The Baltic is Europe’s secret sea. Although little known compared with the Mediterranean, it is a similarly vital and ancient crossroads of European culture, commerce and history. Today, the region’s major focal point is the former Russian capital, St. Petersburg, founded by Czar Peter the Great in 1703. However, since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, which resulted in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania regaining their independence, the Baltic republics to the south have become fascinating destinations in their own right. And surprisingly for countries that were so recently behind the Iron Curtain, they also delight their visitors with warm hospitality, excellent hotels and delicious food. 

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