29 July, 2022

Beautiful in all four seasons: what is life in Lithuania like throughout the year?

If you’re used to warm, sunny weather all year round, life through the changing seasons in Lithuania may seem different. Though, you’ll likely find that seasonal variability is a welcome change of pace rather than an inconvenience. From sandy beaches and water sports to ice fishing, saunas, and cold water bathing – Lithuania offers remarkable variety bound to satisfy any taste. 

Without further ado, let’s take a quick look at each of the four seasons and the opportunities they bring.

Summer

Lithuanian summers are typically quite mild (18°C to 25°C), with some hot spells (25°C to 30+°C) here and there, as well as moderately rainy. Given the fact that Lithuania is one of the greenest countries in Europe, most of the beauty of summers here is to be found outdoors.

Your options during the summer are virtually without limit. You can go canoeing on either of Lithuania’s 6,000 lakes and rivers. Relax on a sandy beach or dunes along the Baltic Sea. Or explore Lithuania’s numerous national and regional parks.

Prefer to stay in the city? No problem! Hop in an air balloon or go up the Vilnius TV Tower and enjoy some truly breath-taking views. Check out a music festival (there are too many to count!) or watch a film in a makeshift drive-in or seated outdoor film theatre.

What you should eat: Shashlik (skewered and grilled meat cubes)

What you should see: The bird‘s-eye view of the Curonian Spit from the Nida Lighthouse

Autumn

Early autumn in Lithuania is an especially beautiful time of year. Deep green tones give way to the vivid yellows, reds, and oranges, as fallen tree leaves cover the streets and pavements in every town and city. 

Another thing you’ll notice is a shift in lighting outside. During autumn, as the angle of the Earth’s axis changes, sunrays hit its surface at a lower angle. This results in a weaker ray of light, making shadows longer and shrouding everything in that cosy autumn glow. 

In the first several weeks of the season, as people return from vacations, activity begins to shift inside. Autumn has few holidays and celebrations, which is just as well, considering that people need some time to settle back into their daily routines after summer.

An excellent way to enjoy all that autumn has to offer is by picking berries and mushrooms in the woods. This is a traditional Lithuanian pastime widely practiced to this day.

What you should eat: Wild mushroom soup

What you should see: The autumnal forest vista from the Pūčkoriai outcrop

Winter

Lithuanian winters are fairly moderate with only short periods of greater cold. Early on, the landscape becomes dominated by grays and browns, yet as soon as there is snow, the charming qualities of winter become immediately apparent.

Other than spending time at home, curled up on the sofa with a cup of hot tea, people like going to SPAs and resort towns like Birštonas and Druskininkai. Winter is also the perfect time to visit museums that you might have skipped over before. Or to explore city and countryside alike with the view no longer obstructed by foliage.

Besides Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, there are many other events for you to enjoy, such as Vilnius Book Fair, the Klaipėda Light Festival, Palanga Smelt, the Vilnius Coffee Festival, and more.

Last but not least, if you like to stay active, the coming of winter is no excuse! As long as there is snow, you can go skiing, snowboarding, or ice fishing. Just don’t forget to bring a warm jacket, hat, and mittens!

What you should eat: Cepelinai (potato-meat dumplings)

What you should see: The Trakai Island Castle on the frozen, snowy Lake Galvė

Spring

As winter recedes and nature springs back to life, people hang up their mittens and parkas, and start looking for activities outside. With snow a distant memory, it’s open season for hiking trips and urban cycling, made all the more enjoyable thanks to Lithuania’s relatively flat surface.

One of the major spring events in the country is Kaziuko Mugė – a folk arts and crafts fair dating back to the 17th century. The fair attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year and craftsmen from across Lithuania and neighbouring countries.

If you’re not the outdoorsy type, springtime also brings a plethora of cultural events, usually with the word “spring” featuring prominently in the title. These include the Vilnius International Film Festival – Cinema Spring, Poetry Spring, Lithuanian Theatre Spring, and much more.

What you should eat: Šaltibarščiai (cold beetroot soup)

What you should see: The blossoming tulip fields at Burbiškis Manor