What to do on a long weekend in Saaremaa

Source: Visit Estonia

What to do on a long weekend in Saaremaa

Saaremaa, Estonia's largest island, always has something going on. This rural island has a bit of everything — from lovely beaches to a large medieval castle towering over the quaint town of Kuressaare and plenty of local restaurants and cafes for discerning foodies.

Day 1 — Muhumaa

Muhumaa is a favourite of foodies, especially in the summer. 

Photo by: Aron Urb

Saaremaa is actually closely connected to an even smaller island called Muhumaa. This traditional island is equally well known for its foodie culture. Restaurant Alexander, one of the top five restaurants in Estonia according to White Guide Nordic, is located in the heart of Pädaste Manor. They offer New Nordic cuisine inspired by the cooking traditions of Muhu and the surrounding islands, valuing local traditions and seasonal ingredients. The highlight of Restaurant Alexander is the seven-course Islands tasting menu.

Muhu is also the place to be if you're looking to do some local wine tasting. Muhu Winehouse is a farm and a lodge operating for over 15 years. It's a family-owned business boasting over 2000 vines and is planning to extend in the years to come. Their seasonal restaurant takes advantage of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

Day 2 — Lighthouses

Lighthouses are the island's main draw.

Photo by: Visit Estonia

A tour of lighthouses is the best way to take in Estonia's long maritime history. Saaremaa's most famous lighthouse is located at the end of Sõrve peninsula. The lighthouse itself dates back hundreds of years with the first beacon erected in 1646. The current lighthouse which was built in 1960, is one of the tallest in the Baltic Sea. Due to safety reasons, visitors cannot climb to the top, but the visitors' centre gives you a detailed overview of the local lighthouse history.

Day 3 — Kaali and Kuressaare

Kaali meteorite crater takes you back thousands of years.

Photo by: Visit Estonia

Roughly 7500-7600 years ago a meteorite landed right in the middle of Saaremaa island causing extensive damage to the local life at the time. It is assumed that a 5-10-km wide meteorite broke into parts and landed here creating a large crater of up to 110m in width and 22 metres in depth. Today Kaali Meteorite crater is filled with water but definitely gives you those pre-historic jitters.

Kuressaare Castle is definitely worth a visit while in Saaremaa. The large castle faces the sea at the southern end of the town, on an artificial island ringed by a moat. It's an impressive example of a medieval stone castle in the Baltic region that has remained intact through centuries. The castle grounds are open to the public at all times if you just want to have a scenic picnic.

Last updated : 29.11.2022

In category: Islands, Activities & Adventure