“Discovering Lithuania” – the spectacular Lithuania is waiting for Israelis

The Lithuanian Tourist Office and the Lithuanian Embassy in Israel held a festive event for senior officials in the tourism industry, on the occasion of the reopening of Lithuania to Israeli tourism. Watch the video

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania in all its beauty. Old town center. Photo of the Lithuanian Tourist Board

The Lithuanian Tourist Office and the Lithuanian Embassy in Israel held a festive event for senior members of the outgoing tourism industry, at the Claro Tel Aviv restaurant, on the occasion of the reopening of Lithuania to Israeli tourism. The first tourist event of its kind in the post-Corona era and the intention of a strong statement by a country that longs to see Israeli tourists in Israel.

Last May, we were informed that Lithuania had reopened its gates to vaccinated or recovering Israeli tourists without the need for inspections or isolation. It is necessary to register on the website of the Ministry of Health of the country and get a code before arrival. There is no requirement for testing or isolation for children up to age 7, ages 7-16 a negative corona test is required. There is no obligation to wear masks in outdoor spaces and the restaurants are open for indoor and outdoor seating. There are also organized tours for tourists.

Israeli tourists who visited Lithuania before the plague were a significant part of the economy of the country’s tourism industry and revenues totaled about 11 million euros annually. In 2019, Lithuania welcomed more than 30,000 visitors from Israel, an increase of 20% per year and 50,000 tourists from Lithuania came to visit Israel. The expected movement of tourists who can enter Lithuania without restrictions will boost the tourism business and lead to a faster recovery.

Right: Lina Antenevichina, Lithuanian Ambassador to Israel and Arons Carlons, Commercial Adviser at the Lithuanian Embassy in Israel. Photo by Uzi Bachar

Accommodation Antenevichina (Lina Antanavičienė)The Lithuanian Ambassador to Israel, who is in office for the second year in a row, was honored by her presence and told the IAS website: “The purpose of the event is to introduce Lithuania to the organizers of the tourism industry in Israel and say 200,000 Lithuanians now live in Israel, a descendant of the glorious Jewish community that once lived in our charming country and 10,000 citizens with Lithuanian passports. The number of Israeli students studying in Lithuania is also on the rise. “

“Lithuania is famous not only for its rich nature, of which we are very proud and conservative, and what led to its nickname – ‘a clean green country’, but also for the culture rich in music and theater festivals. Lithuania has a glorious Jewish heritage with impressive yeshivas and synagogues. Although we are very close to the Baltic States, we are also very different in terms of nature, architecture and character which is more open and friendly (‘the Italians of the Baltic region’). As the well-known sentence says, it is better to see once than to hear thousands of times. “

Regarding the corona virus, about 50% of the population in Lithuania is vaccinated and the condition improves with the level of morbidity. The state is now open to vaccinated or recovering Israeli citizens, beginning in May 2021 without the need for testing and isolation. The museums, restaurants and theaters are open, pleasant weather of about 13 degrees on average would be a wonderful place to spend your next summer vacation. ”

Arlon Carlons (Arūnas Karlonas)The commercial advisor at the Lithuanian Embassy in Israel, who has been in office for about a year and a half, accompanied the ambassador, saying: Lithuania has a rich history, with our capital Vilnius being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Lithuania you will also find interesting architecture, shopping, galleries, quality food and restaurants of a high culinary level. ”

Right: Easy Blood, CEO of Easy Travel and Tali Laufer, CEO of the Association of Travel Agencies. Photo by Uzi Bachar

Claro Restaurant: Lithuania Tourist Office event for travel agents.  Photo by Uzi Bachar
Claro Restaurant: Lithuania Tourist Office event for travel agents. Photo by Uzi Bachar

Useful information for visitors to Lithuania

Lithuania lies on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, along with Estonia and Latvia. Its area is about 66,000 square kilometers (three times that of the State of Israel) and its population density is among the lowest in Europe and has about 3 million inhabitants. About a third of its area is covered with forests, it has 3,000 lakes and 19 rivers. The name of Lithuania, originates from the word “litus” – rain in Lithuanian. The climate in summer is ideal for a vacation with an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius.

The official language is Lithuanian, but most of the population also speaks English, German, French and Russian. It was recognized on September 6, 1991 and joined the European Union in 2004.

Arons Carlons, delivered a fascinating lecture on Lithuania and noted that there are many reasons to visit Lithuania, when personal security has become one of the most important for travelers in the world, and that is exactly what Lithuania provides, with no refugees and no enemies. Hospitable citizens and speakers of languages ​​and public Internet what is missing in Israel. Arons added that Lithuania has a wide range of accommodation options including, boutique hotels and hotel chains, with high standards of hygiene and attractive prices.

Arriving in Lithuania, by direct flight takes 3 and a half hours. Visair and Rainier flights have been halted due to the outbreak of the corona virus, but will return soon. Visair returns to operate 2 weekly flights to Vilnius, starting July 1. Air Baltic operates 2 weekly flights to Riga and a connecting flight is needed, as well as via Ukraine Airlines and Lot Airlines.

Cultural tourism and Jewish heritage

Vilnius (Vilna), Lithuania. . Shutterstock Photo

Vilna, The capital of Lithuania is undoubtedly a major destination. The big city and the beating heart politically, economically, culturally and touristically. The city has about half a million inhabitants. The Old City was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994.

Known as the “Jerusalem of the North” – due to its affinity for Judaism and Jews and is considered one of the most important cities in Jewish history. The year 2020 was declared the year of the ‘Gaon of Vilna’, the non is the rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman. The number of Jews in the city reached one third of the population, in the period between the two world wars and with a large number of synagogues, the only one that survived World War II was the “Holy Purity”. In the artists’ district of Uzopis, a ghetto operated during the war. The district has declared itself as an independent republic, with its own constitution and is full of colorfulness and creative atmosphere. At the Ponary site, about 100,000 Jews were murdered.

The Old Town, the city’s tourist gem, offers cafes, restaurants, shops and art galleries. The Cathedral – a particularly popular tourist site that is visited by many tourists who come to view its beauty and is designed as a Greek temple.

Events took place in the city (before the Corona Age), such as the annual jazz festival, street music day and the Kazioks Fair, during which artists’ stalls are displayed. View of the city from the bell tower of St. John’s Church is a must. Also worth a visit is the National Gallery of Art which displays modern and contemporary art and the Center for Contemporary Art.

The large island castle located on an island in Lake Galba and connected to the city by a wooden bridge. Photo of the Lithuanian Tourist Board

Turkai – The city is located about 28 km west of Vilnius and was the first capital of Lithuania. It is located on a peninsula and is surrounded by several lakes. Duke Gadiminas built a fortress there and the main site is the large island castle located on an island in Lake Galba and connected to the city by a wooden bridge. There is a museum in the castle and performances are held in the courtyard. A special experience is watching a hot air balloon on the castle, boating on the lake or any water sports activity. The place is famous for the Karaite community that lived in the place and the restaurants that offer the traditional Karaite food called kibinai stuffed with beef or lamb.

Kaunas (Konas) – The second largest city in Lithuania (about 300,000 inhabitants), about 100 km from Vilnius. Between 1920 and 1939 it was the temporary capital of Lithuania. In 2022 it will be declared the European Capital of Culture. A modern city with cultural and architectural richness with medieval styles, through the Gothic to the Art Deco.

Not to be missed is the 14th century Kaunas Castle and the variety of galleries and theaters. Also, the Zalgiris Hall – the largest basketball hall in the Baltic region named after the local basketball team. To remind you of Sharonas (Sharas) Jasikovicius who played for Maccabi Tel Aviv and the Lithuanian national team and is now the coach of Barcelona. The Bauhaus architecture style is common to the city of Kaunas and Tel Aviv and is especially noticeable in the city center alongside the popular Lithuanian building style.

nature – As noted, a third of the country’s area is covered by forests and about 3,000 lakes. 5 national parks and 30 regional parks. In the lakes you can relax in the ‘back belly’ style, you can rent cabins and enjoy your stay, swim, fish, boat, ride bicycles, take walks on designated trails and climb to observation towers with the green landscape reflected or watch winged birds and especially storks. The stork is the national symbol of the country and there are places where one can observe the colonies of white storks. Some of the activities that are gaining momentum recently are aerial surfing and balloons in nature or in Vilnius, from which you can view the city.

family vacation – Lithuania offers options for family fun thanks to its cleanliness, water and air quality. In winter you can create snowmen, enjoy snowmobile tours and ski resorts. With the arrival of spring you can surf in the scooter parks and in the summer visit the beach – swim or pick up amber, or ride a bike along the beaches, go trekking and kayak tours. Also, throughout Lithuania there are many museums that are especially suitable for children.

Medical Tourism – High level service and springs of mineral water and herbs, have made Lithuania as a center for medical tourism and treatment for disease healing.

Druskininkai (Druskininkai), a resort town an hour and a half from Vilnius (130 km). There is a resort with a large water park in Lithuania that simulates a tropical island with saunas, games, kayaking, salty springs with health benefits and a spa center. The River Nemons can be crossed using cable cars that lead to an indoor ski complex. In addition, there is an adventure park with an omega facility for crossing the river and jumping, climbing and surfing trails. Hotels offer about 7000 beds. A very popular place among Israelis, recently also for the purchase of apartments for investment, Arons added.

Birstons (Birštonas), a resort town located about 40 km from Kaunas. The resort is located along the River Nemons. New resorts have also recently opened. Instead of a mineral water spring with health benefits. A high percentage of the town’s area is located within the boundaries of a regional park and in place of the tallest viewing tower in Lithuania. 3000 guest beds are waiting for visitors and every year, in the summer, a balloon festival is held. Birstones and Netanya were recently declared twin cities.

Lithuanian cuisine – Lithuanian traditional cuisine is flourishing again and recently restaurants serving traditional dishes have opened alongside contemporary Lithuanian restaurants and restaurants that recreate Jewish cuisine. Lithuanian food has much in common with Jewish food, but it turns out that the pie that is common among Ashkenazi and Eastern European Jews – kugel and latex, are not considered Lithuanian national food – they also noted to their surprise the guests from Lithuania.

Local products and markets – Arons Carlons: “Israeli tourists are important to us not only because of the historical connection to Lithuania, they are also ranked in the first trio of ‘wasteful’ money in our country.”

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Source: IAS by www.ias.co.il.

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