Estonia, one of the three Baltic states, is located in the north of Europe between Russia and Latvia and is known for its old-country charm yet digitally advanced society. Estonia includes more than 1500 islands and is very sparsely populated so if you’re looking for a quiet European getaway, Estonia is for you.
Technology in Estonia has advanced rapidly in the country over the last few years resulting in Estonia being named one of the most digital societies in the world. Citizens of Estonia can vote online, register a business online and they even have government meetings online. This advancement, however, has not diluted either the country’s culture or charm. Estonia is home to beautiful castles, museums, forts, lighthouses and cathedrals and these historical structures lend to its fairy-tale charm. Estonia has short summers and long and cold winters but it is during the summer that the country truly comes alive and the beautiful long Estonian summer days are perfect for discovering all that this fabulous country has to offer.
Parnu and the Prison Escape
A visit to Parnu, one of the largest cities of Estonia, is a must as it is known as the summer paradise of Estonia. The city is lined with beautiful beaches and plenty of lovely hotels and resorts to host you during your holiday. You can go for a walk on the beach or stroll down the promenade, relive your childhood at the beach playgrounds or say a prayer to return one day at the stunning Church of Jekaterina. One of the most popular out-of-the-box activities at Parnu is the Prison Escape which is located at the historic Parnu Prison and has different rooms with different themes that you can try and ‘escape’ from. Complete with radios and a ‘prison guard’ host with the eerie prison surroundings, you will certainly feel like you have travelled back in time.
Water sports and activities
Considering that Estonia has a large coastline and numerous islands, water-related sports and activities are popular and cater to all types of travellers. Water tours and cruises for those looking to relax and learn, Kayaking and canoeing for those looking for to discover the country on water and windsurfing for the more adventurous traveller, they have it all!
Discover the country on two wheels
If you’re looking for a first-hand experience when it comes to discovering a new city/country, a bicycle is your best bet. Not only will you be able to really absorb all that is around you leisurely, you will have an opportunity to discover parts of the country (like little cafes or tiny antique shops) that would be otherwise missed if travelling by any other means. Estonia is blessed with a smaller population than the rest of Europe which means that cycling through the country is not only quick but also safe. If you choose to do a tour of the country on your bicycle, there are many camping spots that you can stop at to rest so do be sure to do some research in advance so that you can plan your trip accordingly.
Take advantage of the long sunny day to travel to one of the historic 1000 plus castles and manors that Estonia is home to. Most of the building still stand in their original glory after being refurbished and converted into luxury hotels, spas or museums with breath-taking art and décor. If you are a history buff, a visit to the country’s capital- Tallinn – Is a must. The city’s ‘Old Town’ is a UNESCO world heritage site and is guaranteed to make you feel like you have time travelled.
If you truly want to get away from city life for a while, Estonia will not disappoint. Covered in lush green forests, aged yet beautiful architecture, yesteryear charm and welcoming warm locals, Estonia has a personality like no other.