Will cycle from Vilnius, Lithuania to Riga, Latvia and on to Tallinn, Estonia in May 2011. Do not want to cycle the coastal route (did that in Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal). Enjoy seeing villages, country life. Any suggestions on routes, low traffic/paved roads, not-to-miss sights would be greatly appreciated.
Baltic cycling routes
12 posts / 0 new
Sun, 2011-01-02 18:33#1
Baltic cycling routes
From Vilnius to Riga I would go following:
Vilnius - Trakai (must see castle) - Semeliškės (church) - Aukštadvaris -
Birštonas (break in this resort place) - Kaunas (visit my place, overnight).
Kaunas (lots of sights) - Raudondvaris (must see castle, church) - road 1906
- Babtai - Kėdainiai (nice old town, churches) - road 195 - Panevėžys -
road 191 - Vabalninkas - Biržai (must see castle, taste beer - LT home beer
capital) - road 190 - Skaistkalne - Bauska - Riga.
These are the roads I rode many times by bike and are the least loaded ones.
Only last interval between Bauska and Riga has no alternatives, but it is not
that bad, you will manage - just 40km distance.
Ask for more questions if you need.
Safe travels, Giedrius
I agree with Metalot about the Vilnius-Kedainiai part, don't know about the following one.
It's excellent route for you given by Giedrius, i agree with him 100%. I have made route from Vilnius to Tallinn two years ago, you can find some pictures about my trip here: http://picasaweb.google.com/skieris/YogaraceEurope2009LithuaniaLatviaEstonia#
The most beautifull places in Lithuanian part are: Vilnius, Trakai, Birstonas, Kaunas, Kedainiai, Panevezys, Birzai. You will be able find tourism centres in Vilnius, Kaunas and Panevezys.
More info about towns:
I have good piece of advice, try rural tourism hospitality in Lithuania, you can find a lot of information here: http://www.atostogoskaime.lt/en/. Its cheap and very comfortable.
Hope it would be helfull information for route planning.
Thank you all for the 'insider' advice. I appreciate your thoughts and welcome others for this or other segments of the journey. Safe riding!
I agree the Curonian Spit is worth a diversion to the coast. We did a loop from Klaipeda down the spit. Mostly on the bike path, but divert as well eg into village of Judokrante for smoked fish, wood carving in the forest.
From Riga we caught the train to Sigulda and wended our way through the national park and forest areas to Cesis - castle worth a visit. Crossed into Estonia at Valga and onto Tartu again along quiet back roads. In Tartu we enjoyed wandering through the old town, university grounds and botanic garden.
We found the Estonian islands quite special in their quiet and low key way, with a fine castle at Kurassaare and great forestry camping areas to watch the sun setting over the Baltic.
You may wish to reconsider not hitting the namesake coast of the Baltic States. May is well before the start of the tourist season and the traffic will be light. Myself, I wouldn’t miss the Curonian Spit as it ranks among the most scenic and interesting part of the entire Baltic coast. I’d consider taking the Nieman cycle trail from Vilnius to the coast, ride a on the spit then split inland a bit to Riga. Here is some basic info.
Have a great trip! I rode from Riga to Poznan Poland the first week of May in 2000, great weather, but I was lucky.
Jary Poland via Spokane USA
I'm also planning a bike trip in Lithuania, Latvia and/or Estonia in June 2011 and would be interested in route suggestions. My dates are pretty fixed, but I'd love to squeeze in as much as I can:
I'll likely start on June 15 and need to be in St. Petersburg by June 25/27. I can start wherever there's an airport, but hope to finish somewhere in Estonia so that I have a short(er) bus ride to Russia where I'll begin the next (non-cycling) leg of my trip. It seems like any of these 3 would be reasonable ending pts: Tallinn, Varna or maybe even Tartu.
It would be great if I can squeeze in all 3 countries. I've heard great things about the Curonian Spit and the Estonian Islands, but I'm also a big fan of forests/lakes so I'm struggling to prioritize coast vs. inland routes. I guess one benefit of the coastal route is that I can also work in some ferry routes to help cover more distance.
As mentioned, we will not to the coastal route because we have seen that in many other places and the flatness gets a little boring as do beach/tourist towns. So we will cycle the inland route, putting our bikes on trains (I understand this is permissible in all three countries) to make time, especially through industrial areas. I've received personal emails from members and will forward those to you privately.
Hi! Quite a few years later I’m looking at the roads between Riga and Vinius. The Eurovelo path goes east towards Daugavpils but I’d be interested in a shorter route if it is possible while avoiding high traffic and sandy roads (had quite a few between Tallinn and Riga, hard with road bikes). Anyone has any recent experience on these routes?
Here https://balticmaps.eu is an online map for Latvia (most precise you can find). The map is also quite detailed for Estonia and Lituania. There are no marked cycling paths, but you can see where are asphalt roads - darker color. Asphalt is marked very precisely. Avoid all roads starting with the letter "A". On most of them, it is legal to cycle, but there is heavy traffic. It is dangerous and no fun at all. All other roads will be good for cycling. Direct road is very flat and little to see. Eurovelo through Daugavpils and continue to Madona is much more beautiful.
Check out our journal on Crazy Guy. We cycled from Talking down through the Baltic Countries and beyond.