Summer is so hot this year that even Lithuania looks like a southern European country full of tourists and sunny days without any rain. But if you are staying in Vilnius, after some time, it can become hard to spend the whole day in a hot and full-of-people city, so I have some good news: there are plenty of ways how to get into the nature near Vilnius. It has not only the nice beaches all around it, but also two regional parks - Pavilniai and Verkiai. Besides the regional parks, Vilnius has one more, a unique and well-known in the world - Europa park. Let’s explore the bike route to Europa park with some must-see places, and some tricks and tips on how to survive almost 40 kilometers of routes by bike. Thus, let’s grab a bike and take a ride to Europa Park.
Let’s pick the Cathedral Square as the start point of our journey. From this spot, a very nice bike road, by the Neris River, is leading to the beautiful Verkiai Palace. So, while driving till the palace, you will be surrounded by the Neris and colorful views of it. After around one hour of ride, you will reach the Verkiai Palace, a neoclassical 18th-century mansion. The word Verkiai is coming from the Lithuanian word 'verkti' - which means 'to cry'. History is telling us that once a crying baby was found in an eagle’s aerie and from that time, the place is called Verkiai. This palace belongs to the Verkiai regional park, so it is a perfect place to get some rest and prepare for the next ride.
Tip: while exploring the park and palace, look around for the spectacular viewpoint near Verkiai Palace. All the views of Vilnius will be in front of your eyes.
Green Lakes (Žalieji ežerai) is also a part of the Verkiai regional park. Besides the beaches, volleyball and basketball courts, in Green Lakes, you will find fresh, clear and green water. Also, it is possible to rent a small boat or just to enjoy the sun.
Tip: this trip is not a complete without the food, so make a stop in the restaurant Verkių malūnas for some nice food and refreshing beverages.
After some nice swimming and gastronomy, be ready for 6 kilometers of ride to Europa Park. Riding there for sure will look like you are not in Vilnius anymore. The surroundings may remind you of some nice villages. When you finish the lasts kilometers, you will reach Europa park, that was founded in 1991 to mark the geographical center of Europe. The Park has more than 100 sculptures created by different artists from all over the world. The creations of world-famous artists like Magdalena Abakanowicz or Solas Le Witt are exhibited under the open sky. This park is unique and unforgettable - it is full of stone and wood creations, and even the old TVs. The entry to the park costs 7€ for students and 9€ for a regular ticket.
Tip: one the way to Europa park from Green Lakes, make a stop in a grocery shop called IKI. There you will find a drinkable water place, so fulfill your bottles because you will need water for sure.
Trick: In Europa park, you will see the sign that you are 19 kilometers from Vilnius city center, but if you get too tired to come back by bike, you can catch the bus no.66, and it will bring you and your bike to the city.
It is a perfect plan for the day: ride along the Neris river, find a spectacular view of Vilnius at Verkiai Palace, have a refreshing swim at Green Lakes and some cultural exploration at Europa Park. So, do not wait too much - grab a bike and take a ride in Vilnius.
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