How to survive an Estonian winter

Photo: Mariann Liimal, 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. In coastal areas, brisk winds make conditions feel even colder. 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, swap gloves for mittens, wear a scarf (or two), keep warm drinks on hand, pay regular visits to the sauna, and have a laugh with people you love. Then, check out our list of wintry activities!

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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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

Throughout Estonia

03.02.2018 - 03.02.2018

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!

Store at WIERA Candle Factory

Põlva maakond, Viira küla

Wiera Candle Factory is located in Põlva County, on the shores of an old valley near River Võhandu! Visit the small factory in Põlva County, which produces the only candles with home-made wooden wicks in Estonia. This Nordic Wiera candle brand is well-known in the Estonian design sphere and it is represented in a number of successful design shops and supermarkets. During the visit to the store, guests will learn about small-scale production, the candle brand, and get inspired by the amazing crisp Nordic aromas. It is also possible to order candle-making workshops.  Here, you can buy WIERA design candles at a factory price! *We offer coffee breaks in the farm kitchen as an additional service.  

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Tartu market hall

Tartu maakond, Tartu

The newly renovated Tartu market hall is an indoor market located in the centre of Tartu, which offers the largest selection of fresh food and raw ingredients in southern Estonia. The Tartu market hall, which will soon celebrate its 80th anniversary, is also an exciting architectural object, which combines its original architectural style with modern times. In addition to shopping, visitors can spend time in the café, enjoy delicious meals in the new restaurant, or visit the Emajõgi Brewery, located in the basement of the market hall, which offers the lager-type beer 'Emajõe Keelekaste' and dark cherry beer 'Esimene Pruut'.  

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Wintry Tartu Folk Dance Day 2017

Tartu maakond, Tartu linn

15.12.2018 - 15.12.2018

Old Estonians were clever, clever people. They knew that dancing had a powerful and magical influence on the surrounding world.  The fact has been kept in mind throughout the centuries and folk dancers in Tartu County are especially unstoppable. They gather – in fact a good few hundreds of them – in the middle of sometimes freezing Estonian winter right on the slippery cobbles of Tartu Town Hall Square where the audience`s world cannot escape the magic either. This will again be the case on 3 December when at 1 p.m. dancers from Tartu and Tartu County perform Estonian folk dances and simple group dances on Town Hall Square of Tartu. Come and catch how Tartu and its dancers celebrate no matter the weather! 

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Anne Canal beach

Tartu maakond, Tartu

Anne Canal beach is in Anne city district, on the left bank of the River Emajõgi. A separate part of the beach is meant for children. That part has swings, ladders and a slide; there is also a fenced swimming area for children. In addition, three ballgame courts were built next to Sõpruse bridge; during the working hours of lifeguards, volleyball nets are up. On the grass, there are log constructions meant for climbing and exercise. During the swimming season, you can use a beach library, have a meal in two eateries on the beach or buy ice cream. A WC is next to the lifeguard station.

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Kihnu Museum

Pärnu maakond, Linaküla

You must go to the exciting Kihnu Museum when you visit the island. It 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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Kick sledge trips across Lake Peipus to Piirissaar island

Põlva maakond, Parapalu küla

Come and discover the wintry Lake Peipus and Piirissar island on kick sledges! Kick sledge trips begin at Laaksaare harbour and continue across the frozen lake to Piirissaar; there, we are going to take in the sights and have a picnic. We are going to cover up to 18 km on kick sledges. During the trip, we use the best modern Kickspark Max sledges that are suitable for taller participants as well. The trip is suitable for groups of 10 and more! We organize kick sledge trips from January to March, the weather allowing. As an alternative to kick sledges, we can also offer skiing equipment. In cooperation with Peramaa Holiday Home, we can provide catering, accommodation, and the use of Finnish and smoke saunas.

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Orjaku Harbour

Hiiu maakond, Orjaku küla

Orjaku Harbour in Hiiumaa used to be a fishing spot already in the 17th century. In 1912 the reconstruction of a harbour into a mine fleet of the naval forces of the Tsardom of Russia was started. Useful to know: The depth of the entrance canal and dock is 3.5 m. Currently there are in total 15 mooring places with buoy fastening for yachts and there is a toilet and a sauna in the harbour building. There is electricity available on the pier and it is possible to receive fuel on advance notice. State Port Register

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Last updated : 13.06.2018

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