Looking for the best Estonia adventures? This northern European country offers more for outdoor enthusiasts than most of us realise. To find out more check out the below Baltic activity holidays with a Nordic twist that cover 25 different things to do in Estonia.
A decade ago new flight routes were opening to Estonia all the time. The country saw a massive increase in visitors from less than two million in 2007 to more than six million a decade later. Covid has of course reduced tourism everywhere, but as travel is returning Estonia looks to be bouncing back well.
The most northerly of the Baltic nations, which also include Lithuania and Latvia, Estonia sits on the south side of the Gulf of Finland. Independent since 1991, it is strongly influenced by Nordic culture, in particular the language and customs of Finland with whom it has strong ties.
A huge part of the tourism boom is to its capital, Tallinn. It has become a popular weekend break and stag/hen do destination. It is an enchanting medieval city is with a good cafes, restaurants and nightlife. Expect cheap prices, lively bars, late night clubs and strip joints that attract stag dos and a party crowd.
The gambling culture is big in Estonia with twenty casinos in and around the capital. There are also four more in other Estonian cities. However, many of the destinations below are not near casinos, so if you fancy a flutter you can visit an online casino instead.
Outside of Tallinn the attraction to Estonia is the unspoilt countryside. There are adventures and activities to be enjoyed in six different national parks that cover coats, forests and wetlands. It is easy to get out into wild to camp, hike, kayak and much more.
But what does the Republic of Estonia really got to offer the adventure traveller? Here’s an intro to what’s to be found in the country and where to go for the best Estonia adventures.
The capital is a fantastically preserved medieval city. It was European Capital of Culture in 2011 and from here many of popular activities are organised. Within the city you can go-kart, indoor climb, boulder or bungy jump, there are also some fabulous Tallinn walking tours.
With so much uninhabited land around, it’s little surprise that off-road driving, hiking and biking are local favourites and there is also white water rafting. The city is on the Baltic coast and out on the water you can sail, kiteboard, kayak, SUP and wakeboard.
Tallinn’s a great base camp for Baltic activity holidays with a Nordic twist. We’d recommend you use the national parks as your stepping stones.
On the west coast of Estonia, fringed by the Gulf of Riga, you’ll find the Matsalu National Park. Best suited to wildlife viewing, this park has both wolves and elk which are rarely seen in the rest of Europe.
Matsalu is also very popular with bird watches as it is home to many migratory species. Plus there are plenty of opportunities for cycling and walking.
The smallest of the country’s national parks, it’s still a prime spot for trekking holidays. There are few hills to speak off, so the going is quick between campsites. Start you wanderings at the visitor centre near Lake Ähijärv and keep your eyes peeled for wild boar, deer and the allusive lynx.
If you yourself in Tallinn for the best Estonia adventures, you’ll be tempted by Lahemaa, the country’s largest national park. As well as 70 km2 of wilderness to wander, you’ve 3 km of beaches as the park reaches on the coast – that’s once you’ve crossed the sand dunes. It’s popular with kayaking, sailing and windsurfing.
There are cycling trails all over the Lahemaa National Park including a 17 km loop around the Palganeem Cape. For a longer ride take on the 375-km Oandu-Ikla trail, it begins in Lahemaa and heads into Soomaa National Park.
If you visit Estonia in winter, you’ll find plenty of snow. There are six ski resorts, but don’t start packing your gear for a ski or snowboarding holiday as they are tiny. The largest Kütiorg has 2.8km of runs and just 70 m of elevation, so enough for some fun but not for a ski vacation.
However, during Baltic activity holidays with a Nordic twist you can still make the most of the snow. Criss-crossing the natural expanses are many miles of cross-country skiing routes.
SUP, canoeing and kayaking holidays are also popular. Inland rivers snake through Estonia’s national parks with some white water. But it is the Baltic coastline that provides the best paddle adventures. Explore the Gulf of Finland or the Gulf of Riga for an epic sea kayaking adventure.
At one fifth of the size of the UK Estonia is not a large country, so you can pack much of the above into a week long Baltic adventure. Of course you could focus on just one activity and paddle, ride or walk for your entire break.
Be sure to take in Tallinn for some culture and fun. And no visit to Estonia is complete without time in a national park for the wildlife and wilderness. Finally the coast is great for a variety of water sports. Ultimately it is this easy access to variety and wilderness which makes Estonia great for adventure.
We hope you found this guide to the top Baltic activity holidays with a Nordic twist interesting. Want to have some Estonia adventures? Then check out these Estonia activity holidays.