It may sound hard to believe but Estonia has about 1,500 islands. The largest are Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Muhu and Vormsi.
400 Estonian islands cover more than 1 hectare.
Most Estonian islands are actually smaller than 0.1 km² and too small to be of any cultural or tourist interest. Despite the beautiful landscape there are often only very small settlements and very limited ferry services. Most of the smaller islands and islets are situated in Väinameri.
There are several words in Estonian for ‘island’ — laid, rahu, kare, kuiv, nasv — depending on the size, age and look of the islands.
The islands are very different: some are bare land covered with gravel and shingle, others are covered with lush vegetation. The diversity of the existing habitats and shallow bays overgrown with reeds, offer protection against predators (as well as against people) and have favourable conditions for a variety of flora and fauna, especially birds.