Surrounded by lakes in Lithuania’s north-east, Molėtai is a popular getaway destination for residents of Vilnius. It’s home to the country’s only astronomical observatory, which is operated by the Vilnius University Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy, as well as the innovative Lithuanian Museum of Ethnocosmology.
Things to do in Molėtai
On the northern shore of Pastovis Lake is the Molėtai Sculpture Park, which was established in 1998 with several boardwalk trails. It features works by sculptors from not only Lithuania but also France, Poland and Wales, who have used materials ranging from wood to granite. A waterfront walking trail connects to Molėtai Beach where you can swim and sunbathe in the summer months.
A short drive east of Molėtai is the 36-metre-high Mindunai Observation Tower, which is the second-tallest observation tower in Lithuania. Its design was inspired by a young tree trunk soaring towards the sky and its observation platform can be reached by climbing the 214 steps that lead to its top. The tower offers 360-degree views across Labanoras Regional Park and Baltieji Lakajai, one of the largest glacial lakes in Lithuania.
North of Molėtai is the Lithuanian Museum of Ethnocosmology, which is perched atop a hill overlooking Zelva Lake near the village of Kulioniai. It’s the first museum of its kind in the world and occupies a futuristic complex topped by a telescope. Browse the ancient meteorological instruments, astronomical calendars and cosmological artwork on display, then enjoy a bird’s eye view of Zelva Lake from the 45-metre-high viewing platform.
Getting around Molėtai
Molėtai is around an hour’s drive north of Vilnius and Vilnius International Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe. Buses travel to Molėtai from towns and cities throughout Lithuania and the town centre is compact enough to explore on foot.