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Camping in Lithuania: A showcase of natural beauty and cultural heritage

The Dutchman's Cap in Karklė
The Dutchman's Cap in Karklė   -   Copyright  Andrius Gailiūnas
By Tim Gallagher

Camping has never seemed a more attractive way to take a holiday. It’s low-cost, has low impact on the environment, and as an outdoors pursuit has low COVID-19 risk.

During the pandemic interest in camping has soared with a 500 per cent increase in bookings in summer 2021.

Camping is likewise a holiday that has low-carbon emissions. Research by PKF consulting comparing CO2 emissions of RV-travel with plane, car rental and hotel accommodation impact found that emissions were lower across all classes of RV travel.

Lithuania is a compact country in which you can travel from north to south in three hours. It boasts beautiful beaches, lush countryside and historic landmarks, as such the Baltic nation is perfect for a road trip.

Four of the best routes to take your tour have been compiled by Lithuania Travel, built to showcase the breadth of Lithuania’s natural beauty and cultural assets.

Laura Žičkutė
Wild camping is permitted in LithuaniaLaura Žičkutė

“The camping routes lead to the most spectacular Lithuanian spots and show what it is like to travel in our ethnographically diverse country,” says Inga Valentonienė, Head of Tourism Product and Marketing Department at Lithuania Travel.

“Relatively short driving distances allow one to observe rapidly changing scenery in just a matter of a few days: from vast meadows or sandy dunes to archaic-looking cities.”

As in many Baltic states, wild camping is permitted in the Lithuanian countryside (some limits are placed within national parks).

1 - Three Waters in the West

Discover three of Lithuania’s most outstanding reservoirs on this 620km camping route where you visit the Baltic Sea, the Curonian Lagoon and the River Nemunas Delta.

The route is studded with natural beauties such as the UNESCO heritage site, the Curonian Spit—a path of white sand connecting the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon.

Along the way is Ventė Cape—an essential part of one of the main bird migration routes and home to one of Europe’s first ornithological stations. Nearby is Samogitia, the last region in the country to preserve its ancient pagan traditions.

Marius Jovaiša
Ventė capeMarius Jovaiša

2 - Three Capitals in the South

This southern camping route is a 470km stretch and passes through three distinct capital towns—Vilnius, Kaunas, and Trakai.

Vilnius, the historical capital of Lithuania, boasts one of Europe’s most picturesque medieval castles. Vilnius contrasts ancient and modern with contemporary architecture side-by-side with high-rising church towers. Kaunus features a mixture of Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance buildings.

Air ballooning is available in Vilnius and Kaunas spa retreats in the form of nearby balneological resorts, Druskininkai and Birštonas, are available for those wanting to relax. These destinations offer the chance to heal and drink from local water springs.

Giedrius Akelis
Kirkilai Lakes and Observation TowerGiedrius Akelis

3 - Lakes and Manors in the North and East

This 690km route showcases the natural beauty of northern and eastern Lithuania. Along the way, in the Highlands (Aukštaitija) region, all camper vans are invited to park near Lithuania’s oldest national park. Here, visitors can engage in Lithuania’s wild side with plentiful wild mushrooms, berries and forest bathing.

History and culture abound on this route with the Lithuanian Museum of Ethnocosmology in Molėtai and the opportunity to explore 19th-century manors.

4 - Cross-country Route

Andrius Aleksandravičius, Tuk Tuk, Lietuva
Hill of CrossesAndrius Aleksandravičius, Tuk Tuk, Lietuva

A 1400km camping route around Lithuania may seem like a trek, but studded with 29 towns, the three capitals, the largest Lithuanian island Rusnė and leading to the castle-lined “Paradise Road” winding along the River Nemunas, this journey is absolutely worth it.

Visitors can discover the famous Lithuanian summer resort— Palanga— on the shores of the Baltic Sea, take a ride through the seven hills of the city of Telšiai—the so-called capital town of Samogitia— and visit the Hill of Crosses, a popular pilgrimage spot.