The eastern shores of the Baltic Sea harbours Estonia and its capital city Tallinn, often referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’. Estonia’s topography constitutes flat land, lush meadows, lakes, ponds, thick forests, cascading waterfalls, and an amusing number of meteorite craters. But, that’s hardly all that Estonia has to offer. An Estonian summer fling is no ordinary affair. By Shubhanjana Das
Let’s start on an artistic note with Kumu, or ‘Kunstimuuseum’, one of the largest art museums in Northern Europe. The museum houses artworks from the 18th century belonging to both Non-conformism as well as socialist realism. In fact, the museum building, the brainchild of artist Pekka Vapaavuori, was itself considered a post-modernist work of art.
2. Saaremaa Island
This island looks straight out of a 80s movie, what with its windmills and orchid fields. From surreal sunsets to the vistas of the medieval churches, Bishop’s castle, and old-school restaurants, Saaremaa sure has the itinerary of our dreams! The Kaali Meteorite Crater, one of the many in Estonia, is also situated here in Saaremaa Island.
3. Karula National Park
Spread across a sprawling 123 sq km, the Karula National Park is in the Valga and Võru counties. This small national park has perhaps one of the most apt displays of the Estonian vegetation. If you’re up for it, take your trekking shoes along and climb up the hills in the park to witness some of the rarest flora and fauna, and of course, views that make your heart skip a beat or two.
If you are the kind who likes to explore local spas and take in all the luxury, Estonia will not disappoint you. Parnu in fact has some of the best relaxing spa hotels and saunas. The revivification, however, is not just limited indoors. The pristine white sand beach and the large parks tick every box on our list when it comes to some summertime revelry.
Sure Haapsalu has a Bishop Castle (now in ruins), a Dome Cathedral that is the largest single-nave church in the Baltic States, and indulgent mud spas, which make it hard to leave this seaside resort town, but what makes Haapsalu a must inclusion in your summer fling in Estonia is its quaint charm and understated natural beauty. After all, the town dates as far back as the 13th century!