After visiting Riga, I decided to go to Parnu in Estonia. I had heard about what a great beach resort town it is and despite the temperature dropping considerably to around 14 degrees celsius, I decided it was still a good idea to go.
I left Riga at lunchtime and got the bus to Parnu, it’s about a 2 hour 30 mins journey and this time I travelled with Ecolines at a cost of 10 euro. When I arrived into the station I got my bag and walked the couple of blocks to my hostel. I stayed at the Hommiku Hostel (there are only 2 hostels in Parnu) as it had the best rating but it is more like a self catering room with bunk beds in it, the rooms themselves are clean with a kitchen but outside the room there is no common area to meet other guests and as it was out of season I had the room to myself, a real luxury that I did enjoy!!
Parnu itself is a very popular summer coastal town in Estonia. It has beautiful white sandy beaches with lots of activities such as kayaking, water skiing, yachting and bars and restaurants along the beach too. These are open from 1 June to 31 August. I unfortunately was there on the 18-20th September so everything was closed, despite the beach being very busy.
When I first arrived I checked into the hostel and then decided to go for a walk down to the beach. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the main town and despite the cold the beach was quite busy, though not with people sunbathing as it was about 14 degrees celsius. I was hoping to get something to eat down at the beach but nothing in the area is open, though there were a few hotel restaurants not too far away.
The beach itself is nice and I can imagine is a lovely place to spend a summers day, the water is very shallow so ideal for families. There are lots of benches on the beach and climbing frames and swings for the kids.
I walked along the beach looking for a place to eat until I got to the Parnu Beach Meadow, it’s a nature reserve with lots of cows grazing there. It has a boardwalk to walk around and an observation tower, a great place for bird watchers.
It was a nice sunny day and the views were great. I then walked along the promenade and back to the hostel to get on the internet and find somewhere for dinner.
After a quick look on tripadvisor I decided on Pizza Restaurant Steffani and I can say that the pizza is really good and the prices were good too. It was actually the only restaurant I ate at while I was there, as I was limited for options being out of season!!
After a nice sleep in the next day I decided to get up and explore the town, it’s not very big and does not take long to walk around.
My first stop was Tallin Gate, it is the only surviving 17th century gate in the baltic region. It is the only part of the fortification left in Parnu as the rest was removed in the 19th century. In the old moat there is the highest fountain in Estonia and you can walk along the path around the moat and across a bridge which leads back towards the beach. There are lots of benches and a cafe that opens in summer.
From here I walked along the river and back to the beach and to the jetty. This is another nice path through the nature reserve.
From there I walked back along the beach, through the ladies only section (though not sure I would of been in that section had I been there in summer!!)
I then went back to the hostel to warm up past the Spa and through a beautiful park.
I decided in the evening to go back to the beach to watch sunset, I am so glad I persuaded myself to go as despite the cold it’s one of the best sunsets I have ever seen. Just so beautiful and worth freezing on a beach for 30 minutes.
It was then back to the pizza place to warm up before returning to the hostel. The next morning I had another nice sleep in before catching the bus to Tartu in eastern Estonia.
If you visit Parnu out of season then really you only need a maximum of 24 hours to see everything, but go down to the beach and catch sunset it really is amazing.
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