How to choose a place for kayaking in Lithuania
There are a lot of lakes and rivers in Lithuania and surrounding flat countries. Many lakes are connected with narrow rivers. Some such natural reserves compose more than forty kilometers of kayaking routes. You can go kayaking to Ignalina district, or to Aukstatijos National Park, or south-west to Neman river and its tributes. Major factors in choosing the location are countryside accommodation availability, kayak supply company, and difficulty of the routes. Also, you should consider the distance from your base in Lithuania. It is not a big country, but still, you can spend half a day driving across it. One of my favorite areas is Labanoras. A beautiful nature site not so far from Vilnius City and the infrastructure is very well developed.
Where to stay
Well, there no five-star accommodations in such nature flavored places. But you can be sure, that you will find a clean and comfortable place to sleep. Usually, there is a well-equipped kitchen and a big living hall, where you can eat and socialize. Sauna facilities are very common in Lithuania, and most of the vendors give it to you for a small extra charge. But be sure – it is worth it, after a day in the river waters you will want to warm up in the sauna. Most of the places are family oriented with lots of rooms.
My favorite place, I would go back to again is Paverknes Sodyba. It is on the bank of the Verkne river. We all agreed that it was a really nice place to stay. Kids liked the big spaces, and adults the atmosphere. It also appears in the short video above.
How long should be the kayaking trip
If you incorporate kayaking into your tour in Lithuania you can do it even as a one day trip. But I would not recommend such a short time. If you are not staying overnight, you will not feel the vibes of the forest. You will not sit by the fire at nights, and will not tell fairy tales to your family. You will not make a barbeque and will not have a beer there. Another thing is that you will be tired after padding even for half a day, and I think you will too exhausted to drive back to the city. So my suggestion is two or three days. In two days you can sail twice and explore two different routes. If you like more adventures and less relaxing way of traveling, go for three days with an overnight in the tents in the camping grounds or just in the forest. The longest would be five days on the water. Frankly speaking, I have never tried it.
One of our family tours with kayaking in Lithuania
This time we had two free days and decided to go for two days of camping and kayaking.
We have contacted our constant supplier of kayaks and asked to offer a countryside accommodation for our tour.
The Host was on Baluosio lake. Online it looked very nice and we agreed to a bit high rate. We were two families of 4. We got a house with 4 bedrooms on the second floor and a big dining room with a kitchen on the first floor of the house. Each room had a shower, which makes it much easier in terms of morning hygiene tasks.
The house was part of the ecotourism farm with a very nice garden and lake shore. Next, to the lake, there was a steam sauna where we used to bath after the rowing day.
We have arrived at this “heaven” on the evening of the day before kayaking, had a nice picnic outside the house and went to sleep after talks by the fireplace.
Lets go and do some padding
Next morning Vytas was waiting for us with his van and cart full of kayaks. You have to be in a bathing suit and T-shirt and sports sandals or crocs. A hat is also a compulsory element. If it is your first time you might want the gloves too. We took some water, sandwiches and extra clothing as we expected to have spent a day on the water and there is no chance to arrange for supply during the day.
The drive to the starting point was about 20 minutes. Then we put on the safety vests and pulled the kayaks into the water.
Lithuanian rivers are narrow and not very deep, which makes kayaking not extreme but very enjoying especially if you have little children. The adventure is to row through the curves and to help the boat to pass the fallen trees. This summer was quite rainy and there was quite a lot of water. All went smooth and we all were in a perfect mood.