Heatwave, holiday break brings crowds to official Haabneeme beach
A new official bathing zone has been opened in Viimsi, just outside Tallinn, and has already proven popular as hot weather arrived in time for the midsummer holiday, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported.
Haabneeme beach, on the west coast of the Viimsi peninsula and facing on to Tallinn Bay, is one of over 50 official swimming zones open in Estonia this summer. It is staffed by lifeguards.
One such attendant, Tair, told AK that: "We have six pairs of eyes watching the waterfront and the beach here. Checks are ongoing and we won't leave the beach unattended for an instant."
Beach-goer Ross – whom eagle-eyed readers may have spotted in the pages of ERR News before – told AK that: "It's unbelievable – it's like the Laulupidu, with so many people; it's like the South of France, or Greece."
Meanwhile, Tannar told AK that: "The water here is very clean and warm and there are plenty of people, more than last year, which is a good sign. This is my home beach, indeed - I'm from here."
Angelina, visiting from Narva-Jõesuu in eastern Estonia, itself a beach resort, said: "I really like it. There are restaurants here, places to play, big playgrounds. This is very splendid. We don't have anything like it in Narva-Jõesuu, for instance. The only issue is that it is a bit too crowded."
There are 53 such zones open in Estonia this summer, where monitoring is not only conducted in the interests of swimmer safety, but also to check for blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) and other pollutants and hazards.
One beach, Raeküla, in Pärnu, has been removed from the list, due to consistently poor quality water levels in recent years, but otherwise, so far, Health Board (Terviseamet) data has shown good water quality readings, while the water temperature is around 20C.
The full nationwide list of official beaches (in Estonian) which includes those on freshwater lake-shores and river banks as well as on the Baltic, together with current water quality readings, is here.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte