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.

Reserve this trip
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

EXCELLENT
36 reviews on
Annette Ihrman
Annette Ihrman
2024-06-16
The tour was very versatile and a good addition to our trip to Riga. We can recommend it!
K G
K G
2024-04-06
I joined Valdis for Gauja national park tour and experience breathtaking views, beautiful cave, Plus the experience to see the inside of luge and skeleton track. It’s an unforgettable experience to see something outside the Riga! Highly recommended!!!
Carmen Daams
Carmen Daams
2023-09-22
I took the Kuldiga trip with Valdis. The experience was amazing. The entire day was great. He is a great guide, and knows a lot of interesting information. He would definitely make your whole experience even better. Kuldiga is such a captivating city, very unique with a very special style and soul. If you are visiting Latvia, don't hesitate to take this trip, it is a "must".
Stanley Wallerstein
Stanley Wallerstein
2023-08-29
Great Tour and great guide. Baltic Nature Travel is excellent.
Maria M Andrade
Maria M Andrade
2023-08-28
Valdis organized an absolutely wonderful 10 day trip to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania trip for my sister, a friend, and myself. He arranged all details including our private chofer and tour guide up the last detail. He went far and beyond when he knew I had an accident in Estonia. We met him Latvia and he make us feel welcome. He recommended the most amazing restaurants for us and he took care of my doctor needs where he was the interpreter. In every country we had the best guys one can possibly ask for. All hotels were walking distance from city centre. Thank you Valdis we will always remembered this trip!!!!
Sarah Daniels
Sarah Daniels
2023-08-21
Thank you, Valdis, for helping my family have a wonderful two week trip to the Baltics! Your advice and recommendations were very helpful, and our tour guides in 4 different cities were each outstanding! I highly recommend a vacation in the beautiful and fascinating Baltics, and I highly recommend using Valdis to help you plan it.
Rita Derencius
Rita Derencius
2023-08-09
Tours and tour guides, Tomas and Mindaugas, exceeded my expectations. We were able to curate our tour of Lithuania. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and adapted the tour based on our input. Valdis was responsive and easy to work with. Extremely happy we chose to have private tour guides. Best trip ever!
Deniz Demirors
Deniz Demirors
2023-08-08
Valdis did amazing job to organize us a 15 day, 14 night self drive adventure trip to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Thanks to his valuable advise before and immaculate documentation with names of the locations, guides etc we had a magical experience. We hiked, biked, walked, beached and off course drive all over in all 3 beautiful countries. We felt very safe. Everyone we met were very friendly. The car was delivered to our first hotel in Tallinn and picked up from last hotel in Vilnius. They were professional and kind people. We encountered few minor issues but Valdis resolved very promptly so our program was not impacted. We met him in Riga as he was our guide. Thanks to Valdis & his team of guides we had an unforgettable time and experience. Valdis is very gently, kind, hears his clients wishes and makes adjustments in his existing programs. Job well done Valdis. Thank you very much.
Catherine Herway
Catherine Herway
2023-06-24
These are the only places on earth where eastern and western architecture can now meet in harmony. The architecture tells a social history translated into excellent English on this tour! The hotels were clean, comfortable, and safe. The food was outstanding as well, I only wish I had more time!
Artur Iwański
Artur Iwański
2023-05-03
A very good and interesting guide. Customized trips - which is very useful. If you want to get to know Latvia (which is worth it!) there is no one better. Highly recommended.

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