Hill Walking is an exclusive hiking route through the hilly terrain of Lapiai. The two Hill Walking routes of different complexity will make you feel like a true mountaineer!
The Lapiai region is not called the Switzerland of Lithuania for nothing: its picturesque surroundings, the legendary Lapiai Mound standing on the banks of the Žvelsa River, and the Valley of Nightingales enchants everyone who takes the opportunity to visit the place. Among the top tourist attractions in the region during the summer is canoeing on the Minija River, and in spring and winter, extreme swimming in the Žvelsa River. Winter sports lovers are also welcome on Utriai Hill, which offers three ski tracks of differing difficulty.
The Hill Walking system consists of two trails for different ability levels: blue and red. The blue trail is 6.8 km, while the red trail is 4.5 km. The blue trail suits general walkers, while the red trail is more extreme, so we recommend this for experienced hikers. The red trail is reached by following the blue trail. The route contains three sections of the red trail (283, 280 and 287 metres long) marked with arrows indicating the height of the ascent. After completing each section, you return to the blue trail.
The walk follows along animal paths, via slopes and ravines. Traveling along the marked trails, you will have the opportunity to be acquainted with the Žvelsa, which is one of the rivers used for extreme canoeing in Lithuania, see forest animals living in the region including raccoons and badgers, as well as admiring the 6-metre thick Rudaičiai oak tree.
What to see while hiking in the Žvelsa Valley:
In the spring, you will see ‘plantations’ of wild garlic, the scent of which spreads over the slopes. You will also have a chance to admire the beauty of hornbeams, endangered elms, and wych-elms, to visit the ‘giant oak’ that dates back to the 8th century, as well as stumbling across the habitats of badgers and racoons. A major part of the hiking route consists of existing animal paths used to travel from one slope to another. While walking, you will see three geological exposures, one of which is sliding down, carrying with it trees and thousands of tons of soil. Formed in the Ice Age and naturally protected for millions of years, the valleys remain extraordinarily charming, with a 4-metre waterfall, which comes to life in autumn.
Recommendations of the Klaipėda District Tourism Information Centre:
- When travelling along the trails, follow the signs on the trees and the yellow, blue and red directional arrows.
- The ascent heights of the red section are 115, 85 and 87 metres, so assessing your strength and capabilities is a MUST, before starting off.
- Driving 4-wheel vehicles, motorcycles and other vehicles on footpaths, recreational facilities, slopes, ditches, the forest base, and grass is strictly prohibited! Upon noticing any such instances, inform the emergency response centre by calling 112.
- Use comfortable, waterproof shoes for your hiking and don’t forget a bottle of water.
- Refrain from making loud noises.
- Protect, do not litter and respect nature, as garbage and other traces of human recreation leaves a poor stain on nature.
- Duration – blue route: 4 hours, red route: 4 hours.
- Following the red route in winter is NOT RECOMMENDED.