RECREATION SPOT WITH A TOUCH OF HISTORY
Smiltynė (German: Sandkrug) is a part of Klaipėda city municipality in Lithuania. It is located on the northern tip of the Curonian Spit, next to a narrow strait which connects the Curonian Lagoon to the Baltic Sea. Across the 0.5-kilometre wide strait, on the Lithuanian mainland, is the port city of Klaipėda. Ferries transport vehicles and people daily between the two cities across the strait, as there is no connecting bridge. It takes only 15 minutes. Senoji perkėla (Old ferry port) is situated in the old town and transports only people. Naujoji perkėla (New ferry port) is in the southern part of the city, where ferries take all the vehicles.
Smiltynė serves as a public beach for Klaipėda residents and a very popular recreation spot, especially during the summer season.
Smiltynė became part of the Klaipėda municipality in 1897, and soon after it became legal to sell land to individuals. In 1901 a large, luxurious, and popular two-story hotel with a restaurant and casino was built, and was named the Kurhaus. Other villas were built as well. However, after World War II, the luxury lifestyle of the village came to an end. Many older buildings have survived to this day, most having been refurbished. Most of the populace moved away as well, and today only about 50 full-time residents remain.
In the North of Smiltynė there is a small cemetery, used before World War II and open air museums – an ancient Lithuanian village and old ships, exhibited just on the way to the Lithuanian Sea Museum and Dolphinarium. This is another highly popular tourism spot and a definite must-see.
Just a few hundred meters away from the Kurhaus there is pier big enough to accommodate up to 100 yachts. A bus stop with regular bus lines to Juodkrantė, Nida and Kaliningrad (Russia) is just opposite the ferry port.
Lithuanian Sea Museum
Ferry port information