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National Park Curonian Spit photo

In the northernmost part of Kaliningrad Region one can visit the National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site – Curonian Spit. Its southern part belongs to Russia, while its northern part – to Lithuania. At the very beginning of Curonian Spit the resort town of Zelenogradsk is located. When it belonged to Eastern Prussia Zelenogradsk was called Kranz and was a well-known resort. However, if you are in for sand dunes, you should go further to the north for several dozens of kilometers.

You can see large spaces of sand dunes in three places of Curonian Spit. All of them are on the territory of Russia. And only some part of the third zone with dunes is located on the territory of Lithuania near the village of Nida.

The length of Russian Curonian Spit from Zelenogradsk to the border of Lithuania is 48 kilo-meters. Totally, there are three settlements on the Russian side of Curonian Spit: Morskoye, Lesnoy and Rybachiy. Morskoye is considered to have the most developed tourist infrastructure.

If you want to see all most interesting place of Curonian Spit for a short period of time, you should travel in a car. There are six walking trails along 48 kilometers of Russian Curonian Spit:

1. «Royal Pine Forest» (Grenz forester`s house). The trail is at the 7th kilometer of Curonian Spit, and its length is 2.8 kilometers. Trees have never been cut on this strip of the spit, as they weren`t threatened by the drifting sands. There you can see ancient coniferous trees, including giant thuyas.

2. «Fringilla». The trail is at the 23rd kilometer of Curonian Spit, and its length is 500 meters. There you can visit the ornithological center for birds of passage.

3. «Dancing Forest». The trail is at the 37th kilometer of Curonian Spit, and its length is 0.8 kilometers. It will be most interesting to have a walk to the Round Dune where you can see oddly bent pines.

4. «Muller Dune». The trail is at the 32nd kilometer of Curonian Spit, and its length is 3.5 km. The trail goes past Rybachiy. There you can have a walk on the wooded Dune of Bruckberg. During 19-20 centuries the area was covered with huge coniferous trees (and sometime there was nothing but sand), and at the top of the dune there is an observation point from where you can have beautiful views.

5. «Efa Dune». The trail is at the 37th kilometer of Curonian Spit, and its length is 2.8 kilometers. It is the most interesting trail in Curonian Spit. It goes on the dune Orekhovaya, with its highest point being called Efa Dune, in honor of the forester Franz Efa who struggled against the spit being swallowed by drifting sands. From the height of Efa Dune you can have the most beautiful views of the most picturesque sand dunes.

6. «Swan Lake». The trail is at the 46th kilometer of Curonian Spit, and its length is 4 kilometers. This trail is two kilometers from the border of Lithuania, and it goes through the most picturesque area of the highest dune range in Curonian Spit. Following this trail you can see the structure of drifting sands, as well as approach Swan Lake. It is the second highest range in Europe after the dune near the French city of Pilat on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

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Efa dune rises several dozens of meters above the waters of the Curonian lagoon
Efa dune (Orekhovaya) is the highest point on the Curonian spit. Here you can look at the huge sand fields of dunes
View of the Big Dune ridge on the Curonian spit from the observation deck over the Lake Swan
Dancing forest - the most mystical place on the Curonian spit, where the trees have an incredible curved view
How the trees in the Dancing forest on the Curonian spit so bent and continue to grow is unclear
Movement of the dunes on the Curonian spit could stop only in 19 century after the construction of a high protective avandyuna from the Baltic sea side
Beach on the Baltic sea on the Curonian spit
The sand hills of the Efa Dune, overgrown with bushes and beachgrass on the Curonian spit
The sand fields of the Efa Dune stretch for several kilometers on the Curonian spit
Sandhills of Efa Dunes on the Curonian spit
View from the Olenya Buda Dune on the Swan Lake, which is separated from the Curonian lagoon by a thin strip of sand a few meters
View of the Big Dune ridge on the Curonian spit from the observation deck over the Lake Swan
Small pine trees on the upper ridge of the Olenya Buda dune overlooking the Curonian lagoon
In some places on the Olenya Buda dune the sand between the pines is overgrown with moss
There is a version that the Dancing forest is an anomalous zone with the strongest cosmic energy, causing trees to curl
Trees have such a strange appearance only in a small area of the Curonian spit. There are never any birds here
Tree in the Dancing forest on the Curonian spit, which grows from side shoots
Pine forest growing along the sandy path on the dune Deer Buda
Pine forest growing on the Deer Buda dune on the Curonian spit
Entrance to the route "Royal Forest" on the 6th kilometer of the Curonian spit
The Royal forest on the Curonian spit is a favorite hunting place for Prussian kings who lived nearby in Koenigsberg
The Royal forest was not threatened by sand dunes, so there are trees that are several hundred years old
Observation deck at the top of the Muller Height (now called the Steep Dune) on the Curonian spit
Ascent to the top of the Muller Height on the Curonian spit