Jules and Christine from Don't Forget To Move are travel bloggers, adventure seekers, international volunteers, responsible tourism advocates and full-time digital nomads. In the summer of 2016 they visited Estonia. In this article they'll share their experience of kayaking in Võhandu river, the longest in Estonia.
Estonia is one of those countries that is often missed on European travel itineraries. Dwarfed next to its giant Russian neighbor to the east, and forgotten next to its more well-known Finnish counterpart to the north, Estonia tourism has often been overlooked. But those that venture off the usual tourist trail have an incredible reward waiting for them when they arrive in Estonia. Aside from the historical wonders of the capital city Tallinn, Estonia is full of hidden attractions that warrant at least a week or two of exploring.
Photo by: Don't Forget To Move
Traveling to Estonia is perfect for all types of outdoor lovers. Slower paced travelers will adore the incredibly well maintained nature preserves throughout the country. Adrenaline junkies have a plethora of adventure activities to get their heart racing. But no matter the pace, every traveler will enjoy getting a deeper sense of Estonia's people. Especially how their unique history has played a part in preserving the local culture, which they so passionately enjoy showing off to their guests.Although traveling through Estonia would be fantastic with any mode of transportation, we highly recommend renting a car, as some of the highlights were really far off the beaten track. Not only does a car allow you to reach the more rural attractions, but it also gives you the freedom to spontaneously venture off the main road to hidden spots along the way.
Compared to dogsledding and bear watching, kayaking may not seem like the most unique activity offered in Estonia, but wait till you check out the Võhandu River. This river flowing through southeast Estonia is incredibly picturesque. The calm water flows under wooden bridges and past small farmhouses, past limestone rock walls and under canopies of trees. But don't get too relaxed, because just as you start to kick back and admire your surroundings, you'll need to grab that oar and navigate through some small rapids! The whole trip (we had it with Matkajuht) lasts about 2 hours and you do get a bit wet. Overall it was a perfect combination of relaxation, thrill and a bit of exercise, all in a serene setting.
Mooste Viinavabrik - this vodka distillery is a great place to stop for lunch after your hike. The historical building has an event hall, restaurant and even accommodation if you'd like to stay over.
Taevaskoja Turismi- ja Puhkekeskus - this beautiful inn next to the forest is a gorgeous place to rest and explore after a big day kayaking. They have food on site so you can easily grab dinner or breakfast the next morning.
Read the full story from Jules' and Christine's blog Don't Forget To Move.
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