Stright on the tip of Saare Peninsula the Sorve Lighthouse is the southermost spot of Saaremaa island. The lighthouse is not very old , built only in 1960. The most fun is walking along narrow curved cape right to the end, stepping on small stones. It's said that the place is very popular with Latvian tourists. It's the nearest spot from Saaremaa to Latvia here, only some 25km. And from the tip of the cape Latvian coast can be seen during the bright days.
One of the main touristic spots in the western part of Saaremaa is Mihkli Talumuuseum- Mihkli Farm Museum. It was found in 1959, but it's origins start in XVIII century. This is original farm of prosperous Saaremaa farmer and there are things that for years were used by six generations of one family. The founder of the farm was Wicki Peter but now the farm bears a name after his grandson Mihkli.
There are 8 buildings in the farm: living house where you can see collection of household equipment, house of wheels, barn, 2 store-houses, sauna built in the old orchard, mill(new one instead of the original one lost in fire) and one more storage house where summer-kitchen, smithy and brewery can be seen.
After visiting the farm and maybe even trying yourself as a blacksmith don't miss woodwn country swings. It's allowed to use them and it's real fun.
Soviet authorities thought of Saaremaa as one of most im portant defence posts. So before World War II the stronghold was built in Sorve Peninsula. The main stronghold and the guns were hidden 16m underground . The cannonfire could reach up to 40km range.They were built at the sea and the main command headqurters were built about 3km further in the woods. To camoulflage the headqurters were buil in a form of Dutch windmill. In 1941 after long battle with Germans when no ammunition was left the Soviets blew up the fortification and water from the sea filled in. After WW II there were some tries to drain the bastion it was without success. So now only the headqurters bastion is still left hidden among trees.
Kaali lake is almost in the center of Saaremaa Island. It has formed in a pit left by meteorite. The pit itself is about 22m deep and has diameter of about 110m. Water level of the lake is different but ussually it ranges about 16m.
Kaali lake looks beautiful-it's almost perfect circle form , is surrounded by huge trees. When sun comes through branches they reflect on green water of the lake.
Like many other places in Saaremaa, the Kaali has it's own legend-the story of forbidden love. Unce upon the time there was a big manor. It's owner had very bad temper and no girl wanted to marry him. So he decided to marry his own sister. Only one priest agreed to bless this sinful marriage. After the wedding took place, the priest left the manor and ordered his coachman to ride fast never looking back. But the man turned around and saw the earth splitting apart and the manor going down. Then water filled the gap......It's said that untill now , every year on night of summer solstice two hands with golden wedding rings show above the water and then go down again.......
Panga(Mustjala) Cliff is not the highest one in the world but surely it is one of the most picturesque cliffs. The village of Panga is located on the northern part of Saaremaa, not far from Mustjala. For centuries it was known as one of the biggest fishing centers. Not only local villagers went to sea for herrings and sprats, but also people from other places came here for fishing season that lasted from June to September. Now it's just a ordinary small village on the seacoast.
The Cliff is some 5 km from village. In 1960ies Soviets built a light house here. There's a parking lot and kind of a picknic place on the top of the cliff. But the real charm of Panga cliff can be seen not from the top but from the bottom. The look from the top is nice but nothing too special. I really reccomend to go down the seacoast and look up the cliff. The legend tells that this cliff was a place for human offerings. People were thrown down to the water to gain over the Sea-gods. Some lovers of mystery add something new to the legend- faces of sacrificed still can be seen in stone walls of the cliff. Of course , it's just a work of sea winds and water. But the view is impressing anyway. We played a game with some friends-looking at photo we tried to count how many faces can be seen. The result was from 6 to 10 just looking into one pic......
The title says it all.... Meteorite crater. This is the only place in the world where you can go and actually touche the water that lies in the crater and see how the place looks like from the bottom.... You can clearly see the misplaced rocks in the crater wall and the beauty of the place...
There are actually 6 craters around the area, but this is the biggest one and definitely worth seeing!
Here are formed the group of different size meteorite craters and the biggest one which diameter is 110 meters wide, but you can easily walk around it. By the way there is saying if you walk around together with your beloved joining hands you’ll be having the life without quarrels. There are different legends how the craters formed and one of them tells that more than 7 thousand year ago burning objects were falling from the skies which made such big holes on the earth here. The main crater is one of the biggest in Europe.
The center of the city was formed already at the end of 17th century. But the quadrangular fortress was built already in the 13th century which till nowadays is counted as the best building left from that times. In the past times the fortress was used for military reasons and also as residence for bishops.
Nowadays inside here is formed museum exhibition which is dedicated to island’s life and culture.
The first inhabitants went to the island more than 4500 years ago. Later in that time here was war between local inhabitants and Holy Order, after what the island went to foreigners’ hands.
In 1267 it was built Saint Catherine’s church which is the oldest stone building in all Estonia. There wasn’t bell in the church in that times, not to attract pirates coming from the sea. At least it was built later outside the castle, just above the entrance.
There is interesting thing like small part of wall stitched at both sides of the church. In older times this was made specially for women to gossip.
is located on the northern coast of Saaremaa, on the Mustjala - Leisi road at the 19 kilometer mark, and then ten more kilometers to the north, close to Panga village. Panga bluff is the highestest bluff on the northern coast of Saaremaa and Muhu.
At the end of the 19th century nearly 800 windmills were catching the wind on Saaremaa Island. The post wind mills are Europe´s oldest type of windmills and characteristic of the west Estonian Islands.
Today the windmill hill at Angla near the village of Leisi is the only remaining. Of the five windmills, four are typical Saaremaa type of wooden windmill. Notice the projecting wooden bar. These windmills could be turned towards whatever wind was blowing at the time. The largest one on the hill is a Holland-type of windmill were only the “head“ can be turned towards the wind.
In the Holland style windmill is a small handicraft shop. Refreshments and ice cream are sold as well. Near the Windmill hill is a camp-site.
St. Mary's can be seen from the main road and its an impressive view. The building is looking more like a castle than a church due to its massiveness. The history is quite interesting and a poster near the entrance is giving information (Estonian / German only).
Usually the church is not locked and no entrance fee is asked for, although donations are welcome.
The poster says that its possible to climb the tower to enjoy a nice view. I didn´t find the way up! There were some ladders on the east side but I couldn´t find an entrance! Let me know if you do and – good luck!
Kuressaare is the capital of Saarema, where every third inhabitant of the island is living. The curative sea mud has played an important role in the development of Kuressaare. The first mud treatment establishment was opened here yet in 1840. The first known tourist group arrived here 165 years ago. After the independence the number of tourist increased steadily and nowadays more than 200000 visitors come here every year.
Today the city still appears a little bit sleepy and easy going. The small picturesque market square is the main square in town with some restaurants and bars located here. Beside the spar resorts the Episcopal Castle is Kuressaare´s main attraction. beside the castle there is the Kudjape Cemetary or the old oak forrest of Loode nearby.
Only a few kilometres south east from Kuressaare is the Tehumardi War Memorial. Right on the shore was a 21 metres high sword in 1967 erected to remind that this peaceful area was the scenery for the most bloody battle on Saaremaa Island during the WWII. Whole villages disappeared from the map in only one night and hundreds of young men lost their lives!
In Saaremaa Museum in the Bishops Castle some old News Week films about the war time on Saaremaa can be watched.
There is a detailed explanation poster near the main road.
The beach behind the monument is excellent, (if you don´t mind the tragic history)
Eighteen kilometres from Kuressaare towards Kuivastu is the location of Estonia's most unique geological object: The Kaali Meteorite Craters . In 1937 30 meteorite crashes were discovered in the Kaali area. Its estimated that meteorites crashed down to earth around 700 B.C. The local tales says that the Kaali Lake is bottomless but unfortunately it this is not true and the ground is at 16 metres. Its said that the lake has an atmosphere which visitors have called "surreal" and "mysterious" and has been mystery to people since ancient times: "a huge, terribly hot stone blew up in the sky; it was a treasure-laden goblin with seven heads and ten horns.". Its believed that it has been a place of worthshipping and pilgrimage.
Georg Ots Hotel is situated overlooking the Tori Yacht harbour and the medieval Bishop’s Fort. It’s...more
****I've decided to leave this page up, but Arensburg decided to jump into the spa buisness,...more
Vallimaa 5a, Kuressaare, Saaremaa, 93812, Estonia
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