The area of Matsalu National Park is 48,610 hectares, and it was created to protect the nesting, moulting and migrating birds.
In 1976, Matsalu National Park was included to the list of wetlands of international importance under Ramsar convention.
The national park encompasses Matsalu Bay, the lower course of the River Kasari, coastal reeds, the flooded meadows of the River Kasari, coastal pastures, wooded meadows, and about 50 islands. There are many nature trails and 7 birdwatching towers in Matsalu.
Visitor Centre of the National Park is near Lihula, in the renovated Penijõe manor. The Nature Centre hosts an exhibition and has a classroom for nature education.