country Aukštaitija, is famous for lakes, hills and forests.
  • Vilnius — the capital of Lithuania. Cultural, educational, financial and political centre of the country. Known for its spectacular Old Town and its unique architecture.
  • Alytus — largest city of Dzukija region, its centre and unofficial capital
  • Kaunas — second-largest city, former citadel of Russian Empire, temporary capital of Lithuania during the interwar period, point of intersection of all main roads
  • Klaipeda — third-largest city and a seaport, stopover point for cruise ships, famous for various summer events
  • Palanga — resort on a coast of the Baltic sea, the most popular spot for Lithuanians or tourists to visit in summer. City’s population in summer grows from 10,000 to 600,000 in July and August
  • Panevežys — largest city of Aukšatitija region, its centre and unofficial capital
  • Šiauliai — fourth-largest city situated between two main regions of the country
  • Telšiai — centre and unofficial capital of Žemaitija (Samogitia) region
  • Trakai — small town 28km away from capital. A former capital of the country with a residence of medieval rulers. Centre of the Historical National Park and resort area

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Other destinations

  • Curonian Spit — unique peninsula in the Baltic sea with sand dunes, seaboard forest, white sanded beaches and old ethnographic villages. A UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Hill of Crosses — site of religious significance, north of Šiauliai city
  • Jonava — city named after John, which makes St. John’s Day, the biggest national holiday, really special. Quirky town with vintage industrial buildings and structures, and a modern factory away from the city itself
  • Kernave — former (first known) Lithuanian capital on the bank of Neris river; now a well-preserved archaeological site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Kedainiai — city in the centre of the country, has rather large old-town close to Nevežis river. Famous for annual Cucumber Festival
  • Moletai Lakeland — abundance of homesteads and mini-resorts scattered among more than 200 lakes of various size. Paradise for vacationists
  • National Parks — each region has its own national park which protects and represents most valuable environment. Free and open all year round
  • Purnuškes — small village 26km north of Vilnius where according to measures of Institut géographique national is the geographical centre of Europe
  • Žemaiciu Kalvarija — famous pilgrimage site in Samogitia region.
    courtesy ©
  • Photo credit: Beny Shlevich via Visual hunt /  CC BY-SA

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