Highly recommended is the boat trip on the lake. Cost was 25lt for 45 minutes and it was worth every Lt. You get to see the island castle from all sides plus all the other things that the lake has to offer.
The estate ensemble was created in 1897 - 1902 on the initiative of Count Jozef Tyszkiewicz and his wife Duchess Jadwiga Swietopolk-Czertwertynska. There are ponds, a comfortable net of pathways, groups of artificial cliffs and much more to explore here.
Belief has it that the castle was built around 1350 - 1377 by the Duke Kestutis. It was part of the defensive ensemble of Trakei and Vilnius. After 1655 the buildings that were seriously damaged during the war with Muscovy were left derelict and unused
This Roadsite pole is an important focus of Trakei, it is assumed that it was built in the 17th century. It was only later named after St John the patron saint of fishing towns and villages surrounded by water
In 1409 the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautus funded the parish church of Trakei. It is one of the oldest churches in Lithuania famous for the image of the Mother of God, the Protectress of Lithuania. The church is visibly dominating among residential buildings. It is the spiritual centre of town and I was amazed at how full the church was during the Sunday morning mass. Not enough sitting place for everyone, also lots of youngsters attended the church. Delightful to see
In 1962 the island castle was given to the Trakei History museum. Today the castle hosts various exhibitions and many concerts and medieval festivals take place here.
May to Sep. 10 am - 7 pm
Oct. 10 am - 6 pm closed on Mondays
Entrance fee:- 14 lt
School children 6 lt
Seniors. 8 lt
Trakai Island Castle is the only castle in Eastern Europe located on an island in Lake Galvë. The construction of the stone castle was begun in the 14th century by Kæstutis, and around 1409 major works were completed by his son Vytautas the Great. After the Battle of Grunwald (1410) the castle lost its defense significance and gained the function of princely residence. Grand Duke Vytautas died in the castle in 1430 while still waiting for a royal crown and after his death the castle began to fall into decay.
TRAKAI TOURISM INFORMATION CENTRE
Vytauto str.69 LT-21001 Trakai, Lithuania
May – September: I - VII: 10.00 a.m. - 7.00 p.m.
October II - VII: 10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. (on Mondays - closed)
Nowember - February II - VII: 10.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m. (on Mondays - closed)
March - April II - VII: 10.00 a.m. -6.00 p.m. (on Mondays - closed).
Entry fee from 01.04.2013 : 15 Lt – for adults, 7 Lt – for childrens, students, 10Lt - for seniors.
Guide price: a giuded tour in a foreign language - 50 Lt.
BY BUS FROM VILNIUS
From Vilnius Bus Station at Sodø St. 22, Tel.: 1661 (to call from Vilnius or from a mobile phone).
Buses from Vilnius to Trakai leave around 50 times per day (40 times per day on the weekends).
Departure platforms: 6,7,8 (suburban buses), 28 and 29 (intercity bus, via Alytus).
Timetable of buses VILNIUS - TRAKAI: http://www.autobusustotis.lt/en
BY TRAIN FROM VILNIUS
From Vilnius Railway Station at Geleþinkelio St. 16, Tel.: + 370 5 233 0088
Timetable of trains VILNIUS - TRAKAI www.litrail.lt
BY CAR FROM VILNIUS - A 16 highway.
BY CAR FROM KAUNAS - A1 highway, continue Route nr. 107.
We got there by car on the way from Vilnius to Kaunas.
There are two castles in Trakai - the remains of the Peninsula Castle, and the one everyone comes to see - The Island Castle.
If you arrive by public transport you'll need to walk down through the village from the train station or bus station until you come to Lake Galve. It'll take around 20 minutes or so to walk directly to the castle but there'll be things to stop off and look at as you walk through.
The Island Castle is situated, as its name suggests, on an island in the lake, but don't worry because there are a couple of short causeways that join the island to the mainland.
It costs 14Lt for adults to enter the castle (£3.50 - Seniors 8Lt - Sept 2012) and is open from 10.00 (closing times vary depending on the season).
The castle includes a history museum but the castle itself has had much renovation work carried out over the years. What is here today is mainly a re-construction of the castle as it would have looked in the 15th century.
The best views of the castle are from across the lake before you join the causeways. If you turn left at the lakeside instead of heading across to the castle you'll be rewarded with a much better view than from within the castle itself - and it costs nothing. Not only that it's a lot more peaceful here.
I would suggest coming here as early as you can or leave it until later in the afternoon.
Its a picturesque site when you are looking at it from distance. There is a bridge leading to the castle, which is located on a small island. The wall and the towers are harsh red. While entering through the gates, you feel the medieval atmosphere of the place. There are some attractions in the yard- for example, a cage for prisoners, and another thing for execution. Inside the castle you'll find a ceremony hall, small rooms representing the everyday life of the so called Karaimi and the Tatars; there are furniture collections representing the life of the rich people. Its a useful place for everyone exploring different cultures.
It's on an island, reached by a wooden bridge or two, and is unforgettable. Beautiful place to spend a couple of hours wandering around. It's home to an interesting museum about Trakai too.
It should be on all itinaries if you're visiting Lithuania.
I walked to the Trakai castle through the wooden bridges. First I went to the island called Karvine s. (Karaimka) - look at the map here.
There was nothing interested on this green, forested island except this high, wooden statue, on my picture. Well, there were a few colorful boats parked by the island's bank.
I liked that landscape on my picture a lot. There was red brick castle on the island of Galve Lake, the only in Eastern Europe castle located on the island.
There where two castles built in Trakai in 14th century: the Peninsular castle and the Island castle. The first one was built at the istmus of Galve and Luka lakes and the Duke Kestutis moved his residence from Old Trakai (Senieji Trakai) just there. The Island castle served as residence for the Grand Duke of Lithuania in 15th centure which aimply means that Trakai was the capitol of Lithuania that time. Trakai was robbed and burnt, castles damaged and destroyed by Russians in 17th century.
Galve lake coast with lot of souvenir shops, restaurants, places where the boat can be rent are very popular. The popularity comes due to the panorama of whole island castle (some zones is built specially for taking photos) and for sightseeing of old castle ruins.
Lot of wedding couples come there in summer time to take photos. Men carry over the Galve lake bridge young wives, as it is wedding tradition in Lithuania.
On the street of Karaimu one museum exists representing the culture of Karaites. Museum is not so good, but worth visiting, as that culture very different from Lithuanian, more linked to Turks and Muslims.
By the way, the religion of Karaites is not Islam, but Karaitism. It is mix of Old Testament learning, Islam.
Entrance ticket: Adults - 2 lt Students, pupils, pensioners.. - 1 Lt.
Karaites main religion centre exist in Trakai too. Only a few these centres reminded in Lithuania. Karaites religion named Karaitism, it is not like Islam religion from the Turks, but more like Jewish religion with an old testament.
There are any cross or drawing of saints in this church, just altar. A man tries to sale books about Karaites there.