18 Lithuania: Palanga
This is a cracking little resort town with a white, sandy beach, pine forests, sand dunes and fizzing nightlife. There are dozens of bars and restaurants along pedestrianised Basanaviciaus Street, everyone speaks English, and it’s as cheap as you’ll find in Europe. Behind the beach are the dune-side Botanical Gardens and a terrific amber museum, while the big day out is a drive down the Curonian Spit, a fragile frond of sand dunes, forests and villages. Head here between mid-June and mid-September, when temperatures are in the high twenties.
Best for: a beach party with a difference.
Details: stay at the 46-room Palanga Hotel (00 370 8460 41414, www.palangahotel.lt; doubles from £102, B&B, in summer), a Scandinavian designer-style place surrounded by pine trees. With luck, direct flights to Palanga will be reinstated; until then, Ryanair (0871 246 0000, ryanair.com) flies to Kaunas, 150 miles away.