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  • Remote Baltic islands you’ve (probably) never heard of

    Saaremaa, photo by Ekke on Flickr

    Islands like Bali, the Maldives, Fiji and other tropical wonders get all the attention on the travel scene, and even a few islands with temperate climate are quite popular with mainstream travelers as long as they are famous.But what about the scores of islands that are located in parts of the world that are slightly off the beaten path?

    The Baltic Sea is bordered by countries with huge touristic potential, like Denmark, Finland, Sweden or Germany, and sticking to dry land will reward you with amazing sights, but there is a bunch of islands scattered over the pond that are just as worthy of interest. If you want an island holiday that goes beyond the conventional, here are some remote Baltic islands you’ve (probably) never heard of.

    Saaremaa, Estonia

    Saaremaaa is the largest island of Estonia, and a place where people have forged a living for the past eight thousand years. Despite its isolation, the island was conquered by Russians, Germans, Danish and Swedes, and yet it managed to preserve its uniqueness.

    Saaremaa has stone fences and thatched houses, and the people a particular brand of humor – they mostly like to make fun of the neighboring island, Hiiumaa. Most of the historical and cultural attractions of Saaremaa are located in the capital, Kuressaare, but the rest of the island offers countless hiking trails, windy beaches and birdwatching spots.

    Langeland, Denmark

    Langeland, photo by Henning Leweke on Flickr

    Denmark has plenty of islands to go around, and many of them are quite popular with travelers from the continent. Langeland is a long and narrow island in the southern area of the country, known for its The green expanse of the island is dotted with small farming villages, a small town or two, and plenty of space for walking and catching a glimpse of wild horses, or the herds of grazing cattle.

    Aland, Finland

    Aland is a strange place, nominally part of Finland, but not really: the people of Aland run their affairs rather differently than on the continent. Aland is the name of the archipelago, as well as the main island.

    There are about 80 inhabited and 6000 islets too small for habitation. Most of the people of Aland live on the main island, which is a genuinely amazing travel destination for historic sights and ruins, as well as quiet countryside walks and hikes.

    Rügen, Germany

    Öland, photo by Sarah_Ackerman on Flickr

    Rügen, the largest island of Germany, is bound to become of the most popular summer resorts in Europe if the hordes of Polish and German tourists are any indication.

    Before WWII, Rügen was known as the Nice of the north, and the beach resorts and the beaches are definitely up to standard. In addition to beach delights, Rügen has a steam train that goes around the island, lots of dense forests and great hiking trails.

    Öland, Sweden

    More than half the year, Öland has a meager population of about 25,000 people. In summer, this number swells to 500,000, which is the proof you need if you ever doubted the fact that Öland is worth visiting. This windswept island has 400 scenic windmills, beautiful beaches and hundreds of walking paths winding around villages with wooden houses and Bronze Age sites.

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