Imagine a place where 285 lakes are stretched alongside the charming little Lithuanian villages and fragrant pinewoods. Labanoras Regional Park is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Lithuania. Together with the rich flora and fauna, blooming meadows, winding rivers, and lakes, this regional park is truly a paradise of Lithuanian nature.
Labanoras Regional Park is situated in the eastern part of Lithuania, surrounded by Švenčionys, Molėtai, and Utena districts. This regional park is one of the biggest in Lithuania - occupying an area of 528 sq km. The Labanoras Forest covers most of the Labanoras Regional Park's lands. The forest of Labanoras reminds me of the seaside region - about 91 % of its wood are pines. To reach this park is quite easy - the place is located approximately 80 km from Vilnius; thus, it is easy to reach it by car or train (Vilnius - Švenčionėliai). An excellent idea will be to bring a bike if you are traveling by train, as Labanoras is suitable for cycling. I recommend starting the journey at the park's directorate, which serves as an information center, located in the town of Labanoras. At the information center, you will not only find all details about the Labanoras Regional Park and its most famous spots but also will have a chance to take some maps and brochures, and learn about touristic routes in the whole region.
Labanoras Regional Park is dotted with 285 lakes of various sizes and depths. Thus, when traveling around this park, you can find a different lake in all of its corners. Additionally, the park has 30 rivers. There is no other place in Lithuania so rich in freshwater. The biggest and one of the most beautiful of all the lakes in Labanoras Regional Park is Aisetas Lake, which is 15,8 km long. Aiseta Lake is incredibly stunning because of its pinewood surroundings and emerald water. There are two more lakes worth mentioning in this regional park: Juodieji (black) and Baltieji (white) Lakajai. Together with the Lakaja River, these two lakes are very popular for water tourism, especially among canoeing and kayaking lovers.
The highlight of the Labanoras Regional Park, and the best spot to observe the beauty of this land, is from the top - at the Labanoras Observation Tower (also called Mindūnai). The tower is 36-meter high metal construction. This tower is the second-highest observation tower in Lithuania, after the Birštonas Observation Tower which was opened just recently (in 2019 summer). Labanoras Observation Tower is famous for its stunning architecture and also for the incredible views of Labanoras Forest and its lakes, which opens from the tower's top.
Labanoras Regional Park can become your weekend getaway, and even the best summer trip surrounded by lakes and pinewood. This park is a perfect place for water sports, hiking, and cycling, therefore if you like these adventures, and happen to be in the area, plan your trip to this paradise of Lithuanian nature.
Cover picture © iStock/ljphoto7
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