If no mushrooms, and no berries…
Although Dzūkija cannot boast of the fertility of its lands, the people already living here -in Dzūkija with their sincerity and hospitality can not give up to anyone. The picturesque nature of this region attracts many travelers who have strayed here. The famous saying of folk wisdom “If not mushrooms and not berries …” perfectly describes this region – it is rich in forest products, which attract tourists from all over Lithuania. Driving around Dzūkija you can see – pines everywhere: on the tops of dunes and on the slopes of river valleys, undulating plains and swamps. But there are not only pines here, but also rapid cold-water rivers and streams, lakes shining among the forests.
In the southern part of Dzūkija, there are “Šiliniai” Dzūkai, who call themselves pieskynų Dzūkai.
Marcinkonys, Mančiagirė, Zervynos, Musteika are the old Dzūkija villages. Old traditions and customs, unique way of life and traditional crafts have survived here. Mostly, sincere, simple people who have preserved the customs of their ancestors live here.
We will start our tour from Zervynai, a village surrounded by forests. The free-planning street village of 48 homesteads has survived from the 18th to the 19th century. the resulting plan and architectural peculiarities. In this village, in addition to the unique architecture, we will see the Zervynai crosses, surrounded by white aprons – an old tradition of cross decoration in this village is still alive.
We will continue the trip to the natural monument spring “Ūlos akis.” (An eye of River Ūla). Since ancient times, Lithuanians have given special power to the spring water, where the sand raised is.
Later we will visit the largest village in Lithuania Marcinkoniai. In ancient times, Marcinkoniai was surrounded by huge forests, where the Grand Dukes of Lithuania Vytautas, Jogaila and others hunted. Today the residents of this are mostly engaged in forest products, rural tourism businesses and crafts.
We will visit Lina Černiauskienė’s homestead located in Kapiniškės village near Marcinkoniai on the bank of Skroblaus stream. Cold water Skroblus flows across the yard, on the other side of the house there is a hill and a valley surrounded by forest. Here we will immerse ourselves in the tasting and education of the culinary heritage, during which we will get acquainted with the subtleties of Dzūkija buckwheat bean production, and later we will taste the indescribable taste of that dish!
We are going to the stump hives beekeeping exposition in Musteika village. Here we will find an apiary of ancient stump hives, and bees living in the woods of the surrounding forests. Now you can see in the apiary how bees are cared for in stump hives, how honey and wax are handled. You can also see how native hives are made, small hives – beetles for luring bees. You can try many crafts in the apiary.
We will end a rich day around the Dzūkija region by visiting the largest high marsh in Lithuania – Čepkeliai raiste. You will feel this unique place best by following the educational trail. On this trail we will see Čepkeliai cliffs, dunes overgrown with pine forests, we will get acquainted with the vegetation of the swamp and forest. We will see Čepkeliai marsh from the observation tower. It overlooks vast areas of smoky swamps dotted with forested islands and the unique landscape of the area.