1. The castles of Estonia (10 hours)
Departure from Tallinn, on the way we visit the smallest castle in the Baltic States. Next we leave for 15th century castle in Toolse (entrance). The castle has been built on the seashore in order to defend the place against pirates and other harbors. The goal of our tour is the town Rakvere – the center of Virumaa land, a typical Baltic town where we can find ruins of the Livonian Order’s Castle (entrance). There is a characteristic medieval or castle museum situated in this castle, where You can get to know the life is its inhabitants, shoot a bow, crossbow, see a canon being loaded and then fired away, see the torture chamber, hell chamber, wine cellar, try to fight with sabers and swords of different kind.
2. Lahemaa National Park (8 hours)
Lahemaa means the “land of bays”. In this national park You can see a great number of historical peculiarities and natural monuments: a walk trough Viru swamps to the biggest waterfall in Estonia. Next, the land estate in Palmse (entrance) built in the baroque style in the middle of the 17th century. Tour in the land estate, tasting of the Estonian wines (only on demand) in the estate’s kitchen, and visit in Sagadi manor house built in rococo style. You will eat dinner in the fishermen village in the local tavern (typical Northern-Estonian food). Tour around the village and walk on the seaside, a ride to the captains’ village – a settlement with a specific aura where everything breathes with the sea.
3. Barons’ manors (7 hours)
The tour introduces You to the peculiarities situated nearby Tallinn. The first stop will take place of the “Hamlet’s mountain” – a precipice up to 60 meters high, beautiful view on the sea. Next, a stop in Fall property, in the park next to the manor of count Bekendorf-Volkonsky, view on the second highest waterfall in Estonia.
Padize – the ruins of a medieval monastery, Caue – 18th century manor house, Mõza Saku – a tour around the brewery is possible.
4. Health resort town Hapsaalu – or where the Swedes live in Estonia (10 hours)
Extensive swamps and neverending forests are characteristic for northwest Estonia. The movie “The Hound of the Baskervilles” was shot on one of the swamps. The admirers of the country will have to book a lot of time to penetrate all olden little towns and castles, and visit all the little Orthodox churches. This area is also known as the area where the Estonian Swedes live.
During the trip You will see one of the biggest waterfalls in Estonia, “The Castle of Atos”, ruins of a medieval monastery, and, if possible, You will visit a Swedish Orthodox church. The trip will finish in a health resort town Hapsaalu in which one can fall in love very easily: small streets running towards the sea, little houses decorated with openwork sculptures and a mysterious White Lady appearing in the window of the castle chapel during the full moon in August (entrance). Visit in Hapsaalu, a town situated about 100 kilometers from Tallinn is a wonderful opportunity to run away from the everyday life. Surly this is the reason why a long time Hapsaalu became the favorite place to have a good rest for a lot of cultural workers.
5. Tartu (whole day)
The departure to Tartu (180 km). Along the way You can see the Witch’s Well (NB! Depends on the season of the year), the castle in the town of Paide (entrance), the castle in the town of Poltsmaa.
The tour around Tartu (1,5 to 2 hours)
Tartu, the oldest town in the Baltic States, has been founded in 1030 by duke Yaroslav I the Wise. In the medieval ages it was the third when it comes to importance town in Livonia after Riga and Tallinn. Today Tartu is the second largest town in Estonia, it has about 110 thousand inhabitants. Today it is known as the capital city of science and intelligence thanks to its university – Estonian Oxford founded in 1632. During the tour You will visit the Professors’ district and buildings belonging to student organizations. In the Old Town, on the Cathedral Mountain You will see the ruins of the 14th century cathedral and the observatory building (19th century), Towns Hall and the neighboring square, “The Leaning Tower in Tartu”, St. John Orthodox church (14th century) – a flagrant example of brick Gothic style of the Baltic States, St. Anthony’s Guild, and last but not least the great university and a perfectly kept solitary confinement cell (entrance).
6. Saaremaa Island (2 days)
Saaremaa Island is the boss of the Moonsund Archipelago, it is the biggest island in Estonia, the fourth island on the Baltic Sea when it comes to size. People say that Saaremaa is a perfect place for a family rest. Everything on the island is unusual: the landscape is formed of low juniper bushes. A lot of peculiarities: wind mills, old villages with stone fences and houses with stone roofs. You will hear the unusual dialect of the island and its national costumes, sour-sweet bread and unprecedented strong bear. Dolomite is extracted on Saaremaa and all houses on the island are built of it. One can see there unique churches with no bell towers which were originally built as castles. One of the most interesting natural monuments is a meteorite crater. The capital city of the island is Kuresaare. Nowadays it is a small (16 thousand) health resort. The main attraction of the town is the Episcopal Castle from the 13th century – the best survived castle in all the Baltic States (entrance). Peat treatment health resorts make the West-Estonian resorts famous. Four new sanatoria have been built there lately.
7. The Moonsund Archipelago (Saaremaa and Hiumaa islands) (3 days)
Hiumaa Island is the second largest island in Estonia. It is called the land behind the water, because it is not visible from the shore of Estonia. Hiumaa is the sunniest and the warmest region of Estonia. The inhabitants of this island say “the rains pour into the sea”. Hiumaa is a green island, the nature of the rocky, overgrown by juniper, subjected to the effect of winds island is its main feature. The mentality of the inhabitants of the island is also special. One can still meet places here where people leave the door unlocked all the time. Legends are told about the courage of the island’s fishermen. Also the inhabitants of the inland Estonia tell anecdotes about the inhabitants of Hiumaa. The highlight of the island are lighthouses. In the little town Kopu there is the third largest lighthouse in Europe (15th century) (entrance). Warm invitations to Hiumaa where, as opposed to other places, peace and nature are not a drawback.
8. Northern Estonia (Tallinn – Toila – Narva) (2 days)
Visit in the Narva Castle built in 13th century by a Danish king (entrance)
Along the way to Narva we will stop in Kuremiae where the 19th century Orthodox nunnery founded by duke Sahovsky is situated (entrance). Next, coming back to the road connecting Narva and Tallinn we will see the one of a kind natural peculiarity – oversea rocks reaching 90 meters characteristic to the northern part of the Baltic States, and the biggest waterfall in Estonia.
A sleepover in Toila SPA, next we will go to a miners’ town Kohtla-Järve, where we will visit the miners’ museum and will go under the ground to the mine (entrance). Next we will go towards Tallinn stopping to see the smallest castle in the Baltic States, where we will try a delicacy characteristic for this place.
9. Hanseatic way (Tallinn – Päenu – Viljandi – Tartu – Tallinn) (3 days)
Tallinn – Tartu
Tartu – Viljandi – Pärnu
Pärnu – Tallinn
10. Russian Estonia (2 days)
Tallinn – Tartu – Peipsi Lake (the living place of Russian Orthodox followers)
Orthodox nunnery in Puhtitsa – Tallinn