Romantic Coastline – 250 km of poetry

Source: Mart Vares, Visit Estonia

Romantic Coastline – 250 km of poetry


Eveli LoorentsCoordinator of the Romantic Coastline


Anneli Haabu
NGO West-Estonia Tourism

Fast-paced city life makes one search for peace and quiet, the rush of everyday life demands stepping away from city noise and haste and catching some breath. Would you like some peace and quiet, and maybe even some romance?

There is no shortage of any of these on the Romantic Coastline in Estonia, which runs along the coastline of Pärnu county through the juniper fields of Virtsu to the sandy beaches of Ikla. The coastline includes Kihnu and Manija island along with their special atmosphere, as well as inland areas with deep forests and bogs. It is a place to stop for a moment and to enjoy a vacation in romantic coastal villages, watch breathtaking sunsets by the sea, venture on deserted paradise beaches, or to take a few days for a trip through beautiful coastal villages and the mysterious inland.

Romantic Coastline

Photo by:  Märt Kose

Strangers who come here may not be able to find all of the potential areas of interest on their own right away. The Romantic Coastline covers the eateries, accommodations, service, culture and other establishments and undertakings, as well as cultural, historic and natural assets and fun events in the area. By stepping into one such place, one will receive informed advice on what else to visit in the area.

Summer on the Romantic Coastline

Beaches and swimming areas are, of course, the most beloved sites during the summer months. For those who wish to have a more private rest by the sea, we recommend to opt for the more northerly Matsi beach. Those who enjoy the lively beach buzz, however, will surely like the Valgerand  beach near Pärnu and the Kabli beach near the Latvian border. A vacation in the coastal villages in the Kabli area will be made all the more special by the Kabli Sunset Festival, which is a culture festival that lasts from June to August, where summertime visitors can visit cosy outdoor concerts, film and theatre nights, romantic dinners and hikes nearly every night for a month.

There are events and festivals at every corner of the Romantic Coastline, many of which highlight the specificities of local food. The season is usually opened in the first half of May by the RäimeWest festival at the Lao fishing port and the Baltic herring festival Räimeretk in Kihnu, as this is usually the beginning of the Baltic herring season, which is the pride and joy of the area. The Dandelion Festival in Kihlepa, which is a meeting ground for the lovers of weeds, is focused on this mighty yellow flower, but other wild plants will not go unnoticed either. Visitors are welcomed to Kihnu island in the beginning of June for the Kihnu Keretäus pop-up café day for a Kihnu-style hearty meal. “Keretäus” also means a beating in Estonian, but that is, of course, not the aim of the humorous islanders who, instead of bashing their visitors, offer Kihnu dishes at pop-up cafés. At the same time, the North Livonian Festival is held at Häädemeeste in cooperation with the Latvian people. The specificities of local foods are also emphasised at the Cucumber Festival at Tahkuranna, Uulu Lamba Vest festival and the Marine Days Fishing Villages. In 2015, the area also participated in the EDEN competition, i.e. European Destinations of Excellence, which draws attention to sustainable tourism and less-known destinations. The Coastline was a nominee in the category “EDEN. Estonia’s hidden treasures. Food tourism destination”. 

In order to experience the commotion of local communities and partake in an authentic village gathering, be sure to visit the Kihnu Sea Festival, Our Village Fest in Lindi and the Festival Weekend at Varbla. Worthwhile local food and other authentic goods can be found and purchased at the Lavassaare Antique Fair and Brass Band Review and the Mihkli Fair. The Kihnu island culture is introduced at the Kihnu Knitting Festival, Kihnu Dance Day and the Violin Festival.

Romantic nature

The highlight of the Romantic Coastline is the diverse natural scenery: untouched marshes and bogs, beach meadows rich in migratory birds, the highest sand dunes in the Baltics, sandy beaches and rocky inlets, forests rich in berries and mushrooms. There are numerous hiking trails on both sides of the Coastline to take it all in. In the northern part, we recommend to visit the ancient and mysterious Soontagana hillfort and the Kurese ancient village. One of Europe’s largest and species-rich Nedrema  wooded meadow and the reminiscing Mihkli oak forest are nearby as well. In the south, near the Latvian border, it is worth to check out the Nigula Nature Reserve which is well away from human settlements, the Luitemaa Nature Reserve which covers local beach meadows and dune forests, as well as visit local hiking trails. The Baltic Coastal Hiking Route extends throughout the entire coastal area from Latvia to the northern coast of Estonia.

If you are on vacation with children and have already hit the beach and gone hiking, you could visit the animal and bird park of Teispere farm, the Butterfly House and the Küti-Uuetoa bird farm. Those who are more adventurous can visit the Valgerand Adventure Park, Santa Claus’s Korstna farm and, of course, a visit to the children’s favourite theme park Lottemaa is practically mandatory.

For more special visits, we recommend to visit the Allikukivi winery and take a tour of the mansion or to get to know the intriguing history of the Tõstamaa manor. Sports enthusiasts should not miss out on the chance to visit the Jõulumäe Sports and Recreation Centre, especially in the winter, during which the ski tracks there are considered one of the best in all of Estonia. At the same time, fishing enthusiasts can spend time at the Fishing Village or Ermistu Holiday Village, while garden lovers are recommended to stop at the rose garden of Panga farm, herb garden of Tamme farm and experience the hotness of the chilli sample garden of Kärsu.

And in order to put a dignified end to the round-trip, it is certainly worthwhile to book a visit at the Russian Farmyard for the end of the day.

Museums, observation towers, beaches and swimming spots, hiking trails and campsites, churches, manors, riding farms, fishing and gardening, as well as snowshoeing, kicksledding, skiing and skating trips and, of course, local food and festivals – the Coastline has it all! There are plenty of cosy spots on the Coastline where you can spend the night.

Last updated : 22.04.2021

In category: West Estonia, History & culture