Estonia is a forgotten gem placed between Russia and Scandinavia. Including more than 1,500 islands, its diverse terrain spans rocky beaches, old-growth forest and many lakes. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, it’s dotted with castles, churches and hilltop fortresses. The capital, Tallinn, is known for its preserved Old Town, museums and the 314m-high Tallinn TV Tower, which has an observation deck.

Latvia is known for wide beaches as well as dense, sprawling forests. Latvia’s capital is Riga, home to notable wooden and art nouveau architecture, a vast Central Market and a medieval Old Town with St. Peter’s Church. Riga’s museums include the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, showcasing local crafts, food and music.

Lithuania is a land of castles, lakes and forests. The capital, Vilnius, is one of Europe’s most enchanting cities mostly owing to its baroque old town. Rural areas are vast plains separated by hills and sand dunes. Several national parks are perfect for hikers and explorers. The Baltic coastline has amazing wetlands full of wildlife, most notably the thousands of bird species.