In the northernmost part of Kaliningrad Region one can visit the National Park Curonian Spit, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. 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 kilometers. 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 National Park 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.