Hike Dzūkija ethnographic region, Lithuania's Forest Trail
LONG DISATNCE HIKING TOUR (SELF-GUIDED)

Hike Dzūkija ethnographic region

  • 15 days / 14 nights
  • ~290 km
  • Dzūkija ethnographic region - River Nemunas - Kaunas

Program

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN VILNIUS OR KAUNAS

Arrival in Vilnius ir Kaunas airport. Optional transfer from the airport. Check in the hotel.

Hiking distance: 0 km

Overnight: hotel in Kaunas or VIlnius

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 2: DZUKIJA REGION, LAZDIJAI – VEISIEJAI

Transfer to Lazdijai and start your journey. The forest trail starts in the Dzūkija ethnographic region. It leads along the Lazdijai to Augustow road, then turns onto a small field – a forest road, which served as a border guard road during the “Iron Curtain”. Walking along it, the places open beautiful and wide landscapes of agricultural lands of the Sudava highlands. After crossing a more open place opposite Kučiūnai village, Forest trail slips into a wooded area again. After about 5.5 km, it turns east, further meanders through a maze of forests and lakes, crosses the Zapsė River and exits on the Lazdijai – Kučiūnai – Veisiejai road. After less than 6 km, the Forest trail turns right to the village of Dainaviškiai. Having settled in the bays of Lake Veisieja, it leads through the park of Veisieja manor to the city center. The section before the town of Veisiejai belongs to the Veisiejai regional park.

Hiking distance: 28 km

Overnight: Guest house in Veisiejai village

Meals included: Breakfast

Meals options: Dinner in Village restaurant or in the guest house (pay on the spot)

DAY 3: DZUKIJA REGION, VEISIEJAI – TRIKOJIS

Leaving the center of Veisiejai town. Crossing a small forest massif near Veisiejai, Forest trail leads along the Veisiejai – Barčiai road. It continues through a beautiful pine forest along Lake Ančia, which is rich in berries and mushrooms. Turning to the east, the Forest trail approaches the village of Barčiai from the south, and further to Lake Trikojis leads through cereal fields. At the bay of Lake Trikojis that is also a part of the. 

Hiking distance: 15 km

Overnight: Guest house at Lake Trikojis

Meals included: Breakfast

Meals options: Dinner in guest house (pre-book)

DAY 4: DZUKIJA REGION, VEISIEJAI, TRIKOJIS – DIDZIASALIS

From Lake Trikojis you continue on the Forest trail. When you reach Bertašiūnai village, the Forest trail moves south and crosses the Leipalingis-Kapčiamiestis road and the village of Viktarinas. Further, it makes a circle to Lake Stirtos and leads through forest roads through a wide forest massif, where in some places you can see more open landscapes and small villages. In summer, blueberries and mushrooms grow abundantly in the forest. The forest trail crosses a culvert connecting the White Bilsas and Juodajis Bilsas lakes, rises to a steep lake shore and turns south. From here you can see the village of Didžiasalis. 

Hiking distance: 19 km

Overnight: Guest house in Didžiasalis

Meals included: Breakfast

Meals options: Dinner in guest house (pre-book)

DAY 5: DZUKIJA REGION, DIDZIASALIS – DRUSKININKAI – ZIOGELIAI

Between the village of Didžiasalis and the resort town of Druskininkai, Forest trail leads through a coniferous forest with abundant berry and mushroom spots. Before the Druskininkai the Forest trail comes out on the Nemunas road, it bypasses the circle of Druskininkai Snow Arena and further along the pedestrian / bicycle path takes you to the Parko Bridge over the Nemunas River. It further meanders through the small streets and paths of the Druskininkai historic resort. The trail continues through a beautiful forest road. This is where Dzūkija National Park begins. The forest trail makes a circle for Viečiūnai village, revealing beautiful landscapes and a view of Liškiava Monastery on the opposite bank of the Nemunas. The trail leads to the village of Žiogeliai.

Hiking distance: 23 km

Overnight: Guest house in Žiogeliai

Meals included: Breakfast

Meals options: Dinner in guest house (pre-book)

DAY 6: DZUKIJA REGION, ZIOGELIAI – MERKINE

Up to the mouth of the Merkys River in the Nemunas, the Forest trail leads along the banks of the Nemunas River valley, which is surrounded by the vast and beautiful Dzūkija forests in the Dainava lowland (Dainavos plain) area. From time to time there are open places in the forest massif where small villages are located. Near Česukai village the Forest trail throws a large circle around the Merkys estuary in the Nemunas River. Here you can see spectacular landscapes over the wide and deep valley of Merkys. After crossing Merkys, the Forest trail stretches along a small country road along the left bank of the river to Merkinė castle mound, from which one of the most beautiful landscapes of Southern Lithuania opens up. The trail reaches the center of the Merkinė town. 

Overnight: Guest house in Merkinė

Hiking distance: 25 km

Meals included: Breakfast

Dinner in Village restaurant or in the guest house (pay on the spot)

DAY 7: DZUKIJA REGION, MERKINE – NEMUNAITIS

In Merkinė village, the Forest trail goes in the direction of the Nemunas River, and to the observation tower. It offers an excellent landscape over the wide river valley and the islands in the Nemunas River. The trail moves close to the steep slopes of the Nemunas Valley, then turns sharply to the north and further along small forest roads to the villages of Netiesos and Druskininkai. After the village of Druskininkai, it crosses the largest open area with beautiful views at this stage. The trail runs along the Nemunas valley, but the river itself is not visible from the trail. In some places along the way there are hills with steep slopes. Near Vangelonys village, the trail comes out again in an open place, crosses forests and reaches the Nemunaitis village in Dzūkija National Park.

Overnight: Forestry school dormitory in Nemunaitis

Hiking distance: 30 km

Meals included: None

Meals options: Bring dinner and breakfast with you

DAY 8: ALONG THE BANKS OF THE RIVER NEMUMNAS, NEMUNAITIS – ALYTUS

From Nemunaitis along Vytauto Street continues north-easterly direction, then turns left to the north and after 3 km reaches the village of Gečialaukis. Then the Forest trail descends along the pedestrian sidewalk in the Nemunas valley. From here, a more than 3 km long, beautiful Nemunas valley trail leads through the forest to a pedestrian bridge across the river. After a significant climb to the highest pedestrian bridge in Lithuania, the view of the vast and mighty landscape of the Nemunas opens up. Behind the bridge, Forest trail runs along the former railway dam, meanders along the small paths of the Alytus resort park and reaches the Old Town (Senamiesčio) square in the city center, on the south side, on the south side of which is the Alytus Tourist Information Center.

Overnight: Guest house in Alytus

Hiking distance: 20 km

Meals included: Breakfast

Meals options: Dinner in Village restaurant or in the guest house (pay on the spot)

DAY 9: ALONG THE BANKS OF THE RIVER NEMUMNAS, ALYTUS – PANEMUNIS

From Alytus, the forest trail crosses the Nemunas River and goes through a forest and after almost 2 km the trail comes out on a small country road. There are extensive and open landscapes of the Dzūkija plateau in this area. Behind the village of Staniava, the trail leads to a beautiful forest road to the Nemunas River and then up a steep slope to the Punia castle mound, which overlooks the river. Today the hiking ends at the village of Panemunis. 

Overnight: Guest house in Panemunis

Hiking distance: 29 km

Meals included: Breakfast

Meals options: Dinner in guest house (pre-book)

DAY 10: ALONG THE BANKS OF THE RIVER NEMUMNAS, PANEMUNIS – BRISTONAS

Following the bends of the Nemunas River, the Forest trail throws more than 20 km long loops in the Nemunas bends regional park, winding through open landscapes and small villages with typical wooden buildings painted in different shades. A larger forest massif is only between the villages of Siponys and Puzonys, through which the Forest trail leads along small forest roads. Later descends to the next circle of the Nemunas (the width of the river in the narrowest place – 1.2 km), where the popular Birštonas resort is located. 

Overnight: Guest house in Birštonas

Hiking distance: 25 km

Meals included: Breakfast

Meals options: Dinner in Village restaurant or in the guest house (pay on the spot)

DAY 11: ALONG THE BANKS OF THE RIVER NEMUMNAS, BRISTONAS – ALKSNIAKIEMIS

From the Birštonas Tourist Information Center, the Forest trail leads along the Nemunas bank promenade. The trail crosses the Žvėrinčiaus forest, then the footpath leads through the Paprienė recreation area, reaching the Greimų bridge over the Nemunas river. Part of this section is part of the Nemunas Circle Regional Park.

Overnight: Guest house in Alksniakiemis

Hiking distance: 19 km

Meals included: Breakfast

Meals options: Dinner in guest house (pre-book)

DAY 12: ALONG THE BANKS OF THE RIVER NEMUMNAS, ALKSNIAKIEMIS – PAKUONIS

From Alksniakiemis the Forest trail winds along a small country road along the left bank of the Nemunas and throws more than 7 km long circle along forest roads and trails through the Kalvių forest massif. From the village of Vanga to Pašventupys, about 3 km long, the trail runs close to the bank of the Nemunas, from where wide landscapes open up. 

Overnight: Guest house in Pakuonis

Hiking distance: 18 km

Meals included: Breakfast

Meals options: Dinner in guest house (pre-book)

DAY 13: KAUNAS DISTRICT, PAKUONIS – VAISVYDAVA

From Pakuonis village the Forest trail continues along Kauno Street in the northwest, in the northern direction reaches Piliuona village and into the forest massif, after about 2.4 km the trail leads to the village of Dubravai, winds along its main street and the village of Vaišvydava, where the visitor center of Kaunas Regional Park is located.

Overnight: Guest house in Vaišvydava

Hiking distance: 21 km

Meals included: Breakfast

Meals options: Dinner in Village restaurant or in the guest house (pay on the spot)

DAY 14: KAUNAS DISTRICT, VAISVYDAVA – KAUNAS

Leaving the center the Vaišvydava village to the Forest trail that makes a larger circle around the suburb of the south-eastern part of Kaunas. At the stadium of Kaunas Technical University Engineering Secondary School. About a third of Kaunas city area is occupied by parks and other nature territories. The trail crosses the city through its greenest parts. The forest trail goes over the Three Girls’ Bridge that crosses the Nemunas River, then leads through the Gričiupis residential area, runs along Kaunas ZOO, crosses the vast Oak Park and leads through Vytauto Park. It descends the park stairs to the beginning of Laisvės Alley and continues to the center of Kaunas. Check in a centrally located hotel in Kaunas.

Overnight: hotel in Kaunas

Hiking distance: 19 km

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 15: DEPARTURE FROM KAUNAS OR VILNIUS

Departure from Vilnius or Kaunas airport. Optional transfer to the airport.

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Season
  • From May to October
Price per person

Starting from Vilnius

2 persons traveling – 795.00 EUR p.p.

3 persons traveling – 795.00 EUR p.p.

4 persons traveling – 755.00 EUR p.p.

5 persons traveling – 755.00 EUR p.p.

6 persons traveling – 705.00 EUR p.p.

 

Starting from Kaunas

2 persons traveling – 760.00 EUR p.p.

3 persons traveling – 760.00 EUR p.p.

4 persons traveling – 710.00 EUR p.p.

5 persons traveling – 710.00 EUR p.p.

6 persons traveling – 690.00 EUR p.p.

Included
  • 2 overnights in Kaunas or Vilnius at 3 star in centrally located hotels with buffet breakfast;
  • 11 overnights in a guest house with breakfast per program;
  • 1 overnight in a Forestry school dormitory without breakfast in Nemunaitis;
  • Transfer to the beginning of the trail in Lazdijai;
  • GPX file of the Forest Trail;
  • The details and contacts of the pre booked accommodations.
Not included
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Water
  • Any hiking gear
Optional
  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel – 55 EUR (1 – 3 persons);
  • Transfer from the hotel to the airport – 55 EUR (1 – 3 persons);
  • 13 x Luggage service to the next accommodation  – 1760 EUR (1 – 6 persons).
What to bring with you
  • Every day at least 2 l water per person as a minimum
  • Snacks and lunch for breaks and picnic
How to dress

Please, dress accordingly to the weather forecast! Due to very changeable weather, layering is key to enjoying the hike, and rain protection is a must-have. Any comfortable shoes or sandals are good enough for this hike.

Level of dificulty

Long distance hike that requires endurance for walking hours and hours at steady pace. On the trail are a few steep climbs. Most of the walking time will be on small footpaths through the woods and countryside roads.

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What travelers say about us

Barry Toward
Barry Toward
2022-09-18
We have just spent 9 days travelling through the Baltic countries with Valdis as our guide. Although the itinerary and accommodation had been pre-arranged Valdis supported our trip brilliantly, bringing to life the individual countries with city walking tours, nature trails and visits to other sites. He is great fun, extremely knowledgable and became an integral part of our small group. His contribution to our holiday played a key part in making it a great and enjoyable experience (and he recommends good places to eat!)
Sam Paliwal
Sam Paliwal
2022-09-02
If you are looking to go to the Baltic's on an active vacation, make sure to check out Baltic Nature Travel as your travel advisor. We recently finished a 10-day self-driving tour of the Baltic's and wanted to have an active trip whilst not missing out on all the cultural highlights of the region. Valdis, the owner of Baltic Nature Travel was very responsive and organized a trip that included kayaking, long distance bicycle riding, hiking in different forests, cooking activities, cultural highlights, hot-air balloon riding, etc-- all in a matter of 10 days and customized the trip to our liking. We were very satisfied with his responsiveness to our needs and his ability to stay ahead and plan various activities appropriately. Just to give you one example of Valdis's ability to think ahead: in one of the hotels, they have very limited parking. On his own initiative, Valdis made a to call to the hotel and reserved a parking spot for us for the one night that we were going to stay at that hotel. It helped out a lot, as we had to leave very early in the morning. There are other numerous examples where he was available to answer questions and help us as necessary, both before and during the trip. He is an excellent guide, calm and collected and his team of guides around the region were quite knowledgeable and fluent. The accommodation for the trip were quite good and and they can be easily adjusted based on your budget. I highly recommend his touring company for your Baltic travel experience and would like to add that as a person he's very likable and easy-going.
Lajos Nagy
Lajos Nagy
2022-07-23
A perfect series of daily hiking tours and town walkarounds. I especially was amused by the jungle-like forests and friendly conversations along the way. Everything was perfectly planned and organized, I definitely recommend, worth thousand-times more than simply visiting cities in a rush.
Tom Demandt
Tom Demandt
2022-05-30
We had an excellent day hike with our guide Valdis. He was very friendly, very service minded and knowledgeable. The hike through Gauja National Park was really beautiful. Heartily recommend for anyone looking for an active day trip outside Riga.
Sergey Zhuravlev
Sergey Zhuravlev
2022-02-28
I enjoyed the hiking tour in the Beberbeķi-Skulte regions of Riga. The route was mainly through the forest, so this is a great opportunity to get away from the city bustle and daily routine and to spend a few hours in nature. The tour guide Valdis is very friendly and he has a lot to tell about the area. I am looking forward to the next tour and recommend joining it.
Sa Si
Sa Si
2022-02-15
I had a wonderful hiking tour trough Kemeri National Park with Baltic Nature Travel. Valdis is a very well informed and nice guide! I would totally recommend a tour with him!
aarpr
aarpr
2022-01-24
Really nice activities and tours by Valdis. Highly recommended. Definetely I will repeat soon.
Eimear Friel
Eimear Friel
2022-01-18
Thoroughly enjoyed my hike with Valdis and Solveiga. It was exactly what I hoped for. Perfect for someone looking to explore more of Latvia but nto sure where to go!
Fiona Koe
Fiona Koe
2022-01-18
Awesome hike, beautiful scenery. Valdis was very friendly and knowledgeable. Will recommend

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