The largest island with an intact and well-restored medieval castle in its only city, Kuressaare. Stone fences, thatched roofs, working windmills and home made beer are signs you have landed on Saaremaa.
The second largest island was formed as a result of a meteor explosion. It has an airport with flights to Tallinn but you can also access via ice-road from the mainland, in winter. Hiiumaa is well known for its lighthouses, unspoilt nature, Hill of crosses and the sense of humour of its inhabitants.
Sleepy fishing villages, working windmills, thatched cottages, plenty of deer, moose and birds plus a more secluded location help define Muhu as profoundly Estonian. St. Catherine’s church has pagan tombstones and is one of the oldest in Estonia.
Known as “snake island” and previously inhabited by coastal Swedes it was closed off during the Soviet occupation. The unique blend of Soviet and Swedish history mixed with unspoilt nature is very interesting.
Originally used by seal hunters and fishermen Kihnu is now a culturally significant and essentially matriarchal society. The women guard the cultural heritage whilst the men go off to sea and fish.
The most southern island and closer to Latvia than Estonia, Ruhnu is referred to as the “pearl of the Baltic”. If you go there, ask about the giant chocolate bear statue and check the ancient wooden church. Both are intriguing.
Most Estonian islands are tiny and of little cultural significance. However if you are a bird watching, canoeing, sailing or fishing enthusiast then they might be very appealing to you.
Aegna is a small island just 14 km off the coast of Tallinn. Much of it is covered in forest and has been placed under protection. It is renowned for its old military installations, Ice Age boulders and sandy beaches.
Suur-Pakri (Big Pakri) and Väike-Pakri (Little Pakri) are islands off the north coast of Estonia. Suur-Pakri was a site of bomb testing by the Soviet army, and many military installations survive on the island to this day. Thanks to their natural diversity, both islands have been declared reserves.
Prangli Island surprises visitors with its versatile nature and fascinating cultural history. Take a stroll on the sand dunes, get to know life in a coastal village and find out why exactly has the local fog been given a name.
Naissaar is a naturally beautiful island ca ten kilometres off the coast of Tallinn. It has beautiful sandy beaches, a variety of hiking trails and the remnants of a Russian Empire naval fortress. World-class concerts and performances are staged on the island as part of the annual Nargen Festival.