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Gauja National Park | © Liga Eglite/Flickr
Gauja National Park | © Liga Eglite/Flickr
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A Road Trip Itinerary Through the Baltic States

Picture of Kasparas Asmonaitis
Updated: 19 July 2017
Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are small countries with rich cultures, breathtaking nature, and long-lasting traditions. Everyone who loves exuberant forests, old cities, the cold sea, unique local food, and crystal clear lakes, must put a road trip around the Baltic States on their bucket list. Even though the Baltic States are wonderful in winter as well, it is the best to visit during the summer.

Overview

Total distance (approximate): 3,180 km / 1,355 miles

Total driving time (approximate): 30 hours

Recommended number of days traveling: 11 days

Best for: Couples and nature lovers

Lithuania

Distance: 460 km (285 miles)

Travel time: 5 hours 30 minutes

Start your journey in Druskininkai, a beautiful resort town in the South of Lithuania, to walk through untouched forests and get some spa treatments. Work your way all the way up to Trakai, where you can see the most iconic Lithuanian castle surrounded by the lake. Vilnius is only an hour away from Trakai, so you must visit the Vilnius Old Town, try some traditional dishes, walk the historic streets, and visit stunning Gothic churches.

From Vilnius, head to the coast of Lithuania, to visit the beautiful parks, old manor houses, crystal clear lakes, and historic cities like Kernave, Birštonas, or Anykščiai and get to know Lithuanian culture a little better. There is a map with all the major tourist places of Lithuania, so you can use it to cover every place of your interest.

There are plenty of Lithuanian beaches where you’ll want to spend some time, including Nida, Šventoji, and Melnragė. After you finish exploring the Lithuanian shore, cross the border to Latvia by the Baltic Sea.

Latvia

Distance: 820 km (510 miles)

Travel time: 10 hours

Latvia has much more access to the Baltic Sea compared to Lithuania, so there are also more beaches, which are less crowded with people. Thus, if you prefer to keep your privacy while walking by the sea, Latvia is the place to be. On your way to Riga, you should visit some popular coastal cities such as Liepaja, Ventspils, and Jurmala.

The road trip around the Baltic States would not be complete without a visit to Riga, one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe. Get to know the history of Riga, visit some of the museums, try traditional Latvian food and drink, and walk the narrow streets of the Old Town.

Blackhead’s House
Blackhead’s House | © Arian Zwegers/Flickr

To experience the beauty of Latvian nature, you must visit at least one of the four National Parks of Latvia; they consist of exuberant forests, distant lakes, and mystical wetlands that can take you back to ancient times. After that, cross the border again to finish your road trip in Estonia.

Gauja National Park
Gauja National Park | © Liga Eglite/Flickr

Estonia

Distance: 900 km (560 miles)

Travel time: 14 hours

The best way to start your journey around Estonia is by visiting Parnu, a stunning city right by the Baltic Sea. After spending some time in Parnu, you definitely must visit Estonia’s islands, including Saaremaa Island, which attracts many tourists from all over. These Estonian islands have some unique flora and fauna. If you are a fan of watching sea animals, you’ll definitely enjoy your stay on one of the islands.

After that, you will enjoy visiting some of the Estonia’s National Parks and nature reserves in which you can see the best of Estonia’s nature. There are plenty of hiking, canoeing, or cycling tours, in which professional guides teach you about the history of Estonia and how nature has changed throughout the years.

Swamp in Estonia
Swamp in Estonia | © Vinayak Hegde/Flickr

Before heading to Tallinn to finish the road trip, you definitely have to stop by Lake Peipus, the biggest lake in the Baltic States, which is located on the Estonian border with Russia.

There is no better way to finish your journey than in Tallinn, the most spectacular Estonian city, which holds an abundance of history and culture in its streets. You must taste traditional Estonian beer, drink some craft beer from small breweries, and finish your trip in traditional Estonian sauna.