14-DAY SELF-DRIVE TOUR IN ESTONIA
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN TALLINN
Arrival in Tallinn. Optional private transfer from the airport to the hotel. Check in to the hotel.
DAY 2: DISCOVER TALLINN
Dedicate this day to discovering Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Tallinn offers a thrilling blend of romantic medieval streets, breathtaking modern architecture, an alternative vibe, and a leisurely seaside atmosphere. Tallinn is most famous for its stunningly photogenic medieval Old Town, which is considered to be one of the best-preserved Hanseatic town centers in the world. Stroll around the narrow cobblestone streets of the Old Town and let it cast a spell on you: noble merchants’ houses, gothic churches, curvy paths, medieval fortification walls, red tile roofs, and lovely cafes in secret yards will absolutely charm you. Visit the most famous sights of the Old Town, such as Toompea Castle, Tallinn Town Hall, Great Guild, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Masters’ Courtyard, St. Catherine’s Passage, as well as Patkuli viewing platform or Kohtuotsa viewing platform from where you can see a great panorama of the Old Town.
To experience the colorful diversity of Tallinn, visit other districts too. Telliskivi Creative City, located in a former industrial complex, offers a vibrant alternative culture scene. It has lively bars and cafes, cozy designer stores, amazing street art, and art galleries. Noblessner is known for its fancy-lifestyle vibe. It offers to enjoy a great meal with a view of yachts swaying on the waves in the harbor, as well as to explore some of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. Kadriorg invites you to go on a peaceful walk along elegant summer mansions and wooden villas and visit Kadriorg Palace. Kalamaja, once the main fishing port of Tallinn, today has turned into a hipster area featuring colorful wooden architecture and many alternative bars.
DAY 3: TALLINN – LAHEMAA NATIONAL PARK
Spend this day in Lahemaa National Park, the oldest and largest national park in Estonia that offers a great diversity of landscape: vast wetlands, deep forests, picturesque fishermen’s villages, as well as sandy and rocky beaches. To feel the real spirit of Lahemaa National Park, choose one of the hiking trails, for example, Viru Bog Study Trail or Kasmu Peninsula Hiking Trail.
One of the most unique things to do in Lahemaa National Park is visiting old fishermen’s villages that are scattered along the coastline of the Baltic Sea. Stop by Kasmu “captains’” village or Altja fishing village and discover the life of local fishermen, explore the rural architecture and fishing net sheds, as well as stroll along the beach. If you are looking for a bit more modern maritime vibe, stop by Vergi Harbor or Vosu Port. Military heritage lovers will appreciate visiting Hara Harbour and the former submarine base where you can carefully walk around and explore the ruins of the base.
Lahemaa National Park is also known for several beautiful manors. The most popular of them is Palmse Manor and Open-Air Museum, an impressive baroque mansion that provides a great overview of the Estonian manor lifestyle and offers wonderful parks, gardens, and historical buildings. Another beautiful manor is located just a few kilometers away – Sagadi Manor Complex.
Overnight: Sagadi or Vihula
DAY 4: LAHEMAA NATIONAL PARK – RAKVERE – LAKE PEIPUS AREA
Start this day by driving to Rakvere, a city famous for its 13th-century medieval castle standing on the top of the hill. The castle works as a medieval theme park, representing everyday life in the Medieval Ages. You can dress up as a knight, play some medieval games, and explore the castle: visit the torture chamber, check out the cannons and muskets, go to the history room and learn more about Rakvere, get to know medieval medical practices at the healer’s room and peek inside the brothel. When you feel hungry, go to the tavern that offers meals cooked using original medieval recipes.
You can find another well-known symbol of Rakvere following a small path from the castle – the Statue of Aurochs. The impressive bronze animal was created to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Rakvere, but the symbolical connection between aurochs and Rakvere stretches way back to the past and is surrounded by legends. Today, the statue is a famous landmark of the town and a popular sight for taking photos.
Later drive to Lake Peipus area. Lake Peipus, located on the border between Estonia and Russia, is known as the largest transboundary lake in Europe. Lake Peipus area historically has been a very diverse region where three different cultures used to live side by side: Estonian peasants, Russian Old Believers, and the Baltic Germans. You can still see lovely Old Believers’ villages with colorful wooden houses scattered along Lake Peipus, explore aristocratic manors and stories of noble people’s lives, as well as discover local farmers’ lifestyle. One of the most beautiful manors in the area is Allatskivi Castle which looks just like out of a fairytale. Spend some time there and get to know the aristocratic lifestyle. Later, drive to such one-street Old Believers’ villages as Kolkja, Kasepaa, or Varnja. Discover the traditional architecture, colorful fishermen’s cottages, Old Believers’ prayer houses, and local traditions.
Overnight: Lake Peipus area
DAY 5: LAKE PEIPUS AREA – TARTU
In the morning, drive to the famous student town Tartu and dedicate your day to exploring the oldest city in the Baltic States. Thanks to Tartu University, the city serves as the educational center for the whole region, and historically it has played a very important role in the cultural development and national awakening not only among Estonians but also among Latvians. Even today, many students from abroad come to Tartu, creating a vibrant and juvenile atmosphere in the city. Enjoy a peaceful day and stroll around the Tartu Old Town, visit Tartu Town Hall Square and the famous Kissing Students Fountain, the main building of Tartu University, St. John’s Church, and the impressive ruins of Tartu Cathedral. Later, go for a slow walk along the Emojagi Promenade, one of the most popular places for enjoying some drinks and great food.
To explore the alternative scene of Tartu, visit Aparaaditehas Creative City built in an old factory complex. Open-air cinema nights, music concerts, crafts markets and flea markets, designer stores, restaurants, bars, cafes, and even a Printing and Paper Art Center TYPA – you can find this all at the Aparaaditehas. Enjoy a fun and exciting evening.
DAY 6: DISCOVER TARTU
Keep discovering Tartu and dedicate this day to exploring museums and visiting wooden architecture districts. Tartu is proud to have one of the greatest museums in the country – the Estonian National Museum. It offers to explore the history of Estonia in a very modern and appealing way, as well as invites to visit an amazing exposition dedicated to different people speaking Finno-Ugric languages – Echo of the Urals. Exploring this exposition feels like walking through an old legend. The Estonian National Museum is a must-visit place not only due to its interactive and exciting expositions but also for its architecture and design – the museum is built on an old runway perfectly blending with the surroundings. You can easily spend half a day in this museum. If you feel like visiting some other museums, consider going to the Science Centre AHHAA, Printing and Paper Art Center TYPA, Tartu Art Museum, or Tartu Toy Museum.
Later go to enjoy lovely wooden architecture in Karlova, a district famous for its bohemian atmosphere with alternative bars and cafes hiding in the most unexpected places, secret yards, and a lot of greenery all around. Karlova is a very popular place among locals, so if you would like to meet some artistic Estonians, you should head straight to Karlova and go to the very heart of the district – Barlova Bar.
Another great district for exploring wooden architecture is Supilinn. The name of this district translates as Soup Town. Walking around Supilinn feels like visiting a tiny village in the countryside – colorful wooden buildings, a sense of friendly community, dusty dirt roads, and a bit of bohemian atmosphere.
DAY 7: TARTU – VILJANDI – SOOMAA NATIONAL PARK – PARNU
Start your day by driving to Viljandi, a cute little town. Viljandi is famous for its annual folk music festival and picturesque views. One of the most scenic places is Viljandi Castle Ruins which stand on the hill overlooking Lake Viljandi. If you would like to explore more of the surrounding nature, you can follow a trail going all around the lake. A must-visit place for art lovers is the Kondas Centre of Naive Art, a very quirky and colorful art museum showcasing the artwork of the most famous Estonian naive art painter Paul Kondas, as well as temporary exhibitions of other artists. Viljandi is a perfect place for leisurely walks around its narrow streets with lovely wooden architecture.
Later, drive to Soomaa National Park and discover its stunning nature. Soomaa National Park is known for the so-called fifth season in early spring when water from melting snow floods the forests and meadows inviting adventure-seekers to go on canoeing trips in the forests and maneuver between trees. During the rest of the year, Soomaa National Park is a perfect destination for hiking. One of the most popular hiking trails is the Riisa Hiking Trail which goes through the magical Riisa bog. Follow the trail and fall in love with the beauty of the bog!
In the afternoon, drive to Parnu, the most popular and the largest summer resort in Estonia. Go on a leisurely walk around the town and enjoy its laid-back atmosphere, romantic 19th and 20th-century villas, beautiful beach promenade, and great restaurants and bars. If you would like to relax in a spa or a sauna, Parnu is the right place to do that – once famous for healing mud baths, Parnu still offers various high-quality well-being spas. Parnu has a tiny, but lovely Old Town that you can find around Ruutli Street, the main pedestrian street. Don’t miss out on the 15th-century Red Tower, the oldest surviving building in Parnu.
If you are an art lover, visit the Parnu City Gallery or the Museum of New Art, the first modern art museum in Estonia. Parnu is proud to have the biggest beach in Estonia. The beach is famous for its white and soft sand, perfect for enjoying long walks or building sand castles. Another great place for nature lovers is the Parnu Coastal Meadow Hiking Trail, a wooden pathway that goes around coastal meadows and allows to see rare species of plants and birds. The most romantic place for watching a sunset is Parnu Breakwater. The legend says that those who kiss each other at the end of Parnu Breakwater will happily stay together forever.
DAY 8: PARNU – MUHU ISLAND – SAAREMAA ISLAND
In the morning, drive to Port of Virtsu and take a ferry that will bring you to Muhu Island. Muhu, the third biggest island of more than two thousand lovely islands belonging to Estonia, is a very peaceful and sparsely populated place covered with junipers, rare species of wild orchids, and birds. First, head to the Uugu Bluff, about three hundred meters long dolomite bluff. Later drive to St. Catherine’s Church, one of the oldest holy places in the country. It is a cute rural church built in an early gothic style. Before driving to Saaremaa, visit Koguva village. This village is considered to be a great example of Estonian peasant architecture. Pay special attention to the unique stone fences. To explore rural architecture close-up, visit the Muhu Museum.
Later, drive to Saaremaa, the largest and most populous of Estonian islands, once known as the wealthiest region of ancient Estonia and home to infamous Estonian Vikings. Start to explore Saaremaa Island by getting to know Kuressaare, the westernmost town in Estonia. Visit Kuresaare Episcopal Castle, the most famous sight in the town. This scenic castle is one of the best-preserved medieval fortresses in Estonia. Walk around the fortress, explore the museum, and dive deep into the history of Saaremaa. Later, walk around the lovely streets of Kuressaare and enjoy a peaceful evening – visit Kuressaare Town Hall, Kuressaare Weighouse, and other charming places.
DAY 9: DISCOVER SAAREMAA ISLAND
Dedicate this day to exploring the best of what Saaremaa Island offers. Start by driving to Sorve Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Climb to the top of it and enjoy an amazing panorama of the surroundings. After returning to the ground level, go for a walk around the Sorve Cape – it is a perfect place for birdwatching and taking some nice photographs. Not far from Saare, you can find the picturesque Ohessaare Bank with half a kilometer-long limestone cliff and a beach full of stone stacks that visitors have built creating a very unusual landscape. Enjoy the beach and feel free to create your own stone stack. Later, drive to Panga Cliff, the highest outcrop in western Estonia and the islands. You can go down to the beach and walk along the cliff that stretches for two and a half kilometers.
Keep exploring the island by going to one of the most popular places – Angla Windmill Park which features beautiful wooden mills, a landscape once characteristic of Saaremaa. You can visit the mills, see old agricultural equipment, and explore traditional crafts at the park.
The most famous sight on Saaremaa Island is Kaali Meteorite Crater Field. The biggest of craters is twenty-two meters deep and stretches one hundred and ten meters in diameter. Undoubtedly, this is the most unique natural wonder in Estonia.
If you love hiking, you can choose one of the hiking trails and explore the untouched beauty of Saaremaa Island by walking through bogs, forests, or along the coastline.
DAY 10: SAAREMAA ISLAND – HIIUMAA ISLAND
In the morning take a ferry from Saaremaa Island to Hiiumaa Island, the second largest island in Estonia. It is a very calm and peaceful place, perfect for taking a break from all the hustle and bustle and simply enjoying the tranquility of nature. The most magnificent place on Hiiumaa is Saaretirp, a narrow strip of land stretching into the sea for two kilometers. Walk till the end of it, feel the power of the wind, and observe pebbles and specific vegetation around you.
To explore the local islanders’ lifestyle, visit some of the many museums. Rudolf Tobias House Museum allows you to get to know the childhood home of the founder of Estonian classical music and see a 19th-century small-town residence. Vaemla Wool Factory displays 19th-century wool-making machinery. Soera Farm Museum represents a typical 19th-century farmers’ household. As unbelievable as it may seem, there are even several manor houses located on Hiiumaa, the most impressive of them is Suuremoisa Manor. The beautiful baroque manor serves as a school today, but it is open for visitors as well and has a small museum dedicated to the history of the manor. Windtower Experience Centre offers a very modern, interactive, and exciting combination of a museum, research center, entertainment park, and panorama tower. Discover Hiiumaa’s geological history and underwater world, explore the life on the island, its herbs and animals, culture and stories of local people, dive deep into a meditative atmosphere and relax, enjoy the highest indoor climbing wall in the Baltic states, and look at the island from the observation platform.
Overnight: Hiiumaa Island
DAY 11: DISCOVER HIIUMAA ISLAND
Dedicate this day to enjoying the beauty of Hiiumaa. The island is famous for several lovely lighthouses that invite you to climb to the top and have a wonderful panorama of the surroundings. The most impressive is the Kopu Lighthouse, a massive structure with a unique design, consisting of a combination of medieval and modern architecture, and known as the oldest lighthouse on the Baltic Sea. Ristna Lighthouse charms with its French design and bright red color, but Tahkuna Lighthouse is the highest lighthouse in Estonia.
Hiiumaa is a great place for nature lovers, as it offers more than 400 km of beautiful coastline, as well as countless hiking trails of different lengths. Follow the coastline, choose a day-hike route, or combine several shorter hiking trails and discover the diversity of the island: pebble beaches, lovely bays, birdwatching towers, ancient pine forests, bogs, and huge rocks. Among the most popular hiking trails are the Kardla Hiking Trail, Orjaku Study Trail, Kalleste Study Trail, Rebastemae Study Trail, and Neljateeristi Study Trail.
Overnight: Hiiumaa Island
DAY 12: HIIUMAA ISLAND – HAAPSALU
In the morning, take a ferry that will bring you from Hiiumaa Island back to the mainland. Drive to Haapsalu, a famous seaside resort. Dedicate this day to enjoying this lovely little town with romantic architecture, tiny houses, narrow streets, and a cozy atmosphere. Visit Haapsalu Castle, the main tourist attraction in Haapsalu. It is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Estonia and home to a famous ghost – White Lady. In the castle, you will find interactive expositions allowing you to understand the history of Haapsalu and explore the medieval lifestyle in an exciting and fun way.
Later, walk around the area surrounding the castle and enjoy the charming Old Town with cute houses and nice cafes. It is worth discovering the historic wooden villas too. One of the most famous buildings of the historical resort is the 19th-century Haapsalu Resort Hall, rich with magnificent decorative wooden carvings. It is located next to the Haapsalu Promenade, a great place for walking and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of the town. If you feel like visiting a museum, consider going to the Railway and Communications Museum or Haapsaly City Gallery.
DAY 13: HAAPSALU – TALLINN
Start your day by driving to Rummu Quarry, an extraordinary place that was used for mining limestone in the 20th century, but today serves as one of the most exciting tourist attractions in Estonia. Right next to the quarry, you can still see the remains of Murru prison. Inmates of the prison were used as the main laborers at the limestone quarry. Nowadays, you can hike around the white limestone hill, climb to the top of it, and enjoy a unique landscape that feels like on another planet. To fully enjoy the spooky atmosphere of the Rummu Quarry, rent a boat or a SUP board and paddle around the quarry. With the right angle of sunlight, a very unexpected underwater landscape will reveal in front of you – a mystical sunken forest with dead trees standing up vertically, several concrete structures and buildings, and even some used machinery that can be seen through the crystal-clear turquoise water.
On your way to Tallinn, stop by Keila Waterfall, the third-largest waterfall in Estonia. Enjoy the beauty of the waterfall, take a look at the nearby neo-gothic Keila-Joa Manor, and explore the Keila-Joa Park Nature Trail.
Another natural wonder awaits you only a few kilometers further – Turisalu Limestone Cliff. The cliff, standing on the coastline of the Baltic Sea, is thirty-one meters high, offering an amazing panoramic view of the sea from the top of it. Follow a small path and go down to the beach to see the impressive limestone cliff from below.
In the evening, return back to Tallinn.
DAY 14: DEPARTURE FROM TALLINN
Departure day. Check out from the hotel. Optional private transfer from the hotel to the airport.
- Tallinn Old Town
- Lahemaa National Park
- Viru Bog
- Rakvere Medieval Castle
- Old Believers’ Villages along Lake Peipus
- Tartu Old Town
- Soomaa National Park
- Riisa Bog
- Seaside resorts Parnu and Haapsalu
- Muhu, Saaremaa and Hiiumaa Islands
- Kaali Meteorite Crater Field
- Rummu Quarry
- Keila Waterfall
The price for two people in a double room:
- 3-star hotels: 1150.00 EUR per person
- 4-star hotels: 1350.00 EUR per personSingle supplement: 510.00 EUR
- Rental car Toyota Auris or similar per program for 12 days
- Rental car delivery on Day 3 and drop off on Day 13 at the hotel
- Accommodation per program
- Well planned itinerary
- Support during the trip
- Roadbook (sightseeing objects, hiking routes, and other recommendations)
- 3h walking tour in Tallinn, Tartu, Parnu, Kuresaare or Haapsalu: price for each tour is 120.00 EUR
- 5h hiking tour in Lahemaa National Park or Soomaa National Park: price for each tour is 250.00 EUR (1-2 persons)
- 7h biking tour on Saaremaa Island: price per person is 150.00 EUR
- 1h tea ceremony at Old Believers’ house near Lake Peipus: price 30.00 EUR per person
- Private transfer from/to the airport: 55 EUR for private car (1 – 3 persons)
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