Estonia's beautiful, varied nature coupled with a vibrant and eclectic culture makes the country an inviting and sensational destination. From rocky shorelines to wooded lowlands in the the hilly south, the country has something for every taste. Estonia's eventful history and development has contributed to a culture of its own, characterized by hospitality and candor, and though very modern, it is permeated with elements of folklore. In this open-minded, friendly environment, there are numerous possibilities for wellness and relaxation of body and mind. Indeed, some of the spa therapies here were already known to the Imperial family of the Romanovs.
Facts & Figures
Official name: Eesti Vabariik (Republic of Estonia) Location: It is the northernmost country of the Baltic States in northeastern Europe located on the Baltic Sea Area: 45,227 km² Capital: Tallinn Population: 1.32 million (2013) Religious and Ethnic Groups: Not very religious, but mainly Christian, 10% Lutheran, 16% different Orthodox / 70% Estonians, 25% Russians Language: Estonian (official language), Russian, partly Finnish, German Geography: In the north, the country is mainly flat and hilly in the south. Almost 50% arborous. Rocky and sandy Baltic Sea coast with over 1500 islands. Highest point: Suur Munamägi (317m) Time Zone: Eastern European Time (UTC + 02:00) Political and economic: Parliamentary democracy, GDP: EUR 20.9 billion (2016) Currency: Euro (since January 2011)
Arrival and departure
The journey to Estonia is possible via many routes, typically by plane, car, ferry and bus. The entry by train can only be made from Russia or Latvia. Flight duration: Visa: Vaccinations: In general, vaccinations for hepatitis A and B are recommended to protect against meningococcal disease (from April to October) and for longer stays. Upon arrival: Estonia has a countless road and rail networks. However, there are also many options for exploring the country by bike, foot or on the water.
Climate and best time to travel
Estonia's climate is humid, temperate, and always influenced by its proximity to the sea. Therefore, it is known for its cold winters and mild summers. Winter average temperature: -2 ° C (lows around -20 ° C in February) Summer average temperature: 19.4 ° C (maximum temperatures around 30 ° C in July) Water temperature: (Baltic Sea) max. 16 ° C in August, lakes are suitable for swimming Beach season is from June to September, but it is worth visiting all year round. In the winter, Estonia impresses visitors with its white winter landscapes and in the summer, the so-called "white nights" attract tourists with up to 19 hours of daylight.
The most beautiful holiday regions
Tallinn - Intact old town with city wall (UNESCO World Heritage Site) West Coast - Islands Saaremaa and Hiiumaa together with castle ruins and pirate bays East Coast - Student city Tartu and ski / hiking area Otepää
Public holidays and celebrations
New Year (January 1), Independence Day / National Day (February 24), Good Friday (April / March), Feast of the Resurrection of Christ (April / March), Labor Day (May 1), Whitsun (June / May), Victory Day (June 23), St. John's Day (June 24), Restoration of Estonian Independence (August 20), Christmas (December 24-26) On most public holidays, shops, banks and restaurants are mainly open. On December 25 and January 1, almost all shops are closed.
DOs and DON'Ts
DOs • See the entire country. The drive across Estonia takes no more than 4 hours by car or bus. • Tallinn is very cheap compared to other European capitals; a shopping trip is therefore worthwhile. • Use the ice roads during the winter when the water is frozen between the islands and the mainland. • Enjoy E-Estonia. Electronics play an important role in Estonia. The cell phone and Wi-Fi network is excellent nationwide in Estonia (even on the islands), so you can use your mobile phone without any problems. DON'Ts • Don't drink alcohol in public areas. In Estonia, this is subject to a fine. The same applies to drinking and driving; there is a “zero tolerance” policy. • Don't carelessly smoke outside in the summer. The forest fire danger is very high during this time.
Can you drink the tap water? Estonian tap water is generally safe to drink. Do I need an adapter? Yes, if you are travelling from outside of continental Europe. What about medical care? Medical care is generally considered satisfactory.
Top tips and discoveries
Pärnu - The Summer Capital In the summer, cultural life takes place in the historic seaside resort of Pärnu. It attracts the "best sun in Estonia", long sandy beaches and various cultural events, as well as a varied nightlife. Pärnu is also worth a visit for any of the other seasons, due to its eleven thousand years of history and reputation as a health and wellness destination.
Fifth Season Every spring, the Sooma National Park in southwestern Estonia offers a very special natural spectacle. At this time, due to the snowmelt, the rivers of the park flow far over their shores and submerge a vast area completely under water. Take a remarkable canoe trip through the woods in a traditional dugout boat.
Secret Tips In Estonia there are many festivals throughout the year, both big and small. For example, the Estonian Song Festival (Laulupidu) takes place only every 5 years and is therefore a special highlight. Thematically everything is represented, from the Good Food Festival over various music and folklore events to the annual Tallinn Christmas market, which offers an unforgettable experience and is one of the most beautiful in Europe.