Hiking in the Baltics
Hike in wonderful nature
You should have enough time to stay and hike in nature and experience all the beauty that the Baltic states have to offer. There are hundreds of hiking trails of varying lengths and levels of difficulty in the three Baltic countries, and you can choose the one that suits you best. We present only a small part of the Baltic hiking trails as inspiration and help for you to be able to make your future travel plans.
A small piece of amber
There are more than a hundred hiking trails of various lengths in Lithuania, and the best time to hike is from spring to early autumn. Hiking is possible in botanical gardens, national and regional parks, and this is only a small part of what you can discover on your own. In a hiking paradise, the UNESCO World Heritage Curonian Spit, you will find many opportunities for hiking, from Witch hills to hiking on sandy paths. If you hike the Amber Trail on the north shore of Lake Lūkstas, you will likely find a piece of amber too. On the 6 km long hiking trail from Šilėnai, you can admire the picturesque wooded valley of the Neris River and the historic village of Šilėnai with its wooden church from the 18th century.
Nature trails in Lithuania
Hiking more than 150 nature trails in the different regions of Lithuania is a great way to spend time in nature. Enjoy Lithuania's largest man-made water reservoir, the Kaunas Sea, while hiking in Juniper Valley, or stroll the winding trail in Varnikai Forest in Trakai. The Mušos Tirjalis educational trail in Žagarė Park is Lithuania's longest boardwalk through a bog and is particularly fascinating for anyone interested in the flora and fauna of the bog. On the 13.8 km long Zackagiris path, you can hike along sandy river banks, but you can also choose shorter sections.
Hiking in Latvia
When hiking in Latvia, you will likely set a record of steps and kilometers travelled, as the country has many exciting and extremely long hiking trails, such as the 1200 km long Jūrtaka hiking trail, which starts at the Lithuanian-Latvian border in the village of Nida and ends in Estonia, or the 1836 km long tourist trail that crosses all of Latvia and was laid out to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Latvia. It is also possible to hike the trails in individual sections. Hikers and nature lovers especially love the coastal paths, on which you can get your feet a little bit wet in places, which the true hiker doesn't mind. The untouched nature of the Kurland coast or the fishing village of Pāvilosta, popular with kite surfers and windsurfers alike, where you should definitely try the smoked fish, are just some of the fascinating places you can discover on such a hike.
Exciting discoveries in the national parks and in Riga
While hiking on the Ligatne nature trails in Gauja National Park, Latvia's largest and oldest, you can observe Latvia's wild animals in open-air enclosures, but on the Kemer Heath Path in Kemer National Park you can explore the moor and admire the beautiful surroundings from a viewing platform. Visitors to Rāzna National Park will be captivated by Lake Rāzna (also known as Lake Latgane), while in Slitere National Park, known for its dense forests, you can admire the varied nature on a hike on the nature trail. If you are planning a longer stay in Riga and don't want to travel far, you can wander in the city or on the coastal paths around the city.
Image credit: Marek Steins
Hiking in Estonia
In Estonia, it doesn't take long to get straight to the heart of nature, and you can walk to a hiking trail from almost any city in half an hour. From the dense network of hiking trails, everyone can choose a path with the right level of difficulty and the right length, be it the Viru moor hiking trail, with an observation tower in the middle of the path and the opportunity to swim in the swamp lake, or the Taevaskoja hiking trail that runs in a circle on both banks of the Ahja River, where you can admire sandstone formations. The plank paths can also be used with wheelchairs or prams.
Children can explore the Orjaku educational trail through the reeds on Estonia's second largest island, Hiiumaa, or the Kiidjärve ant trail in Põlva County with a 1.7 m anthill. Or try an interactive game on the hiking trail by Lake Kavadi in Võru County or on the Kilingi-Nõmme trail in Pärnu County, a fascinating trail for anyone interested in birds.
Image credit: Julius Jansson
Circular hiking trails or a diagonal stretch through Estonia
The two RMK hiking trails that run through Estonia, pose a real challenge for hikers both in terms of physical exercise and weather. Estonia's first, the 375 km long hiking trail Oandu-Aegviidu-Ikla, starts from Oandu in northern Estonia, passes through several counties, national parks, protected areas and ends at the Estonian-Latvian border control in Ikla. Estonia's longest, the 820 km Peraküla-Aegviidu-Ähijärve hiking trail, starts from Nõva where it runs along a hundred-year-old cobblestone road and ends in southeastern Estonia, in the Karula National Park. Those who think it is too far to go through the entire hiking trail can choose a suitable start and end point and hike only part of the trail. However, if you want to end your hike where you started, you can choose one of the circular hiking trails. For example, the Parika lake hiking trail in southern Estonia which is known for its heart-shaped lake, or the "beaver trail" in Soomaa National Park where you can see traces of the beavers' livelihoods.
Image credit: Maksim Shutov