Neringa municipality

  Administrative centre – Nida
  Area – 90 km² (1.7 % of the county’s area)
  Population – 3371 (0.9 % of the county’s population)

Neringa municipality is located on the Curonian (Kuršių) Spit – a narrow peninsula, separating the Curonian (Kuršių) Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. It is the longest (about 50 km) and the most western town of Lithuania. Forests make up as much as 83.9 %, roads – 1.7 %, built-up area – 0.7 %, water bodies – 0.01 %, agricultural land – 0.2 %, other land – 13.5 % of the municipality.

Neringa town was formed in 1961 by connecting five settlements – Alksnynė, Juodkrantė, Nida, Pervalka and Preila. The entire town is located within the Curonian (Kuršių) Spit National Park, which is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.  

The centre of the municipality – Nida – was first mentioned in 1385. According to historical sources, the old village of Nida was located on the northern coast of the Grobštas Cape gulf. The second Nida was located about 2 km to the south from the present one. At the beginning of the 18th century, Nida, as well as other villages, was buried under the sand. In 1730, fishermen founded the third Nida near the Parnidis Gulf. The three former villages – Nida, Skruzdynė and Purvynė – currently form the single settlement of Nida. Previously, these places were mostly inhabited by fishermen, while from the end of the 19th century Nida has become a well-known resort. Currently, it is a great place for recreation. The settlement is situated in the Baltic littoral, spreading from the south to the north over a distance of about two kilometres. Its southern end reaches the Parnidis Gulf, the northern one gradually vanishes in the sands of the Bulvikis Cape.

Neringa is a resort town, a very popular place for recreation. It is characterised by amazingly beauteous nature – the inimitable harmony of the sea, the lagoon, forests and dunes. Particularly impressive is the Parnidis Dune near Nida. A beautiful view opens up from the big fixed dune, towering above the sea level near Preila by as much as 68 m. The coast of the Curonian Lagoon is ornamented with promontories; there are the remarkable beaches of the Baltic Sea (in 2002, the Nida beach was awarded a Blue Flag). The number of sunny days here is the highest in Lithuania. Leisure areas are situated in the eastern part of the spit, by the Curonian Lagoon, and are protected from sea winds with a chain of high dunes, grown with forests.

Neringa is a unique combination of nature and human activity, with distinctive homestead architecture and interesting house decoration, characteristic exceptionally to the littoral. The structures of folk architecture are currently under restoration and adaptation to modern needs. It is a territory perfect for recreation and tourism, where the service sector is the best-developed one. There are also fishermen’s communities.

After the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, intensive activities have been undertaken in Neringa in the sphere of cultural tourism. Most events organised in the town have become traditional: the Summer Season Opening Festival, international folklore festival The Sun Rises on the Lagoon (Tek sauluže ant maračių), Fishermen’s Festival, International Thomas Mann Festival, a festival of opera and symphonic music Musical August at the Coast (Muzikinis rugpjūtis pajūryje), chamber music festival Curonian (Kuršių) Spit, etc. There is the Thomas Mann Cultural Centre, founded in the famous writer’s summerhouse, which engages in various cultural activities. The International Thomas Mann Festival, organised by the cultural centre, is one of the most significant summertime cultural events in Neringa. The guests of Neringa may familiarise themselves with the history of Baltic gold – amber – in the Amber Gallery-Museum, with the weathervanes of Neringa region – in the Weathervane Museum, with nature’s development, flora, fauna, as well as the history and customs of the region – in the Museum of Nature of the Curonian (Kuršių) Spit National Park and the Neringa Historical Museum.