Anykščiai will leave you impressed by the blue lakes and the fresh fragrant air of the Anykščiai Grove. It is not a coincidence that this romantic town happened to be the cradle of Lithuanian literature that has raised three literary giants – Antanas Baranauskas, Antanas Vienuolis-Žukauskas and Jonas Biliūnas. The literary aura of Anykščiai has also helped to raise a disproportionally high number of other outstanding writers, poets, artists and scientists.
Almost every lake, river, stream or hill of Anykščiai has its own a story or a legend. The etymological roots of the name of the town itself (which has a component meaning “a thumb”) are also associated with our ancestors who, while admiring the Rubikiai Lake from the top of the hill, would remark to one another: “Gee, the lake looks like the palm of your hand”, and would compare the stream that flows out of the lake: “It looks like a thumb! ” (the Lithuanian toponym “Anykščiai”has in its root the component “nykštys”, which in Lithuanian means a “thumb”). Another legend has it that one day a daughter of one farmer was washing her laundry in the place where the Rubikiai stream flows out of the lake, accidentally hurt her thumb and exclaimed: “Ai nykštį, ai nykštį!”, which in English means “oops, my thumb, oops my thumb!
The literary appeal of Anykščiai is coupled by the geographical appeal of the region, the sustainable economic activities and the vast abundance of cultural objects. In the vicinity of the town of Anykščiai there stretches the Rubikiai Lake (the area of which is almost 1,000 hectares) surrounded by three mounds, boasting 16 islands, in the western part of Anykščiai there is the famous Puntukas Stone, the second largest stone in Lithuania, in the vicinity of the town there is the Šeimyniškėliai Mound that is famous for its history for there used to stand the Voruta Castle of the first Lithuanian King, Mindaugas. These and other attractions of the Anykščiai Town are perfect for tourist excursions, and are easily and conveniently accessible, and they equipped with numerous tourist rest sites.
Anykščiai is also famous for its narrow-gauge railway, which winds towards the lakeside holiday villas. The narrow-gauge railway celebrated its centenary in the autumn of 1999, and it is one of the most interesting objects of Lithuania’s technical heritage.
Anykščiai also boasts Lithuania’s first and so far, the only one summer toboggan run. The toboggan run can be enjoyed both in summer and in winter – no matter whether it rains or snows, whether it is warm or cold.
There is no other district in Lithuania that has so many tourist attractions, museums and natural heritage sites. These heritage sites were the basis for granting the town the status of a resort area back in 2007.
The most popular places of interest of Anykščiai District are St. Matthew’s Church, the Puntukas Stone, Lithuania’s famous writer’s, Jonas Biliūnas’, tombstone monument “The Beacon of Happiness”, and it is only a small part of the heritage sites of Anykščiai that are well worth seeing.