Slideshow
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 >>

map
Saaremaa 'Angla Windmills' - Score:7.83750
Saaremaa 'Angla W...
User:Frankieboy
Spot:Saaremaa
Lahemaa 'Manor Palmse' - Score:7.77612
Lahemaa 'Manor Pa...
User:Frankieboy
Spot:Palmse
Hiiumaa / Kassari - Score:7.66176
Hiiumaa / Kassari
User:Frankieboy
Spot:Hiiumaa
hot air balloons - Score:7.60000
hot air balloons
User:Ilva
Spot:Trakai
Tartu 'Ema River' - Score:7.50000
Tartu 'Ema River'
User:Frankieboy
Spot:Tartu
sky - Score:7.46154
sky
User:Ilva
Spot:Kaunas

Baltic States

The Threesome Awesome States Offer All For Pleasure Hunters and History Lovers

The Baltic States include the states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia on Baltic Sea along the northeastern side of Europe. These Baltic countries have Russia and Belarus as neighboring countries. Before the downfall of the USSR these states were not as much known to the rest of the world as today even though each of the states offers a rich history and culture dating back to several centuries before. The attractive resorts along the Baltic coast for a cool summer holidaying coupled with medieval center exuding history and culture seem more and more to attract the history lovers and pleasure hunters equally from all corners of the world. We try to explore and present you details of each of the Baltic States, separately. Although, the fact cannot be overstated that these are threesome awesome places every hitchhiker should include in his/her itinerary

Estonia 

In the Northern Europe along with the Baltic region, just below Finland, lays the beautiful country, Estonia. Location wise it has Russia to its east, Finland in the north, Sweden as neighbor in the western side and in the south is Latvia. Tallinn is the largest city and capitol of Estonia.

History

Looking back at the pre-history stage, Estonians were the inhabitants in this small portion of Baltic region since 2500 BC. History tells us of their struggling for independence and to retain their identity. They got independence couple of times in history but their duration was very short. Caught between the Soviets and Nazi, it lost its independence and in World War II more than 200,000 Estonians lost their lives.

Though during August 1991, Estonia got its independence, still there has been a border dispute with the Russia till 1996. Estonia joined United Nations in the year 1991. In May 2004, Estonia was included in EU and in the same year they joined formally into NATO.

Geography and the Best time to be in Estonia

Topography wise, Estonia lies between 21.5° and 28.1° E and 57.3° and 59.5° N. Estonia is a country of lakes and islands as it has more than 1400 lakes and around 1500 islands. Võhandu, Pärnu and Põltsamaa are the three main rivers of the country.

The place is marked by severe winters and warm summers; winter is normally between December and March and summer between June and early September. Winter would be the best time to be there if you are keen to indulge in winter sports and activities including skating and skiing. But the daylight hours are limited during the season. The ideal time is during the months of April and May, the late spring and fading winters are conducive for holidaying.

Attractions in and around

Estonia is a country that has a mixture of scenic places, romantic villages, primeval forests, limestone cliff and many other unique exotic locations. Both North and South

Estonia offers unique scenic experiences and has loads of tourist attractions.

In Northern Europe, Tallinn being the oldest capital and the largest city of Estonia has some old towns and some included as World Heritage sites by UNESCO.

Lahemaa has Estonia's largest national park and also has beautiful sandy beaches, heritage sights, pine forests and erratic boulders. Kõrvemaa offers the museum of A. H. Tammsaare, one of the great Estonian writer of this country and also a hub of theatrical performances during the summer. To know and see the first hydropower plant in the Baltic region that was built in 1893, one should visit the place Kunda. It also has the Cement Museum.

The Ontika coastal limestone cliff runs for over 20 kms between Saka and Toila is one of the major attractions in this area. This cliff with its highest point at 56 meters offers picturesque views of the Gulf of Finland.

Art lovers will truly enjoy the Paide Limestone Festival, the ceramics symposiums at Tohisoo Manorand the wood sculpting festival at Varbola Puu. Also a city worth visiting could be Põltsa­maa that is called the wine capital of Estonia. The motorcycle museum in Kurtna, the glass museum at Järvakandi, firefighting museum at Järva-Jaani and History Museum in Tallinn are some of the attractions that are hard to miss. Vooremaa, the home for Elistvere Animal Park and it houses many rare species of birds and animals.

Tartu, the second largest town in Estonia, is in the southern part of the country offers the bounty of nature in form of hills and lakes and romantic small villages. West Estonia can be characterized by fresh sea breeze, vast landscapes and ambience to experience peace of mind. This city takes pride of its University of Tartu that was founded in 1632.

Indulge in great fun when in Estonia

The hiking routes, guided manor tours and horseback riding and more make your itinerary complete. The cycling routes lead to sights of natural beauty and places of interest. One can indulge in canoeing on the rivers of Jägala, Põltsamaa and Pärnu in Rapla and Järva counties. Similarly in the western parts, Loobu, Kunda, Pedja are the rivers suitable for canoeing and kayaking.

During July and August, people can enjoy bathing in the sea in the beaches of Kloogarand, Salmistu, Kaberneeme, Võsu and Vainupea.

Those interested in horseback riding have options in abundance to visit Niitvälja or Ruila stables in Harju County, Jäneda Stables in Järvamaa and Maasikmäe Riding Farm in Rapla County. The golf courses of Niitvälja and Suuresta at Sagadi manor are a delight for golf lovers. Everyone can enjoy the water festival and the boat race in Rõuge. For families and children one of the must visit would be the Metsamoori Family Park in Mähkli.

Reaching there and getting around

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia is very well connected by direct flights with other cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Frankfurt, Kiev, Brussels, London, Riga, Minsk, Paris, Moscow, Berlin, Milan, Oslo, and Stockholm. There are many domestic air links to different parts of Estonia and charter flights operate between Tartu and Tallinn. Flights are also operational between Pärnu and different islands. There are direct train services between Moscow and Tallinn. There are also ferry services between Estonia and Finland, Sweden and Germany.

For getting around Estonia, driving is the best means and there are many rental agencies. Estonia also has good city services of train and bus. Taxis are also a good mode of transport and inexpensive too.

Lithuania 

 

It is the largest as well as the most populous of the three Baltic States. The gregarious city shares its border with Poland and stretches from Baltic Sea to Black Sea. Vilnius is the Lithuanian capital and it reflects a very picturesque landscape located on the banks of the River Neris and Vilnia. This stable democratic state is undergoing a rapid transformation and getting molded to become a hotspot tourist destination.

 

History

In historical documents Lithuania is found mentioned in the medieval script. It was in the 13th century, that Lithuanian lands were united under King Mindaugas who later became its ruler. The period between 14th-16th centuries saw the emergence of Lithuania and Poland as great empires and they remained united, and formed a confederation that lasted for almost 200 years. However, due to partition of Poland by Russia, Austria and Prussia, Lithuania came under the rule of Russia. Russia tried to inculcate and infuse into the minds and spirits of Lithuanians the Russian culture, language and tradition. But the anti-Russian sentiment was strong and soon Lithuania declared its independence in the year 1918 under German aegis. However, the republic of Lithuania was annexed by Soviet in 1940. During the Second World War, several Jews were massacred, and the Soviet again took over Lithuania from the Germans. However, Lithuanian independence movement re-emerged in 1988. Finally in 1991, the Soviet Union recognized the independence of Baltic States.

 

Geography and the Best time to visit Lithuania

Lithuania is the land of lakes, rivers, streams, hills and lowlands. The landscape is relatively flat except for low hills in the eastern highlands and western uplands. Glacier-smoothed land we see one-third of Lithuanian land covered by forests only.

 

The best time to travel to this land is from May to September that is the summer and the spring season. It is in spring that the cultural calendar of Lithuania buzzes with activity and the weather being warm, it casts a magical spell of happy living after the dreary winter season. During winter you can experience a picturesque sprinkling of snowflakes on the ground. However it is the month of June that is warmest and busiest and brings a lot of slush for fun and entertainment.

 

Attractions that make it a must visit

If you like to trace the age-old days of Lithuania, pay a visit to the political center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in its capital city Vilnius. The city reflects a blend of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectural buildings amidst medieval settings. Also visit the National Museum that has in display collection of ethnographic items that ranges from tools to costumes, jewelry and several weapons. It has reconstructed old Lithuanian dwellings and is worth a visit after an afternoon siesta.

 

From Vilnius take a rail to drop at Kaunas, Lithuania's second attractive city to visit the Hill of Crosses, the most awe-inspiring site of Lithuania. The site has two-humped hillock covered by thousands of wooden, metal and cheap crosses (the tradition of planting crosses that begun during the 14th century is considered to offer either devotion or just in the memory of their beloveds).

 

Trakai had been capital of Lithuania during bygone days and it is one of the greatest tourist attractions offering the Island Castle. On the Lake Galve, lies this castle that might have been built for the purpose of defense in the olden time. There lies a footbridge that connects it with the shore and it has a range of rooms and galleries displaying several items ranging from historical to religious. The castle got transformed into a museum.

 

Remnants of approximately ten million human civilizations can be found in the Cultural Reserve of Kernave, in eastern Lithuania, 35 km northwest of Vilnius. It lies on the bank of the River Neris and includes some archaeological monuments from Paleolithic Period. One can capture the panoramic view of Vilnius from the Gediminas Tower. North to Vilnius town lies the European Park that displays an outdoor exhibition of sculpture. Take a guided tour and marvel at the work of some great sculptors amidst rolling hills, fields and natural springs. The other topmost attraction is the Vilnius cathedral that stands tall and strong at the city center square and houses some famous frescoes and paintings.

 

Indulge in fun and have unforgettable holidaying in Lithuania

One can indulge in some old-fashioned seaside fun in the resorts amid pine forests of Kursiu Nerija and Palanga. Explore some rare species of flora and fauna while hiking in the Curonian Spit National Park. It is the small village Nida that is often referred to as the paradise for sports enthusiasts. Tourists simply enjoy various holiday activities like kiting, sailing, paragliding and windsurfing. Hot air ballooning is also very popular in the state of Lithuania. And more fun await if you happen to visit during the days of Capital festival in the month of September and find the streets and squares, all decked up with fairs and carnivals. There are several amusement parks for family and children.

 

Reaching there and getting around

Lithuania has airports at Vilnius and Kaunas. Frequent flights keep operating from these two airports in most European cities. There are international trains too but they are mostly limited till Moscow, Minsk and St. Petersburg. However there are ferries that link the west coast port of Klaipeda with Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Poland. There are bus and car services too that run within Lithuania and one can just go off anywhere and everywhere. Local taxis are also a good option to explore the towns and cities.

 

 

 

 

Latvia 

 

This smallest of the Baltic States lays between Lithuania and Estonia in the south and north, respectively and shares the coastline with the Baltic Sea. Lying in the North Eastern Europe, this state was primarily an agricultural country, but the vibrant coastal capital Riga changed its face forever. The state has innumerable lakes amidst several hills.

 

History that every Latvian takes pride

The ancestors of Latvians were known as Balts, and this little state was under foreign dominion from 13th century to 20th century. After WW I, in the year 1920 Russia recognized Latvia as an independent state. After a peaceful passage of two decades, Latvia was again annexed by Soviet Union in the year 1940. In the subsequent year, though the Nazis could push out the Soviet troops but the Red army marched in the streets of Latvia for almost half a century. Latvia grew under Soviet troops as an industrialized and economically well-off state. However, Latvia emerged as an independent state in 1991.

 

Geography and the best time to visit

Latvian landscape is mostly covered with pine forests and is a coastal state, lying at the Baltic Sea. Being at the sea, the land has an influence of maritime climate with high humidity. Summers are generally warm and humid. The best season to come to Latvia is during the spring. It is the autumn that has mild heat and tourists simply flock in during this time. There is sporadic rainfall anytime of the year here in Latvia.

 

Winters are harsh with heavy snowfall, with snow-clogged streets and ice-capped rooftops. The months of November to April, struggle to see the sun peep through the sky. So, the best time is the months of July and August that are best and busiest, but it is the rainfall that has no guarantee, sometime it can come pouring down or the day can just be soggy.

 

Attractions

Some of the must visits if you are at Latvia include the Aglona Basilica that is the most important pilgrimage site and the Catholic Shrine. The church houses a sacred icon of Virgin Mary and is said to have saved the Aglona from the plague in 1708. It is in Latvia that you can see the untouched historic buildings at Riga, where historical monuments and architectural buildings are their best. Although several buildings were reduced to rubble during war times, but the historic old city still boasts of amazing maze with mixture of Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque architecture. It is at Riga, that you can pay a visit to Latvian Occupation Museum and it is there that you can relive the experiences by Nazis and Soviet occupation of the Latvia. Although it is quite informative, the experiences here are disturbing too for some.

 

There is the Palace of Rundale just 77 km from Riga on the countryside. The main attraction of the palace is the throne room and the ballroom with stunning ornations on the ceilings. The Latvian Ethnic Open air Museum, east of Riga is another must.

 

Families can indulge in great fun at several virgin beaches with backdrop of pine forests. Jurmala is one such favorite place for the tourists. This place is very near to Riga and helps all to get refreshed and rejuvenated.

 

Being at Latvia, one must not miss the opportunity to visit the Holy Trinity Church at Liepaja. It has a dazzling interior that will simply enthrall everyone. One can simply let loose and get tuned to the spirit of Rock’n Roll at Liepaja. The place also boasts of sandy, pristine beaches where one can have lots of entertaining activities as well.

 

The shopping freaks will miss no opportunity to indulge in window shopping along the cobblestone narrow streets of Riga, that is the venue for the most colorful Soviet style market, that is one of the largest in Europe.

 

Outdoor activities

The unspoilt landscape of Latvia offers some unique opportunities for outdoor sports and the sport lovers simply get hooked on this place because of its virginity. During summer, the hikers can take the trails in Gauja National park. Some other exciting hiking trails are the Amber trails. The numerous water bodies offer its visitors some great fun boating and canoeing. Sea fishing is also very popular activity in this land of Latvia. This place also buzzes with the sounds of some rare species of bird and hence bird watching is gaining grounds as a major outdoor activity. One can also go carting in this land and during winter months, skiing and snowboarding adds the extra fun. Bungee jumping is not uncommon too. If one wishes to feel weightless, one can simply try bungee jump from high above the Gauja River. Make your trip memorable by experiencing the force of the wind in a hot air balloon flight. One can also lay hands on tees in several of the Latvian golf courses.

 

Reaching there and getting around

Riga, the capitol of Latvia, being the hub of airlines connectivity provides services to 35 destinations in 24 countries. Apart from standard commercial and freight air services, it has regular charter services to different regional airports. Latvia has three big ports, Riga, Liepaja and Ventspils and with these Latvia is well connected by sea. There are railway links with Belarus and Russia and growingly becoming more linked with other European major cities. Taxi, coaches, train are the good options in getting around and explore Latvia.

 

Baltic States joined the European Union in 2004, and ever since there has been a dramatic progress of tourism in these three countries. Indeed it has taken a shape of promising industry generating good economy for the respective states. So, make your next holidaying planned to these places and have great fun.



To support us in developing this site please suggest your description or any additional information of Baltic States to the operator. You are the one to put it in.
Your contribution makes the difference!

Suggest YOUR description now!

Please make sure you do not violate the personal rights of anyone!