Kayak Lithuania's pristine lakesAukštaitija National Park, Lithuania
Strap in for an adventure imbued with diversity and enriching culture on Intrepid Travel's Baltic Experience, traversing Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany.
Among the many awe-inspiring experiences you'll have on this adventure (ancient architecture, jaw-dropping landscapes, quirky bars and local hospitality are just a few things you'll touch on), one that shines particularly bright is a visit Lithuania's Aukštaitija (pronounced 'Owk-sty-chee-ah') National Park, one of the most magical nature reserves in the Baltic states. After checking into our homestay, swap your packs for paddles as you prepare to embark on a guided kayak tour with a local guide, gliding along the quaint, pristine waterways that make up the 126 lakes Aukštaitija National Park is famous for.
Your start point is the charming village of Ginučiai, located on the shores of Lake Linkmenas, right next to a nineteenth-century watermill (it's worth a look in, too: it's only one of six traditional watermills left in the national park and has been preserved as a museum and a technical monument for its authentic equipment). The kayak trip will take you past little villages, and through forests and dense reed, to a hill with fantastic views across the surrounding lakes and forests. The hill is a pagan site with a wishing tree on top. Upon return back to our home stay in the village look forward to a home-cooked dinner and some great hospitality by our local hosts.
Many airlines fly to Helsinki (the start point of the trip), most notably Finnish Airlines, which have code share arrangements with a number of other airlines, so arrival from North America or Australia is easy.
The Baltic Experience departs between June and October and starts from US$2860.
Some kayaking experience is good, but not necessary as the guide will offer thorough introduction.