Belmontas is one of those places in Vilnius, Lithuania, that you may go if you’re in town for a wedding, anniversary, or other celebration, but the event and restaurant complex in the middle of Pavilniai Regional Park is good for summer and fall hiking or open-air dining if you want to get out of Vilnius without going very far.
Thoughtful outdoor spaces make Belmontas a pleasant place for a celebration, wedding, or afternoon outside of the city center.
The Belmontas Complex
The Belmontas complex was the site of a mill, which has, along with the accompanying structures and outbuildings, been reconstructed. It is home to several event halls, restaurants, and cafes, including large outdoor dining areas where grilled food and other dishes are served by the Vilna River by an army of waitstaff, cooks, and bartenders. An onsite hotel hosts guests who need to overnight for group celebrations or conferences, which can also be held at the complex.
- Vila Gloria Hall—Originally one of the water mill’s outbuildings, the 60-seat dining area is intended for wedding and other celebrations.
- The Arch Hall accommodates up to 150 guests and is named for its arched ceilings.
- The Great Hall is the largest of the halls in Belmontas and meant to represent luxury and spaciousness, with a balcony fit for royalty overlooking a fountain courtyard.
- The Charles de Vim Hall—The mill of Belmontas originally dates to the sixteenth century, when it was built by a Frenchman, for whom this hall is named. This area of Belmontas is for banquets and has balconies for musicians as well as the guests.
- The Rotonda Hall is a dome-covered, circular conference and banquet hall, decorated with stained glass, that can accommodate 120 guests.
- The Belvedere Hall, located in the tower, recreates the rich interiors of the past.
- The Red Hall is a hall for small family celebrations that can accommodate up to 36 guests.
- The Fireplace Hall is another banquet area with the coziness of a fireplace as its main focus.
- The small Glass Hall is for up to 20 guests and offers panoramic views of Belmontas.
- The children’s play area—Belmontas wouldn’t be complete without a space to entertain children, and as you approach the complex, it is one of the first things you’ll see before entering the parking lot.
- The Joana Carinova Tavern has a terrace for about 120 guests and is decorated in a hunting-lodge style, while an exhibition showcases antique tools.
- Belmontas Waterfalls is an open-air café that seats up to 600 guests, who can enjoy outdoor dining by the waterfall.
- The Amphitheater is another outdoor dining area seating up to 250 guests
Belmontas, with its connection to history, attempts to recreate an era of the nineteenth century. For example, in addition to the architecture inspired by the era—as well as interior décor suited to such atmosphere—Belmontas offers traditional bread-baking classes and a brewery producing two types of beer. There’s no doubt, with its veneer of newness, that Belmontas is a twenty-first century creation, however, and that it has capitalized on the romance of its location to attract visitors in small or large groups.
In the vicinity are waterfalls, fountains, and walking trails that lead to Pavilniai Regional Park. Refresh yourself near the churning waterwheel and work up an appetite with a stroll before lunch or dinner. Along the trail, you’ll be able to dip your toes into the river, enjoy the shade of the trees, and imagine Vilnius as it was in the time of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania before it became a developed city.
Pavilniai Regional Park
Pavilniai Regional Park is not large, but it makes a pleasant day out for those who like walking in forested areas with well-marked trails. The Vilna River, for which the park is named, runs through the park, and lookout points offer views of the natural landscape from above.
A variety of historical landmarks and other points of interest appear throughout Pavilniai Regional Park. The Puckariai Homestead is a one-story house, preserved from former centuries, and nearby are the remains of a Soviet-era paper factory. A little farther on is the small manor house, the site of which was used for centuries, including by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which also had a cannon foundry in the area, which can also be seen. These points of interest may feel a bit underwhelming and may be passed by completely without the help of a map, but nevertheless they are evidence of the long history of the area. Further evidence of human use dates back to the Stone Age, with the mounds in the area being the sites of archeological discoveries.
Also discover a sun clock and quaint wooden buildings nestled into forest clearings as well as lookout points that will offer grand panoramas of the landscape below. The park also contains a botanical-zoological reserve, a stud farm, and a cognitive path. Near the entrance of the park from the Uzupis area, a Pushkin museum stands, but this has been described as unremarkable—one of the lookout points has a metal barrier with a stanza from Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin that recognizes this Russian poet’s works’ reach and influence even when translated into Lithuanian.
Access Pavilniai Regional Park and Belmontas (Belmonto g. 17) from Vilnius center using a taxi, which takes about 10 minutes, and is the best option if you’re arriving as a guest to a celebration. You can also take a bus No. 74 from Žaliasis tiltas.