Orjaku Harbour

Source: Ivo Panasjuk, Visit Hiiumaa

Hiiumaa Island

As part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Hiiumaa has no light or noise pollution. It is completely dark unless the moon and stars are shining, and completely silent unless the storm winds are howling.

Estonia's second largest island is a little over 1000 square kilometres and home to less than ten thousand people. This little green island is known for its seclusion, serenity, and silence. Hiiumaa is a huge spa for the soul — breathe fresh air while walking in the forest, let your thoughts wander while you steam in the sauna, or focus on work in a stunning setting for a remote home office.

What to see

As befitting an island, almost all activities are related to the sea: fishing, boating, seal watching, surfing, and relaxing on the beach, particularly long sandy ones like Tõrvanina, Luidja and Ristna. Ristna also happens to have the largest surfing waves in the Baltic Sea. Visitors from all over Europe trek there to go there for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and wing foiling. Hiiumaa is also a popular sailing destination — you'll find a spot to dock in Kärdla's modern harbor or at other marinas on the island, including the new Kalana Harbour

Nature lovers must not miss the picturesque Kassari Peninsula where Sääretirp, one of Estonia's most romantic places, is located. Long distance hikers can take the 234-kilometre-long trail that starts in from Heltermaa Harbour. Scenic landscapes await serious hikers and casual walkers alike. Around the island there are also several small tourist farms, holiday homes, and hotels, so there's no need to fly to Santiago for a pilgrimage!

History lovers will want to stop by Hiiumaa's three lighthouses: Ristna and Tahkuna lighthouses were designed and manufactured in France while Kõpu Lighthouse dates back to the 16th century, making it one of the oldest lighthouses in the world.

What to do

Hiiumaa residents are proud of their local cuisine. Fish and lamb are island staples, as well as delicious homemade juices, sparkling drinks, Hiiu bread, and more. Sit down to eat and enjoy a meal at Ungru, one of the island's most popular restaurants, or buy food from local grocery store and make a picnic.

Hiiumaa may be small, but it's definitely not sleepy — there is always something interesting going on. The Hiiumaa home cafe days and the Christmas mulled wine festival are two popular events among locals. Look out for farmers' markets, sports events, or concerts on the calendar all year round. Families with kids will love the Windtower Experience Centre — part museum, part conference center, and part community hub, it is 100% interactive and a top attraction in all seasons.

Hiiumaa is on Green Destination's list of the world's 100 most sustainable destinations in 2020The list highlights examples of successful sustainable tourism as well as destinations focused on providing a sustainable visitor experience.

Getting there and away

Weather permitting, you can take Europe's longest ice road between Hiiumaa and the village of Rohuküla on the mainland. Otherwise, take the ferry from the port of Rohuküla or hop on a domestic flight from Tallinn. 

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