Summer at the Baltic seaside brings to mind the beautiful sunny beaches of Pärnu, Jūrmala and Palanga – the most beloved local holiday destinations of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians. But summer at our neighbours offers much more than just plain old sunbathing!
Booking.com has referenced more than 90 million reviews and hundreds of thousands of destination endorsements from recent travellers to bring you the ultimate list of local seaside destinations to explore this summer. From gourmet food or music festivals to romantic stargazing and extreme sports, these hidden gems of the Baltic coast are waiting to be discovered.
To find the perfect spot that’s just right for you, check out Booking.com’s new Passion Search platform—simply enter your unique interest, like skydiving, wine, or live music, and explore even more traveller-tested destination recommendations that are sure to surprise and delight.
Picturesque Muhu is the third largest island of Estonia and a beloved holiday destination among locals. Vibrant traditional culture, idyllic fishermen’s villages, hearty food and serene nature plus close proximity to Estonian SPA paradise Saaremaa make it a destination that truly offers something for everyone. From humble home-stays to a manor turned into one of Estonia’s fanciest luxury hotels, there’s plenty of places here to enjoy a relaxing summer holiday among juniper trees and gently rolling waves of the sea.
This peaceful village on Estonia’s Northern coast is surrounded by a national park teeming with wildlife, including wolves and bears. As a place of astounding natural beauty, Käsmu has been a favourite holiday spot for renowned Estonian composers for decades. Famous for ship building and schooling generations of sea captains since the 16th century, Käsmu holds a unique position in Estonia’s rich maritime heritage that you can explore at the local sea museum or while sailing on a fully functional replica of a Viking ship. In August over 10 000 people gather to Käsmu to enjoy 3 days of folk music during an annual festival, dedicated to the culture of Nordic islands this year.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet beach holiday, dreaming of learning to surf or searching for the perfect adrenaline rush, Noarootsi parish on the West coast of Estonia has it all. Sand and pine trees make for a relaxing retreat to nature while surfers celebrate their lifestyle with a festival held in Elbiku village in July and claim it’s the best place for beginners to give this exciting sport a go. If that’s not enough for your inner adrenaline junkie then there’s also an adventure park that promises to help you conquer your fear of heights on 3 tracks of different difficulty levels.
Known as the “Estonian Riviera” since the 19th century when Russian nobility made it their holiday haven, Narva-Jõesuu is one of the oldest and most beloved resort towns in the country. You can explore a wide array of SPAs with dozens of treatments to choose from, take a trip to the fascinating ethnographic museum, check out the yacht harbour or enjoy sunshine on Estonia’s longest beach, a 7.5 km stretch of white sand lined with pine trees. In addition to the sandy beach, users of Booking.com praise this destination for health SPAs and nature.
The Curonian Spit, Lithuania
According to the endorsements of Booking.com guests, The Curonian Spit (Kuršių nerija in Lithuanian) is a perfect seaside getaway for those dreaming about nature, tranquillity and clear beaches. Either it is Nida, Juodkrante, Preila or any other charming little village in between, you can be sure to be surrounded by beautiful nature in this 52 km length sandy spit. The wavy Baltic Sea on one side, the mesmerizing and calm Curonian Lagoon on the other and the pine forests in the middle will definitely bring a feeling of harmony in your life. Though, if you want some entertainment, don‘t miss one of many music festivals taking place in the summer or the yearly regatta!
Situated in The Seaside Regional Park the little village of Karklė is an ideal destination for nature lovers as it combines great beaches and refreshing forests. It is not as crowded as other coastal towns, unless you go there in mid-August, when one of the biggest music festivals in Lithuania turns Karklė into a fabulous three-day party. What is more, within a twenty-minute drive you can reach the major seaside cities of Klaipėda and Palanga with their buzzing summer nightlife and lots to explore. Also, be sure to visit Olando kepurė, a natural hill in the beach which offers a stunning view of the sea and is a perfect spot for stargazing.
Just fifteen-minute drive up north from the busy coastal city of Palanga and you will find a little village of Šventoji. It is never as lively as in the summer with many bars and cafes open and the prices in high season are slightly lower compared to other Lithuanian seaside gems. Šventoji is a popular destination for families as it has a perfect balance of fun activities for everyone and a laid-back vacation atmosphere. Kayaking or pedaling on Šventoji River, visiting the lighthouse and walking through the famous suspension bridge should be on a to-do list of every visitor!
The small, quiet and pine tree-embosomed city Pāvilosta is a true gem for those willing to escape the city buzz and experience traditional food of Kurzeme region. Gourmets will also have the possibility to take the bull by the horns and master their rural bread baking and fish smoking skills in Pavilosta and its surroundings. While nature lovers are admiring the untouched beauty of the seashore, Pāvilosta is also a popular place for water sports enthusiasts who travel from various places to enjoy the summer sun, catch the waves and take delight in the refreshing water. According to reviews by travellers who use Booking.com, Pāvilosta is the perfect place for relaxation and enjoying seafood and boating.
Seaside villages from Bigauņciems to Engure, Latvia
If you are looking for quiet holidays in an authentic fishermen’s village, then one of the small villages from Bigauņciems to Engure is the place to be. The cosy and relaxing atmosphere, picturesque views and multiple places to stay makes it perfect for romantic couples, families and solo travellers who want to feel the strength of the nature. The highlight of the summer is the traditional Fishermen’s festival that celebrated along the coast of Latvia since 1936. To catch the spirit of it, take a boat ride, participate in the fishermen’s boot throwing competition, watch various performances and, of course, taste some traditionally cooked fish from the Baltic Sea.
To discover the charm of the Vidzeme region seaside, head straight to Saulkrasti. In summer this coastal city becomes particularly lively. Visitors can enjoy various cultural events, including the traditional Saulkrasti Jazz Festival which every year gathers jazz professionals from all around the world. With one of the most beautiful dunes of its kind in Latvia (The White Dune which reaches the height of 17 metres), a bike ride or a walk by the sea becomes an unforgettable experience. To fully enjoy a quit holiday by the beach, romantics can take a walk on the Sunset trail. There is a reason why so many travellers have recommended this destination for coastal walks, tranquillity and nature.
With over 400 properties in these destinations ranging from humble farm stays and cosy cottages to luxurious manors Booking.com offers something for every taste and type of holiday.