The Perfect Meal While Camping in Estonia

Source: Elen Juurma, Visit Estonia

The Perfect Meal While Camping in Estonia

Estonia is full of dozens of hiking trails that take you through forests and wetlands and along the banks of rivers and lakes. 

While you might see different animals or take different paths, one thing always remains the same - the hunger that comes after a long hike in nature! Thankfully, Estonia has a lot to choose from and plenty of great spots to stop and cook something tasty while you're out in nature.

Where to Camp

Estonia remains a dream destination for anyone looking for a calming walk through nature. The numerous trails offer something for every hiker.

To help you better understand the best places to go camping in Estonia as well as the best ways to take a break and enjoy the food, we've put together a few ideas for camping sites. Most of these campfire sites have a fire pit, rain canopies, dry toilets, and rubbish bins. However, you should find out what you should bring in advance, such as firewood or charcoal, and remember that waste must be taken from the wild if there is no bin available.

So, let's find out which campsite sounds best for you so can start planning your own visit! 

North Estonia

North Estonia is known for its forests and wildlife. This makes it the ideal place to get away from everything and enjoy nature.

If you're looking for a spectacular view, then the limestone cliff of Leetse will provide you with quite the sight. About 1 hour from Tallinn, this is an ideal spot for hikers. You can walk the Ranniku hiking trail and see waterfalls in the springtime. And you can find 5 covered campfire spots.

Enjoy a walk along Cape Purekkari in Lahemaa National Park which will take you to the northernmost point of Estonia. The trail here is about 1.5 km long and will take visitors along the rocky, stone-covered coast.

The Võlingi Hiking Trail will take you through a dense forest and bring you to the Võlingi spring. With a 2.4 km hiking trail, consider it when you're looking for the perfect camping spot.

The Võlingi Trail is perfect for forest hiking to help you reconnect with nature

Photo by: Silver Kõster

If you prefer to go camping along the edge of a lake, then visit the campsites at Matsimäe Pühajärv recreational area. You can wake up next to the sandy lakeshore and set out to enjoy the diverse landscape along a trail of 7.5 km which offers beautiful views of the diverse landscape through wetlands and pine forest. The path is open to visitors going on foot or by bike.

For those who want to combine camping with sports like skiing, Nordic walking, running, and cycling, then check out the Äkkeküla sports and recreation area. Located near Narva, this is an ideal camping spot for families as well as those looking to do some physical activity in the great outdoors.

The Tudu campfire site is located on the shores of the picturesque Tudu lake. The picnic area is equipped with a grill and toilet with firewood available. There's also a forest hut if you spending the night, which you can use for free. Stop by and see the unique fauna of the area like the black stork and the flying squirrel.

The Kauksi-Penijõgi hiking trail runs through the former Aidu shale quarry and has a totally unique landscape. Here, you'll have the chance to cross the canals on rafts and climb the quarry's steep slopes. Stop by here so you can grill and relax by the blue water.

At the quarry, you can find a rest area and campfire site

Photo by: K. Ernits

The Iisaku observation tower stands as the highest natural point in Ida-Viru County. At a height of 122 m above sea level, you'll get a beautiful view of the forests and in clear weather, you can also see the domes of the Kuremäe convent as well as Lake Peipsi. The campfire site is next to the tower and has a rain canopy.

West Estonia

Camping in western Estonia means enjoying the Baltic sea coast and all the beach that comes with it.

In the northern part of Saaremaa, you'll find Tukhana Beach, one of the island's best swimming spots. The sandy beach is 500 metres wide and the water gets deeper more quickly than other parts of the island. With a pine tree forest nearby and a volleyball court, this is the place to camp if you want to enjoy everything camping in western Estonia has to offer.

Tukhana Beach offers an ideal place to relax on the coast

Photo by: Kuressaare Turismiinfokeskus

The Nõva Recreation Area is situated in the lowlands of West Estonia. You should visit if you want something more rugged. The area nearby features large sand dunes, wetlands, lakes, and forest. That means you can switch between the sandy beach and more inland nature depending on your taste.

If you want a calm and restive place in the middle of the forest, head to RMK Lake Rae Hiking Trail and Camping Site. Here you can swim, fish, and enjoy the 1.7 km trail that takes your through the area's varied landscape. There are three places for bonfires, a shed for firewood, bins, toilets, as well as a village swing.

South Estonia

South Estonia is full of lakes, valleys, and rolling hills. This is one of the more popular parts of Estonia for taking a break from the city, getting away from it all, and getting back in touch with nature.

The Koiva Heritage Culture Trail is one of the larger paths that south Estonia has to offer. The trail, open to walking and cycling goes for a total of 60 km and passes by various cultural sites as you walk along the banks of the Koiva River.

Covering 5.4 km, the Taagepere trail begins and ends at the Taagepere campfire site. The path takes visitors along the Õhne River at times and you'll see different sights like the Taagepera Castle and the Musukivi rock.

For those who don't want to do the full trail, there are paths that cover 1.6km and 4 km as well.

If you want a unique Estonia hiking experience, then check out the Green Railway Trail. This follows the trail of the Valga/Valka-Ape railway which closed in 1970. Today the old railway embankment serves as a hiking trail that mixing hiking with a bit of Estonia history.

The Ruunaraipe Dunes are a must-see if you're near Viljandi. They are located in the Raudna valley and offer visitors a great spot to go for a picnic or go mushroom picking.

The Selli Sillaotsa study trail has everything you need for a hike and picnic. It's located in the Alam Pedya nature reserve and takes you through wetlands, forests, and to a 12m tall observation tower.

Between the Mehikoorma Port and the lighthouse, there is a circular promenading path for visitors to enjoy. Throughout the hike, visitors will have the chance to enjoy the beauty of Lake Peipsi on a 1.3km trail.

Along the banks of the Võhandu River, you'll find the Kaljupealse campfire site which offers a gorgeous view of the river and the sand outcrops. Here you'll find a roofed table, grill, and firewood.

Near the Erastvere manor park, you'll find the picturesque lake Erastevere, where you can swim on a hot day. Along the shore, you can pitch a tent and cook a delicious lunch over a fire. 

Find the perfect spot for families with younger children at Aruküla hill recreation area. In addition to places to barbecue, the spot has a playground for children with swings and slides. The view is excellent and there's lots of room for campers. Visitors can also enjoy disc golf there or check out the Struve Geodetic Arc.

On the Lake Verijärve study trail, there are three campfire sites with grill grates, benches, and a children's playground. The trail is about 1km and has plenty of placards for visitors to learn about the local plant and wildlife.

Take your children to see the trail along Lake Ähijärve in the Karula Nature Centre. 

What to Eat While Camping

Now that we've gone over the best places, it's time to talk about what to eat while you're out. While you're on the various trails, you can find food that fits your tastes and how much preparation you want to do.

The Wonders of Tin Foil

There's a lot you can do food-wise if you have a bit of tin foil and an open flame. With this simple combo, you can bake all sorts of foods and bring out a range of different flavours.

Trying putting in some meat and vegetables in some tin foil and letting it heat up. You can even add spices like garlic, rosemary and thyme to give it something special. You only need about 20-30 minutes on both sides for it to be ready to eat.

Open Flames

There's so much you can do with an open fire. And the best part is that you can get be as elaborate or as simple as you want. If you have a pot or pan, you make soup, meat, pasta, or anything else you'd like. 

Campfire bread is an institution in Estonia. While the idea of making bread on a camping trip might sound tricky, it's a lot easier than it sounds. You can find ready-made bread mix in a lot of stores (this might come in a bottle). All you have to do is wrap the dough around a stick and cook it over the fire.

And of course, camping is never complete without marshmallows baked over a campfire and placed between two cookies for dessert.

Two cookies, a marshmallow, and some heat are all you need to make the perfect dessert.

Photo by: Elen Juurma

So there you have it! Some of the best trails in Estonia and some ideas for cooking when you get there. With a simple camping pot or pan, there is so much you can do to have something delicious after a long day of hiking.

You can try out different dishes depending on how much time you want to spend cooking. Just don't forget to enjoy a nice dessert afterward! 

Now that you've got some idea for what to eat while you're out, it's time to come visit some of Estonia's hiking trails for yourself. Have a look at the many options available and book your trip!

Last updated : 22.02.2022

In category: Food & Drink & Nightlife, Nature & Wildlife