National Parks

Estonian young president Toomas Hendrik Ilves has said that Estonia is like a huge national park referring to Estonian uninhabited and unspoilt nature.

Estonians, nature loving Nordic people, are proud that a quarter of its territory is entitled as nature reserves. There are 5 bigger national parks with hundreds of smaller protected areas - natural oases full of majestic beauty!

National Parks

Lahemaa

Beautiful sand beaches, seaside fishing villages, majestic pine forests,  drowning peninsulas and inviting islands – this is the Lahemaa National Park, just 70 km from Tallinn.

Lahemaa offers visitors large number of hiking trails, stunning manor houses as cultural heritage of the Baltic Germans and a rich ecosystem with bogs. The northern part of the park is formed by a rugged coastline with four promontories, some marvellous bays and a few untouched islands, the biggest of them - Mohni.

From the farest beach side tip, Kuradisaar (Devil’s Island), is reachable on foot without getting your feet wet. This zigzag voyage to the island is an exciting experience and there are many interesting legends associated with the Devil’s Island. 

A former wealthy captain village Käsmu is undoubtedly the prettiest town and has been home for many captains! In the Käsmu Maritime Museum the history of Käsmu and the captains who grew up here is exhibited.

Viinistu is a picturesque fishing village where Jaan Manitski was born -  an Estonian entrepreneur who has been from Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs to the world famous Swedish pop group ABBA financial advisor. He renovated the former fish factory into an art exhibition hall with featuring several hundred paintings ranging from classical to modern art from the best Estonian artist.

Viinistu presents also a hotel and business centre complex with a restaurant and theatre halls were Estonian elite theatre performs for sold-out auditoriums. Viinistu is an appealing example of how people who think large can make a difference - transforming a small coastal village into a notable Estonian art and cultural centre. 

Altja surprises with its authenticity and simplicity. Tranquillity and quietness is intervened only with the seabirds and the wind blowing in the pine treetops. Altja tavern, a genuine thatched roof building close to the seaside, introduces Estonian culinary traditions offering delicious food with affordable prices. 

Lahemaa nature Reserve also includes three magificent manor houses - Palmse, Sagadi and Vihula, which seduce with their authentic charm and marvellous architecture.

Take a look at Tallinn & Lahemaa Getaway and Epicurean Tallinn & Lahemaa Gourmet packages.

 

 

Matsalu

Matsalu is Estonia’s largest wild bird reserve and one of the largest in whole Europe.

Matsalu numerous coastal pastures, juniper meadows and shallow bay areas offer shelter to nestling and migratory birds. In spring and autumn local fields are filled with flocks of barnacle geese that make the air vibrate when flying form one field to another. In autumn the fields of Matsalu offer a resting place for a large number of northern cranes.

Along with the bird flock flying over, there are many animals living here as well. Its landscape of wooded meadows challenges even the most trained eyes and scientific experts to distinguish between its rich assortments of species.

Matsalu is an artist palette of colours and natural scents, providing unforgettable experiences to the visitors. It is certainly worth visiting if one is interested in bird-watching, but anyone who appreciates a scenic natural ambience and tranquil atmosphere will surely find Matsalu a rewarding and excellent destination. 

Soomaa

Soomaa is called “land of bogs” is the second largest national park in Estonia.

Soomaa is also famous for its fifth season. During the flooding meadows, fields, forests, roads and houses - everything is under the water! This particular period of flooding happens once a year, in spring and is a natural phenomenon caused by the melting snowwater.

For visitors Soomaa has many good hiking trails offering comprehensive overview of the area. It is common to meet brown bears, golden eagles and rare orchids, but also exceptional European mammals like roe deer, elk, wild boars, beavers, lynx and wolves. 

Scarcely inhabited, Soomaa with its only occasional old villages is just a perfect destination for visitors who are looking for a more extreme and stimulating experience. 

Vilsandi

Vilsandi is known as Birds Sanctuary. Home to numerous birds species, large number of them come to here to nest there during the summer months.

One- third of the country’s protected plant species could be found in Vilsandi being safeguarded in botanical-zoological reserve.

Vilsandi could be reached by sailing boat or approaching with a fishing boat. 

Vilsandi
Vilsandi
Vilsandi