Estonia - Connects the dots between Scandinavia, and Central Europe
Estonia’s rich history has left it with a wealth of tourist attractions: castles, church, fortresses, and ancient Estonian hill forts and stone tombs. The highlight of any trip to Estonia is its capital city, Tallinn, with its fabulous medieval Old City. Tallinn’s Old City is Unesco Heritage Site, and rightly so.
Unlike most European cities, which have ancient buildings mixed in between modern ones, Tallinn’s Old City is complete.You leave bustling modern life behind when of cobblestones and dim alleys, sputtering torches and secret stairways. The Old City holds new surprises around every corner, even for its old inhabitants. Now you can watch workmen peel back the layers of plaster on the medieval buildings and uncover statuary and intricate stone embellishments hidden during Soviet times. Tallinn also makes an excellent base for exploring Northern Estonia, with its exotic Russian influences, great national park, Lahemaa, and regal manor houses.
Ethnographical Open Air Museum Rocca-al-Mare
Nearly 100 farm buildings nestle on 84 ha of forest on the shore of the Kopli Gulf. Exhibits installed in the buildings guides you through 150 years of farming history and range from farm arcitecture to the 1949 deportations.
Lahemaa National Park
The Lahemaa National Park is situated in Nothern Estonia, 70 km east of Tallinn. Tourist attractions include different places of architectural and historical value: the surrounding buildings, large parks and ponds of the Manors of Palmse, Sagadi, the village of Altja with old fisher’s houses.
The leading city of Southern Estonia is Tartu. As Tartu was repeatedly leveled at the ground by different conquering armies, its old city is younger than Tallinn’s and is neo-classical in design. Yet relics of its pagan past can also be found alongside church ruins and Catherine the Great’s gunpowder cellar (now a restaurant) in leafy Toomemägi park, just behind the town square. Tartu is a fun daz-trip and convenient base for exploring southern Estonian town and villages such as Otepää and Voru, with their rich folkloric history.
Pärnu, on Estonian’s west coast, heralds itself as Estonia’s summer capital. Indeed, Estonian parliamentarians no doubt wish it truly was.
The town’s placid white sand beaches, parks, and charming old city beckon to local and foreign tourists alike. Further north, the sleepy beach resort, Haapsalu, is an appealing sojourn on the way to the islands.
Saaremaa & Hiiumaa
The western islands of Saaremaa and Hiiuma also sing a siren song to travelers. Though the two are quite close together, they share different feelings to them. Hiiumaa is wilder, more silent and enigmatic. It is perfect for those who want to “get away from it all”. Saaremaa, though also wild and pristine, is better known for being the most “Estonian” place in all of Estonia. As both islands were isolated during Soviet times, they were less affected by Soviet rule than the rest of Estonia.
In Saaremaa you can find wooden windmills, stone cottages with thatched roofs, the remains of ancient hill forts, and of course the Bishop’s Castle -the best preserved medieval castle in the Baltics.