Family holiday

People mostly come to Saaremaa for its beautiful wildlife, peace and silence as well as for relaxing spa treatments. But a merry child would like to run and jump and play and he or she can do all of it in Saaremaa! In addition to several playgrounds in Kuressaare, they can enjoy themselves on the low adventure trail in Leisi, adventure park of Hallikivi, K-Pargi adventure park and Muhu seikluspark. Hot summer days are ideal for fun on the beach and muggy autumn days for fun in the pool or spend time in the Pillerkaar playground. Exciting animals and birds can be met in Saaremaa and Muhu islands. On the ostrich farm in Muhu, children can feed ostriches, count the stripes of a zebra and look for a little kangaroo peeking out of its mother’s pouch. And what child would not like to ride a horse or pony? There also is a possibility for this in Saaremaa. If the weather happens to be not very good for outdoor activities, various handicraft workshops are at your disposal. In the smithy of the castle yard in Kuressaare it is possible to forge your own luck bringing nail or make a foamy soap in Good Kaarma soap workshop. In Angla Heritage Culture Centre, it is possible to learn the traditional ways of clay work or engraving dolomite.                                                    



Saaremaa is an excellent place to invigorate your mind and body. Warm salty water is good for your body, kilometres long hiking trails help to keep fit, mud baths do good to your joints, massages relax muscles, etc. Saaremaa is a right place for a healthy holiday. First mud baths of Estonia were established in Saaremaa during the first half of the 19th century as the sea mud with highly good therapeutic features was found in Kihelkonna. The use of local mud was neglected in the meantime but today it is kept in honour again and mud baths help many people to get relief to their troublesome joints. Hundreds of different relaxing treatments are available next to mud baths nowadays, the selection includes shaping massages, juniper treatments, caressing wrappings, etc. Also the tens of different saunas in Saaremaa spa hotels are good to your mind and body. Between spa treatments it is good to stretch your legs and take a walk on a hiking trail to breath in the aroma of pine trees or to go for a short trip at sea or spend time in a hot smoke-sauna on a holiday farm.                                          



            Saaremaa events this week         Saaremaa events this month         Top events on Saaremaa in 2017       Summers in Saaremaa are full of various events: concerts, festivals, sports competitions, workshops – just make your choice! As a tradition, our summer is opened by the Castle Moat Boat Race, during which you can see funny craft of any shape and size competing. For the week of Saaremaa Opera Days, a huge opera tent appears in the castle yard and a magnificent opera house is ready – red carpets, white chairs, huge chandeliers, in a word, everything that an opera house is. In a cosier atmosphere, in a true village environment it is possible to listen to music in July. The Muhu Future Music Festival features famous international musicians and attracts jazz fans from far and aside. In July, those keen on clerical music can enjoy the festivals “The Sonorous Sounds of the Organs of Saaremaa” and “Kihelkonna Days of Clerical Music”. At the beginning of August, Kuressaare as a resort town is celebrated with Maritime Days. Years ago, it started with a couple of days of the sea related events. Today it has developed into a festival lasting for several weeks. During the Saaremaa Maritime Week, preceding the Kuressaare Maritime Days, culture events take place in many small harbours all over Saaremaa. To those with hearts for more serious music, Kuressaare Chamber Music Days offer splendid experiences in August (www.kammerfest.ee). Sports people wait for October as hundreds of car racing fans can gather for Saaremaa Rally then. In October, also the Three Days Running Race and Karujärve Cycling Marathon take place. Throughout summer, both local people and holiday makers can enjoy folk culture events and summer music concerts in the castle park and yard as well as live music in restaurants.  



Sandy beaches, high-spirited concerts, comfortable street cafés and friendly people have again and again attracted people to come to Saaremaa in summertime. The wildlife in summer offers memorable experiences – exceptionally beautiful wild orchids, picturesque sunsets, little lambs eating in the fields, etc. But Saaremaa is a beautiful place for holidaying in winter, spring and autumn too. If winter is cold enough, it is possible to drive to Saaremaa over the sea frozen with ice. Even if ice is not thick enough to carry cars, it still carries dragon surfers and they can be seen defying cold in the white fields of Mändjala in windy days. The health trails of Karujärve (www.karutervis.ee) are covered with ski tracks in winter, so athletic people can compete with each other and children can enjoy sledging. Many active people can often be met on numerous ski tracks, sledging hills and skating rinks in Saaremaa. In spring, with ice and snow gone, birds come to Saaremaa. The surroundings of Vilsandi island have been turned into a national park for protecting birds first of all. This is an area on the spring route of migrating birds. On their long journey, birds like to take a rest on the Sõrve peninsula as well. Summers are long in Saaremaa as the water surrounding the island cools down slower than the air and therefore our autumns are warmer than those on the mainland. At the same time with birds migrating, also people “migrate” to the forests for picking mushrooms and berries to stock delicacies for wintertime.


Small islands

Years ago, during the Soviet period, the islands of Estonia were places with a restricted access or no access at all. To get to Saaremaa, one had to obtain a special permit. These days are over and everyone is welcome to the biggest island of Estonia either by ferry of plane. On the way to Saaremaa, people usually pass Muhu island without stopping. Still, this idyllic small island is worth exploring. It is said that Muhu is the island where time takes time out. On Muhu island you can meet girls wearing shoes with Muhu national ornaments, you can take a walk in the park of Pädaste manor or ride horseback or say Hello! to the only zebra in Estonia, not speaking of ostriches … www.muhu.ee/Turism Abruka is located just 4 km south of Kuressaare and on this island one can visit a grove forest that is under protection and the northernmost in Europe. The brave ones can go the two neighbouring islets of Vahase and Kasselaid on foot through the sea or climb on the boulders that “travelled” here during the Ice Age www.abrukainfo.eu Information on the boat connection to Abruka is available at www.kaarma.ee Vilsandi National Park is a separate archipelago, the biggest island of which is Vilsandi. The national park is a bird reserve and a very special place with its beautiful wildlife. Vilsandi is said to have the cleanest air in Europe. The national park is loved by migrating birds and seals who have made the islets their beach for sunbathing. Information on the boat connection to Vilsandi is available at www.kihelkonna.ee Another special place is Ruhnu island that is not very easy to access but its seclusion and being different can be felt once you’ve reached there. Here you can see the oldest timber building in Estonia, the Ruhnu wooden church from 1643, singing sands and a lighthouse designed by Gustave Eiffel. www.ruhnu.ee  


Holiday budget

Although you need to take a ferry to Saaremaa and pay for the ferry tickets, this money has not been spent in vain. A holiday on the island gives you an experience to remember and you do not need to spend a lot for it. Most of the attractions of Saaremaa are free of charge to enjoy. At the Kaali meteorite crater you can look at the results of the power of a meteorite. Next to beautiful views, Panga bluff allows discovering millions of years old interesting fossils. Hiking trails in pine forests allow meeting wild animals, if you are lucky enough, and wild orchids are in the meadows for you to admire. Also quite a number of culture events require no extra expenses. Throughout summer, it is possible to enjoy folk music and dances at Veski Tavern every Thursday night. Sunday evenings are for summer music concerts in the castle park. Live music fills summer nights in cafés and restaurants. Accommodation places vary by price and quality. In case your expectations are not very high, it is possible to find a place at a really reasonable price. The cheapest beds in the hostels of Kuressaare are between 10 and 15 euros.The camping sites of the State Forest Management Centre are free of charge for everyone.  


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