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Mud-baths in Pärnu

Let's take it to the north, to the country about which not too many people heard. Let's take it to south-west of Estonia, and more specifically, to the tiny town lying on the Baltic Sea, the town of Pärnu.

The city is a major tourist center in Estonia. The total population number is estimated at 45,000 inhabitants, but in high season the resort becomes far more populated by tourists from all over the world. They are lured by the remarkable beauty of the village, wide beaches and by the treatments. Pärnu, is a famous health resort offering mainly mud baths. Thousands of people come here to relax among picturesque surroundings on the bay shore. In the summer, the long, sandy beaches are crowded to the limits, but it’s not surprising – this place is one of a kind.

The city had obtained the status of a health resort in 1838. Currently, as a member of the European Spas Association, it hosts visitors from different countries every year, offering them various types of treatments, ranging from the therapeutic mud, aromatic chocolate massages to stimulating pearl baths. What is more, a lot of local spas are certified as "family friendly" – they offer child care services and playrooms.

Beach, craziness and sun

There’s a popular saying in Estonia: "If you haven’t seen your friends during the year, I'm sure you'll meet them all in the summer in Pärnu." It means that if someone doesn’t like the crowd, he should enjoy the delights of the resort during fall or winter. In the summer Pärnu is a heart of the nightlife, dozens of clubs are opened until dawn, and in the day the streets are full of colorful crowd speaking in many languages – just like on the Tower of Babel.

It’s the same at the beaches. "The best sun in Estonia", white sand and crystal clear, shallow waters attract thousands of tourists. On the beach in Pärnu you can spend hours playing team games, there are also special zones for families with children where kids can play safely. Those, who don’t like to laze around, can spend time actively on swimming, water skiing or gliding on the waves while practicing windsurfing. Canoeists will surely be happy from the opportunity to rafting down the river Pärnu, straight to the open sea.

Everyone can sing – the artistic side of Pärnu

Apparently, anyone could be an artist in this town. There’re a lot of art galleries in Pärnu, as well as places where you can subscribe to a painting class or participate in handicraft workshops. And who knows, maybe you will discover your inner talent?

Pärnu is also a city of many music festivals and artistic events. The most famous include The Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival and the David Oistrakh Festival. Music enthusiasts cannot miss some big events, which include Organ Festival and Pärnu Blues Days, and those who simply want to have fun, won’t regret attending the Bacardi Feeling Beach Festival. People, who are willing to learn new things, can choose from numerous events - Craft Days, or the Hanseatic and Handicraft Days. Those are just a few examples, but it’s pretty enough to realize that even though Pärnu is quite small, it lures tourists very effectively.

Sights and attractions

You are very mistaken, if you think that you won’t find anything interesting to do after returning from the beach. Apart from numerous cafes and restaurants the city has several notable monuments. It’s definitely worth to see the eighteenth-century Church of Elizabeth (Eliisabet Church), the most beautiful baroque church in Estonia. It’s located in the center of Pärnu, and its interior tempts tourists with the neo-gothic pulpit, the altar and one of the best organs in the country –now, it’s a popular location for organ concerts, which attracts hundreds of experienced listeners. The temple was named after the Russian empress, who founded the Lutheran Church in the city.

In Pärnu is also located the church built in the purest baroque style. You won’t find another one in the whole Estonia. Rounded, yet subtle lines of domes, steeple towers and light design caused, that the whole looks like a tasty cake - as befits the baroque. This is Catherine's Church (Church Jekateriina), founded by Tsarina Catherine II, Elizabeth’s hated daughter in-law.

The Red Tower building (Punane Torn) is also very interesting. It was built in the fifteenth century as a prison. It’s the only defensive wall that survived in the city. Its courtyard is a popular place for art fairs, and in autumn 2012 the tower has opened its door to Red Wine Bar.

For the lovers of caravaning

The adherents of the direct contact with nature will be attracted by the alluring landscapes in Pärnu. The town doesn’t lack in places, where you can pitch a tent or park your camper. An excellent choice would be a year-round campsite Konse Motel & Caravan Camping (Suur-J, 80021 Pärnu). Those, who decide to choose this place will be able to rent a boat or a pedalo. You can also bring your own boat or sailboat, unless they are no more than 6 feet long. The accommodation in this campsite costs approximately 19-21 € / day (2 adults, the access to electricity and a pitch for a camper).

It is worth to consider another campsite, having a slightly enigmatic name "J" (NURM küla, 80044 Sauge Vald). It is located about 10 km from Pärnu, but in fact that’s a benefit- a lot of cool spots worth visiting lies on the road connecting these two towns. The camp is opened from 10th of April to 31st of October, and you have to pay only about 15 € /day (for the double occupancy). The place is very popular among people who prefer active leisure. There’s a sports field and a playground for children, a climbing wall for adults, sauna, there is also a trampoline and SPA.

Looking at all these attractions, mind-blowing surroundings, and a rich offer for tourists, there’s not too much to brood over. We're going to Pärnu!

Translation: Karolina Strzałkowska

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