- Continent: Europe
- Area: 45,227 km²
- Population: 1,347,510
- Capital city: Tallinn
- ISO code: EE
- National language: Estonian
- International dialing code: +372
- Currency: Estonian Kroon
- License plate number: EST
- Flight routes from Estonia: 750
- Flight routes to Estonia: 620
- Popular airports: Tartu (TAY), Tallinn (TLL)
- Large cities: Tallinn, Tartu, Narva, Kohtla-Järve, Pärnu, Viljandi, Rakvere, Sillamäe, Maardu, Kuressaare, Võru, Valga, Haapsalu, Jõhvi, Paide
- Airlines based in Estonia: Nordica
Estonia travel guide (Europe)
Estonia is located on the Baltic Sea coast and borders on Latvia, Russia and the Baltic Sea. Estonia is a must for tourists who want to experience a country that was formerly part of the Soviet Republic and is now a fully fledged member of the European Union. It has one of the fastest growing economies in Eastern Europe and at the same time must come to terms with the processes of social transformation from the Soviet era as well being exposed to the serious consequences of the current crisis. Estonia has a unique charm which is embodied in the art in its capital Tallinn, the nature of its national parks. The beautiful islands in the Baltic Sea are a paradise for hiking, mountain biking, horse riding and water sports.
Geography. In the south of the country is the Suur Munamägi (meaning Big Egg mountain and measuring 318 m or 1000 ft ) - this is the highest point in Estonia. The largest lake is Peipsi Järv (Peipsi). Besides the mainland, 1,520 islands are also part of Estonia. The largest of these is Saaremaa which is home to an old castle and several spa hotels.
Climate. The climate in the interior of the country is quite unfriendly, often oppressively hot in summer and very cold in winter. On the islands and the coast there are dominant westerly winds, which are often very strong. There are about 130 annual days of rain and snow in Estonia.
Travel. The only international airport in the country is in Tallinn and is called Ulemiste Airport. Regular flights from London to Estonia are operated by Easyjet or Lufthansa, the former involving one stop. Baltic Airlines, Finnair, Scandinavian Airlines SAS, Czech Airlines, Air France and Delta Airlines also operate flights from Tallinn to London via airports on the continent .
The major ports in Tallinn are Pärnu and Sillamäe. From Tallinn, several ferries go to Sweden (Stockholm), Finland (Helsinki and Mariehamn) and during the summer months to Germany (Rostock) and Russia (St. Petersburg). Ferries from the Latvian port of Ventspils also serve international routes to the islands of Saaremaa and Paldsiski - Kapelskari (Sweden).
Capital City. Tallinn (in Russian Ревель = Rewel), the capital of Estonia, is located on the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea, about 80 km or 50 miles south of Helsinki. It boasts some beautiful beaches and a magnificent medieval town with old city walls and towers, which was has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the occasion of the Olympic Games in Moscow, a TV Tower (314 m) was built in Tallinn, which is now the tallest structure in Estonia. Along with the other principal cities in the Baltics, Riga and Vilnius, Tallinn has also earned an international reputation as a party city. Modern architecture and design are increasingly characteristic of the city. One example is the opening in 2006 of the Kumu Art Museum, designed by Finnish architect Pekka Vapaavuori and recently bestowed with the "European Museum of the Year Award 2008".
Other cities. Tartu (Russian Юpьeв / Yuriev) is Estonia's second largest city. It is located on both sides of the river Emajõgi (German: Embach). Tartu is a university town and is dominated by the building of Dorpat university which was founded in 1632 by King Gustav II Adolf. But besides the university building, the rest of the city is also well worth exploring including sites such as the observatory, the ruins of the old cathedral and the restored St. John's Church with its valuable terracotta figures.
Nature. About 80 km or 50 miles east of Tallinn is the National Park Lahemaa covering an area of 730 km ² that includes four peninsulas on the coast offering wonderful forests, moors, and coastal scenery. These can be explored on 7 educational trails. Popular with Estonians are the charming Baltic Sea islands, such as Muhu and Saaremaa, with its idyllic scenery and picturesque, abandoned farms.