In 1980 the Olympic sailing competition was held in Tallinn. Since then Estonia has won several Olympic medals.
Estonians have always considered themselves a maritime nation and sailing as a sport is very popular. The first sailing competition was held on Pärnu river in 1883 and river sailing is still popular. Most sailed are the larger Emajõgi (Mother’s River) and Pärnu rivers.
- The Emajõgi River joins the two largest lakes in Estonia, Peipsi (the 4th largest lake in Europe) and Võrtsjärv, and runs through the second largest city, the university capital Tartu. You can visit the Old Believers’ villages by Peipsi lake, have dinner in Tartu and go fishing in Võrtsjärv – a sailing vacation to remember.
- The Pärnu River runs through Pärnu (seaside resort) to the sea and from there you can sail onwards to Ruhnu and Kihnu Islands – cultural treasures where ancient lifestyle and traditions are highly valued.
The best time for sailing is during the summer when there is up to 20 hours of daylight per day and “white nights”.
- Estonia celebrates Jaanipäev (Midsummer’s day) on 23 rd of June and there are hundreds of campfires set on the beaches across Estonia.
- July is the hottest month of the year and the time when most summer festivals and events take place.
- In August and September occasional lightning storms create an exciting atmosphere. It is also the best time to go sailing on Emajõgi – villagers in Peipsi shore will open their annual onion and dried fish sales.
If you are interested in sailing on the sea, we recommend you to discover small Estonian islands (for example Prangli, Naissaar, Kihnu, Vormsi, Ruhnu, Osmussaar, Pakri islands). All are fun destinations for nature, history and culture lovers and also adventurers.
Naturally, not all of 1,521 islands are inhabited. If you are dreaming about a romantic deserted island, you will surely find one in Estonian waters.
You can rent yachts and motor boats with a crew, in Pärnu and Tallinn.
All friends of the sea are welcome to take part in annual Tallinn Maritime Days. Many interesting marine-related activities and the chance to see rare historical vessels from Estonia and Scandinavia.