Lithuania has always been known as one of Europe’s premier agricultural countries. As early as the 11th century, during the height of the medieval era of kings and crusades, the people of Lithuania have eked out a living largely through farming and hunting. To this day, blessed by beautiful nature, Lithuania still boasts some of the most pastoral landscapes and idyllic scenery in Europe.
Homesteads for Everyone
Today, Lithuania’s agricultural heritage has positioned the country as a thriving agritourism destination. For travellers looking to sample a simpler way of life, a network of Lithuanian homesteads aims to match guests with the rural experiences they seek.
Run by the Lithuanian Countryside Tourism Association, this network of over 350 homesteads caters to every travel style. Visitors can search by peaceful stays, active holidays, holidays for families, culinary heritage, wellness homesteads and even homesteads equipped for business conferences and events. Many rural accommodation providers are also accessible to the disabled.
No matter one’s interests, the range of activities available on rural homesteads is astounding. Every season is a good season for outdoor fun, from canoeing through rivers and lakes to cycling and horseback riding in the summer and cross-country skiing, Nordic walking or sledge riding in the winter. For the more culturally inclined, a homestead is also a great way to participate in local festivals and various regional celebrations.
Prie Saltinio Farmstead
One of our favourite farmsteads is Prie Saltinio, notable both for its history and its location. Legend has it that the farm was founded when its owner stumbled upon a natural spring and decided to build a sauna and spa around it. This was in 1940 and the man enjoyed great success for decades as keeper of the only natural spring in the area. Now, the family business has been passed down to the original founder’s grandchildren, who still run it today.
Prie Saltinio is set on the unspoiled banks of the Zelsva River. The surroundings, like almost all of Lithuania’s territory, are ecologically pristine amidst undisturbed rural scenery. Guests at Prie Saltinio are offered not only comfortable accommodation but also a taste of the farm’s rich history through authentic touches like wooden plates, linen bedding, home-cooked national dishes and weaving or cheese-making courses.
There are hundreds of farmsteads for various tastes throughout Lithuania’s five regions – Zemaitija (Samogitia), Aukstaitija, Dzukija, Suvalkija and Lithuania Minor – and their national parks. Aside from the pleasure of relaxing in nature, such farmstead stays offer many possibilities to experience the traditional way of life in Lithuania, as locals have lived it for centuries.
Almost every farmstead or homestead in Lithuania is family-owned and -operated and many cater to specific clientèle, like horseback riders, hikers or bicyclists. Absolutely everyone, including fishermen, hunters, bird-watchers and sauna enthusiasts, can all find his or her niche in rural Lithuania.