Visit Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, (Riga, Jürmala, Jurgaiciai, Plokstine, Salantai, Nida, Juodkranté, Kaunas, Trakai, Vilnius, Paneriu, Rundale, Sigulda, Tallinn, Vergi, Sagadi and Palmse)
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Latvia (Latvija) is a Baltic state in Northern Europe. Latvia is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus on the south east, and the Baltic Sea on the west. The most famous travel spot is the capital Riga, a World Heritage Site. There are also many other great places to see, both urban and rural, such as Liepaja with its unique former secret military town of Karosta and a magnificent beach. Kuldiga with Europe`s widest waterfall and Cesis with its medieval castle ruins are also interesting. Tourists can also enjoy the wild beauty of Latvia's unspoilt sea coast, which is 500 km long and consists mainly of white, soft sandy beaches. Forests, which cover approximately a half of Latvia's territory, offer many nature trails and nature parks.
Lithuania (Lietuva) is a Baltic country in Northern Europe. It has a Baltic Sea coastline in the west and is surrounded by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east, Poland to the southwest, and Russia's exclave, the Kaliningrad Oblast, to the west.
Honour Guard dressed in 11th century armour in front of President's Palace in Vilnius
Lithuania has been an active member of the European Union since 1 May 2004 and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since 29 March in that same year.
Lithuania is the only Baltic country with more than eight hundred years of statehood tradition and its name was first mentioned one thousand years ago, in 1009. Wedged at the dividing line of Western and Eastern civilizations, Lithuania battled dramatically for its independence and survival. Once in the Middle Ages (15th century), Lithuania was the largest state in the entire continent of Europe, where crafts and overseas trade prospered.
In 1579, Vilnius University, an important scientific and education centre of the European scale, was opened. In the 16th century, Lithuania adopted its First, Second and Third Statutes. The Statutes were not only the backbone of the legislative system, they also had a major impact on the legislation of other European states of the time. Despite losing its independence, Lithuania managed to retain its Third Statute in force for as many as 250 years, which was instrumental in the preservation of national and civic self-awareness. The Constitution of Poland-Lithuania together with the French Constitution, both adopted in 1791, were the first constitutions in Europe (The Polish-Lithuanian constitution was adopted a few months earlier than the French).
Estonia is a Baltic state in Northern Europe having land borders with both Latvia and Russia. Estonia's coastline lies on the Baltic sea and the Gulf of Finland.
Estonia is a Baltic gem offering visitors the chance to see a tiny dynamic land on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Glorious beaches pepper the extensive coastline, although the swimming season is short. After all, the Baltics are not renowned for warm weather - something that any visitor to Estonia must be aware of — the summer is short and the winter is severe.
Tallinn's medieval old town was built by German crusaders in the Late Middle Ages and is in magnificent condition, with the medieval city walls and towers almost completely intact and it rates as one of Europe's best preserved medieval old towns. Visitors can also experience an ex-Soviet occupied country that is now part of the European Union. Traces of the Soviet era are still there to be seen — e.g. Paldiski, a deserted Soviet army base that was once off-limits to Estonians themselves, can easily be visited on a day trip from the capital, Tallinn.
Medieval History & Manors
The main reason most people first come to Estonia is to see the best protected and intact medieval city in Europe - Tallinn. The unique value of Tallinn's Old Town lies first and foremost in the well-preserved (intact) nature of its medieval milieu and structure, which has been lost in most of the capitals of northern Europe. Since 1997, the Old Town of Tallinn has been on UNESCO's World Heritage list.
Living under the rule of Scandinavian kings, Russian empire and Teutonic Knights has left Estonia with unique and rich blend of historic landmarks. Over one thousand manors were built across Estonia from the 13th century onwards. Some of the manors have perished or fallen into ruins but a lot have been reconstructed and now are favourite attractions with tourists. Nowadays there are about 200 manor houses under state protection as architectural monuments and 100 in active use.