How to survive an Estonian winter

Photo: Jaack Nilson, Visit Estonia

How to survive an Estonian winter

Estonia lies at a northern latitude, comparable to parts of Sweden, Norway, Canada and Russia. This guarantees varied seasons with winter temperatures ranging from zero to more than -20 degrees Celsius, although the latter is rather rare due to Estonia's coastal positioning. In addition to colder temperatures, Estonia only has an average of 7-8 daylight hours in the winter. By following the example of locals, visitors can learn how to stay warm and cosy during a winter visit. Firstly, don’t be caught without a thick pair of cotton socks, wear a scarf (or two), keep warm drinks on hand and pay regular visits to the sauna. So why not snuggle up and engage in some of these cosy wintry activities below!

Sauna session in a traditional Old Võromaa smoke sauna at Mooska

Võru maakond, Haanja küla

The Smoke sauna traditions of Old Võromaa have found a dignified place in the list of UNESCO intangible cultural heritages. At Mooska Farm, you can try 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 the meat smoked in the sauna, birch boughs, and sauna honey. Located next to a pond; in winter, you can quickly dip yourself in its nearby icy waters. The sauna's heating 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 home-made beer.

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Kumu Art Museum

Harju maakond, Kesklinna linnaosa

Kumu, which was opened in 2006, is the grand headquarters of the Art Museum of Estonia and has a number of purposes. Here, most of the collections of the Art Museum of Estonia are preserved, it accommodates the conservation-restoration department, a library opened to all visitors, Kumu Art Museum's permanent and variable exhibitions, the gallery for modern art, an auditorium, and an educational centre. Kumu Art Museum's permanent exhibition introduces the Estonian art from the beginning of the 18th century until the year 1991. Variable exhibitions additionally include international and modern art.

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Värska Spa

Võru maakond, Väike-Rõsna küla

Värska Spa is unique in Estonia for its treatment arsenal. We offer revitalisation through natural means - freshwater therapeutic mud and Värska mineral water. The freshwater therapeutic mud has 10 times more organic substances than sea mud and contains a substantial amount of hydrogen sulphide.  In addition to the therapeutic mud and mineral water, clients can choose from electical, paraffin and salt treatments, various forms of massage, physiotherapy, therapeutic exercise and many more services to improve your health. The treatments are carried out under the watchful eye of professionals (doctors, nurses). Our professional, experienced and attentive personnel guarantee the safety of our clients. 

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Otepää Sauna Marathon

Valga maakond, Kääriku küla

02.02.2019 - 02.02.2019

This sauna marathon sees registered teams attempting to experience as many of the saunas in and around Otepää as possible over a period of 6 hours. The start is at midday, with teams being given orienteering maps. All of the members of a team must be in each sauna for at least 3 minutes, with bonus points for dips in ice holes and cold water pools and use of other attractions provided by the sauna owners. The team that visits all of the saunas in the shortest time wins, with awards presented to them with the sauna owners at Kääriku Sport Centre. Bring your friends and join in on the fun!

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Kihnu Museum

Pärnu maakond, Linaküla

You must go to the exciting Kihnu Museum when you visit the island. It's like an anchor in preserving and introducing the cultural space of Kihnu, which has been entered in the UNESCO heritage list. The museum was founded in the former schoolhouse of Sääreküla Village in 1974 and thoroughly renovated in 2009. You will find everything that concerns the everyday lives of people in the museum – tools, clothes, handicrafts, furniture. You will also find exhibitions that introduce famous Kihnu men, such as historian Theodor Saar, Captain Enn Uuetoa and silversmith Peeter Rooslaid, and the works of Kihnu nativists.

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Workshop on tea culture in Peipsiveer

Tartu maakond, Varnja alevik

In our tea culture workshops, will discuss the history of tea-drinking in the Old Believers’ villages, talk about what Ivan chai is and how it is made. The workshop is carried out in a cosy house of Old Believers. We will bring the water straight from the well, make samovar tea from it, and taste the traditional cooked sugar of Old Believers. Depending on the season, guests can also participate in the process of making Ivan chai with the hostess of Mesi Tare (summer time) or hear stories on history and the healing properties of tea while enjoying a cup of Ivan chai (autumn-winter time).

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Hedon Spa

Pärnu maakond, Pärnu linn

A cosy boutique spa is located in the Pärnu Mud Baths building. The spa is divided into a swimming area and a Silent Spa. The swimming area has two indoor pools, an outdoor pool, a steam and Finnish sauna and visiting the area is free for all guests of the hotel. The Silent Spa observes ancient spa traditions and is meant for peaceful relaxation for our guests (starting from the age of 14). The luxuriating and cleansing spa ritual lasts for about 2-3 hours; we will provide treatment products from the Dead Sea and guidelines for their use. The boutique spa has 12 treatment rooms where modern methods of relaxation are combined with ancient wisdom and traditions.

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Workshop TaevaniMaani Meistrikoda

Rapla maakond, Rapla linn

Come and prepare a beautiful and unique gift for yourself or a friend at the TaevasMaani Meistrikoda in Rapla. With the help of an instructor, you will prepare special and unique items in a charismatic and cosy room. You will be able to pick up your items after a few weeks.

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Estonian History Museum – Maarjamäe Palace

Harju maakond, Kesklinna linnaosa

Maarjamäe Palace, built in 1874. During its colourful history, the building has been a well-known holiday destination, the summer residence of the Russian Count Anatoly Orlov-Davydov, a popular restaurant/nightclub, and the Military Aviation School of the Republic of Estonia. The permanent exhibition ’My Free County’ takes visitors on a journey of 100 years, from the birth of the Republic of Estonia to the present. The playful Children’s Republic is a place where the real world and fantasy world are combined, as children have a chance to play there with a blue lion and its friends, all of whom have a common goal to establish an amazing country. Restaurant Maarjamäe is also located in the palace.

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V Spa

Tartu maakond, Tartu linn

V Spa is inspired by vitality. Ethos of this spa is that everything good in life begins in water. Relax while getting an underwater massage in the pool and have lots of fun with water attractions in the children’s pool. You can also enjoy our sauna rituals every evening. V Spa offers different treatments, which are inspired by the local Estonian nature and distant lands as well. The packages of V Spa include a range of massages, face, hand, foot, and body treatments for both children and adults.

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Huusi SPA

Hiiu maakond, Hellamaa küla

Huusi SPA is the first private spa in Hiiumaa that offers absolute relaxation. The spa is meant for clients of Huusi Holiday & SPA accommodation. The sanarium is a beneficial combination of a steam sauna and a Finnish bath. The temperature is 65 °C and humidity is 20–55%, which means that the air is humid and pleasant to breathe in. Enjoy the benefits of warmth at slightly lower temperatures. Enjoy a relaxing hydromassage in a special jacuzzi or a massive rain shower.

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Workshop for making candles from soy wax

Lääne maakond, Paralepa alevik

Candle House Amii küünlakoda is a small and cosy building in Haapsalu where handicraft candles and aroma waxes are made every day. Bring your friends to the exciting candle-making workshop. There should be 8–12 people in the group. The host Anniki will introduce to the participants the materials needed to make candles and will share her tips for making and burning candles. Each participant will make a soy wax scented candle during the workshop. We offer different smells and colours. If you wish, we can organise the workshop on your premises.

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Roose Country House

Hiiu maakond, Orjaku küla

Roose Country House is located in Orjaku village in Hiiumaa. It has colourful granite walls, big windows, and a thatched roof. The house was named after grandmother Eliise-Roos who used to live there. Some years ago, Eliise-Roos decided to give the empty cowshed to her grandchildren, who turned it into a holiday home which is perfect for locals and guests coming from far places. They managed to make the house so enjoyable that now, Roose is extremely popular and it is sometimes impossible to book it. Today, there is a small Roose house and a sauna in the backyard as well.

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Cosy winter night with a bath cinema and dinner in Pärnu County

Pärnu maakond, Mõisaküla

The weather outside is frightful, but you and your friends are enjoying a movie in a bath full of pillows and a warm blanket. The room also has a fireplace. Bring your friends to the former schoolhouse for a unique experience consisting of: - watching a movie from a pillow-bath; - making potato candles; - making and decorating potato gingerbread; - multi-course dinner.  This is for groups of 6 and more only.

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Last updated : 11.11.2018

In category: History & Culture, Activities & Adventure, Health & Wellness

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