Kuršių nerija

Kursiu Nerija has a seaside climate, which is greatly influenced by the Baltic Sea.
The annual amount of radiation in the spit is 90 kcal/cm².The sun shines at an average of 1982 hours per year, which is 39% of the possible sun-shining period. NPKN has the largest number of sunny days in Lithuania.West and south winds are prevailing in the spit. The average speed of the wind is 5,5 m/s during the whole year. Very strong, storm winds appears every year and they blow about 20 average days a year in total.The warming effect of the sea for Kursiu Nerija is stronger (up to 3° C) than in the eastern part of Lithuania. Because of the influence of the sea, autumn and winter are warmer than spring - the temperature differs from the eastern regions by 3 -3.5°.The air is very humid in the Curonian Spit in winter - up to 82% and 76% in spring. Fog is very common here - 66 misty days a year.The precipitation in Kursiu Nerija amounts to 643 mm per year. There are about 170-180 rainy or snowy days in the spit per year. 75% of the annual amount of precipitation falls during a warm season. The snow in Kursiu Nerija appears at the end of November; constant snow covering is formed at the end of December or at the beginning of January, which is 10 or 15 days later than in other regions of Lithuania.

Important dates to Curonian Spit:
1960 - established Kursiu Nerija Landscape Reserve.
1961 - Neringa City got its legal status.
1966 - Regime in the Landscape Reserve was restricted.
1968 - first General Management Plan for Neringa was drawn.
1976 - Management guidelines in Curonian Spit were approved.
1976 - Curonian Spit was designated as a State Forest Park.
1979 - corrections for the General Management Plan for Neringa were made.
1986 - Kurshskaja Kosa National Park was established in The Kaliningrad Region (Russian Federation).
1991 - Kursiu Nerija National Park in Lithuania was founded.
1992 - Provisional Statute of Kursiu Nerija National Park was approved.
1994 - Government of Lithuania endorsed KNNP Planning Scheme (management plan). 1995 - Government of Lithuania approved the Statute of KNNP.
1996 - The Administration of KNNP was set up.
2000 - The Kursiu Nerija National Park was included into UNESCO World Heritage List as landscape valuable cultural.


The Curonian Spit is an extraordinary place of beauty and harmony. There is no equivalent, not only in the Baltics, but in the whole world for its natural beauty and variety of natural landscapes and color palette of shades of light and shadow play. There are patches where not even a plant grows, but in other places you can see some plants. Just over a few centuries, when the intense forestry began, the wind carried the sand away. It stretched the entire sand mountain – Dune. Now most of the dunes are planted with pines and other plants to avoid wind erosion.
Broad plains stretch long the sea coast. This area is washed away by storms so the sand is salty there. Plants that grow in this area, like the salty sand.
There are dunes , that become a shelter from wind for sunbathing people.
Willow trees, tall pines, birches grow there. Away from the sea grow higher pine trees, many deciduous trees and various herbaceous plants. There are planted a lot of mountain pines. The Curonian Spit is a great place for picking mushrooms. That is not only because of the variety of mushrooms, but also because of the amazing nature and fresh air.


Fauna of the Curonian Spit is very interesting: silus grazing elks, graceful deer, wild boars, foxes, rabbits, ferrets, chanterelles. There also are a lot of birds: chaffinches, larks, tawny pipit, parrot crossbill, tits, warblers. In the outskirts of Juodkrante there is an old colony of herons. In the autumn there are plenty of birds, because southward migrating birds fly along the spit. There is a bird-ringing point. Fauna of the Curonian Spit is very interesting. There live a number of insects, which are unique in Lithuania. These are traveler moths (added to the Lithuanian Red data list), the sea „Stebinukas“ , the sea „Kukulija“, the sea Shades, bighead chafers. The habitats of those insects are very sensitive to human intervention into forest ecosystems.
Many species that live in the Curonian Spit are added to the Red Data Lists. Thus, coastal nature is extremely beautiful and interesting. Lithuania is a small area which needs care and protection. Because of that there were established national parks and reserves.

The Lithuanian Sea Museum is located in Kopgalis, the northernmost point of the Curonian Spit. In the second half of the 19th century, a sea fortress was built in Kopgalis. Its fortification system consisted of a central redoubt (designed as living quarters for the garrison), a defensive moat, ramparts with casemates located underneath, and gunpowder magazines. At the end of World War II the fortress was partially destroyed (the central redoubt blown up), and for a long time it was not used. Following the restoration and reconstruction of the fortress in 1979, the main exhibits of the Lithuanian Sea Museum were put on display there. The reconstructed central redoubt houses aquariums with fish species from Lithuania's fresh waters, the Baltic Sea and tropic seas, as well as a permanent display of prepared samples of marine fauna. Penguins, Baltic Sea seals and Steller's Sea lions live in the outdoor pools next to the aquarium building. An exposition of the history of Lithuanian navigation has been put on display in the casemates - former gunpowder magazines located beneath the fortress ramparts, while a collection of ancient and modern anchors is placed on former cannon platforms on the ramparts. An ethnographic fisherman's farmstead has been built on the shore of the Curonian Lagoon at the place where the old Kopgalis fishing village used to stand. Next to the farmstead there is a ground with fishing vessels which gave a start to industrial fishing in Lithuania. Total exposition area - about 85 000 m² (2 466 m² indoors and 30 558 m² outdoors). Total number of exhibits - 60 062. In 1994 a dolphinarium was opened, the last item in the Lithuanian Sea Museum complex, which covers all areas of human relations with the sea. The comprehensive approach makes our museum different from other Sea museums of Europe.


The famous German writer, Thomas Mann, a winner of the Nobel Prize, took his family to Nida for the first time in 1929. Then he decided to have a summer cottage there. At the end of Skruzdyne street, on the Uosve (which means Mother's-in-Law) Dune he found a vacant piece of land and with the help of E.Molenhauer rented it for 99 years. Very soon, just in half a year, an architect, H.Reisman, drew the project and built the house. It was the very first private cottage in Nida. Thomas Mann and his family spent their summers here from 1930 to 1932. Here he wrote his novel "Joseph and His Brothers".
When Hitler came to the power in Germany in 1933, the writer T.Mann and his family had to emigrate from the country. They also had to leave their summer cottage in the Curonian Spit. The writer authorised E.Molenhauer to take care of his cottage. But soon World War II started and Reich's Field-Marshall Gering was going to turn it into a hunting lodge. After the war it became a residence of the leader of the Lithuanian Communist Party, Snieckus. Latter the Young Specialists' Hotel was set up here.
The writer A.Venclova defined further history of this house. During his visit to Germany in 1955, he met Thomas Mann, who asked him about the cottage in Nida. Since then A.Venclova took care of it and soon the cottage was donated to the Klaipeda Library as a summer reading room. The current memorial exposition was opened in 1967. It tells about the writer T.Mann and his works. Mann family photographs and books translated into different languages are presented for visitors.
The reconstruction of the house was finished in 1996. Today it appears in the way it looked in early thirties. Maya Elerman gave the painting "Old Nida Rescue Station Near the Sea" by her father Ernst Molenhauer to the museum as a present in eighties. This painting now hangs in veranda. The cottage itself is an object of interest. The Thomas Mann Culture Centre was established here. Classical music and poetry fans meet here on summer evenings.


Kursiu Nerija National Park Nature exposition was opened on September 1st in 1988. Expositions are displayed in three restored buildings in Smiltyne. They tell about the geological evolution, geographical peculiarities, archaeology, landscape formation, flora and fauna of the one most beautiful and distinctive nature place in Lithuania - the Curonian Spit.


Rare birds of Lithuania

Black-throated Diver

Greater spotted eagle

Steller‘s eider


Popular birds of Lithuania





Tailed duck

Animals found at the Baltic sea

Marine Chanterelles





Mammals of Lithuania

Birdbeak Seal

Grey Seal

Harbor Porpoise