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Enthusiasts invited to test Baltics' longest hiking route

TALLINN - Hiking enthusiasts and fans of the outdoors are invited to take part in hikes in Parnu county and Laane county in West Estonia in September to try out the longest hiking route of the Baltics that runs along the Baltic Sea coast of Estonia and Latvia.

The first hike began at the former border checkpoint of Ikla on the Estonian-Latvian border at 9 a.m. on Saturday. In the course of the hikes sections of the route on the average 20 kilometers long are walked per day end each participant can choose a hike suitable for them online at www.westestonia.ee/coastal-hiking/tegevused/.

As part of the inspection of the route GPX files will be created and the various markings and signs on the track examined, project manager Anneli Haabu said. Participation is free and no prior registration is required.

The objective of the project in heritage tourism is to develop a hiking tourism route along the Baltic sea coastline in Estonia and Latvia that will stretch from the village of Nida on the Latvian-Lithuanian border to North Estonia, including Estonian islands as a side attraction.

Measuring approximately 1,100 kilometers, the route will fit into European long distance hiking network as part of the route E9 (European Long Distance Path E9).

The hiking route will be a sustainable tourism product highlighting cultural and natural heritage along the coastline, friendly to nature, cultural environment and local economy. It will diversify the use of natural and cultural heritage in coastal areas opening the coastal nature sites and villages to new segment of tourists -- the hiking tourists.

The route is being laid out as part of the cross-border project Hiking Route Along the Baltic Sea Coastline in Latvia -- Estonia, financed by the European regional Development Fund under the Interreg Estonia-Latvia program.

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