Lahemaa National Park, located on the northern coast of Estonia, is home to the best that Estonian nature has to offer. In the space of 725 km2, you’ll find lush native forests, wetlands stretching to the horizon, and both rocky and sandy beaches.
Though many of the park’s winding roads have been in use since ancient times, there is little human activity in Lahemaa. You will come across small villages here and there, but even at the height of summer, you may find yourself completely alone on the beach.
As you search for skipping stones in the sand, marvel the giant boulders along the coast. Lahemaa has the largest deposit of erratic boulders in Europe. These massive rock formations traveled to Estonia with the glaciers during the last Ice Age.
Lahemaa is home to many wild animals— moose, wild boar, bears, and lynx. In the valley between Oandu and Altja, beavers are busy at work. Watch birds flying through the forest, and listen for several species of woodpeckers. The northern coast also attracts a large number of migratory birds every year.
Lahemaa is not just a refuge for wild animals and birds but also a place where you can discover the cultural heritage of Estonia's coastal areas. Quaint fishing villages such as Käsmu, Altja, and Viinistu tell the story of Estonians at sea — check out restored net sheds and centuries-old farmhouses. There are also four well-known manor complexes — Palmse, Sagadi, Vihula, and Kolga. Each of them has its own unique architecture and interesting history. The Soviet Union also left its mark on Lahemaa — remains of former military facilities can still be found there today.
Lahemaa has received a quality label from the European Union of Protected Areas (EUROPARC Federation), which recognizes the sustainable development of nature tourism in the region.
What to do in Lahemaa National Park: