Green Travel Guide to Estonia
Within the Gulf of Finland and in the heart of the Baltics, Estonia is where Europe meets the East. Food is the big draw (over 30 cutting-edge restaurants have been recognised by MICHELIN), yet visitors also come here for the clear air and clear waters of the bogs, rivers, and marshes and forested landscape, the extensive coastline, and beautiful, tranquil islands. There’s a strong connection to cultural heritage that permeates many of the outdoor adventures and attractions – in both urban and rural areas – as time-honoured traditions of song and dance are given a fresh tempo by the younger generation.
Video credits: Visit Estonia, Hans Markus Antson, Priidu Saart, Ants Tammik, EAS
Foreword by Liina Maria Lepik,
Director of Estonian Tourist Board
According to the World Health Organisation, Estonia has some of the cleanest air in the world. With a population of only 1.3 million, and over half of the landscape forested, sustainable travel is a timeless tradition, not a trend. Natural escapes are no more than 15 minutes away and authentic culture lives in the streets, not the history books. From long summer nights and a surprising fifth season, to centuries-old charm cultivating the tech of the future, Estonia fuses both Nordic and Baltic conventions.
World Cleanup Day, one of the biggest civic movements of our time, is also one of our proudest success stories, uniting 180 countries across the world for a cleaner planet. This world-changing idea began in Estonia, in 2008 when 50,000 people united to clean up the country in just five hours.
Tallinn’s protected areas, comprising the UNESCO-protected medieval Old Town and network of parks, make up almost 20% of the city. Green Capital of Europe for 2023, Tallinn has a long-term strategy - “Tallinn 2030” - aiming for a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030.
Estonia is the natural choice for the Green Traveller. One-fifth of Estonian landscape is covered by bogs, some of which date back over 10,000 years. They are a crucial part of Estonian culture and folklore, where they are hailed as places of peace and mystery.
Discover how the forests, clean air, and clear waters cultivated a farmer’s mindset over centuries. Take timeout to respect and master time-honoured crafts and help local communities thrive. Lighten your impact with a night spent floating between the earth and the sky.
With so many forested areas, it is no surprise that foraging plays a significant part in Estonia’s food culture. Discover cutting edge chefs using produce grown on their doorstep. Fine dining can last a day, and fast food comes as fast as it grows.
Green Traveller’s Guide to Estonia showcases the best of the country’s ‘green’ offering, putting Estonia firmly on the map of Europe’s sustainable destinations.
Visit Estonia. It’s about time.
Video credits: Priidu Saart, Visit Estonia, EAS, Rivo Veber
Stay, Eat, See & Do
Our pick of places across Estonia
Google Map Key:
Click on the coloured icons for more information about each listing
Green = Places to stay; Blue = Places to eat; Yellow = Places of interest; Purple = Activities
Click on the square brackets top right of map to reveal expanded map
Video credits: Priidu Saart, Rivo Veber, Visit Estonia
All images supplied by Visit Estonia
Berries: Karl Ander Adami; Bog Lake: Romet Vaino; Canoeing: Karl Ander Adami; Cycling: Peeter Järvelaid; Estonia Greete motell: Peter Paxx;
Estonia Kuressaare Kuursaal restaurant: Alina Birjuk; Kihnu lighthouse: Priidu Saart; Common kingfisher: Remo Savisaar; Moose: Kalle Pihelgas; Pärnu coastal meadow hiking trail: Eiliki Pukk; SUP: Raigo Tõnisalu; Tallinn Christmas Market visitors: Sergei Zjuganov; Tallinn Old Town: Kaupo Kalda; Lahemaa Viinistu Art Museum: Priidu Saart; Tihuse Horsefarm: Priidu Saart; Vapramäe Forell: Peter Paxx; Villa Maria: Näljane Nelik.
With thanks to Aivar Ruukel and Visit Estonia for their help in producing this guide.