2. Visaginas: Full-Day Hiking Tour w/ Sauna
Are you planning a trip to Lithuania and looking for authentic things to see and do? Or you are already in the country and have a free day, which you'd like to spend a little differently? Or maybe you are certain that you would like to take a walk in the forest and along the lakes, but don't have enough time and knowledge for planning your route? Then, you should join a full-day guided hiking tour at Gražutės Regional Park with a traditional sauna at the end. This hiking trail will take you through dense forests, picturesque lakes and spongy swamps, allowing you to relax and recharge.
Gražutės Regional Park can be reached by train or coach from Vilnius in 2 to 2.5-hours. The tour will start right from the Visaginas railway station, which is also a meeting point for this tour. A local guide will lead you on a 10 kilometer hike through dense forests, along beautiful lakes and close to spongy swamps. Expect to hear about the local flora and fauna, pick some edible herbs and berries along the way (in summer) and possibly spot some wildlife. In winter, you will be immersed in a snowy forest fairytale, walk on frozen lakes and enjoy the silence of sleeping nature.
Halfway through the hike you will stop for lunch with your guide showing you how to prepare a traditional lunch over a campfire while encouraging you to learn and take part in the cooking. This will also be an opportunity to take a refreshing swim in the open waters of a wild lake in the summer, or enjoy a bit of sledging in winter. After lunch, you'll take a final stretch to the location of the sauna. There, you will enjoy a relaxing 3-hours in a cosy and warm atmosphere, feel the heat of the traditional sauna and taste some sauna-special tea, brewed with local herbs. Your guide will show you how to make the most of this sauna experience. After the sauna, you will be taken back to Visaginas town, or a Visaginas railway station, by private transfer. You can then catch a return train to Vilnius, or plan for an extra day spent in Visaginas, for example, to take an excursion to Ignalina nuclear power plant or a training simulator of the power plant's control room.