The Curonian Spit
In the westernmost part of the country, on the border with Lithuania, the smallest and most popular national park of Russia is located. The park is a long elongated peninsula, wedged between the freshwater Curonian Lagoon and the salty Baltic Sea. In a comparatively small area, a truly unique animal and plant world is represented.
The unusual name of this land was given by tribes of Curonians, who belonged to the West-Baltic people and settled on the southeast coast of the Baltic. According to archaeological excavations in the 10th century, Vikings lived here, and in the Middle Ages these places became known as a favorite hunting place for Prussian kings. The history of the Curonian spit is directly related to its development by man. Therefore, the landscape of the spit has a special nature-anthropogenic character, and it was with this description that it became part of the UNESCO heritage list.
The Curonian Spit is the largest and longest sandy formation in the world. The length of the spit is 98 km, and its width is measured from 400 m to 3.8 km. Here, the fragile natural nature and landscapes already changed by man are miraculously combined. In order to preserve the unique nature of the Curonian Spit, no harm is done, there are 6 tourist routes laid in the National Park, it is forbidden to leave the trails or install tents outside the equipped parking lots.
The places here are surprisingly different from each other. You can walk among the centuries-old coniferous trees and go out to the water meadows, turn off the path and go to the endless sand dunes. Suddenly, the path can lead to a forest of strange trees, where the trunks twisted in the dance ten years ago, and froze ("dancing forest"). From the height of observation platforms, amazing views of the Baltic Sea.
Here you can feel the original world of a fishing village of the XIX century. Fragments of the postal tract, old fishing houses, lighthouses and piers create an amazing cultural environment. That's why writers and artists came here to experience the indescribable spirit of the spit.