Neringa and the Curonian Spit
Tourist Information Centre -- Juodkrante
L. Rezos str. 54
Tel. + 370 59 53485
Fax + 370 59 53490
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More than 5000 years ago the waves and winds of the Baltic Sea formed this unique and unusual place called the Curonian Spit.
At first a barren strip of sand gradually separated the lagoon from the sea. The sand travelled towards the east and was deposited in the lagoon, thus forming the Curonian Spit. It is 97 kilometres long. Neringa is the longest town in Lithuania, 50 kilometres in lenght. At the widest it is 4 km, and in the narrowest place the Baltic sea is separated from the Curonian Bay by only 400 metres.
In 1961, the separate villages Nida, Preila, Pervalka and Juodkrante were joined to form a single administrative unit called the town of Neringa. In 1991, Neringa was declared a national park. This park is a unique patch of land preserved by people and fate in the very centre of Europe. It was destined to remain unique despite variations in political systems, architectural styles, and way of life. That is why here can be found things which have vanished from other parts of Europe. Here you can find certain species of plants and see white seagulls circling in flocks over the lagoon. And sand dunes: as many as 14 villages in the Curonian Spit were buried under the shifting sand in ancient times. Now they occupy 12% of the whole territory and entrance the visitor with their grandeur. Those who see them for the first time are really breathless and feel the urge to run on and on to the top of the dune, and float down afterwards like a bird on outstretched wings. A unique feeling is experienced when you look around in the ravine -- it is an endless sea of wind-rippled sand with fluttering sedge here and there. Nothing else but a Sahara. From the top one gets a different unforgettable view; on one side are the rolling waves of the Baltic sea, on the other the Curonian Lagoon. And between these waters a strip of sand stretches into the distance, with glades, sparse settlements, lighthouses and forests. The forest of the Curonian Spit is peculiar in that it grows on the sandy soil. The territory covered by forests constitutes 72% of the surface of the Curonian Spit and it protects the villages of Neringa from the shifting sand. The architecture of the seaside villages on the Curonian Spit -- Nida, Juodkrante, Preila and Pervalka, will also thrill you. It is an archaic thatch and red tile roof architecture. Nowhere else will you see so many colourfully decorated weather vanes of horses and cocks, proudly spinning in the wind. These weather-cocks are witnesses to the main occupation of the inhabitants of the spit, now as well as centuries ago -- it is always important for a fisherman to know which way the wind is blowing. It is quite natural while walking on the quay in Neringa in the evenings to smell smoked fish or to see fishermen's nets drying. Fishing in the Curonian Spit is not only an occupation, it is a way of life.
On the other hand, the Curonian Spit is not only the land of fishermen, primitive nature and sand dunes. It is a place where you can have a perfect rest. New hotels built in the last decade, or reconstructed old ones, attract more and more holidayers.
About 2700 local people live in Neringa. Their main business is organizing leisure activities for the tourists who come from various parts of the world.
Throughout the year you can find in Neringa any occupation close to your heart. In summer, if you are tired of sun-bathing on the soft white sand on the beach of the Baltic Sea, you can go windsurfing, yachting, biking or boating on the Curonian Bay or simply play volley-ball on the beach.
When the holiday season ends, heated swimming pools, discotheques, cafes and bars make it possible to enjoy yourself throughout the year. You can also visit the Ethnographic Fisherman's House, the Fisherman's Business Exposition, the Thomas Mann Museum, the Witches' Hill with its carved wooden sculptures, the Mizgiris Amber Gallery, an ethnographic cemetery, the grave of the forester G.D. Kuvertas, who is considered to be the rescuer of Neringa, and many more interesting places.
Two tourist information centres are situated in the town of Neringa, where you can always get information. Here you can also make reservations or book rooms in the hotels or private bed-and-breakfast facilities. Various advertising and tourist literature and booklets from various hotels are distributed at these centres.
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