The summer in Estonia might be the best time to visit this beautiful country, as you can truly take advantage of spending time outdoors without needing to worry about the weather. There are numerous wonderful places to visit that are easily reachable by car and boat from capital city, Tallinn. Read on to learn our favorite summer spots in Estonia.
Parnu is Estonia’s ultimate summertime resort. Here, visitors will find relaxing spa hotels, saunas, a luxurious white sand beach, and large parks. This destination is incredibly family-friendly, with numerous playgrounds, restaurants with toys, and plenty of activities to keep active kids entertained all day long. Parnu also provides easy access to Soomaa National Park, which has several handicapped and stroller accessible trails.
Though Tallinn is great at any time of year, the summertime allows visitors to spend the long summer days exploring Tallinn’s medieval old town and the hip Kalamaja district. Festivals and outdoor music events also abound at Telliskivi Creative City, which is a complex of warehouses that now hold offices, design stores, and tasty restaurants. Those seeking an escape from the summertime crowds could opt to visit Tallinn’s nearby beach: Pirita Beach.
There is so much to see on Saaremaa Island, that visitors will certainly need the late sunsets to best take advantage of each day. Saaremaa Island features beautiful poppy and orchid fields, windmills, and the Sorve Peninsula that can be explored by bike or car. The main settlement of Saaremaa Island – Kuressaare – is home to the large Bishop’s Castle, restaurants, and medieval churches. Additionally, Saaremaa Island offers the mysterious Kaali Meteorite Crater site for visitors interested in the occult.
Vilsandi National Park
Just along the northwest coast of Saaremaa Island is Vilsandi National Park, which is known for its natural landscapes and excellent bird watching. This coastal national park is composed of several small islands as well as a small portion of the coast of Saaremaa, allowing visitors to easily reach this park from the main settlement of Saaremaa – Kuressaare.
Tartu is the second largest city in Estonia and is well-known for Tartu University, which was founded in 1632 by the Swedish King Gustav Adolphus. A thriving intellectual atmosphere, beautiful architecture, and young population make Tartu a summertime (or year round!) must visit. While in Tartu, visitors can explore Tartu University, Cathedral Ruins, the Town Hall, KGB Cells Museum, and dive into Estonia’s former pagan traditions at the Sacrificial Stone.
Lahemaa National Park
Lahemaa National Park is the oldest and largest national park in Estonia. Beginning in Kasmu or Vosu is great for those looking to hike or cycle. These villages have accommodation on offer, although they should be booked in advance due to their popularity. Those seeking a bit of a break from nature could opt to visit Viinistu, which is home to an art gallery or the Palmse Manor House, which also houses a museum.
Haapsalu is a popular seaside resort town that dates back to the 13th century. The Bishop’s Castle, which is now in ruins, is the top site to see in Haapsalu. The Dome Cathedral is also notable as it is the largest single-nave church in the Baltic States. The ornate trains, built to receive Tsar Nicholas II for his summer holiday, currently serve as the Estonian Railway Museum. After exploring these sights, visitors might want to relax in Haapsalu’s well-known mud spas.
Narva is located right on the border shared by Estonia and Russia. This town is known for what remains of its medieval city center including the Narva Castle and the Narva Museum. Because it is so close to the shared border, Narva has a different feel to the rest of Estonia, and the majority of the population speaks Russian here. Visitors can head to the Narva College’s library balcony for a view over the town and Russia across the river.
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