Haabja Einbaum nahe Soomaa Nationalpark
europe / Estonia

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related: estonian, ecotourism europe, european ecotourism, finno-ugric, soomaa
flickrgroup: Ecotourism Europe
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Estonia is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia and to the east by Russia, with St. Petersburg just across the northeastern border. Estonia's capital, Tallinn, lies about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Helsinki, Finland. The country has more than 1,000 islands.

By geography Estonia belongs to the Baltic Region, by climate to the North, by history to Sweden, Denmark, Livonia and Russia and by allies to Europe.

Estonians (Estonian: eestlased) are a Finno-Ugric people. Their national language is a Finnic branch known as Estonian (Estonian: eesti keel). Estonia was first inhabited about 10,000 years ago, just after the Baltic ice lake had retreated from Estonia. While it is not certain what languages were spoken by the first settlers, it is often maintained that speakers of early Uralic languages related to modern Estonian had arrived in what is now Estonia by about 5,000 years ago. Living in the same area for more than 5,000 years would put the ancestors of Estonians among the oldest permanent inhabitants in Europe.



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The Singing Revolution

Buzzword BIngo

Baltic - Beaver - Birch - Bog - Estonia - Flood - Hanseatic - Islands - Overlord - Pärnu - Phosphorite - Phosphorite War - Rye - Sauna - Seasons - Skype - Song - Soomaa National Park - Swallow - Tallinn - Tartu - Wi-fi

World Heritage

Smoke sauna tradition in Võromaa

Top experiences in 5 seasons
fifth season
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Wild Flowers

Wolf Tracking
Well in Tuhala
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Bird Watching

Ice Fishing

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Historic Ships

Flood in Soomaa

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Orchid Safaries


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Midsummer Fire
Berry Picking

european ecotourism conference

lonely planet

Recommended Listening

Radio Tallinn

2011 - The capital city of Tallinn will hold the title of European Capital of Culture.

Tourism Portals

Visit Estonia -
Rural Tourism
Visit Pärnu
Dicover Pärnu and Soomaa National Park


Onnela Questhouse
Ecotourism Estonia


Jaan Keinaste

Flickr Groups

Ecotourism in Estonia
Ecotourism Europe
Estonia through non-Estonian eyes




Estonia on the Web (2010)

Alam-Pedja - One of The Biggest Flooded Areas in Estonia Slideshow: South-Estonia’s trip to Palupõhja (near Tartu), Estonia was created by TripAdvisor. See another Tartu slideshow. Create your own stunning free slideshow from your travel photos.

Recent Events

European Ecotourism Conference - September 26-29, 2010

Major Cities

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Pärnu @ Google Earth


Pärnu is a historical beautiful resort seaside city with a small harbor in the Southwestern part of Estonia.
It is famous for its spas, shallow white sandy beach and beautiful parks. It is also a popular place for conferences, theatre performances and concerts.
The first settlement at the mouth of the Pärnu river goes back to 9000-8500 BC and, according to the information available, has the earliest signs of human traces in Estonia.
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Tallinn @ Google Earth

Tallinn, Estonia - Ulemiste (TLL)

More about Pärnu (pair-nu)

Pärnu is located in southwest Estonia on the shores of the Gulf of Pärnu. It is 128 kilometers from Tallinn.
The Museum of New Art

Pärnu also have some nice mud bath facilities.

More about Tallinn

Tallinn Airport is the world's first airport that provides Wi-Fi free or charge throughout the passenger terminal. In case you don’t have a laptop, the airport has14 internet kiosks around the terminal also free to use!
Foursquare: Tallinn Airport (TLL)

Old City Walk

The Estonian Health Care Museum has exciting sights and a hands-on experience in store for kids and adults – see who is best at keeping their balance, who has the fastest reaction times, who knows the internal organs in the human body and try reading Braille. Visitors can also measure their height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure and lung capacity.

Sleeper train Tallinn to Moscow:

Ferry to Helsinki


Estonia -




One-Log Dugout of SOOMAA
Eesti Rahvusringhääling


ecotourism europe
european ecotourism

If it is 4 pm in Tallinn, what time is it elsewhere?

tech tip: translate a website from Estonian into English



external image 4313346019_acc3ece7cc_t.jpgEstonia is often called E-stonia for the digital revolution and e-govrnance. Estonias capital Tallinn has one of the most seamless wireless Internet networks in the world. About 90% of our population pay their taxes via Internet. “Our goal is to make Estonia so paper-free that the only place where you would need to use it will be in the toilet,” says Indrek Vimberg, managing director of the Estonian ICT Demo Center. Read the story on Newsweek.


More than 18 percent Estonia’s land and 30% of the Sea territory is designated a protected areas which includes nature reserves, nature parks and national parks. There are 5 national parks including Lahemaa, Soomaa, Matsalu, Karula and Vilsandi.

Karula National Park: Estonia’s smallest national park, well forested and with 38 lakes, home to many animals including moose, lynx, wild boar, red squirrels plus over 150 bird species.

Lahemaa National Park: Estonia’s largest and also closest to Tallinn, so ideal for a day trip. It is home to permanent communities of bear, wolf and lynx and edged by deserted beaches and small fishing villages. The northern border of the park is the coastline and several islands.

Lahemaa National Park

Matsalu National Park: Includes Matsalu bay, the delta area of the Kasari River and 40 islands. It is a favorite of bird watchers as Matsalu is an important autumn stopover point for migrating birds. Easy to reach from Tallinn and Haapsalu.

Soomaa National Park: The 'land of bogs' is Estonia’s second largest national park and a place to spot brown bears, golden eagles and rare orchids. Some years after the winter snow thaws the whole area floods and becomes the ideal place for a canoeing holiday.

Vilsandi National Park: Vilsandi contains 160 islands and is a very popular bird watching location and a place to watch grey seals. It’s a great stop on your way to visit Saaremaa, Estonia’s largest island.

Natural World

Estonia's area of 45,227 square kilometers is similar to that of the Netherlands, but the population (1.3 million) is twelve times smaller. Estonia is rich in forests, which cover almost half of Estonia's territory.Elk, wild boar, wolf, bear and lynx are amongst Estonia's common large mammals. Estonia is a sea country - the length of coastline (3,800 kilometers) is about 6 times longer than the mainland borders. There are more than 1,500 islands, 1,000 lakes (5 percent of the Estonian territory), 7,000 rivers and streams.

Estonian flora and fauna by Estonian Institute.
Peat-bogs, swamps and wetlands of different types cover over one fifth of the country.
Estonian wooded meadows are among the richest biomes in the world – one square metre has more than 70 species. This figure at times exceeds the diversity in the tropics.

The national plant symbol is the cornflower with its blue flowers

The national bird symbol is the swallow. This bird has nests near human settlements

Nature Calendar


Estonians are one of the oldest nations in Europe who have had permanent settlement in one particular region. The oldest known traces of human settlement in the Estonian territory date back to 9000 BC. This era, which started about five hundred years after the Ice Age, when ancestral hunters-fishers-gatherers inhabited the area, is called the Mesolithic Era (9000–4200 BC).

Only about a hundred years ago the Estonians were mostly peasants, depending largely in their subsistence on the ability to co-exist with nature. This is also reflected in Estonian folklore. The indigenous natural religion endured for quite a long time alongside with Christianity. According to ancient beliefs some old trees, rocks, springs and tree groves were regarded as sacred. Diseases were cured mainly with natural products. The Estonians have preserved some traits of this kind of thinking up to the present urbanized period.

external image 3699000136_7f20f2eb46_t.jpg The joint choir of the General Song Festival has the biggest number of singers in the world.

Singing Revolution see also

external image 4779553753_6a666cbbfa_t.jpg For Estonians the word bread stands for a dark rye bread. The food commonly referred to as bread in the rest of the world has a separate word in Estonian – sai (white bread).
Pictures of the Estonian national dishes - Eesti Maaturism

A. Le Coq

When to travel to Estonia

external image 4546063942_ce0e2d43f7_t.jpg Seasons vary widely in Estonia, summers are warm and winters severe with lots of snow. The length of the longest day in summer is over 19 hours, while the shortest winter day lasts only six hours. It is not completely dark at night from the beginning of May until the end of July.


external image 2121812393_f3293e7afa_t.jpg Estonia - the Natural Way is the national ecotourism quality label, certifies ecotourism experiences (products) in Estonia. Created in 2000 by Estonian Ecotourism Association - ESTECAS. Labelling scheme is coordinated by Estonian Rural Tourism Association. Labelling Committee consists of representatives of ESTECAS, ERTA, Estonian Tourist Board, Village movement Kodukant, and Estonian Fund for Nature. As April 2010 there are 25 ecotourism experiences carrying a label.

external image 2121812409_3cfcbdb8e9_s.jpg Green Key is an international eco-label for environmentally conscious businesses and thus demonstrates the service/product to be nature friendly and ecological. In addition to Estonia, you may see the Green Key label used in Denmark, Sweden, Greenland, France and Lithuania, mostly in hotels/accommodation facilities. - The corn flower is the quality marker of accommodation entreprises and the number of corn flowers assigned to a certain entreprise shows the rank of quality

volunteer opportunities

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Estonian Fund for Nature is specializing in Conservation Holidays. Conservation holidays consist of practical conservation work, getting to know the area, a hike and meeting the local ranger or guide. The holiday normally lasts for 3-5, but sometimes up to 10 days. Evenings are kept busy with camp-fires and sauna.



Finno-Ugric languages
Flag of Estonia


Government of the Republic


Estonian Free Press
Estonian Public Broadcasting
Baltic Times - Flickr
Külauudised - Külauudised - kõik uudised kodanikult kodanikule

Energy/Power Adaptors


Bussi Reisid

Cycling -


Wifi in Estonia
Estonia sets shining Wi-Fi example

elsewhere on the web

A dozen questions about Estonia
Google Maps
Estonia - Seat 61
Estonia - Lonely Planet
Ecotourism Estonia
Estonian University of Life Sciences
Estonia Online: Virtual Tourist
Estonia's Eiffel Tower
Statistics Estonia
Bed and Breakfast
Estonian Institute

Indigenous Peoples




The Tamme-Lauri Oak tree has a circumference of 8.25 meters. The tree is featured on the back side of the 10 kroon banknote.

The 2nd oldest nature protection area in Europe (Vilsandi National Park) celebrates its 100th anniversary in August 2010. Vilsandi National Park is the oldest protection are in the Baltics ad former Czarist Russia, eight years older than the Republic of Estonia (1918).

is located on Northern Estonia, 70 kilometers east from capital Tallinn. Its area covers 725 km² (including 250.9 km² of sea). It was the first national park in the Soviet Union (established 1971).

intended for the protection of the natural and cultural heritage of the hilly moraine landscapes of Southern Estonia

Matsalu National Park
Matsalu National Park is located in western Estonia. The reserve was founded in 1957 mainly to protect nesting, molting and migratory birds. In 1976 Matsalu was included to the list of wetlands of international importance under Ramsar Convention. There are 282 species of birds, 49 species of fish and 47 species of mammals registered in the area of nature reserve, also 772 species of vascular plants. Also the landscapes are unique and deserve to be protected - floodplains, reedbed, coastal meadows, wooded meadows and islets.


Estonia has more than 1,500 islands. Life moves at a slower pace on the islands and Estonia’s traditional values are strong there. They are a perfect place to see how Estonians used to live before the modern age. The nature is essentially untouched and many visitors find an inner peace on the islands.


Tartu is home to one of Europe's oldest universities founded in 1632.


Since 1992 Estonia's currency has been the kroon — 500 are worth about $50. The face on the 500-kroon bill: Carl Robert Jakobson, a famous Estonian writer and politician. The euro will replace the kroon on 1 January 2011.



Learn How Estonia's Non-Violent Singing Revolution defeated a very violent occupation.

Schedule for Estonia

September 24 - Arrival in Tallinn, visit to nearby village, nature reserve, Ohepalu

Õnnela Guest House is located in West-Viru county, Kadrina field, in the ancient village of Ohepalu.

September 25 - Trip to South Estonia, University in Tartu, folklore music and dance

September 26, 27 - Pärnu Flickrmeet, Sailing on Pärnu Bay

September 28-29 Conference in Pärnu

September 30 Soomaa National Park

October 1 More things around Pärnu

October 2 Trip to Tallinn


September 14-16 PanParks Conference

See conference videos
Estonia on Google Earth

Estonia 2010

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