Palanga is Lithuania’s main beach resort and, thanks to Giedre, I was lucky enough to visit in June 2006. In the short summer months, Lithuanians flock to Palanga to enjoy the long white beaches, tree-lined avenues and some pretty bad Russian cabaret artistes.
This is the main street in Palanga early in the morning. From mid morning until well past midnight, the street is packed with people going to the many cafés, restaurants and amusements on either side of the street. Palanga is, apparently, the place where Lithuanian gangsters bring their molls.
Awful colour but a nice hotel. Actually owned by the Lithuanian military, the hotel was about 400m from the beach.
Talking of which... At ten in the morning the beach was not too crowded but by lunchtime it was becoming difficult to claim your 30 square centimetres. The beach itself was pretty clean but the water was er....not.
There is an amazing disparity between the beauty of Lithuanian women and men.
On a more serious note; the dunes behind the beach are fragile and work was being carried out to stabilise the dunes from erosion.
In addition to long white beaches, Palanga has a large park and there are cyclepaths all around. Very pleasant.
And in the middle of the park in Palanga, a chateau built in 1897 for Count Feliksas Tiskevicius and his gorgeous wife. Inside the museum there is an interesting exhibition of amber.
Talking of which, here is one of the largest pieces of amber ever found. It was stolen a few years ago and the thief tried to get a ransom paid. Apparently, he failed, and the lump of amber is now back on display.
Cycling is generally not a popular activity in Lithuania though in Palanga pedal power seems to be all the rage. Lots of people hire pedal-powered buggies and cruise peacefully through the town. What a pleasant change.
Count Feliksas Tiskevicius, the one with the chateau, also built a hunting lodge about a kilometre from the chateau. It burnt down a few years ago but has been rebuilt and is now an expensive, but good, restaurant.
28km South of Palanga is Klaipeda, a commercial port that is currently undergoing major renovations in the old town area. The work that has been completed, such as this little street, looks great.
Klaipeda, at least parts of it, has managed to keep its character and a stroll around the carless old town is very pleasant - and will be even better when the renovations have finished.
Another part of Klaipeda's heritage. This sailing ship has been turned into a restaurant.
In keeping with the Helsinki Protocol on Holiday Photographs, here is the obligatory sunset picture.
Want to see more of Lithuania?
Kayaking in Lithuania Lithuanian food Jeremy’s work in Lithuania
Gruta Park Palanga and Klaipeda English Lithuanian Joke Book
For more information on the amber museum (in French) click here
For information on the ferry to the Curonian spit, click here