Flights to Dainava
Dainava is a region of Lithuania which is alternatively named Dzukija. It is one of five ‘ethnographic’ regions of the country, taking up the south eastern portion of Lithuania, and is home to the capital city, Vilnius, as well as the Dzukija National Park.
The main airport for flights to Dainava is Kaunas Airport (airport code: KUN), about 63 kilometres outside of Alytus, considered to be the capital of the Dainava/Dzukija region. Unfortunately, they only handle a few budget flights to Dainava. You can fly to Alytus with Air Baltic from Riga, if you get a flight to the Riga International Airport (code: RIX) from South Africa. To Riga, Lufthansa will stop once in Frankfurt and KLM makes a single connection in Amsterdam. South African Airway has two transfers in Frankfurt and Warsaw.
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The Tourist Attractions of Dainava:
The Dainava/Dzukija region of Lithuania does offer a selection of different tourist attractions and is a particularly popular region with tourists who enjoy being outdoors and making the most of Lithuania’s rural scenery. Two of the country’s national parks are situated in the Dainava region, and there’s the Dainava Forest to explore too. In addition, Dainava features towns and cities, including Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, so there’s something here to suit most tastes.
The Dainava Forest
Many parts of Lithuania are forested and the largest forest in the country is Dainava Forest which covers a total land area of 1450 square kilometres. It is mainly pine trees and trees cover an impressive 1145 square kilometres. Wild mushrooms and berries grow in the forest and for centuries these have been a major part of the economy for the Dainava region. As well as enjoying walks through the forests you can still experience a more traditional way of life in some of the old villages where it seems little has changed in hundreds of years.
A large area of the forest is protected as part of the Dzukija National Park, which has as well as forests, dune massifs and rivers.
Trakai Historical National Park
The only historical national park of Europe is here in Dainava and it’s one of Lithuania’s top tourist attractions. The national park was established to protect the historic city of Trakai. The city was built on water and features some wonderful architecture such as Trakai Island Castle, and traditional wood built homes and buildings. Being only 25 kilometres from Vilnius makes the national park easy to get to.
Vilnius itself is also a top tourist attraction for Dainava and Lithuania as a whole. The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the largest medieval old towns in Northern Europe. There are many sights to see in the old town including the beautiful St Anne’s Church, and the Vilnius Castle Complex, plus it’s a wonderful place to simply stroll around the quaint streets.
When Should You Visit?:
To enjoy the great rural countryside of Dainava you should visit during the summer when temperatures and warm and a little humid, with average highs in the low 20’s C. Winters can be harsh in Dainava and Lithuania as a whole so be prepared for cold and snowy weather is you visit at this time.