Tere tulemast! Welcome! The smallest and northernmost of the Baltic countries welcomes its visitors in an uncomplicated way, unobtrusively Hanseatic and at the same time open and amiable.
It is the versatility that makes Estonia so interesting as a travel destination. Those interested in history and culture in the footsteps of the knights will be just as enthusiastic as nature lovers, families or cyclists who want to explore the north coast of the country on the roads with little traffic.
Estonia has an eventful past that is characterized by oppression and foreign rule. Germans, Swedes, Russians – numerous nations left their mark on Estonian history, which can still be seen and felt in many places. A lot has changed since independence in 1991: Estonia is progressive and facing the world. Many Estonians speak excellent English, modern communication and one of the densest WiFi networks in Europe are part of everyday life, and the state has been part of the euro zone since 2011.
The country, which is not even as big as Lower Saxony, offers a varied landscape: beaches speckled with boulders, a rugged glint coast, moors, wetlands and deep forests as well as the extensive Lake Peipus, which forms the border with Russia. Nature invites you to take a deep breath. Even in the high season you don’t get the impression that Estonia is overcrowded. In numerous national parks you can discover the flora and fauna, observe rare species of birds, with a little luck spot a moose and go for walks, but also ambitious hikes.
In contrast to the lonely landscape are the cities with their historical appearance and rich cultural offerings. The capital Tallinn forms the center of the country and is a magnet for visitors. In the old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the visitor feels like in another time. Here everything is from a single source: the medieval cityscape with rock-solid city walls, massive defensive towers and cobblestone streets is complemented by city guides who stroll across the market square in a historical gap. Honey beer and wild boar are ordered in the restaurants … But other cities also have history. The university city of Tartu was mentioned in a document as early as 1030, making it the oldest city in the Baltic countries. It is the intellectual center of Estonia and offers a wide range of cultural activities: museums, theaters, concerts and festivals can be visited here. Pärnu, on the west coast, is the summer capital of Estonia. Pretty wooden villas, well-tended parks, picturesque alleys and the long sandy beach characterize the picture and make the seaside resort a popular tourist destination.
The lightness of the summer residence contrasts with the defiant castles and fortresses. The order castles, such as those of Rakvere, symbolize a Christianization that took place in the 13th century through the Order of the Brothers of the Sword and the Teutonic Order. The numerous manors and manors are also important cultural monuments of Estonia. Some have been restored and are now home to hotels – for example the Palmse Manor in Lahemaa National Park.
According to Countryaah, Estonia is located in northeastern Europe on the Baltic Sea (also called the Baltic Sea) and is the smallest and northernmost country in the Baltic States. The country’s area is around 45,000 square kilometers, so Estonia is not even as big as Lower Saxony and, with a total of only 1.3 million inhabitants, is also very sparsely populated.
There are national borders with Russia in the east and Latvia in the south. If you take the islands into account, the coastline is more than 3,500 kilometers long. Estonia has a total of around 1,500 islands, the largest and most famous are Saaremaa, Hiiumaa and Muhu.
Estonia is very flat, the highest point is the Suur Munamägi (318 meters) in the extreme southeast. Lake Peipus (Peipsi järv) is the largest lake in the Baltic States. Its area is 3,555 square kilometers, eight times as much as Lake Constance. It is 140 kilometers long and 50 kilometers at its widest point. The border with Russia runs through Lake Peipus. The shores of the lake are mainly covered with reeds, and on the northern coast there are long, secluded sandy beaches.
Despite its small area, Estonia has numerous landforms: sandy beaches, cliffs and islands, moors, forests, swamps and lakes, hills and cultivated land. Forests cover more than 50 percent of the country’s area, moors around 20 percent. They form an important habitat for the diverse flora and fauna.
The steep limestone coast (Glint coast) in the north is a contemporary witness of the earth’s history: It was formed millions of years ago from calcareous deposits of fossil marine organisms. Embedded in it is oil shale, Estonia’s most important source of fossil fuel. This is mainly mined in the Kohtla-Järve area in the north of the country. Huge spoil heaps are the widely visible witnesses of this branch of industry.
Estonia’s climate is cool and temperate. The winters are cold, the summers moderately warm, whereby the thermometer can easily climb to 30 ° C. The average temperature in summer is 16.4 ° C. Even then, the evenings and nights can get very chilly, so a warm sweater or jacket should be in every luggage. As a vacationer, you should always be prepared for a weather change and rain. Estonia is known for the “White Nights” – due to its northern location, you can enjoy up to 19 hours of daylight in June, and it stays twilight all night.
Almost 70 percent of Estonians live in cities. The capital Tallinn, also known by the old name Reval, has about 400,000 inhabitants and is located on the north coast. It is a tourist magnet and an economic center. According to Allcitypopulation, other important cities are the university town of Tartu (100,000 inhabitants), Narva (65,000 inhabitants) in the far northeast, Kohtla-Järve (45,000 inhabitants) and the seaside resort of Pärnu (45,000 inhabitants).