The historic, lakeside city of Trakai, the capital of ancient Lithuania, is just a short trip from its current first city, Vilnius. Its magical Gothic castle and Old Town are built on a series of islands and peninsulas jutting out into the beautiful lake. And it has the feel of a fairytale about it. A peaceful resort, it’s perfectly situated to enjoy both the charms of nature and the cultural riches of a city break.
A medieval resort beside a mirror-like lake.
Things to do
Trakai has a rich multi-cultural heritage. It has been home at various times to communities of Tatars, Russians, Karaimes, Jews and Poles – who still make up a large part of the population today. According to legend, Grand Duke Gediminas discovered the lake back in the 13th century. He decided to build a city and make this the centre of his empire.
The five lakes around the small city of Trakai are home to a vast array of birds, animals and plant life. Trakai’s woodlands are brimming with life and the lake itself is home to countless bird species. Designated a Historical National Park – the only one of its kind in Europe – the area’s unique wildlife and heritage are being preserved.
Tranquil Trakai is just a short drive from Lithuania’s most creative city, Vilnius. It’s the perfect escape for some peace and quite while enjoying the art and cultural treasures of the capital. The summer months are packed with film festivals, folk dances, music and theatre - and Vilnius’ museums and palaces are well worth the short travel times.
Sample the traditional dishes and stuffed pastries of the Karaim people, who have called Trakai home since the 14th century.
Top tip from SLH