Fairy Tales & Legends of the Witches Hill and Amber Bay
Duration: 4 hours
Tour Code: KLA-001
Klaipeda's world of fairy tales and legends awaits your arrival during this scenic visit to the Black Shore, and a stop at Witches Hill.
Depart the pier for the brief drive through Klaipeda, then a 5-minute journey by ferry across the Curonian lagoon to the Curonian Spit, which captivates visitors with its unique natural beauty. From here, you will proceed to the Black Shore, or Juodkrante, the oldest fishing village on the Curonian Spit. Now a resort, it still retains its Old World charm. Upon arrival, you will see Amber Bay, a 19th-century amber-mining site, along with the quay of the lagoon, which is adorned by modern sculptures. You will also view the traditional fishermen's houses decorated with ornaments.
The highlight of your visit to Juodkrante is Witches Hill, which features 80 sculptures carved from oak along the edge of a forest path. Here, you will observe the giant Neringa and Egle, the queen of grass-snakes, a dragon slain by the prince, the thunder, poacher and many witches performing their devilry. You will also hear some of the stories and legends related to them, and understand why Lithuania is renowned as Europe's last pagan state.
Next, a visit will be made at the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Situated opposite the church is a gallery of weather vanes, in a separate building that will also be visited. In the 19th century, weather vanes were used as a special marking system on the top of the flat fishing boats, or kurenas. Later, weather vanes became particularly colorful and artistic symbols of the Curonian Spit.
Your tour concludes with a stop to view the impressive nesting site of one of the largest cormorant and Grey heron colonies. Thousands of these birds arrive in March, then migrate south in August.
Please note: This tour involves a significant amount of moderate to strenuous walking. The Hill of Witches requires navigating an uphill dirt track through a dense forest. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Guests should be in good physical condition. Weather appropriate clothing; suncap; sunglasses; insect repellant; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, athletic or hiking shoes with a non-slip sole are recommended. At the conclusion of your guided tour, you may opt to rejoin your coach and proceed directly back to the pier and ship, or remain a bit longer in the Old Town of Klaipeda, and find your own way back to the ship.