The tiny resort town of Palanga in Lithuania holds a special place in my heart. I practically grew up on the sandy beach and had my first ever job here as a teenager. As a student I spent my summers here waiting tables in cafes and then swimming in the sea at midnight after work. Ah, the good old days!
The resort does get packed with crowds of people in the summertime and maybe not always with the best type of crowds, but what seaside town doesn’t? It’s party central in summer time and a popular destination for younger crowds to show off.
For a better seaside experience on the Lithuanian coast, head to the UNESCO Heritage Site Nida on the Curonian Spit.
If you ask me when is the perfect time to visit Lithuania, 9 out of 10 times I’ll say summer time. Winters can be harsh here and spring can be very late to show up. But if you ask me when is the best time to visit Palanga, I’ll say October.
If you find yourself travelling around western Lithuania in autumn, wrap up and pop out to discover the quietness and peacefulness of this town. Here are my reasons why.
Reason #1: The colours
Every time I am back home in October, I can’t help but feel surprised how colourful my home country is. The trees are splashed with colour everywhere you look. October is the perfect time to visit the seaside resort Palanga, just 12 km west from my hometown Kretinga and around 30 km north west from Klaipeda.
One of the best places to find an incredible mix of autumnal hues is the Botanical Park (Palangos Birutės Parkas). Follow the narrow paths of the park and discover the glorious blend of intense red and yellow leaves rustling on the ground.
Come here in the afternoon, when the setting sun starts veiling the park in soft golden light. The last streaks of which turn the place into a fairy tale playground.
Reason #2: Honey tea and potato pancakes
After a long walk there’s nothing better than a warm tea and some hearty food. Pop into the cosy ‘Lietuvos Rytas‘ restaurant on Basanavicius street for a portion of homemade potato pancakes served with fresh cream.
And don’t forget to order Honey Tea, a true autumn warmer. It comes in tiny pots generously filled with honey infused with peppermint, ginger, lemon balm or cinnamon, the choice is yours!
Reason #3: The sunsets
Stick around for some serene sunsets, they are so much softer in October. You will notice the streets filling with the locals and maybe the odd group of German tourists. For a mere hour or so, the town comes back to life until the next sunset.
Reason #4: The quietness
In summer time Palanga is buzzing with visitors, the beach is packed and the streets are loud. But come September and the place quiets down with only a few late vacationers searching for the last of the summer warmth.
Once October hits, Palanga turns into a ghost town. The streets are peaceful and the beach is empty. This is the time to truly appreciate the seaside, sit peacefully on the beach and watch the Baltic Sea. It’s the time to wander the streets and discover how beautiful and sleek they are.
You will mostly meet the locals who come to stretch their muscles after a hard day’s work. No crowds, no parties, no drunk folks. To me, that’s reason enough to come here in October.
Have you ever visited Palanga? When did you visit? Let us know in the comments below…