VilNews

THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

22 May 2017
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Section 6: TRAVEL LITHUANIA!

Trakai Castle is an island castle located in Trakai, Lithuania, on an island in Lake Galvė, 30 km from Vilnius.
The construction of the stone castle was started in the 14th century by Grand Duke Kęstutis, and around
1409 major works were completed by his son Vytautas the Great, who died in this castle in 1430.
Trakai was one of the main centres of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Praise for Lithuanian railways

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Despite dire warnings from local Lithuanians and diaspora visitors, I courageously decided to travel from Vilnius to Warsaw and back on Lithuanian Railways, this Easter.

It was a great experience. Firstly, Vilnius railway station is very pleasant. The information and booking staff were extremely friendly and efficient. The booking agency staff in particular were very nicely uniformed and charming. I was booked in 2nd Class from Vilnius to Sestokai. The train left right on time, and whilst the train itself was not new, it was very clean and well maintained. The crew on board were friendly , very well dressed, and informative. The seats were comfortable. The journey allowed me to see the awakening spring of the Lithuanian countryside. Farms, farm animals, farmers ploughing fields a picture unseen by airline passengers. In the forests, the deep green of fir and pine trees were pleasing to the eye. I was so lucky to see a few deer, and amazingly a fox. Many of the farms were blessed with stork nests, and storks.
On arrival at Sestokai, we were transfered to Polish Railways service to Warsaw. Polish Railways was also good.

The return from Sestokai to Vilnius, was as pleasant as the forward journey. I would like to thank Lithuanian Railways for a safe and memorable journey.

As we all know, great service, efficiency and friendliness starts from the top. Therefore Congratulations to Mr. Stasys Dailydka, the Director General of Lithuanian Railways and his team for presenting such a fine product to the travelling public, especially foreign tourists.

Balys Stankunavicius
Vilnius – Melbourne

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Category : Travel Lithuania!

Birutė Hill in Palanga

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 A place of Lithuanian history, legend, mythology culture and worship


In as late as 1965 a sculpture called “For you Berutė” was set on the base of the hill. What gets your attention about the sculpture is not only that it was set here more than 550 years after her death but the name of the stature also is intriguing. The inscription on the sculpture reads in Lithuanian “Tau Birutė”. The word “tau” in Lithuania translates to “for you” but the Lithuanian language contains formal and informal nouns. “Tau” is informal. To say “for you” in the formal, you would say “jums”. What is quite striking and sheds light on how people nowadays feel about Bitutė is that by using the word „tau“ they are addressing her as a close friend. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Palanga_Birutes_kalnas.jpg

When in Lithuania, it would be highly recommended that you visit the beautiful sea side resort area of Palanga. Any time of year it is a pleasure to walk to sandy beaches with the waves of the Baltic Sea gently splashing onto the shore on one side and pristine pine forests on the other. While you are there, you should also get some smoked fish offered by many of the vendors. They offer many varieties and the taste is simply out of this world. Aside from the maritime treasures Palanga has to offer you should also take some time to visit the Palanga Botanical Garden and Park. The park features a rose garden, greenhouse, rotunda, a sculpture of Eglė, the Queen of Serpents, a Holocaust memorial, ponds, and gazebos; during the summer it hosts concerts and festivals. While in the warmer months the Park and Garden offer a multitude of blossoming flowers, a visit during the dead of winter will still reward you with the peaceful grandeur this area has to offer.

In addition to the beauty of nature the Park has two other places of interest. One is the Amber Museum. This is definitely worth a look inside. It is positively fascinating to learn of all the different types and variations of amber (gintras in Lithuanian). As you leave the museum, take the path on the right side of the building. It will lead you to a place that is a combination of Lithuanian history, legend, mythology, culture and worship. It is called “Birutė Hill”.

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Category : Travel Lithuania!

Recovery for Baltic tourism sector

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Carnival in Vilnius.
Photo: Lithuanian State Department of Tourism

- It was something of a recovery period for the Baltic tourism industry in 2010, following a challenging 2009. In all three Baltic countries tourist arrival numbers fell in 2009. Latvia welcomed the most tourists (4.72mn), with Lithuania and Estonia both attracting just over 4mn. Latvia's position as the cheapest tourist destination of the three Baltic countries helped it maintain tourist numbers slightly better than its neighbours during the period of global economic uncertainty in 2009. The decision by the Latvian parliament in May 2010 to reduce the VAT rate on hotel accommodation from 21% to 10% further underlines the country's attractiveness compared to its Baltic peers.

Looking at trends in 2010, all three countries reported higher hotel occupancy rates over the summer months, which bodes well for full-year tourist arrivals figures. We estimate growth in tourist arrivals of 3% for Estonia, 5% for Latvia and 2.5% for Lithuania in 2010. Looking ahead, we are positive about the outlook for all three countries, with a slight preference for Latvia's potential growth in the next five years. Estonia remains the largest tourism market in terms of tourist revenues, generating US$1.42bn in 2009. Lithuania was second with US$870mn, with Latvia in third on US$674mn.

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Category : Travel Lithuania!

Druskininkai makes you feel special!

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For more than 150 years, The Druskininkai SPA Centre in South-East Lithuania has been the ‘place to go’ for healthy, invigorating massages and beauty treatments. Using only pure, natural ingredients such as mud, mineral water and honey, the Druskininkai offers a comprehensive range of treatments, all of which are guaranteed to make your body and you feel fantastic and revitalised. The centre also boasts an impressive range of bath types, from swimming pools, steam baths, mud baths and saunas to mineral water pools and vapour baths; there’s certainly no shortage of choice. You don’t have to be famous to enjoy special treatment; the Druskininkai makes all its guests feel special.

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Category : Travel Lithuania!

For ladies only

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FIRST THE EUROPEAN WOMEN:
A big group of managers, all women, from Germany, Austria, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland are arriving for a seven day visit to Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn at the end of May. The tailor-made ‘Learning Baltic Tour’ encompasses a traditional tourism sightseeing programme, showing the female mangers some of the most beautiful European capital cities and landscapes. There will also be focus on Baltic culture, and the group will also meet local female managers to share experiences, and of course, to relax and have fun. The tour will provide excellent opportunities for networking and informal dinners, during which many topics concerning women of all countries.

THEN THE AMERICANS:
There is no better time to experience northern Europe’s “best kept secret” than mid-summer. The weather is ideal, with generally perfect temperatures for enjoying the many outdoor musical and cultural activities that are celebrated all season long. Though having much in common, these three countries are distinguished by different language, history, ethnic origin, and cuisine. The capital cities of Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn, each with a unique character of cultural richness and beauty, have earned all three the designation as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites. Experiencing the rich heritage of this region will be the highlight of the tour for the US ladies. The tour will include several interesting gatherings with local women who have an inspiring story to share. Such opportunities never fail to add a unique dimension to the travel experience, and profoundly enhance our cultural appreciation for one another.…

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Category : Travel Lithuania!

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VilNews section TRAVEL LITHUANIA!

This is our ultimate tourism guide that supports promotion of Lithuania and all that this country has to offer. Articles on a variety of topics, information about hotels, airlines, resorts, historic sites, events, museums, attractions and much more can be easily found here!
The main activities of the TRAVEL LITHUANIA Tourism section are the following:
Spreading knowledge about tourism services and destinations in Lithuania.
Informing about tourism investment opportunities Lithuania.
Fostering tourism relations with other countries.
Informing about tourism exhibits and fairs.
Fostering foreign media coverage of tourism in Lithuania.
Informing about workshops and meetings, conferences, seminars for professionals.
Planning to visit Lithuania? Here is some information for You:
Visa
Overseas residents must present valid documents on entering Lithuania; these include a passport and an entry visa.  No visa is required for residents of the United States, Britain, the EU and residents of many other countries who enter Lithuania for less than 90 days in a 12-month period.
There are arrangements with some 20 other countries, whose citizens are eligible to receive a visa to Lithuania without being in possession of an invitation from a Lithuanian body. Nevertheless, the visa is granted after proof is provided of the ability to finance the period of the stay in Lithuania; normally around 40 dollars a day is required.
For more about visa and Residence Permits see: http://www.urm.lt
How do I get to Lithuania?
It’s very easy to reach Lithuania by car, ferry, railroad or by air. There are three international airports, all with good connections to Europe. The airports are located in Palanga, Kaunas and Vilnius.
A list of flights to Lithuania from popular destinations can be found here: flights
What language is spoken in Lithuania?
The official language in the country is Lithuanian which is said to be the most archaic of all the living Indo-European tongues. In tourist places and in bigger cities most people know English. Other languages that it may be possible to communicate in Lithuania are Russian, Polish; sometimes French, German.
Got interested and want to learn some Lithuanian? See: http://www.oneness.vu.lt/lt/
What currency is used in Lithuania?
Legislation on the controls of cash entering or leaving the EU apply in all Member States. Any person entering or leaving the EU will have to declare the money that they are carrying if this amounts to 10,000 euro or more (including cheques, travellers' cheques, money orders, etc.). This will not apply to anyone travelling via the EU to a non-EU country, as long as the original journey started outside of the EU, nor to those travelling within the EU.
The official currency of Lithuania is Litas (Lt). Major credit cards are widely accepted and ATM machines can be found in most banks and hotels. There are numerous currency exchange kiosks in the capital Vilnius and travellers' cheques can be cashed at some banks.
For more see: currency
What precautions should I take against muggers and robbers?
Petty crime, notably pickpocketing in bars and restaurants and especially in outside areas, is common. Take extra care of your belongings in busy, and particularly in outside, locations. Avoid carrying large quantities of cash. When confronted by a mugger or robber do not oppose resistance.
If you need to contact the emergency services in Lithuania call 112

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Category : Travel Lithuania!

OPINIONS

Have your say. Send to:
editor@VilNews.com


FROM VYTAUTAS IN CALIFORNIA:

Your February 25 VilNews issue is the best presentation for publicizing Lithuania's culture, beauty and arts.
Vytautas Sliupas, Burlingame, California


FROM MADHUR IN INDIA:

Am planning for a trip to Lithuania very soon... The pictures which you have uploaded haunts me....they are so beaaaaaaautiful.. I fully agree it is Europe's best kept secret!

I am forwarding it to all my friends and acquaintances to promote Lithuania ... It's worth a venture... Honestly!


FROM SANDRA IN THE US:

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading this issue

and using the links provided. Four of us are travelling to Lithuania in May and are very much looking forward to visiting the land of our ancestors. Thank you for the information.


FROM SHARON AND CHRIS IN THE US:

Thanks so much for sharing. I'm going to forward to the rest of the family so they have a chance to see how beautiful a place Lithuania is and maybe visit there to see where their ancestors lived.


FROM ALDONA IN SWEDEN:

Fantastic. Keep up the good work. That is the way to present a positive view of Lithuania.
Linkiu sekmes, Aldona is Svedijos


FROM ANTANAS IN AUSTRALIA:

Many Thanks for Your last Email with VilNews. Such beautiful present. I am not a stranger to Lithuania anymore. After 43 years of absence I managed to sneak in just before The Baltic Way (Baltijos kelias). Much water went under the bridge since. Lithuania is looking now like a paradise. Thanks to You and others who come to Lithuania and helped Lithuania to recover. Your Names ought to be written in gold in Lithuanian history books.
Antanas Kramilius



EuroBasket 2011

For 2011, LITHUANIA has been chosen as the host country for one of the most prestigious Sport's Tournaments in Europe and the World. This is the second time in the Tournament's rich history that Lithuania has been chosen to host the Basketball Championship of Europe.

EuroBasket 2011 will crown the Basketball Champion of Europe. While this is an important event for all European countries, it is especially important for a country like LITHUANIA that proclaims Basketball as its "Second Religion".

The EuroBasket Championship saw its first tournament held in Geneva, Switzerland in 1935. Since then, every two years the greatest teams and talent have met for the "bragging rights" of Europe.

Throughout the history of the tournament our Lithuanian Team has done very well.

In the second EuroBasket Tournament held in Riga, Latvia in 1937

Lithuania won the Gold with the final three results being...

Read more...


    • Lithuanian tourism is not only...
      There is more – and less – to Lithuanian tourism than what you may have thought. Lithuania is not like Spain, England, Thailand or USA, but if you are ready for some different experiences, then Lithuania is definitely the country for you. You can even save a good deal of money on many special services and products here. Maybe it’s your turn to discover the world of Lithuania? This article will present some excellent examples of tourism you may not have thought of...
      Read more...


  • Tourist traffic in Lithuania increased by 39.4% in Q1

    Lithuania's tourism business has exceeded projections in the first quarter pf 2011 and even beat records in some sectors, the Lithuanian State Department of Tourism (VTD) said. Over the Q1 of 2011, the number of tourists in Lithuania grew by 39.4% year-on-year.

    Over January-March last year, 107,000 tourists stayed in Lithuanian commercial accommodation establishments, while this year the number went up to 150,000. The tourist traffic is reported to have increased from the tourism markets of great importance to Lithuania, writes LETA/ELTA.

    Over the Q1, the largest increases were recorded in the numbers of tourists coming from Russia (61%), Belarus (53%), Poland (28%), Germany (31%), Estonia (34%), Great Britain (21%), Norway (57%), the Netherlands (34%), Belgium (31%) and the U.S. (68%). The growth in tourist numbers from Finland by 85% and from Spain by 71% made a pleasant surprise, VTD Head Dr Raimonda Balniene said.

    Kaunas earlier received an award from the popular Spanish travel magazine QTravel as the most attractive destination in 2010. In the Q1, the largest number of tourists came from Ukraine. The growth in the tourist traffic from the country reached as much as 104%.

    The 7.6-% growth in the local tourism is also good news to the tourism sector as it hardly stood at 1% in 2010.

    Source:
    http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=41734

  • Booming tourism in Kaunas this year!

    Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania, has brushed aside its reputation as a European backwater in recent months, with tourism in the city literally booming since the introduction of low-cost flights to the city last year.

    With the boom in tourism, other areas of Kaunas' economy have started to pick up too, including retail, construction and more, revitalizing this charming city and spurring renewed vigour into its development.

    The growth in these sectors is attributed directly to the increasing number of foreign visitors, says the city's mayor Rimantas Mikaitis. Since Irish-based low-cost carrier Ryanair started operating flights to Kaunas in 2010, the city has been resurrected from the point of collapse, he explains.

    Read more:
    http://www.argophilia.com/news/kaunas-booming-tourism/22847/



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