By Carissa Hickok
While there are numerous sightseeing opportunities in the Baltics region through the whole season, spring might just be the best time to actually pay that region a visit. Granted, you are not going to exactly be able to swim in the Baltic Sea, during this time of the year, but you’re in for select special treats that only spring can offer.
While the capital of Latvia is a great travel destination for any given season, it holds an annual celebration of Easter, which blends perfectly the Christian and Pagan traditions in one big city. Riga celebrates Easter throughout the whole day, starting from the early morning and the Easter sunrise celebration in Arkadijas Park, from where the celebration moves on to the Livu Square. Many traditional folklore groups can be seen performing in a variety of places, and the whole spectacle feels like a true nod to the power of spring and nature while preserving Christian traditions at the same time.
One of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Lithuania, the Hill of Crosses has a somewhat mysterious history, but the year of 1831 Uprising has been taken as the start of the tradition of leaving crosses and rosaries on that hill. It is a place to see and feel, even if you are not Christian, as its uniqueness and spirituality are sure to leave their mark in your consciousness.
If you want to explore some of the less popular attractions Estonia has to offer, Viljandi, a town located in the south of the country may just be the place for you. The town was a home to the medieval Livonian Order and therefore can boast with a number of castle ruins and other testaments of the past. In addition to the sightseeing and the scenic views, Viljandi is also the home to many festivals and other cultural happenings through the season. Last but not least, if you wish to take a break from the festive atmosphere, you can visit the Soomaa national park, which is located nearby, and enjoy the intact nature of Estonia.
We couldn’t even begin to talk about the south of Estonia, without mentioning the town of Otepää, which is one of the major winter holiday spots in the Baltics region. Otepää is usually connected with the great possibility of skiing, skating, and snowboarding, which comes as no surprise as it is one of the major ski resorts in the region. However, Otepää is still more than the worth of a visit, even during the spring or summer season, as it is perfect for long hikes, mountaineering or camping.
The second biggest city in Lithuania is perceived by many Lithuanians as the true heart and soul of their country. It is a great monument of how history and tradition can be successfully combined with modernization to achieve a modern city with an old heart. While the feel this city gives away is urban, you only need to step into the “Old Town” part to see all the historical wonders that still remain intact.
Carissa enjoys traveling so much that she left the corporate world to work as a freelancer, which allows her to up and go on a regular basis. She lives with her dachshund, Daphne in central Florida.