If you lake a ferry from the city of Klaipeda to Smiltyne, you'll find yourself at the Curonian Spit - a narrow, 97-kilometer-long peninsula, which separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. At its widest, the Curonian Spit is 4 kilometers wide, at its narrowest - only 400 meters. The northern half of the peninsula (52-km-long) belongs to Lithuania; this is where the city of Neringa is located. The southern tip of Neringa City borders with the Kaliningrad area of the Russian Federation.
Neringa city is composed of four Curonian Spit's settlements: Nida, Preila, Pervalka and Juodkrante. In 1961 these settlements were joined into one administrative unit, with Nida as a center. Neringa City belongs to the Curonian Spit National Park, which was established in 1991.
The Curonian Spit is a unique and amazingly gorgeous plot of land. Its beauty, created by the Mother Nature throughout many ages, was carefully nurtured by man. Distinctive Curonian Spit's landscape is composed characteristic sand dunes and prevailing forest, which covers over 70 percent of the peninsula. The forest consists mainly of pines and hill-pines, most of which are man planted. Elks, roe, boars, foxes, and hares may be seen here. 900 plant species are found at the Curonian Spit, 27 of which belong to the Lithuania's Red Book. The natural beauty of the peninsula draws many visitors from the entire world. The old man-made buildings found at the Curonian Spit are also noteworthy. Their unique architecture reflects the inner world of the peninsula's inhabitants, which were largely isolated from the continental Europein the past. Reed- and red-tile roofs prevail in the settlements. The elaborately patterned weathercocks and the little spinning horses are found only here and reflect the main occupation of the local residents - fishing.
The expositions at the Neringa Historical Museum - such as the “Fisherman's Ethnographic Farm-stead” and the “Curonian Spit Inhabitants' Occupations”, - will familiarize you with the history of this peninsula; while the Curonian Spit National Park Museum will be instructive to those interested in the peninsula's natural history.
Amber, or the Baltic Gold, is the inseparable part of Neringa's image. At the Nida-based Virginija and Kazimieras Mizgiriai Amber Gallery - Museum you will learn many interesting facts about the Baltic Amber - the way it has formed, where it is found, how it is processed and transformed into a wonderful jewelry.
Artists have long been fascinated by the nature and tranquility of the Curonian Spit. Thomas Mann, the world-famous writer and the Nobel-Prize winner, has spent three summers in Nida. The Thomas Mann Memorial Museum and Cultural Center, established in the writer's former summerhouse, has become an international cultural center and meeting-place. On the other hand, H. Blode's Hotel (presently called “Nidos smilte”) has been home for a colony of German expressionist painters at the end of the XIX century.
Neringa, however, is not just a place of inspiring nature, sand dunes and fishermen; it is also one of the best and most-popular Lithuanian resorts. Well-equipped hotels and holiday centers are always ready to welcome guests and to arrange entertainment and recreational activities. Open-air and indoor swimming pools, saunas, Turkish-baths, and health cIubs with a variety of exercise equipment are available. There are also facilities for tennis, basketball, mini-golf, and skittles. Guests are invited to experience the power of healing and relaxing massages. Excursions, walking, and bicycling tours are organized along the path from Nida to Pervalka. It is worthwhile to try windsurfing, yachting, cutters, and - especially - sailing with the Curonian fishing boats, or “kurenai”, built according to the authentic drawings.
Cultural and sport events are often organized in Neringa. This is also true of numerous art exhibitions and various conferences, many of which have already formed their own traditions.
Following a visit to Neringa, one's body and soul grows stronger, while one's heart becomes filled with love to mother nature and the fellow man.
Neringa City Administration. Information for tourists.
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