Full day tour to Druskininkai and Grutas Park
Druskininkai - Lithuania’s premier spa and southernmost town located 140 km from Vilnius. Picturesquely set on the Nemunas river and surrounded by pine forests with wonderfully fresh scented air is a delightful place to spend a few days of rest. A one-day trip to the town features its main attractions: the neo-gothic Church of the Virgin Mary of the Scapular, Ciurlionis Memorial Museum, Jacques Lipchitz Memorial Gallery, and Grutas Park, a unique park where pompous statues of soviet revolutionaries and political leaders, once dominating squares of Lithuanian towns and villages, have found their shelter after being removed more than ten years ago.
According to some sources, the site of present-day Druskininkai was inhabited by local Yotvingian tribes in the early Middle Ages. In the 13th century, Lithuanians conquered the area and built a small castle to defend themselves against the Teutonic Order (Order of the Teutonic House of St. Mary in Jerusalem). However, the castle was destroyed in 1308, and the area became desolate. The first mention of present-day Druskininkai dates back to 1636, with the root of the name meaning “salt” (druska lt), which suggests that locals have been collecting this precious mineral. In the late 18th century, the discovery of the healthiness of Druskininkai areal water started asthma treatment. In the early 19th century, I. Fonberger, a professor of Vilnius University, focused on the analysis of the chemical composition of Druskininkai waters and discovered that it was rich in calcium, sodium, potassium, iodine, bromine, iron, and magnesium, which has contributed to promoting Druskininkai as a holiday resort for Lithuanians and their guests.
This full day tour is organized from Vilnius or Kaunas.