TOP 10 naturally relaxing places

Source: Visit Estonia

TOP 10 naturally relaxing places

With a population density almost four times lower than the European average, Estonia offers plenty of quiet spaces for refuge from busy, everyday life. Walking along a bog trail while breathing crisp, clean air might be all it takes to rejuvenate you. And if it’s not, you're never far from one Estonia’s famous spas. Unwind and reconnect with nature.

Large and Small Taevaskoda sandstone outcrops

Põlva maakond, Taevaskoja küla

The two Taevaskoda outcrops on the banks of the ancient valley of the Ahja River are one of the most frequently visited sites in southern Estonia. The sandstone outcrops and the ancient river form the most beautiful part of the Ahja River Landscape Reserve. Legends speak of caves, secret passageways and of demons and a mermaid with a golden comb. A walk from the Saesaare dam to the Small Taevaskoda outcrop, the Emaläte spring, the Neitsikoobas cave and the Large Taevaskoda outcrop, which rises 22.5 metres above the river, is worth undertaking in every season. The beautiful and exciting natural setting attracts hikers – it is a place that every Estonian visits at least once in their life! NB! The bridge in Large Taevaskoda is closed at the moment!

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Flying club Keelutsoon

Järva maakond, Sargvere küla

Flying club Keelutsoon primarily aims to promote paragliders, or paragliding and paramotoring, in Estonia. We offer tandem flights where the pilot takes a passenger along for an adventure in the air. We also train new pilots who want to learn to fly on their own. We definitely have the widest international experience among similar clubs. In 2015, for example, our pilots flew in 12 different countries. In addition, we offer hot air balloon rides.

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Ontika Limestone cliff

Ida-Viru maakond, Valaste küla

This is the location of Estonia’s highest limestone cliff, the Ontika cliff. Approximately 55 metres high - the cliffs are almost like a stone book, opening to the viewer to reveal the layers of its various eras. A nearby observation platform, built close to the Valaste Waterfall, is the best place to view the cliff. Visitors to the area are also able to take a hike along the coastal hiking trail to discover the limestone cliff's unique forest. Did you know...?: The Ontika Limestone cliff is the highest section of the over-1,100 km-long Baltic limestone bank that starts on Sweden's Island of Öland and ends in Russia near Lake Ladoga. The longest uninterrupted portion of the limestone cliff runs 23 straight kilometres, from the Village of Saka to the vicinity of Toila.

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Hiking trail in the Meenikunno bog

Põlva maakond, Nohipalo küla

Cabins for hikers, an observation tower and a boardwalk attract many nature lovers to the Meenikunno bog. It is a beautiful recreation area. While walking down the boardwalk, you can see the most common bog plants: leather leaf, bog rosemary, crowberry, Marsh Labrador tea, and tussock cottongrass; at the edge of the bog, dwarf birches can also be found. There are also a number of different species of peat moss of various colours. The bravest hikers can try drinking bog water (it has an interesting taste!) from the overgrown ditch near the edge of the bog. Good to know: A new boardwalk has been constructed for the Meenikunno hiking trail extending from Päikeseloojangu forest cabin to Lake Suur Soojärv. The boardwalk is pram and wheelchair accessible.

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Ööbikuorg (Nightingale Valley) and Rõuge lakes

Võru maakond, Rõuge alevik

There are seven lakes at Rõuge primeval valley, which is 10 km long and 52 metres deep. The lakes include Kahrila, Tõugjärv, Ratasjärv, Kaussjärv, Rõuge Suurjärv, Liinjärv, and Valgjärv. The lakes are connected by the River Rõuge or River Ajo, which starts from the Tindiorg Valley. Tindiorg, Külmorg, Mõhkorg, Ööbikuorg, Tinopeetri, Hinni, Sikasoo, and Järveotsa are the tributary valleys of the Rõuge Primeval Valley. The most well-known is Ööbikuorg (Nightingale Valley), which borders the ancient hillfort from the North. The valley is 300 m long and 12–15 m deep. It got its name from the singing nightingales who stay there during the springtime when bird cherries bloom.  The Rõuge Nightingale Valley Centre is located at the edge of Ööbikuorg and provides visitors with information about nature, history, and changes in climate.

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Panga Cliff

Saare maakond, Panga küla

The Panga Cliff stands, stark in colour, at a maximum height of 21.3 m, and runs for about 2.5 km! A vast slate, as all cliffs of Saaremaa are, wall reaching straight up from the surrounding beach, the cliff impacts its environment in a interesting way. A couple of hundred meters away from the cliff, the sea experiences a steep slope - visible on stormy days when onlookers can watch a line of foamy waves develop. At the highest point of the cliff, there is an ancient sacrificial site where people used to sacrifice to the sea. Did you know...?: Panga Cliff is the highest Northern coastal cliff in Saaremaa and Muhu, and the highest point of Panga cliff used to be an ancient ritual site where people were sacrificed for the sea.

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RMK Rannametsa–Tolkuse nature and study trail

Pärnu maakond, Rannametsa küla

The dunes of Rannametsa have always been a popular place among hikers. It includes a nature and study trail with information boards in order to better introduce the Luitemaa Nature Reserve to visitors. The circular trail, which partly runs on a boardwalk, passes through the pine forest on the dunes and Tolkuse bog and leads to the largest bog-pool of the bog. The trail includes several points of interest, bog lakes, and rest spots. Next to the trail, there is an 18-metre-high observation tower on the highest dune in Estonia, Tornimägi, which provides a magnificent view of Tolkuse bog and Pärnu Bay. Be careful on the trail as the boardwalk is old and needs some renovation.

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Tõrvanina beach and Camping Site

Hiiu maakond, Tareste küla

Tõrvanina beach is the nearest sandy beach to Kärdla. An RMK campsite has been set up under the pine trees along the beach. Tõrvanina is famous for its white singing sands and a sandy seabed. Going into the water is at your own risk, as there are no official swimming areas, nor are there lifeguards.

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Emumägi hill

Lääne-Viru maakond, Emumäe küla

Emumägi hill is the highest point in the Pandivere uplands and indeed the highest point in northern Estonia. The top of the hill is home to a viewing tower which offers stunning views over the surrounding environment, with the Endla bogs and Alutaguse forests in the distance. In addition to the viewing tower there is also the famous ‘Emumemm’ wooden hut, the ‘house of the rising sun’, an old cemetery and camping and picnic sites. Did you know…? *Emumägi hill is 166.5 metres above sea level and 80 metres from foot to peak *According to legend, the hill was formed from earth dug out of the Peetla bog by the horse ridden by Kalevipoeg, the hero of the Estonian epic

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Blue Springs of Saula, sacrifical springs

Harju maakond, Saula küla

In Estonia, springs have always been considered holy and most were thought to have healing powers. Blue Springs of Saula include three large springs with a water flow of 20–30 m per second. The variation in colour of the springs (Siniallikas is greenish-blue, Mustallikas is brownish-black and Valgeallikas is greyish blue) is caused by light reflecting through the clear waters on the sand particles that float on the bottom of the springs. The folk stories say that the water of the springs heals all ailments if you sacrifice silver jewellery, money or beads. If you do not offer a sacrifice, a Harju County sprite called Blue Springs Tölp might just come and get you!

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