Spending a week or two in the South of France or the Italian Riviera or touring some of Europe’s most famous capitals may sound like the perfect summer vacation.
And while summer in Europe is a dream for many travelers, the reality is often not quite as idyllic as you might imagine.
Between record-breaking 100-degree heat waves, extreme crowds, and skyrocketing prices on everything from hotels to rental cars to activities, summer in Europe can end up feeling more like a nightmare than a dream vacation.
However, if you’re willing to go off the beaten path, you can experience an incredible summer vacation in Europe with low crowds, affordable prices, and mild weather.
Why You Should Visit The Baltics This Summer
The Baltics are a region in northeastern Europe consisting of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
These three countries on the Baltic Sea often fly under the radar for tourists coming to Europe, but they each have a lot to offer and can be combined into a great summer vacation.
Here are the top reasons to plan a trip to the Baltics this summer:
Fun Capital Cities
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania each have capital cities worth visiting.
Tallinn, Estonia is perhaps the most picturesque Baltic capital, located on the Baltic Sea and famous for its walled Old Town. For a unique day trip, you can also take a two-hour ferry to Helsinki, Finland.
Riga, Latvia is another beautiful coastal city known for being a cultural hub and for its art, nouveau architecture, and medieval Old Town.
And Vilnius, Lithuania is another quaint and charming Baltic capital located inland.
You can explore these capital cities without the high prices and extreme crowds that more popular European destinations like Rome or Paris experience during the summer.
Traveling in the Baltics is much less expensive than traveling in Western Europe. While you won’t find quite as cheap of prices as you might in Eastern Europe or the Balkans, you’ll still find that things like accommodation, food, activities, and transportation are quite affordable.
According to the travel budgeting website BudgetMyTrip, here’s how much you can expect to spend per day in the Baltics on a mid-range vacation:
- Estonia: $89
- Latvia: $99
- Lithuania: $80
Get Back To Nature
Aside from cities, the Baltic region also has plenty of beautiful nature on offer to visitors.
While they may not have the same “wow factor” as the beaches of the Mediterranean or the Adriatic, the Baltics do have laidback beaches perfect for a relaxing summer getaway.
Pärnu in Estonia, Jurmala in Latvia, and Palanga in Lithuania are some of the most popular and picturesque beaches in the Baltic region.
Estonia’s Matsalu National Park is also known for being one of the best bird-watching destinations in Europe, while Kemeri National Park, just outside of Riga, is home to pristine forests and bogs.
Mild Summer Weather
Finally, the Baltics are a great summer destination in Europe because of the mild weather this region enjoys. While winters are unbearably frigid, summers are pleasant and mild.
The average low and high temperatures in July for these countries are:
- Estonia: 55° F / 71° F
- Latvia: 57° F / 75° F
- Lithuania: 57° F / 74° F
Many other popular destinations in Europe, including the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Italy have been experiencing record-breaking heat waves in recent summers, with temperatures soaring as high as 100° F to 110° F.
If the idea of extreme heat isn’t appealing to you, traveling to the Baltics during the summer is a great way to beat the heat and enjoy mild weather.
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com