Curonian Spit

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By A.Savin (WikiCommons) - Own work, FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59186184
By A.Savin (WikiCommons) - Own work, FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59186184
The Curonian Spit  is a 98 km long peninsula on the north coast of Samland. It begins in Lesnoi and ends at the Memeler Tief. Since 1945 the northern 52 km belong to Lithuania and the southern 46 km to the Russian Oblast Kaliningrad.

The Curonian Spit is located on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. Consisting mainly of sand, a strip of land stretches for 98 km from the Lithuanian Klaipeda to the Russian Zelenogradsk, forming an unusual landscape of sand dunes.The entire territory of the Curonian Spit has been declared a national park. It is approximately equally divided between Russia and Lithuania, and if natural attractions are equally represented in both halves.

The territory of the Curonian Spit is entirely protected by two national parks. The Lithuanian part represents the Kuršiu Nerija National Park, created in 1991, the Kurchskaïa Kossa National Park, created in 19872, occupying the Russian part. Both parks also include an aquatic area spread over the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea.The area has been a World Heritage Site since 2000.

The Lithuanian part of the spit in particular is a popular travel destination. The center of tourism is the town of Nida, where there are hotels, apartments, campsites and restaurants. The Russian part of the spit is less developed for tourism, not least because of the visa requirement for Russia. Most of the holidaymakers on this side of the spit come from Russia and Belarus.

Access : Coordinates: / Most visitors get into the spit either by a ferry from Klaipėda to Smiltynė, or a bus from Zelenogradsk , The only road on the peninsula along the Neringa Municipality is 167 Smiltyne-Nida.

Highlights :

  • Dancing Forest : The Dancing Forest  is a pine forest located on the shores of the Courland coast in the Kaliningrad region of Russia, remarkable for its unusually twisted trees. Unlike “drunk forests”, the trees in the “dancing forest” are twisted in many ways, in the form of rings, hearts and convoluted spirals bent to the ground.It is a local tourist attraction , part of the national park.
  • The spit is almost entirely wooded. The highest sand dunes in Europe can be found in the Russian section. The Parnidžio dune is separated by the border.
  • There are designated bird observatories in several places. For some areas, especially to protect the dunes and bird breeding grounds, entry is prohibited.
  • There are several villages on the spit , In the Russian part: Lesnoi , Rybatschi  and Morskoje. All Lithuanian villages (except Smiltynė at the northern tip) belong to the Neringa Municipality, a recognized health resort. Alksnynė, Juodkrantė , Pervalka . The last village before the border is Nida , which is also the tourist center. In all villages privately rented rooms or holiday apartments are offered seasonally.
  • Museums : National Park Museum in Morskoye, to which a “Museum of Russian Superstition” is attached. / In Nida, Thomas Mann’s former summer house has been designed as a small museum./ Maritime Museum and Dolphinarium, Klaipėda, Lithuania / Curonian Spit Museum, Nida, Lithuania / Kazimieras Mizgiris Amber Museum-Gallery, Nida, Lithuania / Ethnographic Fishermen’s House in Nida, Lithuania / Herman Blode Museum, Nida, Lithuania / Museum of Russian Myths and Superstitions, between Lesnoy and Rybachy, Russia / Curonian Spit Natural Museum, between Lesnoy and Rybachy, Russia.
  • Points of Interest : The Curonian Spit is known for its fine sandy beaches , Nida sand dunes near the Lithuanian-Russian border., Lithuania , Krikštas burial marker , Observation tower in Nida , Nail Dune Reserve. Exhibition of wooden sculptures on Raganu Hill in Jodkrante.
  • Sand dunes : The largest traveling sand dunes in Europe are located in the Curonian Spit. Their average height is 35 m, although larger dunes reach a height of 60 m.
  • The Curonian Spit is a protected area with the Curonian Spit National Park in the Lithuanian part and the Curonian Spit National Park in the Kaliningrad region.Curonian Spit in 2000 included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Fees and permits : Both countries charge a fee upon entry.

Go next : Neringa Municipality is on the Curonian Spit in western Lithuania. / Zelenogradsk , a seaside resort on the Samland coast , near the Curonian Spit on the Baltic Sea.

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