A “jewel” in the Baltic, Estonia has so much more to offer the tourist that the regular Tallinn stop off that many Baltic cruises offer. A tiny nation in geographical size, Estonia is also a dynamic blend of picture-postcard architecture and scenery, fascinating history, and significant natural appeal.
Most of Estonia can be reached within just a short couple of hours drive from Tallinn.
Northern Estonia is home to more than one third of the nation’s population. It is the most industrialised region in the country, and as well as the renowned capital of Tallinn, there are some gorgeous coastal villages such as Laulasmaa, Kasmu, Kaberneeme, and Vosu. The Lahemaa National Park is within an hour’s distance of Tallinn.
South Estonia is home to the vibrant university city of Tartu, which is the second oldest city in the nation. It is also the location of ski resorts near Otepaa, and some pristine national parks.
East Estonia is the closest point of the country to Russia, and is the location of premium seaside resorts Toila and Narva-Joesuu.
West Estonia is renowned for its summer resorts and many islands.
Some of the premier tourist attractions in regional Estonia include:
- Hiiumaa Island – the most famous site on this island is the Kopu Lighthouse. It is the oldest lighthouse on Baltic shores, and one of the tallest. It is claimed to be the second or third oldest of its kind, with a continuously burning lamp, in the world. Erected in the fifteenth century, it was not a popular construction amongst locals of the time, who looted and pillaged foundered ships.
- Parnu Beach – located on the coast of south western Estonia, this summer resort is known as Estonia’s Summer Capital; it is popular for large beaches, hotels, restaurants, and the Parnu River. An internationally renowned health resort, English is widely spoken, as well as Russian, Finnish, and Estonian. As well as the wide, beautiful beach, Parnu’s famous therapeutic Mud Baths are a destination for those suffering from a myriad of health conditions.
- Kaali Meteorite Craters – located on Saaremaa Island, this is the site of the last known giant meteorite strike in a densely populated area. There are even records of the strike in Ancient Roman references. Four thousand years old, by estimates, the largest crater now holds a lake and is surrounded by eight smaller surrounding craters in a field. The craters have inspired numerous legends and much local folklore.
Come back next week to discover more regional attractions in beautiful Estonia…