If you take a look at the map of Lithuania, you will immediately notice that the Zarasai District stands out from the general background. There is so much blue color in its territory that you may even start wondering if anyone knows with certainty the exact number of lakes and rivers dotting this region. Special attention should be drawn to the melodious proper names of places that are remnants of the culture of the old and now extinct Sėliai tribe. The very name of the town of Zarasai is one of the most prominent intangible monuments of the extinct Sėliai tribe.
The blue-eyed town of Zarasai was established 505 years ago. Even the long time that has passed has not managed to throw into oblivion the legend of the name of the town, that came into existence long time ago when on a large hill there lived a family of giants. The family raised a child of cheerful disposition a fast-paced giant infant Azerasas, who loved to play hide-and-seek. One day the entire family went to the forest for a walk. The giant infant asked his parents to play and hide-and-seek with him, so he went to hide, and his giant dad and his giant mum had to seek him. They walked for a long time, but still couldn’t find their giant infant who was hiding, and while he was hiding, he fell asleep. Then the giant father started calling him: “Azerasai! Azerasai!” And the echo replied: “Zarasai!” “Zarasai!” mum giant also called, but the echo kept replying: “Zarasai!” Zarasai!” The giant infant woke up when he heard the voices and hurried back to his parents: everyone was overjoyed that the family reunited, and hand-in-hand returned home. Later, the hill surrounded by seven lakes was inhabited by people, they set up a town here and called it Zarasai in memory of the legendary friendly giant family.
Beautiful and memorable Zarasai! No matter what means of transport select to come to Zarasai: bicycle, car or maybe you come on foot – the town of Zarasai will greet you by sun-lit towers of the local church perched on a high hill. In Zarasai your sight would hardly be able take in at a glance all the hills, forests and chains of lakes, that gleam here and there with all the shades of blue and mysteriously hide behind the horizon. Zarasai is different depending on the season: in winter you will see the lakes covered with ice and forests slumbering under the white caps of snow. In spring, the town is electrified by the power of water that is escaping from the embrace of ice, and the air is saturated with the fragrance of the bird cherries that grow here in abundance. Zarasai in summer lures you with its water coolness and healthy pine forests, and the autumn here is a real parade of a vast variety of the colors of nature.
The land of Zarasai is Bank of Heaven on Earth. Make sure to find time to stay somewhat longer in the area that in 2010 was recognized as Lithuania’s most attractive water tourism destination! We look forward to seeing you in Zarasai – the resort area and the first Lithuanian Capital of Culture!