River Žeimena – Liūlinės km.
The Žeimena is the right tributary of the Neris River and is called the “mother of rivers” of Aukštaitija.
The Žeimena from Kaltanėnai is the clearest, so from your kayak you can admire not only the pine forest cliffs and the greenery of the coastal meadows, but also the underwater life of the river. Sudden bends, trees falling or leaning into the river, families of ducks and swans, and other birds will keep you from getting bored. There are many nice, cosy stopping places everywhere in the pine forests.
You will start the Žeimena River from the town of Kaltanėnai, where you will find the source of the Žeimena River and a convenient starting point. A beautiful recreation area has been set up next to the bridge over the Žeimena River, on the edge of the old Kaltanėnai Manor Park, along the Žeimena River, where it will be convenient to prepare for the swim. The Žeimena usually has no obstacles to move the kayaks over, so it is a river that is popular with anyone who wants to enjoy nature without getting tired. Ideal for families with young children.
After passing the town of Kaltanėnai, you will see the small village of Šakališkės on the left bank of the river about 3 km away. The Žeimena is joined by its first right tributary, the Kiauna River. Just below the confluence of the Kiauna and Žeimena rivers, you will come to a beautiful bend of the Žeimena River, and on your left you will find a beautiful meadow where you can leave your kayaks and take a swim on the sandy shore.
We strongly urge everyone – please do not leave rubbish behind. They can be disposed of at the overnight stay or at the finish line.
The village of Luknos is another 5 km away. Its second right tributary, the Luknelė, flows into the Žeimena near the village of Lukna. About 5 km from the village of Lukna, on the right side of the Žeimena River, the small Sirgėla River flows into the Žeimena. The territory of Aukštaitija National Park ends at the mouth of the Sirgėla River and the Žeimena Ichthyological Reserve begins. It extends to the confluence of the Žeimena and Neris rivers. The purpose of the Ichthyological Reserve is to protect the spawning grounds of salmon, sea bream and trout.
After swimming about 1 km more and negotiating two steep bends of the Žeimena River, you will find yourself at the confluence of the Žeimena River and Lake Telio, the short Šventelė River. After another 5 km you will reach the town of Švenčionėliai. It has shops, cafés and pharmacies. If you feel like it, when you get to Švenčionėliai, disembark before the first bridge, known locally as the Kirulis Bridge. There is a comfortable sandy bathing area in front of it.
Continue along the Žeimena River towards the village of Liūlinė. From Švenčionėliai onwards, the rivers will be replenished by wetlands and forests. Wherever you pass river bays – don’t mix with the confluences of other rivers. You can tell the true direction of the Žeimena River by the sound of the water and the movement of the vegetation in it.
From Švenčionėliai, after ~8 km, you will see the village of Garnis on your right. As you pass through the village, you will feel the Žeimena becoming more and more winding. The rest of the trajectory will take you to the confluence of the Lakaja and Žeimena rivers. On the right side of the confluence of the rivers you will see a village called Santaka. From here, swim ~1.5 km to the finish and you will reach the village of Liūlinės, where your finish line is! Immediately after passing under the concrete bridge, moor on the right side.