Lithuania is in northern Europe, on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Latvia is to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland to the south and the Kaliningrad Region of the Russian Federation to the southwest. Together, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia make up the Baltic States. Lithuania is the largest and most populous of the three. It is slightly larger than the province of Nova Scotia.

The land of Lithuania consists of low-lying plains in the west and gently rolling hills in the east. The highest point in the country is Juozapines Hill, near Vilnius, at 294 metres. There are numerous lakes in the eastern part of the country. The Nemunas River and its many tributaries flow west to the Baltic Sea. More than half of the coast is sheltered by a sand bar about 100 kilometres long and less than four kilometres wide, known as the Curonian Spit. Today, the spit is a national park. The water between the sandbar and the mainland is called the Curonian Lagoon.

At one time, thick forests covered much of the land, but over the years, farmers have cleared the land for crops. Today, woodlands cover only one-quarter of Lithuania. Pine trees grow along the coast and in the south, while oak trees are abundant in the central region. Edible plants such as mushrooms, wild strawberries, cranberries, raspberries and bilberries grow in the southern pine woods. Lithuania's many nature reserves and national parks support a variety of wildlife, including elk, deer, wolves, foxes and wild boar. Bird species include white storks, herons, geese, ducks, swans, eagles and hawks.

The climate of Lithuania is generally mild, but cool. The eastern regions are usually colder than the area along the coast. In winter, between November and March, the temperature may fall to -10°C or lower and much of the country is covered with snow. In summer, the temperature may reach 22°C and it often rains.

   Did you know?
Amber, "Lithuania's gold," washes up on the Curonian Spit. Amber is formed from the resin of ancient trees that lived 40 to 55 million years ago. Over time, the resin hardens into golden or red translucent deposits, some of which contain insects that were trapped in the resin when it hardened. Amber is used to make jewellery.
   Did you know?
Lithuanian forests play an important part in regional folk tales. During times of war, the forests were a safe haven for those in danger. The oak tree was worshipped during pre-Christian times and today represents longevity and strength. Lithuanians often plant oak trees to mark important occasions.