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AUKSTAITIJA NATIONAL PARK AUKSTAITIJA ( HIGHLANDS) LITHUANIA A NEW DISCOVERY The largest ethnographic region of Lithuania is situated in the north- eastern and eastern part of the country. The region is famous for a large variety of dialects, ways of life and ethno- cultural heritage. The cheerful temper of Aukstaitija people is said to stem from its remarkably picturesque nature, while Aukstaitija is also called the motherland of poets and story- tellers. The region is diverse and o ? ers various attractions and places to visit. The small and cosy towns are full of hidden cultural gems. The villages and farmsteads scattered around the unspoilt nature are perfect places for an undisturbed holiday. The National Park of Aukstaitija is a watery stillness of 127 glassy lakes, lined by sandy beaches and vast forests in which lurk wild boar and wolves. Signs of human habitation are rare. The park's small population is scattered over tiny hamlets and isolated farmsteads, preserving a traditional rural way of life. Aukstaitija is easily reached from Vilnius, making it ideal for day trips or a weekend gateway. Boating is a superb form of transport to traverse these tranquil waters and to explore the furthest reaches of the park. Wilderness lovers can canoe from lake to lake or go  shing, while the park's labyrinth of forest paths and gentle hills makes it a great place to explore by bike. Isolated rural farmsteads and guesthouses o ? er peaceful accommodation, hearty meals, steaming saunas and activities such as hunting or mushroom and berry picking. More information: www. countryside. lt

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