Just to travel around the city of Kretinga itself by bicycle will take several hours. Not because the city is huge. It is because there are so many interesting sights to see in the city, where it is worth stopping. The first stop: Kretinga Museum. Having bought a ticket, you can visit the manor house, the Winter Garden, the mill, and the manor superintendent‘s house. You may be tempted to have lunch at the cafe in the manor or to have a coffee at the manor confectionery. In Kretinga, you can also visit the Tiškevičius family chapel-mausoleum, the Franciscan monastery and church, the local version of the Lourdes grotto, and the beautiful Dvaras, Pastauninkas, and Jaurykla parks.
From Kretinga, it is a fun ride by bicycle to the village of Dimitravas. A manor had stood there, and now only the ruins of the forced labour prison remains. Locals you meet will tell you about the interesting past of their village. And from Dimitravas twists and turns a peaceful and lightly-travelled road to Erškėtynas. That site will take more time to see. The Alka Hill stands in a clean forest. Our ancestors offered sacrifices on the hill. Much later, the hill became a mass grave for massacred Jews. Erškėtynas itself is not so far away, with its small hill of crosses, next to which a miraculous spring flows. It is said that the Virgin Mary appeared here. A chapel stands in her honour, and services are held here in May. A rest area awaits the tired.
From Erškėtynas, sandy forest roads lead you to Lazdininkai. Here, a windmill turns,and has even been dubbed presidential, since its owner is the father of Lithuania‘s current president. The mill, having been bought with money earned from working in coalmines in the USA, was transported to Lazdininkai at the beginning of the 20th century, and operated for many years. The mill no longer functions, but certainly makes one pause to take in its grandeur.
From Lazdininkai, it is not so far to Sausdravai. In this out-of-the-way village, you find the Baltic Mythology Park. From a bird‘s-eye view, the park resembles the Tree of Life, an especially importan telement of the culture of the Balts. As you wander the wellmaintained yet simultaneously very natural paths of the park, you get to know the deities of the Balts.
In the adjacent village of Mažučiai, the still-expanding Japanese Garden amazes with its beauty as it propagates an exotic (for Lithuanians) culture. It is unique, the only such garden in Lithuania and the largest of its kind in Europe. It is beautiful here year-round: covered in snow, coloured by autumn, flowering in spring with cherry, magnolia and other blossoms. If you tire of strolling around the garden, you can enjoy the Japanese tea ceremony, photograph yourself dressed in a kimono, or calmly meditate in the rock garden.
Having rested, an excellent road easily leads you to Laukžemė, a beautiful village with the old Church of Saint Andrew the Apostle and the crumbling, yet still-intriguing manor. From Laukžemė, it is not so far to the village of S. Įpiltis. You can visit more than one impressive hill-fort there.