Žemaitija National Park

Žematija National Park is located in the North western Lithuania. It is a gorgeous nature recess occupying an area of almost 22 thousand hectares . It is recommended for people who are interested in natural environment, unique regional traditions and various activities like cycling, kayaking, diving, fishing, bird watching…  This region is famous for its lakes, traditional fests and water activities so do not miss a chance to get acquainted to it closer.

The park was established in 1991 in order to preserve historically and culturally valuable areas of Žemaitija region. In addition, one of the main goals of establishment of this park was to preserve lakes and unique nature in Plateliai area as well as to organize researches of natural environment, ethnographical heritage and to collect and save important information.

Nature

The relief of the park was formed by glaciers, that’s why so many lakelets of sinkhole strain there formed. An intensity of rainfall here is pretty high, also here mostly coniferous woods grow. Because of that there is an acidic soil what leads to complicated planting. On the other hand, that helped to form plenty of hills, lakes, swamps and winding runnels. Forests occupy more than 45% of the total area of Žemaitija National Park. Especially valuable are hydrographic complexes of Plateliai lake, Laumalenka and Šilinė,valleys of rivers Babrungas, Mergupys, ecosystems of Paplatelė, Šeirė, Pailgys forest, Juodupys fields. In the park there are 189 bird species registered, 48 of which are included into the Red book. There also live such rare mammals like lynxes, ermines, otters. Waters are also rich in fauna: there live 26 different species of fishes, what is more, most of the lakes and rivers can be proud of crayfishes breeding there. Žemaitija National Park owns extremely rich grasslands. Vegetation growing in these territories surprises even scientists. More than a thousand species of herbages, flowers and mosses can be found there while taking a walk in fields of Žemaitija National Park.

Culture

As one famous Lithuanian naturalist professor Česlovas Kudaba said – when you come here, you feel like in a legend. 11 mounds, remains of ancient settlements that are being explored till nowadays, still habitable granges and villages including number of examples of the so called little architecture (statues, chapels, crosses…) – this is the heritage worth to be visited and preserved. In addition, an immaterial heritage exists there too. It is the beautiful landscape, traditions, skills and knowledge that are archetypal features of this region. What is more, the park also includes a unique military heritage object. That is the former base of nuclear rockets. Tourists led by park officers can have an excursion to an underground Nuclear Missile Launch site. In Žemaitija National Park there are also some annual events held that every year attract thousands of people from all Lithuania. The Great Žemaičių Kalvarija festival is a festival of Catholics and pilgrims. It usually starts in the beginning of July and lasts for 2 weeks. Another popular festivals there are Mardi Grass, St. Johns` Day, swimming marathon and regatta in Plateliai lake.

Yet people do have some unpolluted sights where spirit of refreshing past still exists. Combining present mobility with the wealth remained for us by ancestry and created by Mother Nature one can design perfect relaxing holiday in Lithuanian village. That is kind of exotic which is really easy reachable.