I am writing about my time in Nida, Lithuania which I visited for several days at the beginning of August. After making it through the Russian-Lithuanian border and exploring Nida, I thought it would be a good idea to rent a bike (12 euro for 24 hours) and explore more of the Curonian Spit.
I headed north and rode along the walkway on the lagoon side of the spit through Nida. Most of this I saw the afternoon before when I was exploring the town, but it did not take that long before I was through the small town and the trail turned in and I was riding through a pine forest knowing both the Baltic Sea shore and the Curonian Lagoon shore were within 2 km each and usually much closer.
The ride is easy and pleasant as you meander through the forest and pop out to see the lagoon every now and then. The first town you come upon is Preila, which is a quick 8.8 km (5.5 miles). This town is much smaller than Nida and does not have much more than a few hotels, restaurants, and stores, but the atmosphere is electric as everyone is out and about riding their bikes or soaking up the fresh air while relaxing along the shore. There is a sand dune behind the town that has an observation tower on it. I of course had to check it out, so I left the bike and walked up. Let me tell you going uphill in sand is a combo for wearing you out!!!! At the top the sand dune is covered in a wild grass and gives them a rolling, grassy hills look. The observation tower was a bit on the sketchy side since a nail came out that was holding the ladder up as I was climbing it. Whoa! And at the top there seemed to be a bed to sleep in. Regardless the view was fantastic and well worth the effort.
A mere 6 km more you come to Pervalka, another small beach town. The bike trail will end at the edge of town and turn into a dirt trail. This trail is fun and difficult to ride since it is sandy and sucks all your momentum away. The benefit to riding this trail is some great views of the Grey Dunes a bit further north, but you cannot get there from here. I found that out when I met a young guy from Canada and we chose to explore it together. Turns out we had to turn back and get on the main highway up and down the Curonian Spit to reach the Grey Dunes as they are only accessible from the parking lot. When you walk up you are walking up and along a large sandy dune. You get a great view of the lagoon and the Baltic Sea across the spit, but you are not allowed to go exploring along the dunes. So, it was very nice but not as much fun as the dunes south of Nida.
By this time it was 7pm and Tyler and I still had to ride all the way back to Nida. This is where that nice leisurely stroll turned into a fast paced race to beat the sun from going down on us. Luck was on our side since we had until almost 10pm. All in all I had a wonderful time exploring part of the Curonian Spit on a bik, but at the end of the day I rode over 22 miles and boy was I sore. 🙂