Major part of the Estonias forests are belonging to the Government. They
take care of the forests and offering people a possibility to spend time
in there by offering accommodation ( usually renovated abandoned houses - very spartalike facilities ) and creating hiking trails.
The organisation who take care of that is Riigi Metsamajandamise Keskus.
Their website is http://www.rmk.ee/pages.php3/0203
Last weekend 06.02.09-08.02.09 I went with group of people into forest close to
Värska city. We spent two days in on of those houses called Praali metsamaja.
On the 7th of February I took nice two hour hiking trip just following the hiking trail signes.
These are photos of lighthouses taken from the ship. The first one is the Front Range light of Katharinenthal which was started in 1806, but probably not lit until 1839. It is active, with a white or green light, depending on direction. It is a red octagonal pyramidal wood tower mounted at one end of a 2-story rectangular keeper's house. The rear range guide (also in this picture) is a round white stone tower with lantern and gallery that looks more like a traditional lighthouse. The upper 1/3 of lighthouse is painted black. The range guides ships approaching Tallinn in the main channel from the northwest. The house was damaged in World War II, but was repaired; it was further renovated in 1959. Located on Valge Street near Kadrioru Park in Tallinn. This substantial and historic lighthouse doesn't seem to be as well known as many of the coastal Estonian lighthouses.
Photos 2 and 4 show Vahemadal which is a 1979 active aid to navigation. It is a 46 foot octagonal pyramidal steel tower with double gallery but no lantern, mounted on a pyramidal concrete base. The tower also has a fog whistle, which operates in all weather. Upper half of tower painted white, lower half red; gallery rails are also red. In Estonian, madal is a shoal or bank. Located on a shoal on the northwestern approach to Tallinn harbor, about 2 miles north of the Valjasaar peninsula.
Photo 3 is a blurry distant shot from the dining room of the cruise ship of Hülkari (Hülgekari). It is a square skeletal tower with gallery, painted red; the upper 3/5 of the tower is enclosed by a white slatted daymark, located at the southeastern tip of Naissaar.
Photo 5 is of a structure which may be Pakri lighthouse. This is Estonia's tallest lighthouse and is round unpainted red brick tower with lantern and gallery.It stands at the tip of a promontory projecting into the Gulf of Finland, making it an important guide for ships
While you are in Estonia for a long holiday, take the opportunity to visit Stockholm in Sweden and a wonderful cruise onboard excellent cruiseships across the Baltic Sea. You may take a three day and two night cruise to Stockholm from Tallinn via M/s Romantika or Victoria I of Tallink Line.
There are several classes of overnight cabins to suit one's budget and all cabins are fitted with bathrooms/WC and television sets with cable channels and pay TVs. Standard rooms can accommodate between two and four sleeping passengers.
Among the impressive amenities onboard the cruise ship are the Starlight Palace Nightclub, a disco, two separate duty-free shops where you can purchase liquors and cigarettes at a cheaper price and clothings, apparels, leather belts and handbags, children playground, game arcade, a casino with several classic table games and numerous slot machines, health and fitness center, meeting and conference rooms and several bars and restaurants. You may watch international shows at the nightclub or just dance your night away at the disco!
Basically, most parts of the country except Tallinn are off-the-beaten-path. Tourists are sometimes met in Tartu, but most even miss that. This means that Estonia is a great place to go exploring! It has a wonderful landscape, consisting of forests, lakes, swamps and meadows. It is really tranquil outside the towns (and even there, life is not really what one would call "hectic"). It is full of living history, for instance visible in the large amount of manor houses of the time when many Baltic German landlords lived in parts of Estonia.
Some parts that one should not miss when going to Estonia: the islands Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, the Baltic Sea coast near and in Parnu, the southernmost parts of the country, Lahemaa NP in the North, and many many more...
Ash hills in Northeast Estonia are the result of oil shale mining and energy production. Two semi-coke mountains near the northern border of Kiviõli, known as the old (about 100 m high) and new (about 115 m high) mountain, are the most notable among the artificial landforms of North-East Estonia. A group of five larger semi-coke mountains and several smaller hills, terraces between them and an ash plateau of power plant lie in the northwestern border of Kohtla-Järve. In the beginning, the waste was transported to the preliminary by horses, later a cableway with wagons was constructed. After discharging the wagon on the top of the mountain, semi-coke was washed down with water. In this manner, the mountains gained the shape of wide foot and long, sharp crest.
To get a panoramic view of the area climb to the top of the Kukruse slagheap next to the Tallinn-Narva highway between Kohtla-Järve and Jõhvi towns. It is hard not to see the hills while in the neighbourhood.
There are many bogs in Estonia you can visit. The most accessible of them have good wooden boardwalks. Good examples are for example Kakerdaja bog and Viru bog in North-Estonia and Endla bog in East-Estonia. You can use prepared trails to go through the bog without getting your feet wet, but still see the unspoiled nature. There are also two observation towers in Endla and one in Viru to view the beautiful landscape of fen complex and bog pools.
Getting in these areas might be a little difficult, so it is always good to have a local friend guiding you. If you don’t have one, get a good road map and try to find the parking places and nature trails prepared by the State Forest Maintenance Centre (look for “RMK”signs)
In Estonian we have 4 seasons: winter from dec-feb, when its snowing and its cold arround -10...+3, march-may is spring when nature will get colours agen and flowers will rise and sun will shine; june-august is summer arround +13...+30 degrees; sept-nov is autumn...little windy but perfect sea weather, sometimes stormy..my favorite season ;)
The best months to visit Estonia is may-september. But for city break every time of the year. Lot of tourists arround summer months.
Some GPS games to reach somewhere people usually don ´t travel are popular in Estonia.
For instance, geopeitus or geocaching is a game when someone has hidden a cache to some place, published geographical coordinates of it on the web and others will search for it then. This game may took You to comletely off the beaten paths, because there are 300 hidden caches in Estonia. See www.geopeitus.ee (in estonian) or www.geocaching.com for more... or find out some interesting GPS games at gpsgames.org.
Rouge is village far away from almost everything, In Estonia. Almost...it is near some wonderfull nature as the lakes where you can go for a swim in the Summer!
In Rouge you can also get acquainted with the vesioinas or, in English, Sheep-Water Pump, a kind of water pumps that I have only seen in Rouge!
If you want to relax and get away from everything, this one of the places to go in Estonia!
I am not aware if it is a city usually visited by tourists but as I far as I could check by myself I spotted no other foreigner but me!
Tartu is a small city in the middle of Estonia known by the prestige of its University. The city is very charming along the river and near the University Central building there is a park very refreshing for a walk during the Summer.
Be sure to visit it when you go to Estonia!
The orthodox nunnery, situated near the banks of the lake Peipsi in Eastern Estonia is a remote destination definately worth a visit. A mysitcal and quiet place, creating a weird holy feeling. It's a world of its own, unlike anything else you ahve experienced. that is - unless you are a common visitor in orthodox nunneries :)
Pay attention to your clothing when going there - shoulders must be covered, as well as legs. A while ago they didn't allow women in pants to enter, but i think that has changed by now.
The place is also worth a visit due to the surrounding area - nice nature, a totally different world compared to Tallinn or Tartu or other cities.
If you wish to see/eat/buy something exotic, go to the ostrich farm on Muhu island. Besides looking at and feeding the funny 'birds', you can also buy several cool items made from ostrich skin, feathers or egg shells. You can also buy an orstrich egg, which will be more than enough to feed about 10-15 people (been there, done that :)
Although the taste is almost the same as regular chiken eggs, the whole process of drilling the egg open, trying to get the stuff out and so on is worth the 300 estonian kroons you pay for it...
The view that you get from the top of the highest hill in the Baltics - The Big Egg Hill, in Southern Estonia will take your breath away. A great way to see how much untouched nature - forests, fields, meadows etc. we actually have. Our tiny little vast country :) Although only 317 meters above sea level, the view is truly magnificent.
A really nice piece of nature. One of the best-loved Estonian movies - 'Viimne reliikvia' ('The last relic') was shot there, among other places. This is a truöly magnificent scene and a great place for picnics and camping.
Definately an off-the-beaten-path site worth visiting. The sand caves look really great and magnificent. It's an even better view when you are canoeing :) But for less athletic types it's worth the short hiking trip in the nice forest-park to see the cool caves.
The Radisson Blu Tallinn is one of the new and modern hotels in Tallinn. It is right in the city...more
This is THE LUXURY hotel in Tartu. Nice small hotel -only 16 rooms- in front of Tartu University....more
The building that houses the hotel is a valuable architectural and a historical landmark in Parnu....more
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