Source: Sven Zacek
If your idea of a perfect holiday includes hiking through national parks, exploring nature reserves and sleeping under the stars, then Estonia is definitely a destination for you. The landscapes are welcoming, even for beginners and families, with a moderate climate and lack of poisonous animals. There are some impressive hiking trails to check out, the longest of which is 820 km, and stretches across the whole country. Along the way are campsites, some with wooden cabins free to use for resting your feet, making lunch or spending the night.
Lääne-Viru maakond, Oandu küla
Lahemaa National Park was founded in 1971 and is designed to preserve, research, and introduce the nature, cultural heritage, biodiversity, landscapes, national culture, and nature conservation of Northern Estonia. Lahemaa is one of Europe's most important forest protection areas. Oandu Nature Centre introduces the nature of Lahemaa National Park, as well as the opportunities it offers for exploring nature, the use and cultivation of forests and timber throughout the ages. From the courtyard of the nature centre, you can reach Oandu nature trail and the Võsu-Oandu hiking trail. You can also use the connecting trails to reach Koprarada (Beaver Trail) and Altja study trail.
Harju maakond, Aegviidu alev
The old folk say about this lovely area, known as "Estonian Switzerland", that the Devil wrinkled up the ground in Kõrvemaa. The landscape is characterized by "mountains", swamps, swamp lakes and forests. The "mountains" are actually steep eskers formed by melting permafrost. The largest bogs are Koitjärve, Kõnnu Suursoo, Võhma and Kakerdaja. There are about hundred lakes and bog ponds. Come for a hike, ride a bicycle, ski or walk. The camping areas and campfire sites are perfect for nature photographers, bird and animal watchers, and berry and mushroom pickers. Information point shares information about holiday options and hiking trails; you can also visit exhibitions or watch nature films, and participate in study programmes.Read more
Põlva maakond, Nohipalo küla
Cabins for hikers, an observation tower and a boardwalk attract many nature lovers to the Meenikunno bog. This 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 ones can try bog water with 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.Read more
Tartu maakond, Kavastu küla
Protected since 1981, the main assets of Peipsiveere, formerly known as Emajõe-Suursoo Nature Reserve, are its diverse wet habitats and the large bog in the delta of a river. The bog covers approximately 25,000 ha, 7,000 ha of which gets flooded. The site is one of the Natura 2000 Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas, and it is the fifth largest Estonian bog and the largest bog in the delta of a river in Estonia. In the nature reserve, at the beginning of the Emajõgi study trail, you will find the Kantsi campfire and camping site with a village swing, where bigger groups can spend some lovely time. The area is ideal for birdwatching and fishing.Read more
Tartu maakond, Ilmatsalu küla
Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve, established in 1994, is one of Estonia's largest protected areas. It is also one of the Natura 2000 protected areas. The lowland is unique thanks to its biodiversity, mire communities, and rivers which provide protection to protected birds and their habitats. You can access the area from next to the Ilmatsalu fish ponds, where the 'Linnutee' hiking trail of Ilmatsalu-Kärevere also starts. There is a bird observation tower, a classroom, a campfire site, and picnic grounds. The hiking trail and the surrounding area of the fish ponds are one of the most important stopping places for migrating waterfowl. Up to 200 bird species can be seen there, many of whom are endangered.Read more
Hiiu maakond, Mägipe küla
Neljateeristi nature trail runs along the northern coast of Kõpu Peninsula. It is possible to examine the communities characteristic to Kõpu there. Möirasoo is a little coastal spring fen, where it is possible to see the yew tree that is under protection. Mägipe boulder and Süllasoo Jaanikivi stone on the beach date back to the Ice Age. There is a unique fishing hut on the beach. It takes approximately 1 hour to complete the trail and in dry season, it can be completed without wellies. The trail has been equipped with signposts and information boards. Near the trail, you will find the Kalurikoda forest hut, which has a fireplace, benches, and a table. There is a camping area and a campfire site next to the hut.Read more
Pärnu maakond, Laiksaare küla
Lake Rae Hiking Trail and Camping Site is a calm and peaceful resting place in the middle of forests. In addition to swimming and fishing, you can admire the varied landscapes and pass the 1.7 km hiking trail that runs along the shore of Lake Rae. You have to cross a footbridge, a suspended bridge, a boardwalk and fallen trees to get to the 5 metre viewing tower. There is a fish ladder built in 2003 near the rest area, which allows the fish to swim from the Ura River to Lake Rae. There are three bonfire places, firewood in a shed, a village swing, toilets and bins in the camping site.Read more