Campground Reviews (September)

I’m a bit late with this post, but I do want to keep a record of all the places we’ve stayed on this trip! So here we go with the third instalment of “The Gnegels Review Campgrounds”. In September we found ourselves in Finland, Estonia and Latvia, crossing the border into Lithuania on the last day.

We left Sotkamo, Finland after extending our stay and drove to Savonlinna, Finland, landing at Vuohimäki Camping Reception (no website). It was a bit outside of the city with a huge space right on a the lake where we spent four nights.

Pros: lots of space, beautiful lake, places to explore in the area, some things for the kids to do (mini-golf, darts, small playground)

Cons: felt isolated, facilities not very good, owners absent which left us with some questions

Olivia says, “The lake water wasn’t really cold. We went swimming! I like it!”

Four out of five stars

Afterwards we drove south to Helsinki where we spent a week at Rastila Camping Helsinki. We didm’t spend much time at the campground because there was so much to see in the city!

Pros: great location with easy public transportation access, very friendly staff, large area to play, reasonably priced

Cons: actual camping spots very small, facilities not very good

Charlotte says, “I really like the beach here, because it is very pretty, and it has a playground. But a very weird thing is that toilets are always closed. Except buildings 1 and 3.”

Four out of five stars

We set sail from Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn, Estonia where we stayed at two less than ideal campgrounds. The first one was Kivi Talu camping, about 15km south of the centre of city.

Pros: located next door to a sports center with an indoor pool, playground, fields, etc, reasonably priced

Cons: very few facilities, two aggressive dogs (owned by the campground owners), difficult to get into the city and not much to go in area

Steffen says, “I hated the fact that you couldn’t go outside the camper without being afraid that you would be attacked by a large German Shepard and his equally large friend-dog. That sucked.”

One out of five stars

We really enjoyed old town Tallinn and wanted more time to explore the city. So we moved to the second campground, Pirita Caravan Camping which is right at the harbor. Unfortunately a storm came in that night, scaring us off early in the morning where we hightailed it to Tartu.

Pros: good location with easy public transportation, great restaurant right next door and indoor play place in building, cheap

Cons: lack of facilities (no showers or place to clean dishes), basically a parking lot, very exposed

Hannah says, “I didn’t like it because it was so windy.”

Two out of five stars

Afterwards we drove east to Tartu to the Kure Turismitalu campground. It was located just outside the city center on a big, beautiful piece of land.

Pros: lots of space and cute details like a pond with a picnic table island, kind owners, reasonably priced

Cons: there is lots to do in Tartu but we felt a bit removed, facilities were not ideal

Luisa says, “I liked the water because it also had a house on the water.”

Four out of five stars

Our final campground in September was our only stop in Latvia, Camping Apalkalns. This was our absolute favorite campground so far! We had planned on spend a few days and ended up staying 10 days, until their last day of the season.

Pros: lots of space, beautiful lake with boats to rent, great location with lots to explore in the area (though you really won’t want to leave the campground), great facilities, friendly owners, very relaxed atmosphere, fun playground

Cons: long drive to downtown Riga and no public transportation

Julia says, “This place was the epitome of calm and relaxation! I was very sad to say goodbye but hope to be back one summer day soon.”

Six out of five stars!

Categories: All, estonia, Finland, kid-friendly, Latvia

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