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Introducing Pärnu

Local families, hormone-sozzled youths and Finnish holidaymakers join together in a collective prayer for sunny weather while strolling the golden-sand beaches, sprawling parks and picturesque historic centre of Pärnu (pair-nu), Estonia’s premier seaside resort. In these parts, the name Pärnu is synonymous with fun in the sun; one hyperbolic local described it to us as ‘Estonia’s Miami’ but it’s usually called by its slightly more prosaic moniker, the nation’s ‘summer capital’.

In truth, most of Pärnu is quite docile, with leafy streets and expansive parks intermingling with turn-of-the-20th-century villas that reflect the town’s fashionable, more decorous past. Older visitors from Finland and the former Soviet Union still visit, seeking rest, rejuvenation and Pärnu’s vaunted mud treatments.