In the second half of 1252 crusaders of the Livonian order have built wooden stronghold in the Curonian lands (where Dane and Memel rivers flow together) and gave the power to rule it to the friendly Teutonic order.
Thus the centuries-old history of Klaipeda town (Memelburg, Memel) started. At present Klaipeda is rapidly developing town, the only port of the Lithuanian Republic.
It is comfortable to start acquaintance with town from cosy old town, where one may find lots of cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops. It is worth visiting Castle museum, Museum of Minor Lithuania, Blacksmith’s work museum, Clock museum, the Post located on Liepu street.
There is a ferry, which is located in the old town near yacht port and ruins of knights’ castle, that sail from ferry-port to the Curonian Spit reserve, where one may find wonderful forests, dunes, beaches, Sea museum and Dolphinarium, resorts of Nida and Juodkrante.
The distance from Klaipeda old town to the Curonian Spit is 400 m, 1,5 km to Maritime museum (there are ethnographic museums on the way – Fisherman’s farmstead and Museum of old fishing ships), 20 km to Juodkrante, 40 km to Nida, and 20 km from Klaipeda to the summer capital of Lithuania – Palanga.
There it is worth visiting the Botanical park of the count Tiskevicius and Amber museum, also taking a walk through the loud Basanaviciaus street, and tasting smoked grig in one of the restaurants.
There is ornithological station in the Ventes Ragas in the Nemunas delta, which is 40 km from Klaipeda. The main migration ways of birds cross exactly that place. Here birds are ringed. The station was built in 1929. The lighthouse that works from 1863 is also situated here. The suburbs of Ventes Ragas are a paradise for fishermen.
Modern bicycle paths that are located in the most picturesque sea-coast places connect Klaipeda with Ventes Ragas, Juodkrante, Nida and Palanga.
It is comfortable and not expensive to travel across the Lithuanian sea-coast by minibus, by bus or to rent a car, scooter, or bicycle. The one may took romantic trip to Juodkrante and Nida on the small steamboats that leave from old town ferry-port and cruise terminal.
There are a lot of country tourism centres around the town where you may fish, hunt, ride, take a steam in a real country bath, have delicious supper and stay for the night after becoming a bit tight after a glass of wonderful local Svyturys beer.