If you wish to escape from human crowds and city noise to a hideaway in nature’s lap, where peace and quiet soothe your soul – there is no place like Neringa!
Neringa is one of a kind marine resort. When you say Neringa – you mean the Curonian spit; when you say the Curonian spit – you mean Neringa. The administrative unit of Neringa was formed in 1961, when five separate resort villages of Alksnine, Juodkrante, Pervalka, Preila, and Nida have been joined together. As a result of this, Neringa stretched along 50 km of the Curonian spit, thus becoming the longest town in Lithuania.
The Smooth-water Curonian lagoon bounds the resort on the east, whereas on the west saline waters of the Baltic Sea wash its shores. It is a truly remarkable piece of nature. A narrow sandy peninsula created by sea waves and winds more than 5 000 years ago is steeped in evergreen coniferous forests and is renowned for its mild climate.
Neringa is an outstanding vacation retreat, a synonym of sheer tranquillity and relaxation. It is an oasis of placid rest amidst the wash of the waves slapping the beaches and the calls of seagulls, whispering of the wind caught in the tops of pines. Located right in the heart of Europe Neringa is cut off from the rest of Europe. The resort is accessible by bus or ferry only. Nothing will disturb your peace there.
It’s no coincidence this place was fancied by the artistic intelligentsia and renowned personalities, among which were a Nobel Prize winner Thomas Mann, psychotherapist Sigmund Freud, a philosopher and writer Jean Paul Sartre, and the former Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas. Still at present Neringa is quite popular with foreign tourists, who make up more than half of all holiday makers in Neringa in summer season.
Resort authorities carefully work on Neringa development, observing a delicate balance between popularity of the resort and keeping its tranquillity and seclusion. In 1991, the Curonian Spit National Park was founded here. In 2000, the Curonian Spit was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, which is equivalent to a mark of quality – it makes easier attracting investments for preserving the spit. In 2005, Neringa received EU PHARE support, which was used for extension of wireless internet access network. Neringa offers a wide choice of water activities – kitesurfing, windsurfing, and fishing. In Nida there is a boat quay and a yacht club.
3 800 (2011)
According to 2008 data, the town economy is primarily based on trade – 58% and accommodation and catering service sector – 13% (Lithuanian Department of Statistics).
The resort has an array of hotels and cafés, 31% of which operates the year round.
Neringa is much sought after by foreign tourists. Their share steadily grows – from 47% in 2004 to 54% in 2009.
Completed / Future Construction Developments
All buildings must meet requirements of the International Convention Concerning Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972). The Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO oversees fulfilment of those requirements.
Arriving in Neringa
Neringa is accessible from 2 towns only – Kaliningrad and Klaipeda.
From Russia: 2 intercity buses (Kaliningrad-Smiltyne) several times a day run.
From Lithuania: 2 ferry terminals – the Old and the New one (Klaipeda-Smiltyne). The New Ferry Terminal is used for transporting all kinds of vehicles, including cars. http://www.keltas.lt/rus/Raspisaniya?colum=1
In summer, there are 2 additional routes Nida-Klaipeda-Vilnius and Nida-Klaipeda-Kaunas.
There is a local bus route (Nida-Smiltyne).
In summer, an international minibus route runs in Nida connecting bus station and the beach.
There is a bicycle track from Nida to Smiltyne.
Also, every resort village has its local bicycle paths.
Ethnic Composition, Spoken Languages
Until 1945 Neringa residents spoke a distinct Curonian dialect.
Currently, majority of population is Lithuanian. And most of them speak Russian well.
Neringa beaches 25-70 m wide are among the best on the Baltic sea coast. They stretch along the entire Curonian spit.
For several years in a row central beaches of Nida and Juodkrante were awarded Blue Flag status for excellence and cleanliness (international certification based on 32 stringent criteria).
The Curonian Spit National Park (www.nerija.lt/en).
Forests (primarily, pine forests) cover 70% of the Curonian Spit.
Migratory paths of more than 150 birds species pass through the spit.
Curonian flora numbers 600 species, whereas fauna – over 290 species.
Elk, roe deer, wild boar, fox among others are found on the spit.
Nida – Lutheran church, observation site at Parnidis dune.
Juodkrante – exhibition hall.
Nida – Thomas Mann Museum, Neringa History Museum, fisherman’s ethnographic homestead, ethnographic cemetery, sun clock – calendar (52 m tall), Urbas hill lighthouse.
Juodkrante – the Hill of Witches (around 90 wooden sculptures of various evil spirits), Stone Sculptures Park at the Quay, observation site by the rookeries of gannets and herons (on the way from Juodkrante to Nida), Nagliai Nature Reserve (with stray sands and four villages buried by sand).
Town Holidays / Annual Events
Neringa Summer Season Opening (May).
Festivals of chamber music, jazz, and folklore (June).
Festival of crafts, opera and symphonic music, choral and vocal music, Lithuanian Film Festival (August).
Neringa Resort Festival (November).
Smelt ice fishing (winter).
History and Important Dates
Mid-13th century – the Curonian spit was allotted to the domain of the Teutonic knight Order. Several watch fortresses and a small brick factory were built.
16 century – the spit became part of the Prussian principality.
15-17 centuries – the Curonian tribe inhabited the spit.
19 century – Nida became the favourite vacation spot for the artistic intelligentsia.
1923 – northern part of the Curonian spit conceded to Lithuania (52 km).
1939-1945 – the entire Spit belonged to Nazi Germany.
1945 – northern part of the Curonian spit retroceded to Lithuania (52 km).
1961 – 5 resort villages joined together to form Neringa.
1991 – the Curonian Spit National Park was founded.
2000 – the Curonian Spit added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.