Top 5 Unique Winter Activities in Lithuania

Posted by Tomas Papinigis  |  January 08, 2019

In winter, Lithuania usually rests underneath a white blanket of snow and it is the time of the year perfect to explore the country in a different way. Through unique traditions and signature activities, you will surely fall in love with the snowy landscape of Lithuania. We’ve gathered some of the most interesting activities that will allow you to experience the country to the fullest. Here’s our top 5.

Winter Chariot Race in Sartai

Horse racing near Sartai, a lake in Northeastern Lithuania, has been a tradition since the XIX century. Traditionally, at the beginning of February, a dozen chariot racers used to compete on the frozen surface of Sartai Lake, cheered by thousands of spectators. Nowadays, it’s a spectacular cultural event that attracts tens of thousands of visitors and consists of a race in a special Sartai hippodrome, near the lake, a large traditional crafts fair, and traditional music. Combine that with the fascinating beauty of nature near Sartai, and you will be sure that the race will be something you remember for a long time!


Tours on the Frozen Curonian Lagoon

For a large part of Lithuanian winter, the Curonian Lagoon becomes covered with a thick layer of ice. Ice fishers gather on its surface, and an ice connection between mainland Lithuania and Curonian Spit is established. The frozen surface of the lagoon enables witnessing the beauty of Curonian Spit from a unique perspective. Be sure to travel in a group with an experienced tour guide for maximum safety. The tour of the spectacular coastline can be done on foot, while if you’re looking for something more extreme, the mild wind on the lagoon surface allows riding a special type of sleigh, powered by the wind.


Dog Sleigh Ride in Kernavė

Kernavė, the medieval capital of Lithuania, attracts thousands of tourists because of its spectacular man-made hill valley and traditional craft fairs. However, in winter, it can become a site for one of the most fascinating dog-sleigh rides! You will get acquainted with the history of Alaskan Huskies and other breeds of racing dogs, get to know the dog sleigh gear, and experience a few kilometers ride in a real dog sleigh! Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?


Užgavenės Fair

Užgavenės is a traditional Lithuanian festival celebrated in all cities simultaneously, similar to Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday in Western Europe. It is celebrated 7 weeks before Easter – usually, during February. During Užgavenės, locals dress up in various intimidating clothes, put on scary grotesque masks, looking to intimidate winter, so spring would come faster. The festival features tons of pancakes being consumed and a variety of fun traditional Lithuanian activities. One of them is the most anticipated of them all – the burning of Morė, the effigy of winter. Once Morė is burnt, winter should gradually leave the country, and spring should come to life. If you’re visiting Lithuania in February, Užgavenės day is an absolute must to witness.


Skiing at Liepkalnis

Although Lithuania cannot boast impressive skiing resorts and high-rising mountains, it makes the most of its hills in an impressive way. Liepkalnis, the highest summit of Vilnius, situated just a few minutes’ ride away from the historical city center of the Lithuanian capital, is probably the best example of it. Open during the larger part of winter, Liepkalnis offers convenient skiing activities and facilities that might add some active flavor to your stay in the Lithuanian capital. Be sure to check it out, as the panoramic views are amazing too!


Craving for some winter experience? We are more than excited and waiting for you to visit Lithuania in winter!