available in Estonia
Reserves and Wildlife
Estonia, with its diverse landscapes and untouched wilderness, beckons wildlife lovers from all over the globe. Tucked in Northern Europe, this Baltic gem is a haven for those seeking encounters with elusive creatures like the lynx and the brown bear. Furthermore, for ornithologists and birdwatchers, Estonia offers an unparalleled spectacle, especially during migration seasons. Here’s a journey through the best wilderness areas of Estonia, a dream for every nature enthusiast:
- Haapsalu, Nõva, and Northern Matsalu National Park (NW Estonia) Nestled in Northwest Estonia, this region is a prime location for observing the majestic migration of Arctic waterfowl. The dense forests also host a plethora of forest birds. A stay of 2 to 3 days is ideal to soak in the beauty and witness the avian wonders of this area.
- Southern Matsalu National Park (W Estonia) This part of Matsalu NP stands as Estonia’s crowning glory for birdwatching. The park witnesses a rush of hundreds of thousands of waterbirds during migration seasons, making it an essential spot for bird lovers.
- Forests of Häädemeeste (SW Estonia) Boasting a diverse ecosystem of coastal meadows and ponds, Häädemeeste is teeming with both migrating and breeding sea and shorebirds. The dense forests are a sanctuary for numerous avian species, offering a treat for birdwatchers.
- Tartu Area and Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve (SE Estonia) A treasure trove of biodiversity, these wetlands and the nature reserve host numerous forest birds. From woodpeckers and owls to the Lesser Spotted Eagles, this region is a must-visit. Moreover, the Great Snipe and Citrine Wagtail sightings here are unparalleled. A 2 to 3-day trip is recommended.
- Saaremaa Island (W Estonia) A stone’s throw away from the mainland, Saaremaa Island is an epitome of natural beauty. This picturesque island offers varied habitats, making it a sanctuary for migrating and breeding sea and shorebirds. Particularly, birdwatchers should not miss the rare Steller’s Eider.
- Alutaguse Forest Area (NE Estonia) Beyond its ethereal beauty, Alutaguse is famed for its grouses. From Hazel Hen, Capercaillie to Black Grouse, the area is a paradise for bird lovers. However, the highlight remains the brown bear watching experience from hidden spots, offering a thrilling adventure.
- Lahemaa National Park (N Estonia) As Estonia’s oldest national park, Lahemaa is replete with stunning landscapes. While birdwatchers can spot forest birds such as owls and woodpeckers, the coastal migration here, though not as dense as in Matsalu, offers a unique spectacle. Given its proximity to Tallinn, a compact 1 to 2-day visit is perfect.
- Soomaa National Park (SW Estonia) Enveloped in pristine wilderness, Soomaa National Park stands as a testament to Estonia’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage. The lush landscapes, rich biodiversity, and serene ambiance make it an essential destination for all nature lovers.
Estonia’s wilderness is a realm where nature thrives in its purest form. From the majestic migration of birds to the silent steps of the brown bear, Estonia offers a symphony of nature that resonates with the heart of every traveler.
Estonia is a year round destination with four distinct seasons.
- March to May – Shoulder season. Its is spring in Estonia. Spring is not as busy. February to April is a perfect time for birders when thousands of resident and migrant birds descend on Estonia.
- June to August – Peak season. It is summer in Estonia, with warm and sunny days. Estonia has 3,700kms of Baltic coastline nd some wonderful beach resorts. Summer time is the best time for bear and lynx watching.
- September to October – Shoulder season. It is autumn in Estonia and things are a bit quieter.
- November to February – Low season. It is winter in Estonia and most of the country will see snow fall. The ski season is open and it can be a magical time to visit if you don’t mind the cold.
- Capital – Tallinn
- Currency – Euro
- Languages – Estonian
- Size – 45,339 sq kms
- Population – 1,365,884 (2023)
Health and safety
- Travel insurance is essential for all international travel.
- The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for Argentina: hepatitis A and typhoid. Check with your doctor which other vaccinations you might need and make sure your routine vaccinations are all up-to-date.
- Tap water is generally safe to drink but it is best to stick to bottled water.