Territory: 45 227 km
Population: 1 342 409
Capital: Tallinn 397150
Official language: Estonian
Suur Munamägi 318m
Islands: 1521 in total, the
two largest are Saaremaa
2922km2 and Hiiumaa
Biggest lake: Peipsi 3555km2
Longest rivers: Pärnu 144km
A decade ago nobody would have guessed that the tiny nation would come so far so fast becoming a full member of both the EU and NATO during 2004. In Dec 2007, Estonia joined Europe´s borderless Schengen zone to make travelling even more easier and comfortable than it was before.
Despite the rapid changes since it recovered its independence again in 1991, there’s still a lot of tradition for visitors to see. At one time or another under Danish, German, Swedish and Russian rule, influences of all these eras all remain visible for the tourist. A traditional trading nation, Estonia has enthusiastically embraced all facets of modern technology and has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. The cosmopolitan lifestyle now found in Estonian cities is displayed in the country’s current contributions to the world of art, theatre and fashion.
Estonia's official language is Estonian. Estonian, with its exotic vowel-rich words and almost song-like intonation, is arguably one of the world's most beautiful-sounding languages. Estonians are enormously appreciative of any attempts by foreigners to speak their language, but even if not, English is understood and widely spoken.
Tallinn is the capital of Estonia. It was mentioned for the first time in a written source in 1154, on the world map of an Arabian geographer Al-Idrisi. Tallinn is recorded as first gained its rights as a city in 1248.
The Old Town of Tallinn, belonging to UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 1997, is the best preserved old town in Northern Europe . It retains a medieval city structure with its original street system, squares, city quarters, the protective Town Wall and esplanade surrounding the OldTown . There are still many fine examples of numerous dwelling-houses and warehouses within the medieval main walls, many of which date back to the days of the Hanseatic merchants and artisans that helped to establish the city’s fame. The Town Hall is the only intact Gothic town hall in Northern Europe and is one of the most famed symbols of the city. In 2004, the Town Hall celebrates its 600th anniversary and overlooks the main cobbled square, which is traditionally a central point for relaxing café-style al fresco eating and enjoyment in summer.
The many ancient church spires that reach for the skies provide the city with an extremely picturesque silhouette. Among the most famous on the central Toompea Hill are the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Dome Church, which dates back to its founding in 1219.
Outwith the centre are Kadriorg Park, which contains a beautiful baroque palace dating from 1723. This was once the summer residence of Russian tsars and now hosts the Art Museum of Estonia. Going east, nearby Pirita, host to the sailing events during the 1980 Moscow Olympics, has the famous ruins of the former 15th century Saint Bridget Convent. For a view of old Estonian traditions and traditional farm buildings the Rocca al Mare Open Air Museum, spread over 80 hectares on the western outskirts of the city, is a place not to be missed. Another famous Estonian tradition, that of song, can be found at the Song Festival Ground, where every 5 years the national Song Festival is held with a choir of 25,000 voices singing to an audience of 100,000. In recent times this open-air arena has also played host to such acts as the Andrea Boccelli, Bryan Adams, Rolling Stones, Tina Turner.
Tallinn nightlife, among the most dynamic in Europe, truly contains something for everyone, old and young, ranging from the culture of the national opera and theatre to all night bars and clubs. Eating out also caters for all tastes and wallets with a vast array of Estonian, international and ethnic menus on offer throughout the town. This includes some extremely well renowned international restaurants, mainly situated in traditional buildings within the Old Town walls.
Tallinn is a magnet for city breaks, every year about 3 million tourists discover this amazing and very quickly developing city for themselves. Whether you are interested in history or nightlife or anything in between, why would you choose not to be one of them?
Pärnu is a unique resort on the coast of the Baltic Sea, which has for many years attracted people with its beautiful beaches (rated European Blue Flag), warm sea, numerous parks and lanes. The variety of the sights within and around the 750-year old town is truly fascinating.
For over 165 years Pärnu has been renowned as a famous health and spa destination. It is a town of events, headlined with traditional festivals, concerts, open-air events and exhibitions, beach shows and sport events. The popularity is shown by the fact that every year up to 400,000 guests visit the town of about 50,000 inhabitants.
Your stay in Pärnu could even be better if you make an outing to the surrounding beautiful scenery of the county. Almost half of the territory of the county is covered with forest and a quarter of it consists of traditional unspoilt peat bogs and marshes. To view this you can opt for hiking, canoeing, bicycling, horseback riding or taking a trip by boat or car. Picturesque natural spots are extremely easy to find on any trip.
Welcome to Pärnu, the summer capital of Estonia, and picturesque Pärnu County!
Estonia`s second largest city Tartu, has long been celebrated as a wellspring of this country`s intellectual and cultural life. The hub of the riverside city in southern Estonia is Tartu University, the nation`s main university that was founded during Swedish rule in 1632. Estonians themselves have dubbed Tartu´s special if elusive quality Tartu to be “spirit”. The spirit is embodied in the old town, skirting leafy hillside parks, in several top-notch drama theatres and museums, as well as in its contemplative cafes and bars, where students can be seen philosophizing for hours on end over coffee and beer. To the northeast is the two-fork primeval Alatskivi Valley leading to the shores of Lake Peipsi, the fourth largest inland lake in Europe.
You will always receive a warm welcome in friendly and lively Tartu.
The Park was created in 1971 to protect the characteristic North-Estonian coastal and forest areas. Altogether about 70 % of the total territory is covered with forest, marshy land and swamp. At 72,500 ha, Lahemaa (meaning “land of bays”) is one of Europe’s largest protected forest areas. Old fishing villages, many renovated manor houses, rich flora and fauna – all this is ideal for soothing away the stress of modern life. It is always possible to have a lunch in an ancient village pub or just to stroll through the endless forest paths having a look at petrified forests or the great number of storks found in the area.
At the heart of Lahemaa National Park lies the beautiful traditional Palmse manor and park. The large 18th century residence, which once belonged to the von Pahlen family, has been restored and is now, once more, the jewel in the crown of the park. Nowadays, the manor itself is a museum and is open to the public.
It is also worth paying a visit to the village of Estonian sea captains, Käsmu, or to an unusual fishing village, Viinistu, with its private Estonian Art Museum in the midst of rocky boulders and juniper-trees.
We are happy to show you our beautiful Lahemaa!
Kihnu is a small island near the western coast of Estonia, one of over 1500 in Estonia, many of which are worth a visit. The island is most easily reached by ferry from Pärnu. It is an island where many of the old Estonian traditions still survive to this present day. It is quite common to see women wearing the national costume as everyday dress, and men in the weatherproof cardigans so strongly associated with the island. The Island itself consists of 5 village and has 550 permanent year-round residents. The Island of Kihnu is in the UNESCO´s list of “Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.
Saaremaa – the biggest island of Estonia forms the main barrier between the Gulf of Riga and the Baltic Sea. It is known as a good recreation place with unique nature and a lot of sights. Saaremaa has very rich flora and fauna, with over two hundred local species having received special protection status. Each year hundreds of thousands of migratory birds visit Saaremaa and a great number of them are also under protection.
Saaremaa has retained its uniqueness due to its location and insulation. In the villages there are still stone fences and houses with thatched roofs, beautiful national costumes and dialectal language are still used. Among the numerous sights in Saaremaa, the most important tourist sight in the only town of the island, Kuressaare (up to 1917 Arensburg) is the bishopric castle dating from 13th century. This castle is unique in the Baltic countries.
Tourism is increasingly developing in Saaremaa. Now more than 200 000 tourists visit Saare County each year. There are a lot of beautiful and original places to stay in Kuressaare. E.g. eight spas offer holidaymakers pleasant recreation all year round.