Anykščiai Regional Park was established to preserve the most valuable natural and cultural features of the Anykščiai district. It is famous for Anykščiai Pine Forest described by the poet A. Baranauskas, and the individuality and abundance of cultural heritage related to the life of Lithuanian classical writers.
The noteworthy sites include the picturesque valleys of the Šventoji and its tributaries Elmė, Varius, Marčiupis and Šlavė and other streams with old riverbeds, floodplains, erosional spurs and ravines, the erosion cirque of Kurkliai, the Rubikiai-Mūšėjas group of lakes with the islands, the old valleys of the rivers Anykšta and Virinta, and the Storiai moraine hills forming a watershed. On the right-hand slope of the Šventoji, a little below the mouth of the Virinta is the rock exposure of Vetygala that is about 30 m high (Žėba Hill). This unique feature shows nearly 400-million-year-old pre-glacial layers composed of light quartz sand and mica. The exposures of Varius, Daumantai, Abromiškio Šileliai, Vildžiūnai (Virinta) and Gyliai also deserve to be noted. Another tourist attraction located on the right-hand side of the Šventoji near Lake Ilgis is the 0.7 ha Karalienė quagmire rich in springs.
The Puntukas stone is the second largest in Lithuania, measuring 5.7 m in height, 6.7 m in width and 6.9 m in length, and weighing 265 tonnes. The stone has become a commemorative site of the legendary pilots S. Darius and S. Girėnas. The sacred oaks described by the poet A. Baranauskas can be found nearby. The Pine Forest of Anykščiai made famous by the poet lies on both sides of the Šventoji and is furrowed by the graceful streams of Marčiupis, Piktupis, Šlavė, Išplėtravis and Vingerkštynė. At the southern edge of the pinewood stretches the mysterious small Lake Budragaidis.
The old town of Anykščiai is valuable for its original layout. The neo-Gothic Church of St. Matthew, built in 1899 – 1909, is the most distinct feature of the panorama of Anykščiai, and is the highest twin tower church in Lithuania. The towers are 79 m high.
The park abounds in mounds, the most renowned of which is the Šeimyniškėliai (Voruta) mound. This hill, which is one of the largest and most impressive mounds in Aukštaitija, is surrounded by the deep valleys of the Vorelis and Volupis streams. A castle of King Mindaugas is supposed to have stood on this fortified hill. The mounds of Liudiškiai, Piliakalnis, Buivydas and Bijeikiai are no less pleasing to the eye.
Burbiškis estate, included in the list of recommended European heritage sites, represents an ensemble of late Classicism built at the end of the 19th century. Near the estate lies a five-hectare park with the English layout.
The stretch of the narrow-gauge railway with its stations ending at Lake Rubikiai is an interesting monument of technology.
The house of the poet and bishop Antanas Baranauskas (1835-1902) is the first memorial museum in Lithuania, and a monument of folk architecture. The park also boasts the childhood homes of the writers Antanas Žukauskas-Vienuolis (1882-1957), Bronė Buivydaitė (1895-1984) near Šaltupis, and Jonas Biliūnas (1879-1907).
Opened in 1987 on the initiative of the agronomist Prof. Petras Vasinauskas, the unique Horse Museum situated 6 km from Anykščiai is the only of its kind in Lithuania. The museum has a collection reflecting the importance of the horse for the history of Lithuanian economy and culture. The eight buildings of the museum display farming implements, blacksmith’s tools, old baskets and means of transport from the horse epoch, which include different carriages from all of Lithuania, such as britzkas and other carts, as well as Jonas Gelaževičius’ unique collection of stamps, and the folk artist Jurgis Kazlauskas’ assortment of woodcarvings, and photos.
In winter the Aukštaitija ethnographic estate in Niūronys implements an educational programme under which schoolchildren are familiarised with Lithuanian traditions and festivals.
The recreation areas include the territories south of Anykščiai and near Kavarskas Reservoir, the village of Niūronys and Lake Rubikiai. By the river Šventoji there are seven camping sites, two recreation centres and two beaches. Lakes Rubikiai and Mūšėjas have nine camping sites, of which two are private.
The park boasts 3 trails for motorised tourists: Anykščių šilelis, Rubikiai and Anykščių regioninis parkas.
The walking and cycling trails provide conditions for first-hand acquaintance with the park’s values. Information about cycling trails and recommended sites is available at the administration. The 5.5 km Šventoji trail begins in Anykščiai and continues as far as Puntukas.
The narrow-gauge railway offers charter trips in passenger cars and diners, and hand-operated and motor-propelled trolleys, and welcomes to an exhibition at the museum.
The Šventoji, which flows through the regional parks of Gražutė, Sartai and Anykščiai, is a special attraction for water tourists. Lakes Rubikiai and Mūšėjas are suitable for canoeing and boating. Boats can be rented near Lake Rubikiai, which is also a favourite with yachtsmen.
At the Horse Museum in Niūronys visitors can get horse and coach rides by the long street of the village and the romantic Horse trail (12 km), stroke a pony or donkey, and buy souvenirs with horses.
Lake Rubikiai is one of the most popular places with anglers. The river Šventoji is also suitable for fishing.
Kalita Hill in Anykščiai has a 180 m ski run where the difference in height is 40 m. The place is served by a lift. Trails for cross-country skiing can be found near Liudiškiai Hill, in the village of Pašventupis and near the Agricultural School.
J. Biliūno g. 55
Tel.: 8 251 5 27 41
Fax: 8 251 5 36 30