The Curonian Spit is a unique landscape listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The history of the Curonian Spit is dramatic: 5,000 years ago, a narrow peninsula (98 km in length and 0.4–3.8 km in width), the Great Dune Ridge separating the Baltic Sea from the Curonian Lagoon, was formed on moraine islands from sand transported by currents, and later covered by forest. After intensive logging in the 17th and 18th centuries, the dunes began moving towards the Curonian Lagoon, burying the oldest settlements.
At the turn of the 19th century, it became evident that human habitation would no longer be possible in the area without immediate action. Dune stabilisation work began, and has continued ever since. By the end of the 19th century, a protective dune ridge was formed along the seashore to prevent inland sand migration, and the Great Dune Ridge was reinforced using trees and brushwood hedges. Currently, forests and sands dominate the Curonian Spit. Urbanised areas (eight small settlements) cover just about 6% of the land.
The most valuable elements and qualities of the Curonian Spit cultural landscape are its unique size and general spatial structure, demonstrating the harmonious coexistence between humans and nature. In 1987 The Curonian Spit received the status of a National Park, offering tourists 6 walking routes.
A narrow strip divides the Baltic Sea and the freshwater Curonian Lagoon, turning this place into a land of contrasts. Scorched deserts adjoin rich meadows covered with moss and lichen. Raw orchards are set against dry spruce forests. Centuries-old pine trees look down on the undersized thickets of mountain pine. Sandy mountains and flat fields, dunes, swamps, sandy beaches, lake shores, fishing villages, research stations, extremely short nights and southern taiga — it seems impossible to see all of it in one place. Luckily, here, in the Curonian Spit, everything is possible — come and see it with your own eyes!