Ilus Eesti, beautiful Estonia. My family's homeland. Estonia's countryside and people have an endearing gentleness about them which you fall in love with slowly and imperceptibly. I have nothing but respect and admiration for Estonians' courage and determination to survive despite centuries of repression, tyranny and foreign occupation. This blog showcases all the things I love about Estonia and seeks to enlighten readers about everything this unique country has to offer.
Monday, 22 October 2012
Estonian Tourist Board Recommends: 10 Fascinating Locations in Estonian Nature That You Cannot Miss
Northern and Western Estonia
When you travel in Northern Estonia and on the Estonian west coast, you can discover the beauty of unique Estonian landscapes. See beautiful seaside landscapes, fishing villages and mossy pine forests. Explore stylish manor buildings and Soviet military objects.
Lahemaa National Park on the north coast of Estonia is one of the most important forest protection areas in Europe. Here, you will get a great overview of most of the natural and cultural landscapes characteristic of Estonia. Lahemaa hides many nature trails, where the really lucky ones can come across moose, wild boars or other big mammals.
Tallinn Botanical Garden is located in the ancient valley of Pirita River, just 10 km from downtownTallinn. Visit the botanical garden and explore many fascinating plant communities typical of Estonia.
Matsalu National Park is one of the most important stopping places in Europe for waterfowls. This makes Matsalu a true paradise for bird-watchers. Matsalu has many bird-watching towers and hiking trails, which invite you to enjoy the beauty of this place.
Travel across the sea and discover Estonian islands with their unique nature, old village sites, adorable windmills and ancient churches.
Kaali Meteorite Crater in Saaremaa was formed ca. 4,000–7,500 years ago. The explosion that created it had the power of a small atomic bomb. It is thought that the stories about the death and rebirth of the Sun in the folklore of many nations are based on the Kaali impact. Come and see the crater lake and visit the exciting Meteorite Museum!
Mustjala or Panga Cliff in Saaremaa is a limestone cliff that rises straight up from the sea, presenting visitors with beautiful views. In ancient times, the cliff was used as a sacrificial site, where offerings were made to the sea.
In Vilsandi National Park you can find one of the largest resting sites of grey seals in Estonia, and the stopping place of thousands of waterfowls. There are plenty of rare plants in Vilsandi National Park – for example, over 30 species of orchids grow there.
Southern Estoniais a magnificent area, where woody hills alternate with beautiful lakes. When there is snow, you can play winter sports; in summer, you can swim in pretty little lakes and go on hikes. The cultural heritage ofVõrumaa, Mulgimaa and Setomaa deserves your full attention. Look out in forests – maybe you will see some large predators around.
Soomaa National Park is known for its pure nature and the “fifth season”, when a large part of the area is flooded. A canoe trip through an untouched forest is an unforgettable experience.
Suur Munamägi (the Great Egg Mountain) is the highest hill in all three Baltic countries, towering in the centre of natural forests. It offers views as far as to Latvia and Russia.
When you visit our Winter Capital Otepää, take some time to stop byOtepää Adventure Park. The adventure trails between trees offer plenty of climbing and jumping activities and will surely be fun for everyone. Not far from the adventure park is theTehvandi viewing platform, which is located on top of a ski-jumping hill and provides amazing views of the surrounding hilly landscapes. On the side of the ski-jumping hill, there is an exciting climbing wall.
Piusa Sand Caves are a large underground system of caves, formed as a result of hand-mining quartz sand. Now, the largest bat colony in Eastern Europe hibernates there. Ask along a tour guide from the visiting centre and you can take a peek in the caves as well.