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