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Aukštaitija National Park

Aukštaitija National Park



Location: Ignalina   Map

Area: 405.70 km²




Aukstaitija National Park situated in Ignalina region of Lithuania 100 km North of Vilnus. This natural reserve covers an area of 405.70 km². It is the oldest national park in the country founded in 1974. Glaciers from an Ice Age carved unique landscape of Aukstaitija National Park. About 15% of the park area is covered by 126 lakes and numerous rivers. The largest lakes are Kretuonas and Tauragnas. Lake Baluosas contains seven islands. One of the islands contains its own small lake. The park is inhabited by 209 species of birds, 64 species of plants and 35 species of fish. Fishing is legal within the norms established by the park's administration. You can rent fishing rods, boat or a kayak. Additionally you can stay on the land of the natural park if you get the permit.


One of the most favorite destinations of Aukštaitija National Park is hill Ladakalnis. Translated roughly as an "iceberg" the hill offers a magnificent view of seven lakes (Linkmenas, Asalnai, Ukoyas, Asekas, Alnas, and Luschay Almayas) of the natural park. According to local legends the hill served as a site for pagan rituals intended to honor mother goddess Lada. Now even though this can not be proven for a fact there are archaeological finds that include first settlements that date back to 9000 BC  as well as 45 burial sites from the 4th to 12th centuries. Each site contains from several up to 400 tumuluses or burial mounds that cover the actual burial along with artifacts that were put in the grave. This region of Europe remained pagan up to late Medieval times so it had unique way to part with the departed ones. Additionally remains of 11 hill forts are scattered through out the area. Needless to say that it is illegal to remove any items from the national park. If you do stumble on an ancient site report it to the administration of the Aukštaitija National Park.