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What is so special about Estonia?

Ask anyone who has visited Estonia about what they liked best and you will get lots of different answers.

However some special aspects of Estonia seemed to be talked about more than others.

Here are just a few reasons why Estonia is special:

Medieval Old Town Tallinn: It’s impossible to deny that this is the main reason most people first come to Estonia – to see the best protected and intact medieval city in Europe.

Deserted Beaches: Estonia’s coastline has hundreds of deserted beaches. Even in the height of summer you can find private space for yourself.

Manor Houses: Luxurious manor houses, built over the centuries, are open for visitors and many also have been converted to high-class hotels.

Forests: Estonia is about 50% forest. Hiking trails criss-cross the forests, many of which are protected or part of National Parks.

Ice Roads: Believe it or not in deep winter the Baltic Sea freezes and so ice roads are created between the mainland and the islands. Driving on the frozen sea is unforgettable.

Folklore: Estonia is second only to Ireland in Europe when it comes folkloric history, stories, legends and songs.

The Estonian Song Festival (In Estonian: Laulupidu): First held in 1869, takes place every five years. In 2009, 26,000+ choral singers gathered to perform for an audience of 80,000 people. It is recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

1500+ islands: Most are tiny but the inhabited ones offer beautiful, peaceful and friendly atmospheres and a traditional culture that opens a window on how Estonians used to live.

Wild Animals: Where else in Europe could you hope to encounter wild bears, wolves, lynx and flying squirrels? Nowhere.

Birds: Millions of birds stop in Estonia on their migratory paths.

Castles: Restored or in ruins, there are medieval castles not just in Tallinn but across the country.

Saunas: When it’s snowing take a hot log sauna, beat yourself (or a friend) with a birch branch and then roll around in the snow. It’s fun. Really.

Ghosts and Legends: Estonia has its fair share of spooky and supernatural happenings. The Old Town of Tallinn, for example, is full of stories and strange experiences.

Swedish, German and Russian History: Estonia has been occupied by Russians, Swedes and Germans. Each has left their marks on our landscapes and culture. Rightly or wrongly they have helped define who we are.

5th Season: In Soomaa National Park, in spring, if the snow thaws fast enough then a natural phenomenon occurs: the whole area floods and people have to travel around by boat.

Small size: Size is everything. Estonia is small. Distances are short and travel is cheap. It means you can squeeze in lots of sightseeing and activities in a relatively short period of time.

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