Have you ever heard the story about Lithuanian lakes that gain the finest blue eyes or the river bends that are dangerous for people on canoes? If not, you’re welcome to see the footprints of the last Ice Age along the shores of Aukštaitija National Park. Located in Eastern Lithuania, the park has more lakes than anywhere else in the country. There are a lot of archaeological treasures and mounds too, and it’s the only place in the world that’s home to both an Ethnocosmology and an Ancient Beekeeping museum.
Locals climb to the very top of the high hills just to see stunning forests, lakes and mounds from above. Many believe the most beautiful panoramic view in Lithuania is the one seen from the top of Ladakalnis Hill. You can also see old watermills, wooden churches and so on. You truly should come here and see it for yourself.
Visitors to the Ethnology museum can touch a meteorite, look through a solar telescope, and climb to the top of the 30-metre high observation deck. Plus, you can enjoy the surroundings and visit the museum exhibitions, which are open 24/7. The museum is the only one of its kind. It shows how humanity connects to the cosmic world and how it’s reflected in Lithuanian national traditions. Cosmopolitan people are very welcome to come here and see it for themselves.
Founded by Bronius Kazlas, who had a reoccurring dream about running a Beekeeping museum as a child; he was in his fifties when his dream came true. Today, visitors are introduced to the world of beekeeping, its development, and the role bees play in our ecosystem. It’s a great place to escape from the daily routine and think about something else.
You should start by visiting the museum exhibition housed inside the watermill and then regain your strength under the renewed waterfall. Later on, you can climb the Ginučiai Mound and take in the view from the observation deck of the Šiliniškiai observation tower. We promise that your Instagram followers will never forget these photos!
“Paukščių kaimas” is in the Cijonai village in the district of Ignalina, where you can see a huge bird’s nest. Visitors can taste an omelette made of various bird eggs and drink freshly brewed herbal tea. Some people even say that you can catch a glimpse of the bird of happiness if you are very lucky. Visitors can also try writing with goose feathers, shooting a bow and arrow, and doing other incredible things. Maybe it’s time to surprise yourself!
It would be a sin to travel to Aukštaitija National Park and skip the most famous observation spot: the legendary Ladakalnis. Visitors can gaze over the wonderful panoramic view of six lakes from this observation spot. Let’s enjoy the view of those sky blue lakes during your next holiday!
If you decide to spend a few hours in Palūšė (a village in the district of Ignalina), you should try hiking to the local church and other archaeological treasures. You’ll have a chance to take a glimpse into the lives of the people who lived in these lands thousands of years ago. If hiking isn’t your thing, you can try cycling in Palūšė, or even hop on a boat, canoe or kayak, which are all available to rent. It’s worth noting that water transportation isn’t available after October, so plan accordingly.
The restaurant Romnesa in the village of Strigailiškis just one kilometre away from Ignalina is a local favourite. It’s known for serving steaks grilled over a fire and other dishes made from fresh seasonal ingredients sourced directly from the nearby forests, farms and fields. Guests can look over the exhibition of old kitchen utensils and equipment used to make the famous Lithuanian Šakotis, or Tree Cakes.
The Gervinė cafe near the historic watermill in the village of Ginučiai is another spot worth checking out, though it’s only open in summer or by prior arrangement.
Another good place to rest and eat is in the district of Molėtai. The restaurant Belvilis offers dishes from exotic countries. The restaurant is on the second floor, so visitors can enjoy the view through the wide windows over the 100-year-old pine forest.
By car: From Vilnius take either the A14 Motorway or ROute 102 to Route 114.
By train: from the Vilnius Railway Station. You can find the train schedule here:
By bus: from the Vilnius Bus Station. The bus schedule can be found here