Modern Estonia has everything a visitor could want. From natural beauty to advanced technology & culture, Estonia has entered the 21st century with a bright future, while still being mindful of its Deepest Roots.
While most visitors of course see the can’t-miss Tallinn, it’s in the nature outside of the city where Estonia’s roots first take hold. Many places around the world are seeing their forested land shrink, but Estonia’s forested land, which includes ancient forests & sacred trees, has actually grown over the last 50 years, with 50% of the country’s territory now being forested and 30% of it currently under protection.
This natural bounty gives Estonia an array of plants & animals, including pine, birch, spruce, and aspen trees, plus hares, foxes, deer, wolves, lynxes, bears, and elk. Many Estonians venture into the forests to pick their own herbs, berries, mushrooms, and other delicious finds. You can join mushrooming trips in the southwestern Soomaa region or go searching for blueberries, cloudberries or lingonberries instead. When you take care of your land like Estonia does, nature thrives.
Beyond the forests, there are more natural wonders in Estonia. In addition to all the forest & the bounty within it, Estonia has over 200 rivers, 1,500 lakes and thousands of natural springs all over the country, including Lake Peipus, the fifth-largest lake in Europe, Äntu Lakes, Norra Springs, and Sopa Spring. These springs provide Estonians with clean drinking water. Some springs even have healing properties. All are beautiful places to enjoy the beauty of Estonia’s natural world, as they are great spots to go boating or fishing.
Estonia’s Deepest Roots in the natural world lead their way to the table. The forests & water provide a bounty of fresh, organic, high-quality ingredients. Thanks to its position in Europe, Estonian cuisine features a medley of Scandinavian, Russian, and German elements, plus more influences from the world beyond. Local markets feature hearty breads, smoked meats & fish, dairy products, sweets, and more. Gourmet restaurants can be found everywhere in Estonia, from Tallinn to the countryside. Plus, thanks to Estonia’s low cost of living, a high-quality meal will cost less than in other European capitals. Whether you’re looking for a medieval feast featuring bear & boar or a vegetarian meal featuring the finest seasonal ingredients, you’ll be sure to find something delicious to your liking.
My visit to Estonia last year confirmed that it’s a beautiful, clean, modern country. Tallinn is a gorgeous city filled with excellent restaurants and other activities. Whether you are in the city or the countryside, you can find fresh, organic Estonian cuisine made with the best local ingredients, plus great local Estonian beers made from fresh, clean water. While many people may not be familiar with Estonia yet, it’s a short plane flight from elsewhere in Europe, or even a ferry ride. Estonia was named one of Lonely Planet’s Best Value Destinations in 2016, and it’s easy to see why. With reasonable prices and high-quality culture, it’s a great place to visit to make an Estonian connection of your own.
AKA Jonathan Sacks. Traveler. Writer. Photographer. 40+ countries & major territories so far, slowly working my way through the rest. Related interests: craft beer, street food, sporting events, frugal travel, credit card bonuses, hiking, visiting non-touristy places. Join me for the journey!