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Estonia Exploration by EV

Spend 11-days soaking up the culture in Estonia

Duration

11 Days

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Estonia Exploration by EV

Tour Information

Estonia is one of the least densely populated countries in Europe and with over 50% of the country made up of forests and with 2,000 islands it’s easy to see why.

Estonian history extends across a long and winding road through time, telling the tales of many nations from Vikings to the kings, queens and medieval merchants of German, Swedish, Danish and Russian descent. Estonia’s deeply rooted pagan spirit and European mindset means that the country and its people bear close ties with nature while being a proudly independent EU and NATO member state with a growing reputation for innovation.

Old Town Tallinn, Estonia
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Where will this journey take you?

Spend 11-days exploring Estonia by electric vehicle! Estonia is a land of contrasts, with boundless historical stories and settings. From medieval German merchants to the tsars of Russia, Estonia has hosted many visitors throughout history, each leaving behind a wealth of stories and legends. Monks, knights, merchants and countesses once filled the busy market tows of the prosperous medieval Estonia. You don’t necessarily need to have a good sense of imagination to relive this exciting time in Estonia’s past, as many towns, even villages still have preserved a range of impressive architecture, including Gothic church spires, cobbled streets and romantic castles.

Journey Overview

Day 1 – Arrive in Tallinn
Day 2 – Tallinn
Day 3 – Tallinn – Lahemaa National Park – Kasmu Captain’s Village – Sagadi Manor – Liimala
Day 4 – Liimala – Avinurme – Alatskivi
Day 5 – Alatskivi – Kolkja – Tartu
Day 6 – Tartu – Setooma – Kirsi Talo
Day 7 – Kirsi Talo – Uue-Saluse – Viljandi
Day 8 – Viljandi – Soomaa National Park – Pärnu
Day 9 – Pärnu – Haapsalu
Day 10 – Haapsalu – Paldiski – Keila Waterfall – Rocca al Mare – Tallinn
Day 11 – Tallinn – UK

What’s Included?
  • 10-nights in 3-4* with breakfast in small locally owned hotels and guesthouses
  • City taxes
  • Tartu Street Art tour
  • In Setomaa cultural education about seto national costume experience
  • Onion farm visit
  • Estonian Wine degustation in local winery
  • Electric car rental

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Arrive in Tallinn

    Upon arrival pick up your rental electric car at the airport. Check-in at Hotel St. Barbara or similar

    The hotel building is considered to be one of the most beautiful limestone buildings in Tallinn built in 1904. This is a perfect hotel for anyone who wants to enjoy quiet but still stay in the city centre in a quiet street but not far away from the sights of the Old Town.

  • Day 2 - Tallinn

    Tallinn welcomes guests by its stony streets leading to one of many medieval fortresses. From these fairytale towers, breathtaking panoramic views suddenly appear and leave everyone stunned, it is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in northern Europe.  In these medieval streets, between colourful houses, life itself happens. Fairs of handcrafted goods by locals full of freshly baked pastries in the squares, outdoor cafes and restaurants full of smiling people. Countered by urban and hip districts with galleries of contemporary art, fashionable bars and restaurants and concert venues. This is where medieval fairytales and modern lifestyles meet, connect and create unforgettable journeys in this old city with a young spirit which somehow makes this perfect mix.

  • Day 3 - Lahemaa National Park

    View of Lahemaa National Park, Estonia

    Lahemaa National Park
    Located on the northern coast of Estonia, Lahemaa is perfect for a hiking trip and nature-watching. Here you will find stony and sandy seashores, picturesque bogs, pine and cliff forests, rivers that cut into the limestone cliff as well as erratic rocks left over from the last Ice Age. Lahemaa is one of Europe’s most important forest conservation areas and is home to numerous large mammals.

    Viru Bog
    Viru Bog, one of the most accessible bogs in Estonia, passes through the forest and bog landscapes characteristic of Lahemaa National Park. Join the study trail that introduces the bog’s flora, former sand dunes, eskers, and heath forest. There is a boardwalk with an observation tower and the trail is clearly marked by signposts. The trail is 3.5 km and the lap is 6 km long. Good to know: the boardwalk leading to the observation tower (1,400 meters) is accessible to wheelchair users and families with strollers. The entrance to the first viewing platform was also designed with accessibility in mind. To preserve the flora and soil, only walk on the boardwalk. Not suitable for cyclists.

    Kasmu Captain’s Village
    Kasmu is a tiny peninsula on the Finnish bay. Known as the Captains’ Village, from 1884 to 1931 tiny Kasmu was home to a marine school that churned out ship captains. At one stage it was said that every Kasmu family had at least one captain in their midst. In the 1920s a third of all boats in Estonia were registered to this village.

    Sagadi Manor
    The history of the Sagadi manorial estate dates back more than 500 years. Today, the former granaries, stables, dairyhouses, carriage houses, cow barns, and other buildings have new functions. Sagadi is the site of a forest museum, a manor museum, a nature school, a hotel, and a restaurant. The Sagadi manor complex is an architectural monument of national importance, and it is rare due to how completely it has been preserved and resorted. Museum working hours: Monday to Sunday: from 10:00 to 18:00. Entrance fee: 4 EUR.

    Check-in at Tulivee Hotel or similar. For overnight visitors, Tulivee Villa offers nine unique bedrooms, each sharing a snippet of spirit smuggling history. The restaurant offers the best of local products and Estonian cuisine.
    Tulivee Hotell – Liimala, Ida-Viru maakond, EE, 43306

  • Day 4 - Liimala - Alatskivi

    Alatskivi Castle © Sibulatee NGO | Ahto Sooaru

    Avinurme Woodworking Centre is a tourism centre which is home to local craftsmen. It offers the widest selection of woodwork products in Estonia, including dozens of sauna and household items. You can even put your own skills to the test! The centre organises a variety of workshops, from basket-weaving and felting to bread-making, candle-making, painting and more. The cosy coffee shop offers home-made cakes and pastries, fresh bread and other treats.

    Alatskivi Hiking Trail
    The 4.5 km long trail around Lake Lossijärv with its varied terrain and beautiful views offers visitors plenty of excitement and sights at any time of year. The trail starts at Alatskivi or by the Bed of Kalevipoeg. Along the trail you will see Alatskivi Castle and Castle Park, Hirveaed Garden, the Oak of Loyalty, Sheep Bridge, Bed of Kalevipoeg, Lake Veskijärv, and Lake Lossijärv. Information boards will introduce the objects found in the protected area.

    Visiting Alatskivi Castle
    A magical castle on the eastern border of Estonia. Here, you can get acquainted with the life and history of an aristocratic family and meet the various servants who worked in the manor a century ago. You can also make your own souvenirs. To see the entire exposition spanning three floors, you should set aside at least one and a half hours.

    Check in at Alatskivi Loss, or similar –  Lossi 10, Alatskivi, Tartu maakond, Eesti, 60201

  • Day 5 - Alatskivi - Tartu

    Visit Peipsimaa Visitor Centre
    The Peipsimaa Visitor Centre is located at the heart of the Lake Peipus area in a historical one-street village of Russian Old Believers situating in Kolkja village, Tartu County. The centre is located at a ancient home of the Russian Old Believers built at the end of the 19th century. The purpose of the Peipsimaa Visitor Centre is to keep the local traditional handicraft skills alive and to develop the unique area of Russian Old Believers as a tourist destination.

    Visiting Kolkja Onion Farm
    Kostja, the host of the onion farm gives guided tours to the onion farm, during which he introduces the onion cultivation methods of Old Believers, as well as the modern cultivation tips and tricks. In addition to onion cultivation, Kostja can make onion wreaths and carries out weaving workshops for those who are interested. The hostess of the farm makes mouth-watering onion pies, which you will have chance to taste.

    Samovar house in Varnja
    The Samovar House is a small samovar museum located in the Old Believers’ village near Lake Peipus, which has a private collection with more than 100 different and very special samovars and objects related to samovars. In the cosy museum, you can find a variety of information about samovars. We talk about their history, shape, size, and tea drinking traditions. Visitors are also offered the opportunity to drink tea made in an authentic samovar – Ivan-chai – and try cooked sugar.

    Drive from Kolkja to Tartu

    Tartu
    Tartu lays claim to being Estonia’s spiritual capital, with locals talking about a special Tartu vaim (spirit), created by the time-stands-still feel of its wooden houses and stately buildings, and the beauty of its parks and riverfront. Tartu was the cradle of Estonia’s 19th-century national revival and escaped Soviet town planning to a greater degree than Tallinn. Its handsome centre is lined with classically designed 18th-century buildings, many of which have been put to innovative uses.
    Overnight in Tartu

  • Day 6 - Tartu - Setooma

    Seto Women wearing traditional dress

    Street Art Tour: Colours and Tales of Soup Town
    The tour takes you along the vegetable-named streets of Soup Town and leads you to the colourful locations of this cosy part of town. During the journey you will hear stories of one of Tartu’s oldest neighbourhoods and experience a delicious spoonful of street art and the interior of the legendary Herne (pea) Shop and the tour will finish in the notorious Freedom Gallery.

    Driving from Tartu to Setooma

    Setomaa Ethnic Region
    Today you will discover Setomaa, a very unique Estonian region located in the Southeastern part of the country sharing the border with Russia. This ethnic and linguistic minority is renowned, admired and loved for its impressive vocal heritage, traditional villages and food. Due to the geographical location, religion and roots, seto culture is often viewed as existing on the border of two worlds. Setos have kept close ties to their traditional roots throughout history and boast their own unique lifestyle including their own language and clothing customs. Setos are also well known for their ancient polyphonic singing tradition that is kept alive by older and younger generations alike.

    You will visit small traditional villages, and see the unique architecture that hasn’t changed since the 19th century. You will visit an Obinitsa museum that offers an opportunity to learn about the unique history and culture of Setomaa by exploring the family life, traditions and customs of Seto families. The items in the cosy museum come from the surrounding villages. You will also participate in the interactive dress-like-a-Seto program and have a chance to try out national Seto costumes. This is a unique chance to explore this rare European indigenous culture.
    Overnight stay at Kirsi Talo Tourism Farm

  • Day 7 - Kirsi Talo - Viljandi

    Estonian Wine Farm visit
    Here Maris and Mati Kivistik make craft wines from their own and other local raw materials such as exciting wines from sea buckthorn, rhubarb, black currant, non-quince, raspberry and other berries. Testing new flavours is their passion. The farm is located in Võru County, Rõuge Parish, in the village of Uue-Saaluse on the shore of the beautiful Lake Alajärv. It is about 10-15 minutes by car from Võru to the city around 15 km. They are waiting for you to visit and take part in the activities of this small vineyard set in the beautiful nature and peaceful countryside of Haanja Nature Park.

    Drive from Uue-Saluse to Viljandi

    Visiting Viljandi
    This adorable little town hidden deep within southern Estonian forests boasts impressive castle ruins, a former home of the ruling Livonian Order. The scenic views of the nearby lake and wooden architecture make Viljandi a place of interest to both nature and culture lovers. Popular among the locals as one of the most visited summer festival destinations in Estonia, Viljandi hosts a number of themed festivals from world-renowned folk music to medieval fairs. Make time to visit the large nearby lake beach, offering boat rentals and regular boat trips.
    Overnight in Viljandi

  • Day 8 - Soomaa National Park

    Drive from Viljandi to Soomaa National Park
    Visit Soomaa National Park
    The Soomaa National Park is a wetland area in Pärnu and Viljandi County. Visitors might know Soomaa best for its great flood or the so-called fifth season, when the water from melted snow or heavy rains floods all the lower forests, roads and even yards. If you are approaching Soomaa from Pärnu, be sure to stop at the mysterious Tori Hell. Soomaa visitors can take part in regular, canoe and snowshoe hikes; beavers are the popular focus for animal viewing tours and the Beaver Trail, which starts at the Visitor Centre of the Soomaa National Park, is accessible both by wheelchairs and baby prams. There are five large wetlands in Soomaa, also known as the capital of Estonian primaeval nature. Traditional cultivation of land has turned the banks of the meandering river into diverse river flood-meadows and wooded meadows. It is due to these untouched areas that Soomaa is part of the network of European wilderness.

    Soomaa is a shelter for smaller and larger birds and animals. These forests are home to elk, deer, wild boar, lynx, wolf and bear; watery landscapes are designed by beavers. Birds living in Soomaa include grouse and golden eagle; mash edges are the playgrounds of the capercaillies, while open marsh fields are filled with the cooing of black grouse. Woodpeckers and many owls can be found in more humid forests. Flood meadows are home to Charadriiformes, great snipe and corncrake.

    The history of the human population in Soomaa dates back to the Stone Age. The ancient and charming nature of this place is reflected in the traditional aspen logboat, the making of which can be learned in Soomaa. The Soomaa National Park belongs to the PAN Parks network of protected areas, which focuses on the protection of wilderness.

    Drive from Soomaa National park to Pärnu

    Exploring Pärnu
    Pärnu is a resort town in Southwest Estonia beloved by holiday goers. Nicknamed Estonia’s ‘summer capital’, sandy beaches, mild waters and long, sunny days do make summer an excellent time to visit Pärnu. Being tucked into a large bay and sheltered from the Baltic Sea gives the region pleasant, temperate weather. You will do a short stroll in town and learn about its famous past as a trade centre in the Hanseatic league, pass many colourful houses and get to know about its transition into a summer resort.
    Overnight in Pärnu

  • Day 9 - Pärnu - Haapsalu

    Drive from Parnu to Haapsalu
    Haapsalu
    Haapsalu is a wonderful little town with narrow streets, a miniature town hall and romantic wooden dwelling houses. On the romantic seaside promenade stands Kuursaal, one of the finest wooden buildings in Estonia. Here you will also find a deep-rooted spa culture. The first Haapsalu mud spa opened its doors in 1825 and since then Haapsalu has attracted spa lovers from all over the world including the Old Russian czars. Haapsalu’s serene vibe is loved by families and romantic couples who enjoy having picnics, walking, visiting spas and sailing. Once in Haapsalu, don’t forget to browse for a traditional hand-woven woollen Haapsalu shawl with fine and elegant patterns.
    Overnight in Haapsalu

  • Day 10 - Haapsalu - Tallinn

    Drive from Haapsalu to Rocca al Mare
    Paldiski
    Paldiski, a small port town 50 kilometres away from Estonia’s capital Tallinn in the Pakri Peninsula, is probably one of the most underestimated cities in Estonia. Paldiski is a great place for a day trip, not crowded by tourists and reminiscent of the top-secret Soviet town that it once was. Paldiski was one of the most important military bases of the Soviet Union and was called “the Soviet Pentagon” by the locals. It was full of nuclear rockets, and submarines and there used to be the largest nuclear-submarine training centre of the Soviet Union. Civilians were not allowed there, and people could only imagine what was going on in this now sleepy small port town. When the military left Paldiski, it was left in decay. And now, walking around the city, you can still imagine how it used to look in the Soviet era.

    Keila Waterfall
    Keila waterfall is located on Keila River in Harju County, Keila rural municipality, Keila-Joa small town. A full 6 metres high, and tens of metres wide, Keila waterfall is the third largest waterfall in Estonia; after the Narva and Jägala waterfalls. There is a road from the park along the riverbed, crossing two suspension bridges, to the waterfall.

    There is a renovated hydroelectric power plant at the Keila waterfall and located in the vicinity is one of the grandest renovated manor houses in Estonia, inspired by the Neo-Gothic style. You can also explore the exciting landscape over a 3 km Keila-Joa Park nature trail.

    Rocca al Mare – Sea, air & recreation
    Sitting at the western edge of the city is the coastal Rocca al Mare district. It is the site of the sprawling Estonian Open Air Museum, a forested park where traditional Estonian village life has been recreated. The museum is home to 74 buildings from the past two centuries, including farms, mills, net sheds, a village school, a chapel, a firehouse and more. Museum workers in period costumes demonstrate old crafts and provide a glimpse into the lifestyles of bygone days.
    Overnight in Tallinn

  • Day 11 - Depart Tallinn

    Rental car drop off

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