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 because of outstanding natural beauty. It is also a Lithuanian National Park. Neringa is forested with linden, elm, birch and pine. It is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including wild boar, deer and fox.
The Curonian Spit is also a popular nesting place and an important bird migration route. For example, at Lybio Ragas, just south of Juodkrante, you can see whooper swans, white-tailed eagles, red-throated divers, and sheldrakes. 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, therefore visitors have to keep the designated paths.
Neringa offers a peaceful, soul-cleansing alternative to the rush and bustle of normal life. It 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.
Things to do in Nida
His summer house, which overlooks the lagoon, is now a museum. Many of the rooms have been given over to exhibits charting the man’s fascinating life both here and abroad. A tour of the museum with an expert offers a fascinating way to spend an hour or so whilst in Nida.
Inside are a relatively new organ, some fine stained glass and a lot of iconography relating to the local fishing industry. Of most interest however are the graves in the attached ethnographic cemetery. Known in the local parlance plural as krikštai (christenings). These peculiar graves feature markers at the foot of the graves rather than the usual headstone arrangement. Using masculine-named wood for deceased males and vice-versa and carved with horses’ heads, plants and birds. The footstones, for want of a better word, are placed thus to help the deceased rise up on Judgement Day.