Brazil has Ipanema. In Australia, it’s Byron Bay. For Estonia, the title of most buzzing beach destination easily goes to Pärnu, a town that expertly blends its prewar resort charm with all the trappings of a 21st-century fun-in-the-sun experience. Whether that experience is of the lazy or rocking variety is purely the visitor’s choice – there’s always enough going on in the nation’s ‘Summer Capital’ to satisfy anyone’s taste.

Though Pärnu’s history stretches back to the 1200s, it was the opening of the first bathing establishment in 1838 that kicked off the city’s reputation as a place for healthy relaxation. And you can still see plenty of architectural heirlooms from the 1920s and 30s boom times when visitors from all over Northern Europe came here to frolic and splash.

The city is still moving forward, with resorts constantly being updated, ever-cooler cafés opening and a summer event schedule packed with festivals and concerts. Pick up the complimentary Pärnu In Your Pocket Mini-Guide when in town, so there’s nothing left do to but grab your sandals and hit the sand!

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