This is my first visit to Estonia, one of the three Baltic States. It is north of Lativa, west of Russia and south of Finland across the Gulf of Finland.
There are long, golden beaches, blue skies and hectares of flat forests.
Tallin is the capital in the north, just over 350kms from St Petersburg (5 hours, 10 euros by coach (Lux Express)). It is considered the political and financial capital, whereas Tartu in the east, the second largest is often considered the intellectual and cultural hub, a university city. Pärnu is in the west and holds the reputation for the riviera with its stunning beach.
You can hike on the RKM TRail from one end of the country to the other – 375kms
Lahemaa National Park. From there it goes to Kõrvemaa Landscape Reserve, passing through its thick and beautiful forests. The trail also passes Soomaa National Park – one of Europe’s biggest bog landscapes. The trail goes on through the forests of Pärnu County reaching finally the small fisherman’s villages of South-West coast and the beautiful sandy beaches of Liivi Bay. RMK Hiking Route passes through 6 counties, 2 national parks, 9 nature reserves and ends by the Estonian-Latvian boarder in Ikla.
Both Riga in Latvia, and Tallin are easily and cheaply reached by plane from the UK. Inter City buses are efficient and cheap: 11 euros Pärnu to Tartu on Lux Express. Local buses are unbelievably cheap 1 euro from Massiaru to Pärnu (approx. 1.5 hours).
Supermarkets : Rimi and Co-operative. Food is not too different in price from the UK although a small loaf of whole bread with sunflower seeds is only 69 cents. They highlight the cost of bottles by advertising the cost on shelves as 1.65 + 10.
Apparently you can take them back to reclaim the 10 but the woman at the til did not know how.
Blog post 1 – Riga, Pärnu, Massiaru
Flora and natural wonders of Estonia
Blog post 2 – A sea swim in the sunset and other stories