Autumn travel ideas: a week by car around the Baltic Sea
Those planning to extend the holiday season are increasingly travelling in the autumn and choosing short trips in Lithuania or the Baltic Sea region. The most suitable vehicle for such trips is the car, as travellers are more free to plan the route, attractions and pace of the trip.
"Recently, more and more people are choosing to spend their holidays in the autumn months - fewer tourist attractions, lower accommodation prices. There is also a resurgence of car or camper travel - people are fascinated by the freedom they enjoy traveling in their own transport. A frequent traveller is looking for an interesting route that would be rich not only in the views through the car window, but also in the tourist attractions that attract attention, ”says Vaidas Klumbys, DFDS Communications Manager for the Baltic States. It shares a route that visits the three countries of the Baltic Sea region. This trip lasts a week and covers 2300 km: 1285 km. land, and the rest are overcome by ferry.
Journey north through Latvia
According to V. Klumbis, the trip can start in any corner of Lithuania, but the first necessary stop is in Latvia: “Start the trip north, towards Riga. If you are driving through Šiauliai or Panevėžys, it is recommended to visit Rundale Castle after crossing the state border. This is the 18th century palace of the dukes, called the Baltic Versailles with French park with fountain, green labyrinths, grape arches and a rose garden.
V. Klumbys advises to stop in Riga - there is always something to see and visit in the Latvian capital. "Whether it's your first visit or you visited city more than once, you'll always find interesting things to do in Riga: a car enthusiast can visit the Riga Car Museum, whose collection includes vehicles from bicycles to the fastest cars and is the largest in the Baltic Sea region. In addition, the museum is adapted for children, they will be able to enjoy various interactive exhibits, ”V. Klumbys advises. If you are travelling with children, they will also be interested in visiting the Riga Zoo. Those who want to see the city from a height and are not afraid of stairs, can climb the tower of the Riga Cathedral, admire the panorama of the city's rooftops and count the cats squatting on the roofs.
Latvian coastal roads
V. Klumbys recommends continuing the trip on the Latvian coastal roads - such a route is especially suitable for those who want to enjoy the nature of the Baltic Sea coast: “A frequent traveller stops in Saulkrasti and climbs the White Dune - it is 18 m. high hill. Reaching the top offers a view of the Gulf of Riga. If you want to do more sports, you can go 4 km from the White Dune, a beach path at the end of which you will reach the Sun Bridge”.
When travelling to Estonia by the coastline, it is necessary to stop at the roadside beach and admire the sunset. As you travel north, the beaches change, they become more rocky, narrower, and very large boulders can be found.
"When travelling along the Latvian coast, do not rush to reach Estonia. Moving further north, nature lovers are advised to visit the Salaca River - it can be crossed by kayak. The river is special for its banks: on the outskirts there are bright orange layered rocks, and in one place there is a cave-like formation, which is interesting to see. When kayaking towards the middle of Latvia, the rocks are slowly being changed by forests”, says V. Klumbys.
After almost reaching Estonia, it is recommended to stop in the town of Salacgryva, where the Latvian music festival Positivus takes place every year. During the off-season, it is fun to take a walk there, visit the town's port and the nearby Mini Zoo Kuiviži.
From Estonia to Sweden
"Do not change your route after crossing the Estonian border, still drive to the seaside until you reach Pärnu - a favourite city of Estonian tourists, in the old town of which you will see the Mohr grain warehouse - the oldest surviving building in the whole city, built at the end of the 17th century. Those interested in architecture also often visit the Baroque St. Elizabeth Church and St. Catherine's Church", advises V. Klumbys. Perfect for pedestrians, in Pärnu, you can't even drive on the main streets of the old town, so it is wise to walk around the city, see the colorful buildings of the center and various street art, and in the evening get to know the lively nightlife of the city.
After visiting Pärnu, it is recommended to go to the northern town of Paldiski, from where you can take a ferry to the Swedish port of Kapellskar. "The trip will take about 10 hours. You will travel almost 300 km in one night. You will be able to relax on the ferry after an intense trip by car”, says Vaidas Klumbys.
Travel through the south of Sweden and take the ferry home
Reaching the Swedish port of Kapellskar, you can be in Stockholm, one of the largest and oldest capitals in Europe, in just an hour. “For those who come there for the first time, it is necessary to see Drottninholm Palace, home to the royal family, Staddhuset Town Hall, famous for the intricacies and colors of its mosaics. The city center is a popular place for entertainment and relaxation for locals - Djurgarden Island, which can be reached by ferry or bus. Thirsty for knowledge, they are invited to the Vase Dynasty Museum, as well as to visit the ABBA group museum”, advises V. Klumbys.
After exploring Stockholm, the journey can be continued by moving back south, visiting the towns and attractions along the way. One of them is the castle of Kalmar city - a decoration of the Renaissance period. The construction of the castle began in the 12th century, when strong masonry was needed to protect the cities from pirates. 16th century the castle was rebuilt and acquired its current appearance. Travellers visiting this fortress can admire the arts of the nobles, the large spaces of the castle and the frescoes.
The island of Åland is easy to reach from Kalmar. This impressive place boasts the beauty of a preserved nature and a long history, dominated by rocky beaches, old towns and the remains of a thousand-year-old Viking life.
When you return to the mainland, it is recommended to move towards the port of Karlshamn, from where ferries to Klaipeda depart. "The ferry travels the distance of 414 km to Klaipeda in one night. This is a great time to remember the details of the trip, to enjoy the experiences and adventures together with fellow passengers, to view the photos taken and to relax after an intense but interesting trip” advises V. Klumbys.
Europe's leading Ferry Operator 2022
We’ve been nominated as Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator at the prestigious World Travel Awards 2022! We’d love to win but we need your help – please support us with your vote!