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Estonia for 4-5 days - East v West?

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4 posts
6 reviews
Estonia for 4-5 days - East v West?


My partner and I are travelling to Baltics for around 2 weeks in Aug/Sep.

Plan is to arrive by plane/ferry into Tallin and then travel by car down to Vilnius via Latvia over about 2 weeks.

For Estonia, I’m considering Tallin and then either west to the islands, or east to Narva/Tartu/Setomaa, and then on to Latvia.

We’re interested in culture/history/nature/food. Don’t need to see beaches so thinking of skipping Parnu etc.

How rushed/possible would it be to do Saremaa/islands and the east? Does the East make more sense given we’re heading south next?

Which is more representative of ‘traditional’ Estonia? And any pros/cons at that time of year (early Autumn?)

Many thanks!

4 replies to this topic
Tartu, Tartumaa...
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41 posts
12 reviews
1. Re: Estonia for 4-5 days - East v West?

How many days are you planning to stay in Estonia? A pro for the western part (islands) would be that the seasons on the islands are usually about two weeks behind compared to the eastern part - therefore, it's more like summer and less like autumn (the same applies in the spring - when it's already nice and warm in Tartu, it's usually a lot colder in Saaremaa in May).

Otherwise it really depends on your interests - you can see more eastern/Russian culture in the east and more island culture with influences from Scandinavia on the islands. Where you're heading next doesn't really matter that much - if your next destination is e.g. Cesis in Latvia, it's 220 km from the Saaremaa ferry port (Virtsu) or 170 km from Tartu, therefore, the difference is just 50 km. If you're heading straight to Riga, it's closer from the ferry than from Tartu.

Level Contributor
87 posts
1 review
2. Re: Estonia for 4-5 days - East v West?

Although I visit Tartu quite often, I definitely like the islands (especially Saaremaa) more. You can skip Hiiumaa since the ferry connection between Saaremaa and the mainland is more frequent than between Hiiumaa and the mainland. In the end of August, it won't be the high season any more, so you won't have any queues heading to Saaremaa and back to the mainland.

Helsinki, Finland
Destination Expert
for Tallinn, Finland, Helsinki
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9,594 posts
64 reviews
3. Re: Estonia for 4-5 days - East v West?

I also favour the islands. Nice scenery and in many ways more traditionally Estonian.

Level Contributor
4 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: Estonia for 4-5 days - East v West?

Thanks all!

Looks like islands have the votes!

As we are planning to be there for about 2 weeks, I was thinking 4-5 days in each country. So 2 nights in Tallinn, 3 nights on Haapsula/islands/Parnu en route to Cersis.

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