Islands of Saaremaa

Islands of Saaremaa

MUHU - an island where time stands still

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 stops. It is the island where people are the most satisfied in Estonia and where the folk costumes are the most beautiful. On Muhu island you can still meet girls wearing shoes with Muhu national ornaments, you can take a walk in the park of Pädaste manor , by the way Pädaste Manor Restaurant Alexander is the only Estonian MICHELIN Guide 2023 marked restaurant from islands. Destinations are never too far from each other on the island. So move around with bicycles, horses or boats. Muhu is a mecca of proud coastal traditions, with a unique culture and nature. Between junipers and rock gardens, the rest of the world tends to forget.



Farming on Muhu island // Lembit Michelson
Üügu bluff // Priidu Saart
Muhu Party // Martin Kirikal

ABRUKA  - A hidden jungle on a small island near Kuressaare

Abruka is located just 4 km south of Kuressaare. What makes it an ideal pick for  day trip. On this island one can visit a grove forest that is under nature protection and special since it is the only forest of  its kind in Europe to be located this far north. 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. Information on the boat connection to Abruka is available HERE.


During summer months schooner Hoppet takes all the venturers who are up to it to Abruka island. You can find schooner Hoppet at Raiekivi säär in Kuressaare, near Kuressaare park. You can find more information about Hoppet here.



Cute Islander // Rivo Veber // Visit Estonia

VILSANDI national park - where nature thrives

Vilsandi National Park is a separate archipelago, the biggest island of which is Vilsandi. The national park is a bird reserve with very 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. Finf the boat timetable to Vilsandi from HERE or order a boat from Islander



Vilsandi lighthouse // Marko Palm
Vilsandi lighthouse // Photo: Marko Palm
Windmill in Vilsandi // Priidu Saart
Windmill in Vilsandi // Priidu Saart
On our way to Vilsandi // Valmar Voolaid

RUHNU  - The pearl of the Gulf of Riga

Another special place is Ruhnu island that is not very easy to access but its seclusion and sense of difference can be felt once you’ve reached there. If anything interupts the silence here at all, maybe just the sound of the sea. Swedish cultural influences and heritage are strongly felt in Ruhnu. Here you can see the oldest timber building in Estonia, the Ruhnu wooden church from 1643, singing sands and a newly renovated lighthouse. Ruhnu really leaves a mark in you. Find the boat timetable to Ruhnu from HERE




Ruhnu is one of the smaller islands around Saaremaa
St. Magdalene Church in Ruhnu is known to be the oldest preserved wooden building in Estonia // Photo: Elen Juurma


It is especially fancy to rent an entire island. Right? This is also possible. Viirelaid is an 80 hectares land plot between Muhu and the mainland. The lighthouse complex is an ideal place to enjoy peace and quiet, to organize a spirited corporate event and to have a luxurious dinner. With these events Viirelaid has gained much popularity. Chefs from the mainland come here from time to time to organize themed dinners, which are usually all sold out long in advance. Viirelaid is named the best, but most difficult to access, restaurant in Estonia.

there are many small islands around Saaremaa, Viirelaid is one of the islets
Dinners at Viirelaid are truly extraordinary // Photo: Viirelaiu Majakavahikompleks

Did you know that Saaremaa, along with the other islands of West Estonia, is a member of UNESCO's ''Human and Biosphere'' program? This means that the islanders live in harmony with nature and can appreciate the local environment.

Did not find your answer? Contact us.