A Weekend In The Curonian Spit
The Curonian Spit is a thin strip of land running along the shores of Lithuania and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. The spit separates the calm waters of the Curonian Lagoon from the turbulent Baltic Sea. Its major attraction is massive sand dunes, actually more present on the Russian side but more easily and frequently visited on the Lithuanian side.
From the peaceful resort village of Nida, it is easy to spend a day exploring the sand dunes and walk across the spit all the way to the endless beach on the Baltic Sea.
The virtual tour above contains 12 interactive panoramas, representing the itinerary that I followed – a loop from and back to Nida (see the map at the bottom of this page).
From Nida, take the stairs up the sand dune for a magical view to the Curonian Lagoon. The light is particularly beautiful in the morning, if it is sunny. Then climb further up to the top of the sand dune and the sundial.
From there, a viewpoint will offer you the best view to the dunes. You will be able to see both the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea at the same time, showing how thin the spit is. In the distance can easily be seen Kaliningrad (Russia).
From there, you can follow a small road going down to the campground and then the beach. The windy beach is endless and beautiful. I had the surprise to find out that it’s actually a nudist beach! But everybody is welcome, naked or not. If you walk south, you will eventually reach a few small signs materializing the end of Lithuania, and the beginning of Russia!
This is not the exact border but actually the beginning of a no man’s land protecting the actual border. But a Russian watchtower can be seen in the distance and I am sure there is a guard up there making sure that no stupid tourist crosses the line!
Since it’s not possible to go further, I just walked all the way back to the sand dunes and explored them more in depth, until reaching the Curonian Lagoon again. It is then possible to walk along the shore, on the tiny beaches that exist between the sand dunes and the lagoon. At some point, you will be back in Nida – and the loop is closed!
In any case, whether you are traveling to Lithuania alone or the 3 Baltic States, I highly recommend spending a couple days in Nida. It was definitely a highlight of my trip!