Dzūkija National Park

The largest preserved territory in Lithuania is the Dzūkija National Park. It occupies more than 58 thousand hectares and involves 4 municipalities in South of Lithuania. If you imagine the park as a boring pine wood full of mushrooms and berries where a few poor ecologic settlements are located then you are wrong. The Dzūkija National Park is an entire complex of tourism entertainments that allows visitors to enjoy many activities without spoiling nature.

Nature

The territory is unique in its seif dunes. These sandy areas were formed by Nemunas and Merkys rivers. The most impressive are the landscapes of solids of Marcinkonys, Lynežeris, Grybaulia and Šunupis dunes. In addition, pretty particular are valleys of rivers here. While flowing through different landscapes they somehow unite them into a whole. Rocky banks, thick sand terraces, picturesque relief formed by slashing river flows create a fantastic ensemble of ground and water. This continent also distinguishes in an amplitude of temperature swing. Large sandy territories influence a mixture of cold and hot air that results in local pours or even storms. In addition, frosts here are the earliest and the latest in all Lithuania.

In total there are 28 reserves, 3 sanctuaries and even 48 objects of Lithuanian Nature heritage, 18 of which are declared to be national monuments of nature. Although at first glance an environment looks here pretty simple, there are many nature secrets kept around. 249 species of animals and birds live there that are included into the Red book of vanishing species. So accurate visitors can see here many rare species living in Dzūkija National Park territory. Amazing variety of flora here is also astonishing. Forests of Dzūkija National Park are the richest in mushrooms in Lithuania. The largest populations of esculent mushrooms there are boletus and chanterelles. Especially rare lichens and inedible mushrooms grow in old fir forests. No doubt that there is much to see for everyone who is not indifferent for inimitable natural resources.

Activities

Dzūkija National Park is open for visitors who want to have great time in unpolluted natural surroundings. Bicycle rent is here available for tourists` convenience. In addition, renting canoes or floats can be also an alternative transportation for exploration of the park. Special tours of different lengths and terms are prepared for both – bicyclers and watermen that guarantee great time, impressive surroundings and full plunge into nature. In local villages located in the territory of Dzūkija National Park there are also special craftsmen studios where anyone willing can learn tradition crafts of the region like weave, making waxworks. Of course, picking mushrooms and berries, fishing and hunting here are also available. No special permits should be given for picking forest goodies while fishing and hunting are under control of Guard of Environment. Special tickets are required for fishing. Hunting is available only under agreement of local authorities and can be arranged only on a special schedule.

Museums

The largest one is the Museum of Ethnography of Dzūkija National Park. Located in the biggest Lithuanian village Marcinkonys, the museum tells its` visitors about ethnography of Dzukija region. It is an old stackyard built in 1905 where exhibition of folk articles is exposed. Of course, learning local old crafts and listening to authentic local songs and legends are here also available. Another museum is established in honor of famous Lithuanian writer and national activits Vincas Krėvė-Mickevičius. The museum is established in the same building where family of the writer lived in the end of 19th – beginning of 20th centuries. One more museum here available is the Museum of Merkinė region.  It is a very miscellaneous museum as findings from stone age, relicts of prewar Jewish life, jackstraws and other exhibits unattached to each other are exposed there. Finally, a museum for fighters for Lithuanian freedom is located in Merkinė village. Authentic photos, relicts and documents (about 1500 exhibits)tell about fights of Lithuanian partisans.

Dzūkija National Park is full of interesting places to visit and activities to have. Every day spent here would be really valuable. Local infrastructure of accommodation and transportation created appreciable environment for tourists as comfort, pleasure and busyness are here really affordable and easy found.