Bring your good mood and come enjoy the life of the islanders on the sunniest island in Estonia!
As you drive around on Saaremaa and Muhu, dozy coastal villages, thatched-roof houses and flowering gardens catch your eye. Passers-by slow down and try to drink in all the beauty and romance. How they would love to take a closer look at those beautiful gardens! The good news is – it’s possible! The otherwise private gates are opened with pride for everyone a few times a year and visitors can walk around in the gardens, chat with the hosts and have a refreshing meal in a romantic environment.
For several years now, a city-wide garage sale has been held in Kuressaare on the last Sunday of May as part of the Kuressaare Street Festival. The principle there is ‘your old is my new’. It may take a whole day to visit the nearly 30 home gardens. Visitors are warmly welcomed everywhere with music or cafés, and the displays of goods are delightfully imaginative. You can find dishes and glasses in an old woodshed, children’s clothes on trees, and car spare parts among flowerbeds. For the garage sale to be merrier, horse drawn carts are brought out, as well as old cars and bicycles. Rumour has it that old vinyl records, golf balls, sofas, scooters and vases have found new owners and some lucky sellers have made a fortune. There are several occasions during summer on which you can take a peek inside home gardens. At the beginning of July, Muhu and Saaremaa both hold the Open Gardens Day with dozens of gardens participating.
The Open Farms Day at the end of July offers a wonderful opportunity to take a closer look at local rural life and business. A farm today no longer only means cattle breeding – instead, you can visit a soap farm, a glass farm, a wine farm, an ice cream farm, a yoga farm, a juniper syrup farm, a beer farm, a cosmetics farm or a peony farm on the islands. The islands bustle with life on such days, as who would not like to take a peek behind the facade and enjoy the activities and food prepared for that day at the local brewery, treenursery, art farm or even the Reomäe Convent.
And while you are here, you simply must enjoy the local cuisine. Offering local food has become so popular that an ever increasing number of participants join the Café Day every year. Creativity has no bounds on the Muhu Café Day, as eateries can be opened among hay bales and concerts can be held in front of boat sheds.
As the name says, the Nasva Plaice Café Day focuses on fi sh dishes, which are a traditional fare on Saaremaa. The Kuressaare Apple Café Day celebrates the peak of the harvest season, when apples and all kinds of other garden produce reach the dining table. Last year, even Abruka held a Café Day! On café days, the very best of local food and drink is laid out for you and for one day home cooks gain the recognition of the White Guide.
Everyone takes part – from the smallest in the family to friends and relatives. If you wish to partake in life across the sea and visit places that even the locals do not often see, mark the exciting events into your calendar early, as the ferry is not made of rubber. Bring your good mood and come enjoy the life of the islanders on the sunniest island in Estonia!
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