Sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland, it’s fair to say many overlook the fact that there's a little piece of Russia squeezed into the area occupied by the European Union.

Once the seat of the Teutonic knights, what was once the grand Prussian city of Koenigsberg now offers a surreal, unique experience to the more intrepid traveller. Having been obliterated during the war, Kaliningrad can now boast a surprising number of attractive parks and gardens, some surviving remnants of the city’s German heritage and an interesting selection of war time monuments and museums. And that's not all. The Oblast's location attracts Russians from all over the vast nation both to holiday and to live.

Visa free travel with the border region of Northern Poland makes this an increasingly attractive place for those Russians wanting to live a more 'European' lifestyle.

Having been closed to Western visitors for nearly half a century the city is a fascinating living lesson in history. Armed with patience, and a sense of humour, Kaliningrad is a challenging, unforgettable and ultimately rewarding destination. Nearby, Svetlogorsk is a verdant coastal spa resort which has lost none of its charm while the Kursche Spit is a beautiful sand peninsula extending nearly 100km (63 miles) along the coast - a rich habitat for plants and animals.