10 unusual attractions to see in Estonia

Source: Tõnu Tunnel

10 unusual attractions to see in Estonia

Perhaps you’ve already heard of mysterious sights like the flooded Rummu quarry, the abandoned Patarei prison-fortress or the eerie Kaali meteorite craters. These are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to odd and hidden spots. The following unusual attractions are for the adventure seekers who like to explore lesser known places. Get a different perspective on Estonian culture and history!

Sauna session in a traditional Old Võromaa smoke sauna at Mooska

Võru maakond, Haanja küla

The Smoke sauna traditions of Old Võromaa have found their honoured spot on the list of UNESCO intangible cultural heritage of the world. At Mooska Farm, you can try a piece of this ancient Estonian heritage for yourself. A traditional sauna session lasts at least three (3) hours and the smoke sauna of Mooska Farm can comfortably accommodate eight people. The rich aroma of burning wood is complemented by a whispered note of meat smoked in the sauna, birch boughs, and sauna honey. Since it's located next to a pond, during the winter, you can quickly dip yourself in the nearby icy waters. The sauna's cost includes two boughs, hand-made soaps, sauna honey and herbal tea. For an additional fee, you can also receive a juniper bough, towels, a sauna hat, a bathrobe and some homemade beer.

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A trip into the history of the city of Paldiski

Throughout Estonia

The exciting and fascinating history of the city of Paldiski and Pakri Peninsula and the local nature worth discovering offer many surprises: a fortress of Peter the Great, Muula hills, a lighthouse, Amandus Adamson Studio Museum, Leetse manor, St. Nicholaus' church of Paldiski, St. George's church, Paldiski Naval School and the cliffs. In addition, you can see the rich heritage from the times of being a military campus when civilians were prohibited from entering this town. The programme can be adjusted to suite your requirements! Duration: up to 2 hours. A bus tour: max 55 people A walking tour: 10–25 people A tour in Estonian: 45 euros. A fascinating fact: the area of Paldiski is the second largest in Estonia, second only to Tallinn, covering the peninsula in addition to the city.

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Forest megaphones in Võru County

Võru maakond, Pähni küla

Would you like to listen to the sounds of the forest or hear your own thoughts better in silence? Then come to Võru County to a fir forest by the RMK Pähni Nature Centre where you'll find forest megaphones – three gigantic wooden megaphones with a diameter of three metres, each named Ruup. Ruup invites you to read forest sounds and offers hikers a possibility to rest their feet and their minds. Here, you can sit, sleep, think and listen. You can select between a small and a large view, depending on which direction you look in the Ruup. Ruup is an open library with only one book – the nature.

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Kirna Manor

Järva maakond, Kirna küla

Kirna Manor house and park are considered among the top five places in the world with the most ancient power. When a dashing white stone manor house was built in Kirna, it could be seen from far away from the top of the hill. Unfortunately, there is not much of this former glory left, but the manor is gradually getting it back and new rooms are opened to guests one after another. The manor has a natural treatment and healing centre. Great emphasis is placed on mental health. The manor hosts various lectures, workshops, concerts, salon evenings, and exhibitions. There is also a café. Kirna is a place where every person is always welcomed, cared about, and loved.

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Kreenholm area and Kreenholm Textile Factory

Ida-Viru maakond, Narva

The double-terraced waterfall is located on the Narva River, just above the city. Kreenholm Island is located between the two terraces. The famous Kreenholm Textile Factory was built on the shore of the waterfall in the 19th century and was the largest factory in the Russian Empire at that time. In 1913 more than ten thousand people worked there! A compact complex of industrial architecture developed around the factory that included the factory, a hospital, workers' barracks, directors' houses, and Kreenholm Park. The buildings were built in the English style using red brick. The Kreenholm brand is known far beyond Estonia.

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Kiviõli Adventure Centre

Ida-Viru maakond, Kiviõli linn

Kiviõli Adventure Centre is located on the slopes of the old ash hill to the north of the town centre. The hill is divided into two – one half is a ski slope with downhill trails, a snowboarding park, and a snowtubing run. In the summer, it transforms into running tracks, as well as tracks for downhill and mountain vehicles, and a 700-metre-long zip-line. The other half is the Motocross centre, featuring Estonia’s first world championship course, which is 1,950 metres long and has a height difference of 26 metres. There is a large car park for competitors, an area for washing motorcycles, a system designed to keep the course wet, tunnels beneath the course, and lighting along the full length of the trail. The biggest event here in the summer is the two-day Kiviõli Motocross Festival. Kiviõli Adventure Centre offers activities for the entire family!

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Estonian Mining Museum

Ida-Viru maakond, Kohtla-Nõmme alev

Would you like to have a real taste of mining? All you need to do is put on your wellies, grab a warm jacket and take a lamp because where else than in the subterranean world would you hear, see and feel the same things as the men who toiled away in below ground every day? The mining museum also has an Enrichment Factory. As an educational experience, it demonstrates the journey of oil shale, tells how energy is created and showcases information on the subject of future trends in the energy sector. Please note! Ticket sales for the underground museum end two hours before the museum is closed, and ticket sales for the Enrichment Factory end an hour before closing time.

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Sorcerer’s Kingdom in the Primeval Valley of Lake Uhtjärv

Võru maakond, Uhtjärve küla

If you would like to visit and stay overnight in one of the smallest and most special countries in the world, you should head for the Sorcerer’s Kingdom in the Primeval Valley of Lake Uhtjärv. You will be welcomed by the Chief Sorcerer, Uhti, who will show you the possessions of the Sorcerer’s Kingdom and tell you its legends. In the Sorcerer’s Kitchen you can taste a variety of meals - Rumpel-Pumpel’s dinner is particularly good. There are enough leisure activities for you, your family and friends for the whole day, but you should definitely try one of the most unique sports – broom throwing. You can stay overnight in cosy rooms, or if you're seeking a more extreme experience, you will probably find that sleeping in the little huts on their chicken legs is an interesting thing to try!

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Rõuge watchtower "Pesapuu"

Võru maakond, Tindi küla

The Pesapuu watchtower is 30 meters high (the top observation platform is 27 meters from the ground) and it resembles a tree with two bird nests.  The architect Karmo Tõra was the original author of the idea. The watchtower is eye-catching during both the day and the night. In the evening, lights of different colours are turned on to shed light on the so-called bird nests or observation platforms and the so-called golden egg on the top of the tower. Tourists that reach the top are offered picturesque views of the Nightingale Valley and the rest of Võru County. Pesapuu is opened around the clock.

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Rummu quarry

Harju maakond, Rummu alevik

The crystal clear light blue lagoon of Rummu quarry and the adjacent ash hill are a unique combination and a wonderful destination for a day trip. The mining of Vasalemma limestone and marble in the Rummu quarry started as early as 1938 and the prisoners of Murru Prison were used as labour. The spoil gradually turned into an ash hill. At one point, the work ended, the drainage of water was stopped, and the quarry flooded. The industrial buildings, equipment, and trees were submerged. You can see all this for yourself! You can also take part in a guided tour of Rummu Prison (formerly Murru), explore the site on a SUP board, or dive into the water.

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