Nida – UNESCO World Heritage Site
The small town of Nida sits at the southern Lithuanian end of a remarkable geological formation known as the Curonian Spit.
The spit starts at the sea gate of Klaipeda and runs for a 100 km south into the Russian region of Kaliningrad. Nida is about 50 km south of Klaipeda and is on the border with Kaliningrad (Russia). The Curonian Spit, (also called Neringa) has been named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site of outstanding natural beauty and is a Lithuanian National Park. Neringa is forested with linden, elm, birch and pine and is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including wild boar, deer and fox.
The Curonian Spit is also a quiet and popular nesting place and an important bird migration route. At Lybio Ragas, just south of Juodkrante, you can see whooper swans, cormorants, white-tailed eagles, red-throated divers, sheldrakes, and herons. Moving on there is a large two-hectare colony of grey herons and cormorants nesting side by side.
The Nagliai nature reserve is known for the “Dead Dunes”. The entire length of the dunes is made up of ravines of the most intricate patterns blown by the wind. The dunes and sand hills are covered by grassy flora. Between 1675 and 1854 the sand blown by the westerly winds buried four villages in the area of Nagliai. The Dead Dunes are closely protected and visitors have to keep to the designated paths.
Neringa offers a peaceful, soul-cleansing alternative to the rush and bustle of normal life and is worth visiting at any time of year. The Curonian lagoon, which runs on the eastern side of the spit, freezes over in winter and is an extraordinary site to behold.