What makes Birštonas a great place to visit in Lithuania?
Birštonas is a charming little town blessed with natural mineral water. This spa town is a perfect place for a relaxing holiday.
Other than spa treatments, there are many activities in nature in Birštonas, like hiking and cycling in the forest or boat tours in the river Nemunas that runs through the town.
Where is it? Birštonas on the map
Getting around Birštonas
Birštonas is small enough to be perfectly walkable.
You can pick up a map of Birštonas from the local tourist information centre and get around on foot or rent a bike.
Visiting Birštonas on a festival weekend
I visited Birštonas during the weekend of the Lithuanian Hot Air Balloon Championship.
Birštonas is quiet and calm all year round… except when there’s a festival on 😉
For a one weekend it gets a bit more busy, though still charmingly tranquil.
People come from Lithuania, Latvia and other places to enjoy the festival.
I arrived in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city, just the day before going to Birštonas.
The following morning I took the short drive from Kaunas to Birštonas and arrived there just in time for a picturesque boat tour.
The atmosphere was peaceful and the boat tour was very relaxing.
It takes you around the Nemunas River. We took our comfortable seats on the upper deck to get the best view.
The area has some unique flora and fauna, ducks and birds, people in small boats and most importantly: peace and quite…
It was on the boat that I first tried drinking the mineral water that Birštonas is known for.
The carbonated bottled water is salty, so be prepared. If you know what to expect, it actually tastes really nice.
I consumed quite a few bottles of the salty water during my weekend in Birštonas and really liked it.
During the festival there were plenty of cultural events and activities going on. I especially enjoyed an opera performance and a tango show.
The town centre hosted a big arts and craft market was a handmade crafts and traditional Lithuanian food.
Just a few steps from there, we entered a cool forest, which is the town’s central park.
When you walk inside the forest, look around to spot the sculptures by various artists all around the park.
The open-air graduation pavilion (“Druskupis”) is a unique feature in the park. This is where you can sit down or walk around breathing the healthy air enriched with drops of mineral water.
In the evening on the main festival stage there were various bands playing, right next to the hot air balloons.
Weather conditions did not allow them to fly that night, but they did go up and down in the air and it was lovely to see the balloons lit up.
Vytautas Mineral Spa – An exceptional spa centre and hotel in Birštonas
I stayed at the newest spa centre in Birštonas, Vytautas Mineral Spa, and enjoyed wonderful hospitality, refreshing spa treatments, great food and very impressive decor.
This luxury resort uses natural mineral water in it therapeutic and beauty treatments and even in the food served in the dining room.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by the friendly hotel staff, checked in and took a tour of the spa facilities.
The spa treatments and activites
I got to experience several spa treatments out of the approx. 200 (!) available at Vytautas Mineral Spa.
These are all based on mineral water from a local spring and include different types of body massage, body scrubs and body wraps, facial treatments, treatments using crystals and so much more. There are also treatmens for children. See the full list here.
Apart from the treatments, there are mineral baths, swimming pools, lakes, a hammam, different types of saunas and a Jacuzzi.
The first thing I tried was a hand treatment.
Sitting on the grass by the lake outside the hotel, this was a quick treatment that left my hands super soft.
My second treatment was a mineralising body wrap. It was the first time I’ve ever tried it and didn’t know quite what to expect.
After your body is fully covered in mud you’re wrapped up and lie down for about 20 minutes, while the detoxifying effect takes place.
The skin becomes really soft and your mind stress-free.
Next I had an Ayurvedic massage. It’s an oil massage that treats every part of the body.
Blogging certainly takes its toll on my shoulders, as anyone who spends hours in front of their laptop knows. That massage was just what I needed 😉
I’ve added it to my list of favourite treatment for my next spa visit.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience.
After the massage, the masseuse took me to the relaxation room, where you can have some tea, sit in a chair with your feet up and listen to relaxing music in the background.
It was so relaxing that I quickly dozed off…
If you want to get active outside the spa area, there are a couple of options.
There are lakes just outside the hotel, one of which has a nice sandy beach.
Also just outside the hotel there’s a forest that perfect for walking or cycling.
I chose to walk with Nordic walking sticks which was good fun. We walked into the forest and then reached the river and walked along it.
You can hire the sticks from the hotel.
Alternatively, you can hire bicycles and ride around the forest and along the river.
These walking and cycling tours are offered with a guide or you can do them independently in your own time.
The food at Vytautas Mineral Spa
For lunch and dinner, the stylish dining room provides a rich buffet. There is also an option to dine à la carte.
The food was delicious. I could easily find vegan dishes in the vegetarian section of the buffet.
There’s also a salad bar and a beautiful selection of desserts.
The breakfast buffet also offers a large selection. Again, I could find some vegan options easily.
My favourite was the oatmeal porridge with chia seeds on top.
The rooms, interior design and architecture
I’m a huge fan of good design, but let’s start with the essentials: The bed was really comfortable.
I slept well after a long day of attending festival events and woke up completely refreshed.
The hotel is a couple of years old, so everything looks new and sparkling clean.
The interior design is a real joy.
Just hanging around the reception area and looking up you’ll see how much attention to detail was given in the design and decoration of the place.
Go upstairs to the library for a different and surprising artistic experience.
When you enter the treatment area, look up at the unique design of the ceiling. Combined with the use of wood and soft lights, the atmosphere is perfect for a relaxing treatment.
I asked to see some of the rooms and was taken on a little tour around the hotel.
While all rooms give you a feeling of modern luxury, each room has a different design and it’s seriously impressive.
Some have original art painted on the walls, some have contemporary black and white photos above the bed.
The sofas and comfy chairs are stylish and even the bathrooms are all designed differently.
The hotel is kid-friendly, so most rooms have space for children. It’s also dog friendly – I saw a couple of cute dogs around.
No less than five architects worked on the building and the result is truly impressive.
I especially loved the use of round corners and curving lines everywhere you look around the building, both inside and outside.
How to get to Birštonas
The nearest airport is in Kaunas and there are direct transfer services from there to Birštonas.
From the city of Kaunas itself, you can reach Birštonas by car or by bus. It’s about 50 km away, around 40 minutes by car and about an hour by bus.
The scenery on the way from Kaunas to Birštonas is splendid, with lakes, forests and small villages along the way.
From Vilnius it takes a bit longer to reach Birštonas, about 1.5 hours by car, depending on traffic.
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I was a guest of Vytautas Minetal Spa and the Birštonas Tourism Information Center on this trip. All opinions are my own.