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Mažoji Lietuva, or Lithuania Minor, has a unique feel to it. The region is home to some of Lithuania’s most extraordinary spots – the otherworldly landscapes of the Curonian Spit, the bird paradise that is the Nemunas Delta, the village of Minija with ships sailing down its streets. But it is...
more than nature’s wonders that make Lithuania Minor special – it is also its colourful history. Ruled by the Teutonic Order, the Duchy of Prussia, and the German Empire over the past centuries, this land bears many signs of German influence.
The capital of Lithuania Minor is Šilutė, a town by the Nemunas Delta Regional Park that still preserves much of its German and Protestant heritage. But the region’s main centre is Klaipėda, Lithuania’s only port city, where you will find timber frame houses, quirky statues, and a promenade lined with maritime vessels. A short ferry ride from Klaipėda is the Curonian Spit – a thin strip of land that runs the length of the Curonian Lagoon on one side, and the Baltic Sea on the other. With its unspoilt beaches, monumental shifting sand dunes, wild forests and spectacular sunsets, it is rightly acknowledged as the crowning glory of Lithuanian nature.
With sea a close neighbour, Lithuania Minor is where the best shipbuilders and net weavers live, the most fish are caught and the tastiest fish soup made. Fresh catch is also baked over fire, while smaller fish are often dried and bigger ones are smoked or salted. And after a filling meal, the locals will also pour you a cup of “kafija” (chicory coffee) and treat you to some “vofeliai” (waffles) – a Germanic tradition with a Lithuanian twist.