Tour distances: cycling ~364 km /228 mi., by train ~40 km/25 mi., by boat ~14 km/9 mi.
Cycling grade: We rate this trip as moderate level. Daily biking routes mainly on low traffic roads, but there are a few stretches on main roads with more car traffic, and cycle paths range from 30 to 68 km (19-42 miles) each day. The terrain is varied and rolling with some gradual hills on some riding days around Vilnius and on the Curonian Spit. In general, Lithuania is a flat country with the highest hill up to 300 meters which is not on this route.
Arrival & departure information: Arrive in Vilnius or Kaunas (100 km from Vilnius) and depart from Klaipėda (by ferry) or Palanga (plane) or take a train back to Vilnius or Kaunas and fly out from there.
Ferry terminal in Klaipėda: KLAIPĖDA (DFDS ferries from Kiel, Germany & Karlshamn, Sweden; TT-Line ferries from Travemunde/Rostock, Germany & Trelleborg, Sweden)
For more information about flights, see airport websites:
9 days self-guided cycling tour from Vilnius to Klaipėda (Code SG2)
Cycling from Vilnius through changing countryside & towns, this route takes cyclists through a little-known, fascinating corner of Europe. The tour begins in the capital, Vilnius, known as the 'Jerusalem' of the North because of its Jewish culture. The cycle route first leads to Trakai & its 14thC island castle before heading towards Kaunas, a former Lithuanian capital. Follow the Nemunas River from Kaunas to the coast, cross the unique Curonian lagoon by boat to the beautiful resort, Nida. Cycle along the spit to explore its treasures before taking a ferry back across the lagoon to the historic coastal town of Klaipeda (known as Memel for many years) which boasts a rich, turbulent history from 13thC. Nowadays, it's a bustling, modern town with a wide range of cafes & restaurants & many annual festivals, e.g. jazz, folklore.
Day 1: Arrive in VILNIUS
Arrival in Vilnius. Individual transfer to your hotel (not included). Overnight at 3* hotel in VILNIUS
Day 2: VILNIUS - TRAKAI, ~32 km/20 mi.
Collect rental cycles at your hotel (if pre-ordered). Morning free to explore Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania for more than 600 years. In the afternoon cycling to Trakai, a former capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, to visit the 14thC island castle on a small island in Lake Galvė. Overnight at 3* hotel in TRAKAI
Day 3: TRAKAI - ŽĄSLIAI - KAUNAS, ~46 km/29 mi.
Cycling on a picturesque, rolling road through the land of lakes and hills, pass Elektrėnai where the most powerful thermal power station in Lithuania is located. Finish cycling in Žąsliai, where you'll take a train (not included) for a half-hour ride to Kaunas, the second largest city and former Lithuanian capital from 1919-1939. Overnight at 4* hotel in KAUNAS
Day 4: KAUNAS - VILKIJA - PANEMUNĖ Castle, ~75 km/47 mi.
Morning free to explore the Old Town of Kaunas, then cycling along the Nemunas River to Mikytai, where you'll take a ferry across the river to Vilkija. Continue cycling along the river to impressive Panemunė Castle (16th-17thC). En route cross the Dubysa River, pass Veliuona mound hill, the grave of the Grand Duke Gediminas and Raudonė Castle. Overnight in Panemunė Castle (4* hotel).
Day 5: PANEMUNĖ Castle - JURBARKAS - TAURAGĖ, ~60 km/38 mi.
Continue cycling along the Nemunas River to Jurbarkas. From Jurbarkas cycle towards Smalininkai, for a long time a border town between Lithuania and the germanised Klaipeda Region. From there you'll leave the Nemunas River for a while and cycle through the woods towards Tauragė, passing the Viešvilė Nature Reserve. Overnight at 3* hotel in TAURAGĖ.
Day 6: TAURAGĖ - ŠILUTĖ, ~60 km/38 mi.
Cycling on local, country roads to Šilutė, a town named after “Šilokarčema" (a pub in the pine forest). This region is known as a land of storks and the White Stork truly deserves its place as Lithuanian's national bird. Overnight at 3* hotel in ŠILUTĖ.
Day 7: ŠILUTĖ - VENTĖ - NIDA, ~33 km/21 mi. or 48 km/30 mi.
Morning cycle to Ventė Horn to visit the 19thC lighthouse and the Ornithological Station that retell their stories and have a panoramic view of the landscape including a glimpse of the Curonian Spit shining sand dunes washed by the Baltic Sea on one side and the Curonian Lagoon on the other. Cross the Curonian Lagoon by boat to Nida, former fishmen's village now the largest town on the Curonian Spit and one of the most beautiful resorts in Lithuania. Overnight at 3* hotel in NIDA.
Day 8: NIDA to KLAIPĖDA along sand dunes of the Curonian Spit, ~ 58 km/36 mi.
Explore Nida where you can cycle alongside impressive sand dunes and visit the most popular places of interest – the Fisherman's House, the summer house of famous German writer Thomas Mann, and the Amber Gallery. Afterwards cycle on an asphalt bike path through woods along the Curonian Spit to Klaipėda. En route you may stop for a walk on a wooden path to the Dead Dunes where you'll be rewarded with a panoramic view of the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea, watch a colony of grey herons and cormorants, and explore the Hill of Witches, which has a hundred fanciful and folksy wooden sculptures scattered along a forest path in Juodkrantė village. Arrive in Klaipėda to take a ferry to the Old Town. Overnight at 3* hotel in KLAIPĖDA.
Day 9: Depart KLAIPĖDA
Enjoy a final stroll through this fascinating town before we transfer you to Palanga airport or international ferry terminal or bus/train station for your departure (offered as optional extras). You may also stay extra nights (offered as optional extras) and enjoy Klaipėda longer.
2020 TOUR DATES
SG2. 01.05 – 30.09.2020 (Daily)
TOUR PRICE per person*
* Hotels in Vilnius, Trakai and Klaipeda could be upgraded to 4* category for extra 60 EUR/person in DBL/TWIN room, 75 / 85 EUR in SGL room (Low&Middle Season / High season)
3-4* hotels with central location
Rooms with ensuite facilities (shower/WC or bath/WC)
THE TOUR PRICE EXCLUDES:
* included extra equipment and services:
- a waterproof handlebar bag with map/smartphone holder (Ortlieb)
- repair set with spare inner tubes (one repair set per booking)
- tachometer (one per booking)
- delivery of bikes to the hotel in Vilnius/collection from the hotel in Klaipėda