The area of Matsalu National Park is 48,610 hectares and was established to protect the nesting, moulting and migrating birds. In 1976, Matsalu National Park was added to the list of wetlands of international importance under the 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.
The 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.
At the 43th km of Risti-Virtsu highway (highway No 10), turn right towards Penijõe (road sign "Matsalu rahvuspargi keskus"; highway No 16193). Drive 2 km until you reach the marked car park at the Penijõe manor. Matsalu Nature Centre is on the first floor of the manor.
This is Estonia's best known birding locality which covers a substantial area of the central west coast. It's famous for large numbers of several species of ducks and geese. Accessing the area to get...