Medieval history and manors
Tallinn’s Old Town is Europe’s most preserved and well-protected medieval city and Estonia’s top tourist destination. Its unique significance stems from its well-preserved (intact) medieval atmosphere and structure, which has been lost in other northern European cities. The Old Town has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1997.
Estonia boasts a unique and rich mix of historic monuments as a result of being under the authority of Scandinavian monarchs, the Russian empire, and the Teutonic Knights. From the 13th century forward, Estonians constructed over a thousand manors. Some of the manors have died or fallen into ruins, but many have been rebuilt and are popular tourist attractions. Around 200 manor homes are protected as architectural monuments by the state, with another 100 in use.
Islands and coastline
There are approximately 1500 islands in Estonia. With their remoter rustic vibe, the environment is basically unspoiled and provides quite a distinct beach experience. In the summer, the majority of the public beaches are sandy, with an average water temperature of 18°C. Inland waters and the waters of certain small bays are much warmer.
Saaremaa, the biggest island, has an undamaged and well-restored medieval castle at Kuressaare, its only city. Saaremaa is known for its stone walls, thatched roofs, functioning windmills, and home-brewed beer. Hiiumaa, on the other hand, is famous for its lighthouses, unspoiled environment, the Hill of Crosses, and the people’ sense of humour. Both islands have airports and are easily accessible from Tallinn.
Kihnu, Ruhnu (with its “singing sand” beach), Muhu, and Vormsi are other significant islands, each with its own distinct features. The majority of the other small Estonian islands have little cultural importance, although they may be attractive for bird viewing, canoeing, sailing, or fishing, among other activities.
Pärnu, Estonia’s summer capital, is the major attraction in July and August. The coastline offers several undeveloped beaches, and a trip from Narva-Jesuu (in the east) to Tallinn is a wonderful way to see them all. Toila, Vsu, Käsmu, and Kaberneeme are just a few of the well-known locations.