How to survive an Estonian winter

Source: 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 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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Kumu Art Museum

Harju maakond, Kesklinna linnaosa

Kumu is the main building of the Art Museum of Estonia and the largest and most representative exhibition place in Estonia. The task of the Kumu Art Museum, opened in 2006, is to preserve and make sense of Estonian art from the 18th century to the present day. Kumu sees its role as a initiator of social and cultural debate, both in the exhibitions of art history and in the gallery of contemporary art, which is a source of new ideas for artists from Estonia and abroad. Kumu’s permanent exhibition introduces Estonian art from the beginning of the 18th century to 1991, and the temporary exhibitions also include international and contemporary art. See the Kumu calendar for events and exhibitions taking place there.

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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. 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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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).

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, now belongs to the Estonian History Museum. During its colourful history, the building has been a well-known holiday destination, the summer residence of the Russian Count Anatoli Orlov-Davydov, and much more. The permanent exhibition My Free County, which won the best Estonian permanent exhibition award (Muuseumirott) in 2018, 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. The palace and the palace park were awarded the Best Tourism Object and Development Award in 2018. It is also a nominee for Best European Museum Award in 2020 - results to be revealed in May 2021. Restaurant Riviera Palais Brasserie is also located in the palace.

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V Spa Wellness Centre

Tartu maakond, Tartu linn

The best parts of relaxation and wellness come together in the heart of Tartu – here at V Spa Wellbeing Centre, you will find more than 80 exceptionally relaxing treatments inspired by the diversity of nature, from Estonian peat treatments to authentic Thai massages. V Spa offers something for everyone, as in addition to traditional spa services, treatments are also offered for children and pregnant women. By choosing a day spa package with a visit to the water and sauna centre instead of a treatment, you will make your holiday in Tartu even more extraordinary!

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Last updated : 22.04.2021

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

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