Photo: Mart Vares
Estonia’s many islands offer an enormous amount of charm and ancient history, with the most popular Estonian islands being Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Kihnu, Ruhnu and Vormsi.
Because of the authentic setting, tranquillity and sustainable way of life the West Estonian Archipelago is part of UNESCO Man and Biosphere reserve. By coming here, everyone can enjoy food, art and crafts of the islanders inspired by nature.
Most Estonian islands are located a short ferry ride from the country’s western coast. Here you will find pine forests and juniper groves covering Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, Estonia’s largest islands. Take your time to wander along the dusty rural roads passing stretches of coastline, with few signs of development aside from 19th-century lighthouses and old windmills.
Estonian islands are great for hiking, cycling or riding around in your car looking for old churches and crumbling fortresses left behind by pagan Estonian warriors, German knights and Soviet military. Here you can visit a spa, a festival, find an empty beach and go camping, or take part in the many festivities embracing the local traditional culture.
The charm of foregone eras is still palpable in these places, but time has started to take its toll and the historic traces have begun to fade.
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