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Porcini Paradise: An Epic Journey of Foraging and Food
Porcini Paradise: An Epic Journey of Foraging and Food

Wed, Oct 16

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Vilnius

Porcini Paradise: An Epic Journey of Foraging and Food

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Time & Location

Oct 16, 2024, 9:00 AM – Oct 26, 2024, 5:00 PM

Vilnius, Vilnius, Vilnius City Municipality, Lithuania

About the event

***This trip is still being planned. Dates and/or itinerary may change slightly.***

Join Gentleman Forager on a one-of-a-kind journey to Vilnius, Lithuania, where we'll embark on an epic adventure celebrating foraging, the porcini, and food.

Event Highlights:

• Exploring Europe: An Epic Adventure in Foraging and Food

• Dates: October 16th-26th 2024

• Destination: Vilnius, Lithuania

Itinerary:

Days 1-3: Vilnius Exploration

• Begin your journey by flying into the 700 years old capital city of Vilnius, Lithuania. Legend has it that the city started with a dream Grand Duke Gediminas had on a hunting trip.

• Spend three incredible days immersing yourself in Vilnius's rich history, uniquely varied architecture, culture, and vibrant atmosphere. There is no shortage of things to do in this modern city. Vilnius' Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is known for its charming cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and well-preserved medieval buildings. Stroll through the narrow streets, visit historic churches, and admire the beautiful squares and interesting shops. You can also visit what is often referred to as the "Republic of Užupis," this bohemian district, within the city, has its own constitution, currency and elected officials and celebrates creativity and independence. You'll find art installations, galleries, and a very unique atmosphere.

More options…

Trakai Castle: Take a day trip to Trakai Castle, located on an island in Lake Galvė. It's a picturesque medieval castle and a great place to learn about Lithuania's history. I found driving to be extremely easy, on the same side of the road as the U.S., and car rental aps were awesome and easy to use. You basically pick your car up somewhere near you (the app will tell you what’s around you) and drop it off most anywhere, with some exceptions, for the next person to pick up!

Hot Air Balloon Rides: Experience Vilnius from the sky with a hot air balloon ride. This unique perspective offers breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings. One of very few major cities in the world that balloons are allowed to fly over!

Bicycle Tours: Vilnius is a bike-friendly city with many cycling paths. Rent a bicycle and explore the city on two wheels, discovering hidden gems and local neighborhoods.

Vilnius Street Art: Vilnius is known for its vibrant street art scene. Take a street art tour to see colorful murals, graffiti, and urban art installations across the city. I really enjoyed this and had a great tour guide that was super knowledgeable, most tours are free, with a gratuity expected at the end. I tipped her $20, which seemed well worth it, and I liked the business concept!

Vilnius Craft Beer Scene: Lithuania has a growing craft beer culture, with lots of local breweries and craft beer bars to taste a variety of unique and flavorful beers. If you’re a beer person, you will have fun exploring some spectacular brews!

Gedimino Avenue Shopping: Explore Gedimino Avenue, Vilnius' main shopping street, lined with boutiques, shops, and cafes. It's a great place for shopping and people-watching. It’s a cool place to spend a little time, munch on a snack with a beverage at one of the cafés and relax.

Each evening, we’ll enjoy group dinners at restaurants I have been to, and was impressed by, each featuring a unique theme, such as mushrooms, wild ingredients, or locally sourced items for us. After dinner, there is plenty of nightlife to be had, if that’s what a person is looking for, or some great spots for a quiet finish to your evening on the patio. I love how most places bring you a nice blanket to wrap up in if it’s chilly!

Day 4: Journey to Dzukija National Park

• On the morning of day 4, embark on a scenic drive to the Dzukija National Park region, located approximately 2 hours southeast of Vilnius.

• Arrive at a really fantastic private retreat nestled in the heart of nature.

Days 5-8: Dzukija National Park Retreat

• Spend four days at our private retreat, surrounded by pine forests and immersed in the natural world.

• Enjoy modern amenities, including a wood-heated sauna, a refreshing swimming pond, modern bathrooms, and comfortable beds. I much prefer this to a tent!

• Go on guided mushroom hunts with the "Gentleman Forager of Lithuanian", Tom Baltušis, and yours truly Mike Kempenich of Gentleman Forager. We will be in the heart of one of the best porcini, king, sep regions of the WORLD… this is not for the faint of heart!! There are many of the same mushrooms you might be picking in Minnesota as well, with some interesting new ones we won’t see at home. The forest will absolutely remind you of Minnesota, and there are a number of lakes and river as well adding to that very similar look.

• Explore nature with activities such as guided kayak tours, forest trail bicycle rides, wood-fire pilaf cooking, black pottery making, and exploration of the nearby Druskininkai forest, lakes, and rivers.

• Delight in starlit evenings by the fire and the soothing sounds of nature… and hopefully a guitar or two.

Day 9: Return to Vilnius

• Bid farewell to the tranquil retreat and return to Vilnius.

• Spend the evening in Vilnius, relishing one last dinner prepared using the wild mushrooms foraged during our stay in Dzukija National Park.

Day 10: Homeward Bound

• On day 10, it's time to say goodbye to Lithuania and fly back home, carrying some great memories and stories for your friends and family!

Your Epic Adventure Awaits:

• Gentleman Forager invites you to join us for this exceptional adventure in foraging and food.

• Surrounded by nature, discover the rhythm of the wild and experience the thrill of mushroom hunting in one of the world's best locations.

• Enjoy a blend of cultural exploration, culinary delights, and immersive nature experiences.

• Create memories that will last a lifetime.

Experience the Retreat's Amenities:

• Immerse yourself in a wood-heated sauna for ultimate relaxation.

• Enjoy a refreshing swim in the private swimming pond.

• Modern bathrooms and comfortable beds ensure a comfortable stay.

• Relax on covered terraces, by the fireplace, or in the pergola.

• Engage in activities such as homemade food on fire lessons, canoeing, bicycling, sauna, and spa attractions.

• Taste Lithuanian cuisine and savor the flavors of the region.

Explore the Beauty of Nature:

• Surrounded by pine forests, streams, and nearby ponds and rivers.

• Discover the nearby Cepkeliai swamp-reserve with thousands of birds and wildlife.

• Try your hand at picking herbs, berries, and mushrooms for a surprising experience.

• Sandy forest rivers, pristine lakes, ancient villages, and starlit evenings by the sauna await.

Don't miss this extraordinary opportunity to explore Lithuania's bountiful forests, savor its culinary delights, and forge unforgettable memories. Secure your spot today for this epic adventure in foraging and food! For further inquiries, contact us at: info@gentlemanforager.com

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