The Beautiful National Parks of Lithuania

Dzukija National Park
Dzukija National Park | © JuliusKielaitis/Shutterstock
Elizabeth Georgian

Lithuania’s five national parks are representative of the country’s heritage, history, and diverse natural landscapes. Providing refuge to endangered plant species, 200-year-old trees, foxes, wolves, and numerous bird species, Lithuania‘s national parks abound with natural beauty. All of the national parks contain inhabited, historical villages with old buildings constructed of wood and cultural monuments depicting local folklore. For an easy visit from Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital city, Trakai Historical National Park is only approximately 45 minutes by public transport, yet still allows for cultural exploration and appreciation of pristine, blue lakes. Further afield are Zemaitija, Dzukija, Aukstaitija, and the Curonian Spit National Parks.

1. Zemaitija National Park

Park

Zemaitija National Park, Plateliai
© Algėrds at the Samogitian language Wikipedia
Zemaitija National Park was established in 1991 due to its importance for Lithuanian biodiversity and culture. Exceptional as a site of cultural heritage, Zemaitija, or Samogitia in English, is an ethnic region of Lithuania, and the people of this region were historically the last to adopt Christianity during the Crusades, although some pagan beliefs remain in place to this day. Some traditional experiences can be had at Zemaitija National Park, including Shrove Tuesday celebrations (in February or March depending on the date of Easter) and an art festival in late June.
Zemaitija National Park comprises several lakes, Plateliai, Berzoras, Ilgis, and Ziedelis, thus water sports such as boating and windsurfing are popular activities. Plateliai Lake is especially notable because it is 1,200 hectares and contains seven islands that are home to important biodiversity and surrounded in Samogitian legend.

2. Dzukija National Park

Forest, Park

3. Curonian Spit National Park

Park

©Elizabeth Georgian

© Elizabeth Georgian | ©Elizabeth Georgian

4. Trakai Historical National Park

Park

5. Aukstaitija National Park

Building, Church, Forest, Park

© Hugo.arg/Wikimedia Commons

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