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Tucked away in the southern part of Lithuania, Suvalkija is among its smallest ethnographic regions. Here, where the Šešupė, Rausvė and Širvinta rivers snake through the plains, and green forests loom in Vištytis Regional Park, the Baltic tribe of Sudovians have resided since the first centuries AD.

Once a land ravaged by the Teutonic Knights, it is now a region rich in culture and the birthplace of literary Lithuanian. There are more manors in Suvalkija than in any other place in Lithuania. Restored and revived, their ornate halls tell both the region’s history and Sudovian legends, hosting concerts, tastings, and educational programmes. Suvalkija’s capital of Marijampolė is equally pulsing with culture, inviting to discover world-class street art created and stroll around peaceful parks filled with fountains and sculptures. Living on broad plains and fertile lands, the locals have always had bountiful tables. And while Sudovians are often made fun of for being frugal, they always pull out the the white tablecloth and load the table for their guests. Suvalkija boasts exceptional cured meat dishes, and home-made “skilandis” – a cold-smoked spiced sausage pressed into a pig's stomach or bladder – is a must try. Potatoes are another source of culinary inspiration for Sudovians, who love to make “didžkukuliai” – grated potato dumplings stuffed with ground meat, curd cheese or mushrooms, and“švilpikai” (whistlers), small potato dumplings served with creamy butter sauce. Finally, a filling Sudovian meal is best washed down with a traditional Sudovian beverage – blackcurrant wine.