Summer in Lithuania is sunny and warm, with temperatures averaging 17 C. On a hot day it can reach up to 30 C. Rain falls all year, even in the summer, but winters are very cold and snowy. The average winter temperature is -5 C.
A Baltic state, along with Estonia and Latvia, Lithuania was the first Soviet republic to declare its independence (in 1990) and joined the European Union in 2004. Since then more and more travellers have searched for cheap flights to Lithuania, some for hen and stag weekends and others for city breaks to soak up the atmosphere of the postcard-pretty capital Vilnius. Next year will attract even more tourists. Not only will Lithuania celebrate its millennium, but Vilnius will become the European Capital of Culture.
More than 3 million people are expected to visit Vilnius in 2009. It is Prague-like pretty with a magnificent cathedral, Unesco-listed Old Town, cobbled-stone squares and ornate buildings.
Kaunas is the second city and a former capital. Its Old Town has a remarkable concentration of historical buildings such as the ancient castle, cathedral, and Old Town Hall alongside the restaurants, bars, galleries and shops.
The country's most spectacular natural feature is the Curonian Spit, which divides Lithuania and Russia. Palanga is the star of the Baltic Coast with white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. It's also the place to find amber, washed up after storms at sea.