The most beautiful river of not only Dzūkija, but also the whole Lithuania. Ūla originates in Belarus and flows into Merkys near the village of Mardasavas. The length of Ūla river is 84 km. Flowing through wide meadows in the upper reaches, Ūla flows into a canyon valley in the middle reaches and flows past the old villages of Dzūkija hidden in the dainava forest. On both sides of the river there is a landscape reserve, enchanting with beautiful pine forests and sandy cliffs. Its water is spring-fed, cold, full of loops and bends. In Ūla, we recommend choosing a route of 15-20 km. during the day.


One of the most important, beautiful and popular rivers of Dzūkija, which originates in Belarus and flows into Nemunas near Merkys. The length of the river is 203 km. Merkys attracts hikers with clear, unpolluted water and shores surrounded by forests. The current is not fast, there are no obstacles. Kayaking in Merkys is easier than in the Ūla river, so we suggest choosing this river for first-time swimmers or families. You can swim in Merkys for 1-4 days.


Grūda is the left tributary of the Merkis. Meandering against the background of wonderful nature, it winds a lot and at the bottom reaches it is very rapid and rough. In the Grūda river, there are countless sharp turns, local significance bridges, logs. About 5 km until the confluence with the Merkys, the calm swimming of the last rough section of the river turns into a real chaos, in some places even equal to a mountain river. The fast current doesn’t let you relax and put your feet up, until the river simply washes you imperceptibly into Merkys. This river is perfect for one or two day swimming trip in spring or autumn, because of the higher tide.


Šalčia is the largest tributary of Merkys, starting 4 km away north of Šalčininkai. Šalčia is quite fast- flowing, winding, with a shallow valley and low banks. There are many springs, the water is very clean. There are not many obstacles, there are enough campsites to spend the night, you can safely swim with small children.

The length of the entire river is 63 km, the entire route is 3 days long. From the confluence of Merkys and Šalčia distance to the town of Merkinė is 88km.



Varėnė is the right tributary of the Merkys River, flowing in the town of Senoji Varėna. The landscape of the river is very diverse. You will start swimming along the meands of the river densely covered with reeds, where you will meet many wild life, then you will swim along the forest covered and steep slopes that will lead you to Lake Varėnė. The lake is a halfway mark, from there begins a more extreme journey with a lot of winds and turns. We recommend swimming in Varėnė as a part of
swimming in the Merkys river, or as a one-day swim.