Recreation by, in, on and under the water is a great way to spend time with friends and family. You can arrange an unforgettable birthday party for a buddy; you can get your colleagues together and do a day’s work at sea; or you can get a group together and sail out to an island. But before you hit the water, make sure you check with your service provider what the conditions are like and that all of the safety equipment you’ll need is in place.
Getting from A to B by sea
Kayaking is a great way of admiring the silhouette of Tallinn’s Old Town from a new angle, but you can also set out on trips lasting several days that take in Estonia’s rambling coastline and its many islands.
For a truly Estonian canoeing or boating experience a little further inland, try paddling through the forests, pastures and roads in Soomaa National Park during the spring floods, or explore the towering sandstone outcrops in southern Estonia, which are more than 300 million years old. Most of Estonia’s rivers are slow-flowing – so make time for some bird-watching, animal-spotting and fishing while you’re at it! Hitting the rivers during the short period of spring flooding requires a little more courage and experience, as it sees some otherwise fairly modest rapids quickly turning into white water hotspots perfect for rafting.
You can add some excitement to your holiday by taking to the sea or a lake in an historical wooden boat. And if you’re into more extreme pastimes, why not choose a sea safari and make waves in a power boat? It’s also becoming more and more popular to pop around to the Seaplane Port at the Maritime Museum, to the islands and events taking place in the harbours dotted around Tallinn Bay using water taxi service.
Many and varied water sports
Estonia’s waters and waterways offer plenty of scope for recreational and competitive sport, in summer and winter alike.
You’ll find the right beach for surfing whichever way the wind’s blowing, and conditions here are ideal for windsurfers and kite-surfers. You can also take to the sea (in slightly calmer conditions) or a lake for a spot of waterskiing, wakeboarding or paddlesurfing. When sailing it’s great to stop at visitor harbours and find out about local cultural life.
In winter, when the rivers, lakes and coastal waters freeze, you can try your hand at ice yacht racing. You can also go kite-surfing on a snowboard on blanketed fields and the frozen sea – which likewise adds a touch of excitement to regular ice-skating. And if you’re feeling particularly sporty, why not try kick-sledding on a frozen river or lake?
The Estonian coast offers some great diving sites: you can investigate shipwrecks, explore the 500 million-year-old Neugrund meteorite crater and swim with seals.
Those who love motor sports should head for Estonia’s bigger beaches, where you can hire jet-skis or arrange to be taken out on a power boat or hovercraft. (You can take the wheel yourself if you have the required licence.) There’s fun to be had on beachside holidays on aquabikes, banana boats and water tubes, while families with kids can discover just how enjoyable water trampolines can be. You should also ask about water sports equipment hire and courses: training is provided throughout summer.