Planning a Trip to Estonia? Discover What the Locals Adore

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Estonia may be the tiniest country in its region, but it’s made a huge leap from its Soviet past to become a technological hotspot, earning global attention. Beyond its digital prowess, the country offers much more. We’ve gathered insights from various local experts to guide you through your journey.

Experience the Healing Power of a Traditional Smoke Sauna

Estonians view saunas as a sacred ritual. You can partake in this UNESCO-recognized practice at Mooska farm near Suur Munamägi, the tallest hill in the Baltics, and learn about the unique traditions and construction of smoke saunas.

Explore Soomaa National Park in “Fifth Season”

Estonians, considered modern Vikings, embrace the unique “fifth season” between March and April in Soomaa National Park when flooding creates temporary channels perfect for sunrise canoeing. When it freezes, ice skating becomes the main attraction.

Immerse Yourself in Seto Culture

Visit the Setos, an indigenous minority group near the Estonian-Russian border, especially during Seto Kingdom Day in August. Experience their unique food, traditional quark cheese, and leelo performance, a form of folk singing recognized by UNESCO.

Ferry to Estonia’s Largest Islands

Explore Hiiumaa Island’s iconic Kõpu lighthouse, catch waves at Ristna Cape, or travel to Saaremaa Island to witness the Kaali meteorite crater and learn about historical windmills.

Photograph Estonia’s Wild Animals

Book a guided photography tour to capture Estonia’s wildlife, including wild boar, lynxes, and various birds in Karula Nature Park, the country’s smallest national park.

Explore Digital Nomad Havens in Kupland

Estonia, home to many startups, offers places like Entrepreneurs Forest and Haani Creative Hut for remote workers looking for a blend of work and relaxation.

Join the Baltic’s Biggest Choir Celebration

Take part in the Estonian Song Festival, one of the world’s grandest choral gatherings. This cultural staple is held every five years, with the next one in July 2025.

Experience the Culture of Tartu

Tartu, the gateway to southern Estonia, is teeming with cultural events and traditions. Attend local festivals or celebrate special nights like Midsummer around bonfires with the natives.

(For more guidance on exploring Estonia, refer to our Explorer’s Guide.)

The article was penned by Erkki Peetsalu, a writer and veteran editor for the Estonian edition of National Geographic Magazine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword Estonia

What are some traditional experiences recommended in Estonia?

Traditional experiences in Estonia include participating in a traditional smoke sauna, visiting the Setos indigenous community and tasting their cuisine, exploring the Estonian islands by ferry, and engaging with the unique weather patterns in Soomaa National Park during the “fifth season.”

Where can I experience technological innovation in Estonia?

Kupland is a region in Estonia that showcases the country’s technological innovation. Known for more startups per capita than Silicon Valley, it offers unique locations for digital nomads, such as the Entrepreneurs Forest and the Haani Creative Hut.

When is the next Estonian Song Festival?

The next Estonian Song Festival, one of the largest choral events in the world and an essential part of Estonian culture, will be held in July 2025.

What is unique about Estonia’s natural landscape?

Estonia’s natural landscape is diverse and compact, offering a wide variety of wildlife, landscapes, and meteorite sites like the Kaali crater on Saaremaa Island. Opportunities to photograph wild animals, canoe during the “fifth season,” or ice skate during the “sixth season” are examples of unique experiences.

How can I learn about Estonia’s indigenous cultures?

Visiting the Setos, an indigenous ethnic minority near the Estonian-Russian border, especially during Seto Kingdom Day, is a way to immerse yourself in unique indigenous traditions, including cuisine, folk singing, and cultural celebrations.

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5 comments

Jenny H. August 19, 2023 - 9:58 am

I’m all about traditional experiences, and the Seto culture sounds fascinating. Would love to know more abut their food.

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Sarah J. August 19, 2023 - 2:30 pm

Wow, I never knew Estonia had so much to offer! Can’t wait to visit the sauna and maybe even catch the song festival in 2025.

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Mike T. August 19, 2023 - 10:50 pm

been to Estonia last summer, and it’s just amazing. the islands are beautiful and the technology part, just mind blowing. Definately a must-visit!

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Linda W. August 20, 2023 - 12:22 am

The article gives a great overview, but where can i find more details about these places? Would’ve been helpful with some links or something.

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Tom K. August 20, 2023 - 1:35 am

Who knew Estonia had something like the fifth season? sounds unique and something I’d love to expreience. Also, the tech scene? Incredible.

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