Alytus district municipality

  Administrative centre – Alytus
  Area – 1404 km² (25.9 % of the county’s area)
  Population – 31 073 (17.6 % of the county’s population)
  Wards – Alytus, Alovė, Butrimonys, Daugai, Krokialaukis, Miroslavas,   Nemunaitis, Pivašiūnai, Punia, Raitininkai, Simnas

Alytus district municipality is situated in a picturesque place of Southern Lithuania, in the northern part of Alytus county. It is crossed by the largest river in Lithuania - Nemunas, on the banks whereof woodland spreads. Alongside Nemunas, the district is crossed by Peršėkė, Dovinė, Varėnė rivers; there are 70 lakes (the largest ones being those of Žuvintas, Didžiulis, Obelija, Giluitis). The largest marshes - Žuvintas, Karšva; there are also peat bogs. The largest forests - those of Punia, Varčia, Kalesninkai, Gineitiškės and others. Agricultural land makes up 58.3 %, forests – 24.7 %, roads – 2 %, built-up area – 2.4 %, water bodies – 5.3 %, other land – 7.3 % of the municipality.

There are three towns – Alytus, Daugai and Simnas, and three old townships – Butrimonys, Krokialaukis, Nemunaitis. Administrative centre – Alytus. The district is crossed by important roads; the district centre is connected with Kaunas and Marijampolė by a railway.

In the area of investment and development, Alytus district municipality orients towards the public infrastructure, business, tourism and agricultural development, simultaneously with attempting not to ruin ecological equilibrium, creating modern and safe society, attracting local and foreign tourists by cultural life and variety of tourism services. The district makes perfect use of advantages gained due to its favourable geographic location, has a good road infrastructure and, in many respects, a healthy environment. Rural areas are favourable for the development of alternative activity – rural tourism, crafts, services, other small business. Maturity of rural communities ensures an abundance of cultural and educational initiatives, as well as allows putting into practice the principles of self-government. Joint projects are implemented with foreign partners, especially with those of neighbouring Poland – Puńsk, Ostrołęka, Sopot, and other municipalities (so-called gminas).

There are many places worth visiting in the district. Many tourists are attracted by Gerulis, Giluitis, Obelija, Papėčiai, Rumbonys castle mounds, especially by that of Punia (Margiris), situated at the confluence of Nemunas and Punelė rivers, where, as the legend has it, there was a castle whose defenders, in order to avoid the Crusaders’ slavery, burnt themselves together with their Duke Margiris. There are Pivašiūnai and Sudvajai geomorphologic, Vidzgiris botanical, Varčia pedological and other reserves, part of Žuvintas biosphere reserve, picturesque Punia Forest, famous Nemunas loop. Various tourism – active and recreational – services are provided in the district. In summer, national and international sports events, national rowing competitions, water entertainment events for holidaymakers are organised at Daugai rowing sports centre. Sports car and motorbike races and shows, a traditional cycling trip Dzūkija bicycle ring (Dzūkijos dviračių žiedas) are organised in the district. District population and holidaymakers can make use of leisure areas equipped in Pivašiūnai at the Ilgis Lake, in Simnas at the Giluičiai Lake and in Daugai at the Didžiulis Lake, where they can enjoy the beauties of nature. Arriving tourists may stay at rural tourism farmsteads, refurbished in a modern style.

Alongside traditional annual celebrations (Kaziukas Fair in Simnas, Day of the State in Daugai, Shrove Tuesday (Užgavėnės), etc.), national summer and winter trotter racing events at Butrimonys racecourse, where the best Lithuanian charioteers compete to win the Cup of the Mayor of Alytus district municipality, should be mentioned. In the homestead museum of the artist Antanas Žmuidzinavičius, in Balkūnai, a festival of Alytus county rural theatres Kaimo liktarna is organised, where theatrical companies of Alytus town and district, Lazdijai and Varėna districts, Punskas Lithuanian Cultural Centre compete for the prize. A national festival of amateur short films Etnokinas is organised. At the end of summer, traditionally, tens of thousands of prayers travel to Pivašiūnai for the Assumption Day.

The result of a joint project of Alytus county governor’s administration, Alytus district municipality and Puńsk municipality (gmina), partially financed by the European Union, a new tourist pilgrim road Pilgrim road Poland–Lithuania, joining churches of Lithuanian and Poland, should be mentioned. The total length of the road – 222 km; in Lithuania, it joins the churches of the Holy Heart in Krokialaukis, Ūdrija, the churches of St Ludwig and Guardian Angels in Alytus, Punia church of St James the Apostle, Butrimonys church of St Saviour, in Poland – Smolany church of St Isidor and Puńsk church of the Assumption.

Useful links
Alytus tourism information centre
Cultural centre of Alytus district municipality