Reviews about Juodkrante - seaside resort in the Curonian spit
Briefly about Juodkrantė
Juodkrantė - it's the closest port of Klaipeda in the Curonian Spit resort town stretching 2 km along the lagoon shore. While Juodkrantė - the second largest settlement on the Curonian Spit, population is only about 700. This small, quiet and tidy resort belongs to the Municipality of Neringa and is published historical - Urban Reserve.
Neringa Municipality-owned three resort towns:
- Pervalka (11 km south from Juodkrantė);
- Preila (19 km south from Juodkrantė);
- Nida (29 km south from Juodkrantė).
Although Juodkrantė is small, the choice of accommodation here quite vast - several different levels of hotels, resort and guest houses, rooms and apartments in private villas and small private houses rented by locals. There is a possibility to rent a house or cottage and for travelers there are a lot of camping places.
As in all the Curonian spit, in Juodkrantė iit is quite difficult to find a place to stay during the season due to the large Lithuanian and foreign (especially - German) influx of tourists, so accommodation place must be taken care of in advance, even before the start of the season.
A standard double room in a hotel or quest house during season reaches 50-100 euros per day, depending on the weather, number of vacancies and equipment of rentable places. Across the spit apartments with views of the lagoon are especially desirable, making them more expensive to rent.
Infrastructure, Leisure and Entertainment
Juodkrantė is a very tidy, quiet and presentable resort, perfect for a family holiday. A special atmosphere in the settlement is created by villas, survived the XIX-XX centuries, lagoon fishermen's houses and other ethno-cultural components, preserved wooden buildings. Through the lagoon along the coast stretches a walking path with stone sculpture lawn. Juodkrantė has a tiny harbor and yacht marina, a shop, several cafes and bars, school, library, post office, cultural center, L. Reza Marine Cadet School.
Juodkrantė is located in parabolic dune valley and is surrounded by picturesque pine forest, walking through which about 2 km Baltic Sea beachcan be reached.
Park of wooden sculptures "Witch mountain" is favorite pastimeof little vacationers. Near Juodkrantė there are "Grey dunes" - an observation deck on the "Garniu kalnas" (Heron hill) and cormorant brooding place.
Juodkrantė Coast is one of the most versatile sailing locations in Lithuania. Kitesurfing and windsurfing can be done both from the lagoon and the sea side.
In "Gulf of Amber" near Juodkrantė is the main amber mining location in Lithuania.
In Klaipeda International Ferry connects Smiltynė Spit with the rest of the Lithuanian territory. Although ferries sailing season is every half hour in summer (especially on weekends) on the abundance of tourists to ferry long traffic queues form and moving takes a few hours.
Juodkrantė is 18km from Smiltynė. During season Smiltynė ferry sails every half hour, transporting both pedestrians and vehicles. From Smiltynė fery stretches an excellent road - Nida-Smiltynė highway 167, which leads to the Curonian Spit: Juodkrantė, Preila, Pervalka, Nida.
There is an option to book private vans or higher class cars.
Bus routes come from many Lithuanian cities and towns. There are frequent stops of buses carrying passengers to Juodkrante, Pervalka, Preila and Nida. International voyages also available.
Local public transport - buses and vans go to other settlements of Neringa - Preila, Pervalka, Nida.
There is an option to book private vans or higher class cars.
From Smiltynė over the Curonian Spit a biking trail stretches 50 kilometers. It connects main seaside resorts of Lithuania with Klaipeda.
Palanga International Airport is located about 37 km away from Smiltynė, 55 km away from Juodkrantė. (18 km to Smiltynė International Ferry Terminal and about 37 km Away from Klaipeda to Palanga airport ).
The nearest train station is in Klaipeda - about 20 km from Juodkrantė.
Juodkrantė has been settled for a long time ago. Archaeologists detected stone, bronze and early iron age products. Near Juodkrantė the gray dunes seen from the other shore of the bay look dark, so the settlement received Juodkrantė (Black shore) name.
Historical sources mention the settlement in 1429, but in that time it has been a little bit closer to the Baltic Sea. 1599 - 1600 when old Juodkrantė was covered in sand, it was moved to its present location. In eighteenth century in Juodkrantė settlers from sanded Karvaičiai village sheltered. Current Juodkrantė formed when Old Juodkrantė, New Karvaičiai and Juodkrante near the church were united into whole settlement. To the existing Juodkrantė territory belongs former Grikienės (or Nuodėmių - village of Sins) which was in front of the Amber Bay.
In 1669 first by-the-road inn was established.
In 1682 after getting permits first fishermen started to settle.
In 1885 a brick church was built.
Middle of XIX century Juodkrantė was known as a resort. First steamboats from Klaipėda, later from Tilžė started coming. At the same time, dredging the bottom of the coast more and more amber were to find, this led to the further development of the village. XIX-XX centuries shops, hotels, villas, restaurants began to rise.
In twentieth century Juodkrantė has grown into a small town-type village and was already a popular summer resort, and since 1961 formally incorporated into the new town of Neringa composition.
Juodkrantė was where famous German painter Gustav Fenkohl (1872 - 1950) had spent his youth.
Hill of Witches
Founded in 1979 - 1981 and in 1988 topped, wooden sculpture exposition of Witches is one of the most popular tourist destinations not only in Juodkrantė, but also across the Curonian Spit. Wooden witches, demons and characters from various Lithuanian folk tales and small wooden rides of more than 100 folk artists make little holidaymakers, their parents and guests from abroad happy. Some of the sculptures reach the height of several meters. Sculpture Park "Hill of Witches" authors - sculptor S. Šarapovas and architect A. Nasvytis.
Stone Sculpture Park "Land and Water"
In 1995 in Juodkrantė along the coast and L.Rėza street 2400 meter long pier was built. It's a popular vacationing spot for walking, where you can enjoy not only the view of the seaside and the waves, but also the original stone sculptures in "Land and Water" exhibit. It consists of 31 work of stone, created by Lithuanian, British, Swedish and artists from other countries.
Museum of Fine Arts
In 1982 built showroom exhibitions are held not only of Lithuanian artists, but also artists from another countries.
Exhibition halls and historical exposition of Ludikas Rėza Cultural Centre
School built in 1902 - 1903 in Juodkrantė is a typical example of architecture of East Prussia. In 2003 school building was converted into Juodkrantė house of exhibitions, where constantly expositions dedicated to to Juodkrantė history and Martynas Liudvikas Rėza are shown. Information is available in Lithuanian, English and German languages. There are also organized shows of Lithuanian and foreign creators of modern art, old art, history, exhibitions and cultural events: the traditional and public holidays, concerts, theme nights, meetings, lectures, conferences, concerts, educational activities for children and young people.
Monument to Liudvikas Rėza
The famous folklorist Liudvikas Martynas Rėza, originated from Karvaičiai village, which later became part of Juodkrantė is one of the most prominent personalities of Juodkrantė. In 1994 a dedicated monument was erected. Juodkrantė Marine Cadet School was named in L. Rėza memory.
Evangelical Lutheran Church
In Juodkrantė south is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Francis of Assisi, built in 1885. Church Architect - F. A. Stüler. After the Second World War, the church was closed, and later there was established Miniature Museum. In 1988 Evangelical Church was returned to evangelicans, and from 1989 Catholic mass is being held.
Heron and cormorant colony to Juodkrantė
Going from Juodkrantė towards Nida there is one of the most popular tourist sites of the Curonian Spit - Herons old forest hill, where the gray heron and cormorant colonies are. This is one of the largest colonies of cormorants in Europe. Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo L. or Carbo Cormorano) or sea ravens (Corvus marinus) settled in Juodkrantė in 1803 alongside of herons and began occupying their nests . Herons were forced to settle in the south.
Dead dunes, located between Pervalka and Juodkrantė are of the most impressive features of the landscape of the Curonian Spit. Gray dunes are called because of the color of local flora. Between 1675 and 1934 sand covered up as much as 4 villages. From one side of the dunes of the Curonian Spit opens a wonderful panorama of the Curonian Lagoon, and from the other side - the Baltic Sea. Looking from the other shore of the bay dunes look dark grey, thats why the settlement was named Juodkrante.
In 1950 on the Hill of Witches in Juodkrantė there was built a 20 meter high lighthouse. Its light signal is visible 33 km radius. The signal of white light is 3 seconds on, 5 seconds off.