EuroVelo 13 follows the 99km coastline of Lithuania. More or less in the middle of the Lithuanian part of the route, sits Klaipeda, the country's third largest city. It is emblematic of the region's multilayered heritage. Remnants of the Prussian and Soviet eras stand side by side.
Remnants of the Prussian and Soviet eras stand side by side.
Like its northern neighbour, Lithuania declared its independence following World War I, in 1918. The Klaipeda revolt of 1923 saw the city of Klaipeda and its region join the Lithuanian state. This area was inhabited by a large minority of Lithuanian Prussians.
After World War II, Lithuania became a Soviet State. The advent of perestroika and glasnost in the late 1980s allowed the establishment of Sąjūdis, an anti-Communist independence movement. After a landslide victory in elections to the Supreme Soviet, members of Sąjūdis proclaimed Lithuania's independence on 11 March 1990, becoming the first Soviet republic to do so.
The highlight of the Lithuanian section of EuroVelo 13 has to be the phenominally unique landscape of the Curonian Split. This finger of land that separates the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon is made up of sand dunes, wetlands, bogs and forests and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. It contains a land border between its Lithuanian and Russian sections (Kaliningrad Oblast).
Iron Curtain Trail
The Iron Curtain Trail website was established by Michael Cramer MEP, the 'father' of the route, to provide information and advice for people looking to cycle all or part of the former border between eastern and western Europe.