The attractive summer resort of Narva-Jõesuu is famed for its pristine beach. Lined with pine trees and old wooden houses, the beach stretches for 7 km from Narva-Jõesuu to Meriküla. The area was a fashionable spa resort in the 19th century and was popular with St Petersburg's high society. Present-day Narva-Jõesuu enjoys a beach, a lively nightlife and a booming water-sports industry.
The road to the resort town of Narva-Jõesuu follows the river for 14km. In the
summer this trip can be done by boat. On leaving the town, the road passes several
memorials and cemeteries. As in other parts of Estonia, the Soviet ones have
remained, even including a tank that commemorates the 1944 invasion, but those
dedicated to independence fighters in 1918 have had to be restored and others
erected in memory of those deported in 1941 and 1949. There is also a cemetery
for the many German soldiers killed in 1944. Pine forests, the widening of the river
and soil turning to sand announce the approach to the resort.
Legend has it that during the 17th century it was given the German name of
Hungerburg by German sailors unable to find any food in the vicinity. During
the 19th century, though, it prospered and was as popular as Haapsalu and Pärnu
with the St Petersburg aristocracy. This continued into the first period of
independence equally as popular with the Tallinn elite. Today the town isn't
particularly affluent and does not seem to be addressing the problem in the way
that its neighbours are.
The beach is about 13km long so is never crowded. The town is very spacious,
full of villas and small hotels built amongst the pine woods. There are no highrises.
On hot days in July, it could almost be Mediterranean.