Aukstaitija - by Rokas

The largest and most southern of the Baltic countries, Lithuania borders on Latvia, Poland, Belarus and the Russian enclave Kaliningrad. Lithuania has a several thousand lakes, dense mixed forests, over thirty national and regional parks and five officially protected wetlands : Cepkeliai, Kamanos, Nemunas Delta, Viesvile and Zuvintas. Most famous are Aukštaitija National Park in the eastern uplands, which has some lovely hiking trails, and Dzukija National Park in the southeast. Most enchanting is the Curonian Spit National Park, located on a peninsula between the Curonian lagoon and the Baltic Sea. It features giant sand dunes, pine forests and many rare plants and animals.

European long distance trail E9 is meant to lead through Lithuania at some indefinite point in the future, but non-existant as yet. The Lithuanian border, near the Polish city of Ogrodniki, is a trailhead of the E11, which runs from the Netherlands through Germany into Poland.

Best time for hiking in Lithuania is from late spring until early autumn. Winters are generally cold with snow, although climate on the Curonian Split is slightly less harsh. There are hotels, hostels and B&B's and camp sites to be found in many places.



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