According to zipcodesexplorer, Ignalina and its environs are rightly called the forest and lake region. This place seems to be specially created for lovers of nature – here you can enjoy fishing, water activities, boating and cycling trips, or just relax in one of the many rural estates. And also watch walking elks, hares, foxes, wild boars, and, if you’re lucky, lynxes.
Everyone who comes to Ignalina is struck by the fresh, as if transparent air. It is no coincidence that the coat of arms of the city depicts white lilies, which, as you know, grow only in very clean water bodies. Indeed, rest here will help clear your thoughts of negativity and return home with a wonderful mood.
Previously, Ignalina was known for its nuclear power plant. True, the nuclear power plant closed in 2009 was much closer to other cities, such as Zarasai or Visaginas.
Geography and nature
Located 108 km from Vilnius, Ignalina is surrounded on all sides by forests, in the depths of which mirrors of lakes are hidden from prying eyes. There are more than 200 of them here. And do not forget about dozens of the cleanest rivers. In such a unique place, it was impossible not to organize the Aukstaitija National Park, most of the territory of which is located just in the Ignalina municipality. It presents great opportunities for those who like to relax on the water: numerous lakes are connected to each other by streams and channels. In addition to the national park, there are 14 smaller nature reserves and sanctuaries.
The most popular water route called the “Big Ring” has a length of 28 km.
The history of Ignalina is closely connected with the railway. The small village, founded in 1810, lived a quiet and measured life until the St. Petersburg-Warsaw railway line was built next to it. Ignalina received a powerful impetus for development. However, it acquired the status of a city only in 1950, almost immediately becoming positioned as a resort in the heart of the lake region.
How to get there and where to stay
There are 8 trains running daily from Vilnius to Ignalina. Travel time: about 1 hour 30 minutes, ticket price: 4.60 EUR. Traveling by bus (they leave every hour from the Vilnius bus station) will cost about the same amount.
There are literally several hotels in Ignalina with a population of 5,000, as tourists who come to these parts prefer to settle in remote farms and farmsteads. There is a good hotel at the city sports and entertainment center. For those traveling by car, a modern campsite is open in the village of Paloushes. The average cost of an overnight stay in Ignalina hotels is 30-40 EUR. A good estate outside the city can be rented for 50-70 EUR.
What to watch
Despite the relative youth, there are many interesting places in Ignalina. Near the city in the village of Seimates is the oldest pagan stone Mokas. And in a village in Ginuchay, a water mill is still operating – the only surviving structure of its kind in the region. The mill houses a museum and a café.
There is a well-preserved wooden church of St. Joseph, erected in 1757, near Lake Lushu. An interesting fact: no nails were used during its construction, only an axe.
One of the most breathtaking views of the local landscapes opens from Mount Ladakalnis, from where you can see 6 lakes at once. In pagan times, sacrificial rites were performed on it.
In general, there are a large number of ethnic villages in the Ignalina municipality, which help to feel the village life.
You can swim and sunbathe on the sandy beach of Lake Galvė. There are excellent beaches on the lakes Zhalaya and Ilga, shaped like a horseshoe.
Ignalina is considered to be the center of winter sports in Lithuania. Snow here falls unusually early and melts late. For skiing at the local Winter Sports Center, 4 slopes with lifts and snow cannons are available. The city hosts many national and international competitions in biathlon, cross-country skiing and alpine skiing every year.
You can play tennis at the City Sports and Leisure Center, tone up your muscles at the gym, swim in the pool, and top it all off with a relaxing break at the spa. As elsewhere in Lithuania, Ignalina has a huge number of basketball courts. On the outskirts of the city there is a 7.5 km ski-roller track.
You can rent a bike cheaply in almost every town in the region. During the bike ride, tourists can enjoy picturesque panoramas: hills, forests, rivers and water meadows, lonely farms. The two-day Aukshatiysky cycle route, which includes Ignalina, is 70 km of picturesque roads and paths.