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Baltic Sea: Where to go, what to see, where to stay?
Historically, in summer all the vacationers pack their bags and go to the south. Those who prefer to go in the opposite direction in summer – the north – are not so many. And in vain! In summer on the Baltic coast the temperature is moderate: 21-25°C on average, it’s warm, but without the exhausting heat, in the sky is often slight overcast, which saves from the direct sunlight. The humidity in the air is not high, and the daily temperature fluctuations are minimal. The climate of the Baltic States is ideal for people who do not tolerate acclimatization, and those who go on vacation with small children. In addition to a pleasant climate, the Baltic Sea coast attracts tourists with its magnificent pine forests, endless sand dunes and numerous historical sites. Where to go on vacation at the Baltic Sea? We tell you in this article!
Waves of the Baltic Sea and the rocky coastline of the Åland Islands © Valeria Popova / Photobank Laurie
Holidays in the city limits
On the shores of the Baltic Sea, there are many places within the city limits where you can have a great vacation. The first thing that comes to mind: the Park of the 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg along the coast of the Gulf of Finland. In summer there are volleyball games on the beach, cyclists and roller skaters ride on special paths, the park has free wi-fi, sports competitions and family festivals. Park beach is called Laskovy, it is decorated with avant-garde sculptures and is considered the best on the Russian coast of the Gulf of Finland. Near the beach is full of parking spaces, surrounded by pine trees, and to find a barbecue, cafe or restaurant is not difficult.
Another city with a beautiful city beach on the Baltic Sea is Vyborg. The city was built by the Swedes and then belonged to Finland. Vyborg is different from other Russian cities with colorful houses, cobblestone streets and medieval fortress. The city often hosts knights’ festivals and other historical theatrical programs. You can come here for a weekend to experience the medieval atmosphere without leaving the country, and to admire the beauty of northern nature. A favorite vacation spot for the citizens of Vyborg is the city beach, located on the Cape Smolyan in the Gulf of Finland.
Vyborg. View at the Vyborg Castle © Igor Litvyak / Fotobank Lori
The resorts of Zelenogradsk and Svetlogorsk near Kaliningrad are always ready to welcome guests. Zelenogradsk is considered the main resort for beach holidays in the region. In Zelenogradsk, judging by the reviews of tourists and Kaliningraders, is warmer than in Svetlogorsk. There are both landscaped and virtually wild beaches. Svetlogorsk is inferior to Zelenogradsk and the Curonian Spit by beaches. But the city itself is very cozy, green, beautiful and friendly.
Family vacation with children
The Baltic Sea is cooler than the Black Sea, so it is important to prevent hypothermia, especially in children. In summer, the water temperature is about 18-22 degrees. Adults can swim almost all summer, and children for a short time, depending on what water will bring the current. Season with warm comfortable water for long swimming lasts here about 3-5 weeks, the best time for a holiday on the Baltic Sea – first half of August.
Tourists with children especially like Svetlogorsk – the city childishly colorful and cheerful. If beach rest is more interesting you can go to Yantarny: here is white specially purified sand, smooth entrance to water and sandy bottom. Good beaches are in Zelenogradsk, but tourists often complain about the crowds, dirty sea and sharp stones and pebbles on the beach. Another small town, suitable for recreation with children, is Pionersky, but it is more suitable for organized children’s sanatorium vacation, but you can try and relax wildly: there are always fewer vacationers than in the more popular Svetlogorsk and Zelenogradsk.
You can go to Kaliningrad with children: there is a botanical garden, a zoo, an amber museum and a lot of entertainment at large shopping centers. Curonian Spit is also suitable for children: there is an unusual “Viking Village”, where you can feel like a hero of an ancient epic and wave a sham sword. And play in the sand of local beaches will appeal to any child.
The main place for hiking in the Russian part of the Baltic Sea – the national park “Curonian Spit”, located on the territory of the Kaliningrad region, 40 km from Zelenogradsk. A narrow sandy strip stretches along the sea for 100 kilometers. On one side it is washed by the Baltic Sea, on the other – by the Curonian Gulf. During one day you can see all the variety of the local nature: sand dunes, which sometimes reach the height of a seventeen-storey house, beaches, stretching for tens of kilometers, dry pine forests and southern taiga.
A beautiful natural landscape, a pine tree on the slope of the dune. Curonian Spit © Svet / Fotobank Lori
On the Curonian Spit there are several tourist attraction points, they are scattered over a large distance, about 50 kilometers. Buses go though regularly, but seldom. Experienced tourists advise to get by bus if you have booked accommodation on the Spit and you plan to live there one or more days. It’s the same if you go to the spit to bathe and have a picnic, that is, you go to one specific point, rather than on a tour. For the fast acquaintance with the Curonian Spit it is better to rent a car or take a guided tour by bus or in a mini-group.
There are three settlements on the Curonian Spit – Lesnoy, Rybachy, Morskoye. You can find lodging in the first two. In Zelenogradsk, however, the choice is much more – to all tastes and pockets. This is a real resort with excellent beaches and good infrastructure. For recreation, it’s better to stay here.
Excursion and historical tourism
Vyborg is one of the most beautiful cities in the Leningrad region. He is located on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, 130 km from St. Petersburg. The main part of the city is located on the peninsula, the rest on small islands. Here is a detailed description of what to see in Vyborg.
An interesting city in terms of history is Baltiysk. Here do not go to rest and enjoy a vacation – it is a military base. Here come mostly tourists 30-40+ years old who are interested in history and want to rest away from noisy cities. Read more about military-historical objects in Baltiysk here.
The water of the Baltic Sea is rich in mineral salts; almost every resort offers mineral water treatments and spa treatments. Peat mud deposits are often found near the shores of the Baltic Sea – they are also used for therapeutic purposes in local health resorts.
Zelenogradsk is one of the first resorts in the region. In the 19th century, useful mineral waters were found here and they began to build health resorts. After the war and in the modern period along the Zelenogradsk coast and in the town itself numerous hotels, children’s, adult and departmental sanatoriums were built. Recreational courses for a variety of diseases are offered in the hospitals.
Svetlogorsk is a popular resort in Kaliningrad Region because of its numerous therapeutic resorts. Very often retirees come for treatment, so it may seem that there are no young people in the city.
The most beautiful places of the Kaliningrad region
Kaliningrad region is one of the smallest regions in Russia in terms of territory, despite this you can see a lot of beautiful natural sites. Read a review about the most beautiful places in Kaliningrad region. Here you can take the best photos in the westernmost region of Russia.
The most beautiful places of the Kaliningrad region
Kaliningrad region is located on the shores of the Baltic Sea, the coast stretches white sandy beaches. Two sandy spits are the most important natural attractions of the region: the Curonian Spit in the north of the Kaliningrad peninsula and the Baltic Spit in the south.
There are many beautiful places in the region, the most beautiful and obvious are presented here.
On the map
Cape Taran is the northwestern ledge of the Kaliningrad Peninsula. The cape has high precipitous shores, with beautiful views of the Baltic Sea and a sandy beach. On the cape is the lighthouse Taran, illuminating the approaches to the two ports: Kaliningrad and Baltiysk. Thirty-meter lighthouse was built in 1846 to the design of A. Weitmeyer and is one of the most fearful.
To go down to the sea from the steep cape you can use installed stairs. It is dangerous to go down without ladders. Cape Taran is located near the village of Donskoe.
Filinskaya Bay is the most beautiful place on the Baltic coast, 12 km from Svetlogorsk. The shore is high and precipitous, there is a viewing platform and a sandy beach. This place is loved by fishermen, lovers of beautiful photographs and walks.
In the resort town of Svetlogorsk there is a picturesque place – Quiet Lake, where there are ducks and swans. The lake is surrounded by a forest. There are benches, a bicycle path, exercise equipment on the waterfront. It is possible to rent a boat or a catamaran and ride around the lake, there are bicycle rentals.
The Baltic Spit (German name: Fritsche-Nerung) is a unique natural site created from the sand by the sea and the wind. The length of the spit is 65 km, the Russian part is 35 km, the other part belongs to Poland. The spit is separated from the mainland and the nearest city of Baltiysk by the Baltic Strait, it can be reached by ferry.
Here you can admire the dilapidated German fort Zapadny (1869-1871), which is gradually being swallowed by the sea. And see the abandoned airfield Neutif, built by Nazi Germany for the Luftwaffe. The uniqueness of the airfield is that it was built on the sands, was electrified and was considered one of the best in Germany. Among the sand dunes there are artillery bunkers
The spit has beautiful beaches with white, soft sand, in the warm season you can swim in the Baltic Sea or the freshwater Kaliningrad Bay.
Baltic Spit does not have the status of a national nature reserve, as Curonian Spit and is not protected by the state. Beaches here are wild, places are not touristy, there are inhabitants of Kosa and Rybachy settlements on the Spit, but there is no police and no hospital. Black diggers, those who want to drive cars and fans of wild rest come here: with tents and picnic and making a fire.
At present time Baltic Spit is one of the most beautiful places in Kaliningrad region, underestimated for tourism. If the regional authorities make it a national park, clean up litter, strengthen the coastline from erosion, build recreation areas, then the spit will have a great tourist future.
Curonian Spit is a unique creation of nature, which seeks to see almost all tourists visiting the Kaliningrad region. It is the only site in the region included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The length of the sand spit is 98 km, part of the territory belongs to Lithuania. On the spit you can admire forests, dunes and lakes. You can swim in the Curonian Lagoon or the sea and sunbathe on sandy beaches. There is the first ornithological station in the world “Fringilla”. The migratory way of birds, which went to Africa and South Europe for wintering, passes through the Curonian Spit.
The picturesque Swan Lake, surrounded by alder forest, is located on the Curonian Spit at the foot of Olenya Dune and is its ornament. A narrow strip of sand separates the lake from the Curonian Bay.
The lake is inhabited by swans, ducks and herons.
Romintenska Forest is a woodland, part of which belongs to Poland. There used to be the hunting grounds of the Teutonic Knights, in the 19th century there was built the hunting castle of Kaiser Wilhelm II and in the 1930s the hunting lodge visited by Hermann Göring.
The part of Romintenska Forest that became the territory of the USSR was called the Red Forest. On the territory of the forest there are many lakes, including the largest lake in the area – Vishtynetskoe. The only populated area in the Red Forest is the village of Krasnolesye.
Vishtynetskoe lake (often called the European Baikal) is another beautiful place in the Kaliningrad region, which will be appreciated by nature lovers and fishing enthusiasts. It is the largest, deepest (maximum depth is 54 meters) and cleanest lake in the region, its shores are covered with forests and there are many sandy beaches. The lake is located in the eastern part of the region, on the border with Lithuania, 170 km from Kaliningrad. A part of the lake belongs to Lithuania.
There are tourist facilities at Vishtynetskoe lake, where you can rent a boat or a boat.
Kanta Island (former Kneiphof) is the most beautiful place in Kaliningrad, where the history of Koenigsberg and Kaliningrad are intertwined. The majestic cathedral was built in 1333-1380 and was the main temple of the city. Now it is the main symbol of the Kaliningrad region.
German philosopher Immanuel Kant was buried in the cathedral and the island was renamed after him. There is a cultural center with a concert hall and a museum named after Kant. On the site of houses, destroyed by British aircraft in 1944, in the 1970s, was established dendro-park, in 1984 opened the sculpture park. Over the island threw a trestle bridge.