BRITS looking for a new holiday destination this summer have plenty of places to explore throughout Europe.
The beaches of Greece, Spain and France are well known, but there are others elsewhere that could offer a similarly pleasant seaside stay, but without the masses of tourists.
One of those is Liepaja in Latvia, which is said to be one of Northern Europe’s best summer beach holiday destinations.
The surprising destination has “pristine” shorelines, a unique prison experience and cheap return flights.
What’s more, a bottle of domestic beer can be picked up from around €1.57 (£1.35) meaning your spending won’t rocket once you arrive.
One person who rates the destination is blogger Mommy Travels, who included it in her list of underrated European beach holiday spots.
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She wrote: “The country boasts some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in all of Europe.
“And one of the best beaches in Latvia is located in the lovely seaside town of Liepaja”
The blogger goes on to describe the town’s beach as an “expansive stretch of soft white sand that goes on for miles” and adds that in the summer, the water is “shallow and warm enough to swim in”.
Another indication of the beach’s suitability for swimming is its blue flag, which shows that it’s perfectly clean for anyone wanting a dip.
The beach is the best part of five miles long and divided up into different areas, so people aren’t disturbed by other holidaymakers and their activities.
Liepaja travel explained: “The beach draws people with its unusually fine white sand. Moreover, the beach is large enough for everyone – 50-80 metres wide and 8 kilometres long.
“Everyone can find something to do along this beach – kite surfers and windsurfers, fans of active outdoor activities, lovers of serene and untouched nature.
“There are signs all along the beach indicating the type of activity each part is meant to be used for.”
Travel experts Lonely Planet are also fans of the place as a beach destination.
They wrote: “This Blue Flag beach is a fabulous place for a dip. The fine white sand is over 50m in width and the shore stretches for 8km. In summer you’ll find a few beach cafes and water-sports operators.”
However, the beach isn’t the only thing worth seeing in Liepaja, with some fortifications stretching out along the shoreline also highly rated by visitors.
Tourists can wander through bunkers and fortifications that were built along the coast in the 19th century to protect the city’s navy base from potential enemy attack.
One visitor wrote on TripAdvisor:” I love this place. Wild and beautiful nature and impressive historic forts. It is an amazing place and definitely worth a visit!”
Elsewhere in the town, the Karosta Prison is also highly rated online, with the former military facility now open for guided tours.
Braver tourists are allowed to spend the night in the prison during certain months of the year (May – September) from €15 (£13).
For those less keen on a night in the clink, a normal room in the city can be booked from around £16 per night.
Return flights from the UK to Latvia’s capital Riga can be booked from around £52 per person, one way tickets are available for £24.
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