In Estonia, 38 blooming species of orchids have been counted. 36 species of orchids can be found in the wildlife of Saaremaa. This is why Saaremaa has become famous as an orchid paradise. A tourist season is opened by the people interested in these plants as June is the high time to admire them. The richest of these flower areas is located on the western coast of Saaremaa, in the Vilsandi National Park.
There is no need to walk around for hours to find them. It is enough to take a ten-minute walk from the city centre of Kuressaare to the Roomassaare peninsula and in the juniper fields there are a lot of them, called the heath spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata). You can also walk to Loode tammik (Loode Oak Grove) in the vicinity of Kuressaare. There you can find the lady's-slipper orchid (Cypripedium calceolus), the burnt-tip orchid (Orchis ustulata) and many other species. Did you know that Saaremaa has its own orchid called Saaremaa dactylorhiza (Dactylorhiza osiliensis Pikner)? That was discovered by Tarmo Pikner, an orchid specialist from Saaremaa.
In June, as a tradition, Saaremaa Orchid Festival takes place, find further details here.
The nature in Saaremaa is unique and well preserved. Saaremaa with other West-Estonia islands is part of the UNESCO biosphere program area "Man and Biosphere". This means that islanders have lived in harmony with nature for centuries. Islanders take care of the environment we live in, we hope that the visitors of the islands have the same respect.