What would locals like others know about Estonia? Presenting relevant links in a somewhat random fashion:
Putin’s War Fuels a Bitter Breakup With the Russian Language
The country with a ‘fifth season’ – BBC
Estonia is running its country like a tech company – Quartz
The Singing Revolution
Written on their faces: the people of modern Estonia – The Guardian
Gigantic wooden megaphones amplify the sounds of the forest in Estonia
End of the USSR: visualising how the former Soviet countries are doing, 20 years on – The Guardian
Smoke sauna tradition in Võromaa
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.
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.
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
seljanka – menuu.ee
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
When to travel to Estonia
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.
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) celebrated 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.
Learn How Estonia’s Non-Violent Singing Revolution defeated a very violent occupation. http://singingrevolution.com
Baltic – Beaver – Birch – Bog – Estonia – Fifth Season – Flood – Hanseatic – Islands – Overlord – Pärnu – Phosphorite – Phosphorite War – Rye – Sauna – Seasons – Skype – Song – Soomaa National Park – Swallow – Tallinn – Tartu – Wi-fi