Camping in the Baltics
Travel

In Wild nature

Fall asleep to the lulling sounds of the Baltic Sea lapping its sandy shores and wake up to the distant call of a heron breakfasting in a nearby swamp. Replace your morning coffee with a mug of herbal tea with a touch of energising peppermint or jump into the sea or nearest lake for an invigorating swim to kickstart the day.

Wild camping is allowed and even encouraged in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, provided you respect some general rules. You’ll be rewarded with intensely fresh air, scenic sunsets and sunrises, and an excellent night’s sleep leaving you refreshed and enthusiastic for your return to daily life post-holiday.

General rules for camping in the Baltics

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia boast liberal public access laws, however, you should never set up camp in designated protected areas such as nature reserves, fragile dunes or military zones. Feel free to hike and forage in public and private forested areas unless signs advise otherwise. Try to plan ahead and consider free-of-charge camping grounds near natural attractions where you’ll have access to basic toilets, fire pits and rubbish bins.

Should you choose to pitch your tent or hang your hammock outside a designated camping area, choose wisely, so as not to affect the wildlife and your own safety. Avoid areas with visible animal trails, as well as single standing trees in case of lightning threats. Always extinguish your fire before leaving and dispose of any rubbish at the nearest bin, even if this means carrying it with you.

When relieving yourself in the outdoors, stay away from water sources. Wash dishes and yourself without strong detergents or soap.

For more detailed information, browse the websites of:

  • RMK – Estonia’s State Forest Management Centre – www.rmk.ee
  • LVM – Latvia’s State Forests – www.lvm.lv
  • GMU – Lithuanian State Forests – www.vivmu.lt

Things to be aware of when camping in the Baltics

Insect repellant is a must-have as mosquitoes are quite active from spring to autumn but it’s most important for avoiding ticks, which can carry Lyme disease and Tick-borne encephalitis. Protect yourself from the latter by getting a vaccination prior to your trip. And pick up a tick removal tool from a pharmacy.

Make sure to wear suitable clothing to protect yourself from insect bites. Tuck trousers into socks to limit ticks’ access to your skin, wear light-coloured clothing, so you can spot ticks and flick them off early, and choose “slippery” materials, which ticks can’t get through. Sleeves should be tight-fitting at the wrists.

Snakes aren’t a major threat in the Baltic outdoors, however, one venomous snake does call the Baltics home – the Common European viper. When planning your trip, for these reasons and your general safety, take note of the location of the closest medical centre.

Another factor to consider when hiking and camping in the Baltics is hunting season. Hunting is highly regimented and hunting areas are marked in advance, so it’s unlikely to affect your plans.

Camping season in the Baltics

In winter, temperatures often drop well below zero degrees Celsius, which can be appropriate for day hiking, but less so for camping unless you’re trained and equipped with professional gear. Of course, winter camping can be a beautifully serene experience, but do prepare accordingly! Generally, April – October are the most comfortable months for camping.

Due to very changeable weather, layering is key to enjoying your Baltic camping experience, and rain protection is a must-have.

Be considerate when camping in the Baltics

Always keep in mind the fragile nature of our flora and fauna. Stick to marked trails whenever possible. Look out for signs and information. Enjoy your wild adventures so that the next generations can enjoy them too!

To plan your nature trip take a look at our nature and culture site. If your perfect holiday involves hiking and overnighting in the wild, camping in the Baltics is right for you! We’ll gladly help plan your trip.

closer to the core of the Baltic States