Difference between revisions of "Curonian Spit"
Revision as of 09:23, 14 December 2011
Stretching from Sambian peninsula in the South to Lithuanian port city of Klaipėda in the North, Curonian Spit is a narrow (400 meters wide at it's narrowest point and 4 km wide at it's widest) peninsula separating the Baltic Sea from Curonian Lagoon. The northern part of the peninsula (52 km) belongs to Lithuania, while the southern park is in Kaliningrad Oblast in Russia. It is UNESCO World heritage site from 2000 and has a status of national park in both countries.
The entire spit was under German rule from circa 13th century till First World War. While fishing was the major occupation of spit's inhabitants in medieval ages, the tourism flourished in an area since the start of 20th century.
Curonian Spit contains largest drifting sand dunes in Europe. The highest of them rise up to 60 meters. The area is generally covered with forests, that constitute about 70 percent of land.
Flora and fauna
A car and a motorbike entering Neringa municipality that contains most of the spit on the Lithuanian side is charged an ecological fee (30 LTL in summer and 10 LTL during the rest of the year). Campers are charged 90 LTL in summer and 50 LTL during the rest of the year.
Also please note that entering some of the nature reserves is either limited or prohibited.
There is a single road running through the whole length of the spit and it is easy to access any part of the spit with car or motorbike. Bus services also exist. However, as the spit is divided by the border traveling the whole length of the spit may require visa and may be a bit time consuming.
The Lithuanian part of the spit has a bicycle path from the northern tip of the peninsula to the town of Nida near Russian border so more environmentally friendly way of traveling is also possible.
Curonian Spit offers some of the Europe's finest landscapes as well as cozy towns and villages. Two of the most impressive ranges of dunes are the Grey dunes (or the Dead dunes) north of the village of Pervalka and the range of dunes starting with Parnidžio dune just south of Nida and stretching into the Russia.
Curonian Spit is a popular summer holiday resort and a range of outdoor activities is available. Beaches of Nida, Juodkrantė and Smiltynė have been awarded with the Blue Flag while Corunian Lagoon presents opportunities to enjoy fishing or sailing.
For those more interested in culture there is a number of museums (including Lithuanian Maritime Museum in the old fortress at the northern tip of the peninsula). Town of Juodkrantė has a rather interesting open air exposition (Hill of witches) of wooden sculptures depicting mythological creatures. In the town of Nida there is a museum of German writer Thomas Mann who used to rest in summers here.