Lithuania - magnificent nature of National Parks
Lithuanians has been looking after nature since the dawn of time. Today, 11,5% of Lithuania's territory is protected as areas of an exceptional natural value. There are 5 national parks and 30 so-called regional parks. Among varied Lithuanian parks, visitors can explore: Aukštaitija National Park, Dzūkija National Park, Curonian Spit National Park, Žemaitija National Park and Trakai Historical National Park. The last park is unique due to its cultural heritage.
Trakai Historical National Park covers areas of the medieval capital city of Lithuania and its surroundings. The undulating landscape features numerous lakes, meadows, forests. The most popular lake is the Galve Lake which is the biggest one. This place is shrouded in legends. The impressive red-brick 14th-century castle located on an island reflects in the crystal clear water of the lake. This medieval structure is a national monument of Lithuanians. It was reconstructed precisely and now we can admire defensive fragments, battlements on the walls, walkways for the guards, narrow slits.
Curonian Spit National Park protects moving dunes, four landscape parks and small cultural parks. This area is inscribed into UNESCO World Heritage List due to exceptionally interesting phenomena – ceaseless human efforts to combat the erosion of the Spit caused by the natural forces of wind and waves. Visitors can observe old villages covered up by sand, specific old buildings and ethnic habits.
Aukstaitija National Park is the Lithuania's first national park. The park is covered by a picturesque forests and hilly terrains abounding in lakes. The park contains many cultural monuments such as ethnographic villages.
Protected forested areas of Dzukija National Park are dotted with many cultural monuments as well. Tourists can visit the ancient town of Merkine and the village of Liskiava as well as numerous old villages from the 16th century.
Zemaitija National Park can boast a majestic Lake Plateliai and picturesque landscape. Tourists can traverse the area of the park on foot, by bicycle and car and admire fantastic wildlife as well as historical and ethnical heritage. There is many possibilities to explore the park while sailing or boating and enjoy free time on yachts or during windsurfing. The whole area of the park is a part of the Žemaitijos highlands that includes: hilly stretches of Plateliai and Plokštinė, Barstyčiai ridge, Plateliai scoop. It is a landscape formed by a glacier.