All the staff at SwimTrek HQ have a huge passion for travel, adventure and of course swimming. So, when we were invited out to location by our generous host Matthew from the Tiki Inn in Paluse, we all jumped at the chance. Set in the beautiful Aukstaitija National Park, the surrounding stunning lakes, the Tiki Inn will provide that remote lakeside getaway you’re craving. Don’t let the word Baltic throw you, this stunning gem of European lake swimming tour enjoys sunshine for much of the summer months, and the SwimTrek HQ trip was blessed with beautiful weather 20C+ every day. But even if your trip catches a storm, watching the lightening over Lake Lusiai from the Inn is a breath-taking scene. The vast clear waters and pink hued sunsets that sets the lake alight at night are worth the trip alone.
There are so many great reasons to head to the Paluse area, and below are some of the highlights of what the SwimTrek HQ team we lucky to experience.
Obviously as a swimming holiday company we were going to try our hand at a few river swims! The clear, cool waters on the lakes around Paluse are calm and a great start for those new to open water swimming but there are plenty of enjoyable routes for the more experienced swimmer, adding in winding rivers or just upping your distances. SwimTrek founder Simon lead the way and had us in the water every day!
Being based in Paluse in the countryside and relatively far away from major cities, the area surrounding the Tiki Inn enjoys beautiful settings free of light, sound, and noise pollution. We enjoyed the clearest, starriest night skies every night, preluded by the brightest, beautiful sunsets over the lake, honeyed orange glows one night and pink and purple streaked skies the next. Our trip in early May had us enjoying around 15 hours of daylight, it being bright till 9pm and getting later every day.
Our accommodation at the Tiki Inn made everyone feel incredibly welcome. The guesthouse is a main feature of the small town and feels at the heart of the community. The Hawaiian theme is charming, and the Inn more than accommodated all of us from SwimTrek, giving us the space to enjoy the open air and the great views of Lake Lusiai from the deck. As well it being the perfect relaxing base for our getaway, there are saunas and hot tubs at the ready, perfect to jump back into after a quick dash into the lake! There’s also local beer on tap which you’re encouraged to pour yourself and some of the best home cooked meals you will have in a long time. Audra and her team make a range of delicious meals from scratch, and if you’re lucky, you may get a great cookout from Matthew on their huge barbeque!
We were lucky enough to enjoy some of the other activities that Matthew can provide and completed several hikes and one fabulous three-hour winding river paddle boarding session! The group also went out on night time kayaking session, complete with LED strips strapped to the boats to light the way. This pollution free location really pays of here as the clear skies where uninterrupted and it was also an opportunity to see the local wildlife really come alive at night from the viewpoint of the water.
All of us at SwimTrek had a fantastic time with Matthew and his family in Lithuania. If you’re looking for an unusual destination with great water quality, natural surroundings and some cosy homely accommodation, add Lithuania to your bucket list and you’ll see what you’ve been missing out on!