Off the beaten path in the Baltic

23/08/2020

Sandy beaches of Warnemünde, medieval streets in Tallinn and colourful shipyards in Klaipėda... we uncover some of the Baltic’s lesser-known highlights that will leave a lasting impression

Island life on Bornholm

Little-known Bornholm has long been a secret escape for city-dwelling Danes, but it’s becoming better known thanks to its exciting locavore food scene. Long, sunshine-filled growing seasons mean that the produce grown here flourishes – pick up some fresh vegetables at the farmer’s market during your visit or dine at Kadeau, which has a sister restaurant in Copenhagen, to try some for yourself. Hummerhytten is a characterful spot to try the local lobster. Bornholm’s round white churches are architectural icons. The oldest, Østerlars, dates to around 1160.

Sand dunes and shipyards in Klaipėda

Windswept beaches might not immediately spring to mind when you think of Lithuania, but Klaipėda’s coastal location is its best asset. Head south from the city onto the sliver of land that forms Curonian Spit National Park and you’ll find a string of stunning white-sand beaches flanked by pine trees and dunes. Back in the city, there’s a distinctly German feel to Klaipėda’s port, where you’ll find traditional Fachwerk buildings – timber frames filled with stone – and pretty waterside bars.

Beaches and Canals in Warnemünde

It’s one of those places you may not have heard of but get ready to put Warnemünde on your list of favourites. The bustling seaside resort town is just two hours north of Berlin and is a popular summer escape for city dwellers. Merchant buildings have been turned into quaint shops and cafés along the canal and working fishing boats bob up and down along the harbour. To see the city from its best angle, walk the seaside promenade that runs the length of the 3km white-sand beach.

Medieval meanderings in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn’s UNESCO-listed Old Town looks straight out of a fairy tale. Medieval streets, regal watch towers and red-roof houses are ringed by a wall built in the 14th century to fortify the town against invasions. Nearly 2km of the original wall remains, along with 20 of its 42 turrets. Make your way to the Masters’ Courtyard where you can buy local jewellery and handicrafts or indulge in a warming cup of hot chocolate at the eclectic Chocolaterie de Pierre.