ABOUT Nature has been generous to Lithuania. Although there are no mountains or great forests, the country's beauty lies in the diversity of its landscape. This is a place of rolling hills and gentle plains; of quietly flowing rivers and of lakes which reflect the blueness of the sky. The largest river, the Nemunas, gathers and carries the waters of many tributaries to the Baltic Sea, wherein lies Lithuania's famous "amber coast". Called the Curonian Spit, it is a sixty mile-long bank of sand dunes and pine trees which stretches from the southwest to the seaport of Klaipeda and encloses the vast Curonian Lagoon. For centuries, amber, Lithuania's precious harvest of the sea, has been washed onto these golden sands.

CLIMATE The climate of the Lithuania can be described as typical European continental influenced climate with warm, dry summers and fairly severe winters. January is the coldest month with daytime temperatures usually around -5°C, but in some cases winter months can be quite colder with temperatures far below zero, about -20°C or lower and strong, cold northeasterly winds. Heavy snowfall or even snowstorms are also possible on some days. The weather is often breezy and humid due to the proximity of the Baltic Sea.

BEWARE Petty crime is common. Take extra care of your belongings in busy locations. Pickpockets operate in bars and restaurants. There is a risk of mugging and bag snatching, particularly on public transport. Avoid poorly-lit streets, parks and secluded areas after dark. Be wary of accepting food and drink from strangers in bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Some visitors have been drugged and robbed. Foreign tourists have been charged extortionate prices for drinks and had fraudulent transactions debited against credit/debit cards.

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