Estonia is just as big as my home country The Netherlands, but has only 1,3 milion inhabitants. We have 17,3 milion inhabitants living on the same surface! Because of the turbulent Soviet time, when people had very little, the locals are connected to nature. They still go to the forest to collect mushrooms and berries. The food in the restaurants is super fresh and made with a lot of vegetables and herbs. I am a big fan of the local herbal tea! Estonia is very advanced when it comes to modern, digital development and is way ahead of The Netherlands. I took a road trip to discover beautiful places and stops in this country full of culture and history. These are my Estonia Highlights!
This stunning capital of Estonia is full of surprises. It is bursting with great restaurants, interesting museums, hip areas and a romantic old town. I loved this city so much, that I created a Tallinn City Guide. Check out all my favorite spots in the city HERE, including the unique and creative neighbourhood Telliskivi…
2. Lahemaa National Park
Nature lovers can eat their heart out at this beautiful national park. Visit the impressive Viru Bog, full of legends, and walk the wooden path. Halfway you will find a wooden tower, that is wheelchair accessible, from where you have a colorful view over the bog. The Viru Bog is the absolute highlight of the park, but the Käsmu Peninsula is worth a visit too! This is a popular summer destination for Estonians. Close to Käsmu you’ll find the Field of Boulders. The massive boulders were deposited there as the Finnish and Swedish continental ice shelf retreated around 10,000 years ago.
Lahemaa National Park | Estonia Highlights
3. The old manors
Estonia has a lot of old manors, some date back to the 13th century. You can visit them and spend the night in some of them! Untill 200 years ago the farmers were slaves of the landlords, but times have changed… We stayed at the lovely, luxurious Vihula Manor in Lahemaa National Park. The hotel has an excellent restaurant, a huge minigolf trail, a spa and a swimming pool. Berries and herbs grow in the garden and are used in the restaurant. This is where you will find your zennnn! Click HERE for the best rates and availability at Vihula Manor.
We also visited Sagadi Manor in Lahemaa National Park and learned how to weave baskets! The manor has a nature school, where you can study insects under a microscope.
Pöhjaka Manor is a must visit in the heart of Estonia! This was the best restaurant that we visited during our road trip. On the menu you find Estonian dishes all beautifully prepared. I loved the rustic interior!
Lunch at Pöhjaka Manor | Estonia Highlights
Haapsalu is a seaside resort and a spa destination. The Russian Tsars loved it here and rubbed their bodies with the medicinal mud. Tsar Alexander the Great (1818-1881) even lived here. When we make our way into the little town, I can see why they loved this place so much. What a cosy and romantic spot! Walk along the promenade, have lunch or dinner at the stunning Kuursaal and visit the famous Tchaikovski bench. He loved Haapsalu and used this town as an inspiration for many of his compositions.
Our dinner at Hapsal Dietrich is delicious. Save some room for dessert, because they serve some of the best cakes in Estonia… Hapsal Dietrich also offers classy rooms for the night. Click HERE for the best rates and availability.
The castle is a must visit. Inside you will find an interesting museum. At night the light of the moon lights up the castle and sometimes The White Lady appears…
Haapsalu | Estonia Highlights
Pärnu is located in the South West of Estonia and is the 4th city of the country. Just like Haapsalu it is a seaside resort with lots of spa hotels. There is a long sandy beach and in the summer months there are many festivals in the city. That is why Pärnu is called “the summer capital” of Estonia. Walk along the promenade, dine at Villa Wesset, try a surf lesson at Aloha Surf, treat yourself to a high tea at Supelsaksad, have a drink at Little Cuba on the beach, try the delicious warm donuts at Soorikubaar and dine at Mahedik and Raimond. We stayed at the brand new Wasa Resort, where I spend a lovely morning soaking in the spa! Click HERE for the best rates and availability at Wasa Resort.
On the first photo: the spa at Wasa resort (photo by Wanda Bregman). 2e photo: cosy Supelsaksad | Estonia Highlights
Market in Pärnu | Estonia highlights