Visiting Estonian islands while traveling through the Baltics must be top of your priority list! Of course, the main and the most popular island is Saaremaa. It is also the largest Estonian island, measuring 2,673 square kilometers, so you can be sure to find many different things to do to experience the best of Estonian culture and lifestyle.
Get back to the medieval ages
Kuressaare Castle is without a doubt the main attraction in Saaremaa island, so if you can only see one thing, it must be the castle! It is superbly preserved so you can feel as if you’ve been taken back to the medieval ages while walking around the castle and seeing the defensive towers and the main building. It is one of the oldest castles in Estonia, dating back to the 1200s.
Lossihoov 1, Kuressaare, Saaremaa, Estonia, +372 455 4463
Focus on Estonian history
It is one thing to learn about the place from its present, but it is a whole other level to understand that place’s history. So, if you want to experience Saaremaa to the fullest, make sure to visit Saaremaa Museum, where you can see the exhibits from the old ages, WWII, and the Soviet era from the perspective of local Saaremaa people.
Kuressaare, Estonia, +372 455 4463
Visit the mysterious Kaali crater
People who are fascinated by space must stop by the huge Kaali Meteorite Crater which was formed when a huge meteorite hit the area of Saaremaa around 4,000 years ago. For many years people believed that this crater is volcanic and only in 1937, Ivan Reinwald found out the truth! It is one of the biggest craters in the world so forget about Star Wars and other space movies and experience it all in real life!
Learn about local agriculture
You have to visit Angla Culture Center if you want to learn more about the everyday life of local Saaremaa people. There are plenty of exhibits which will introduce you to the most common agriculture practices and you will be also able to visit real working windmills and witness grain grinding with your own eyes. Also, if you want to make Don Quixote proud, there are more than enough of those windmills to defeat (we don’t recommend destroying anything).
Take a breath of fresh air in Jarve
You must visit Jarve and take a breath of fresh air in front of the Baltic Sea. It is a perfect place for a long walk with your family or friends and the highlight of your short trip to Jarve should be visiting the local lighthouse. Also, the area is super beautiful, so if you have a camera with you, make sure to take some shots to tease your friends back home!
Make homemade soap and earn some karma points
Good Kaarma is a small shop, owned by the local Saaremaa people, who make and sell soap. Not only you will be able to purchase that soap but you will also have an opportunity to join the workshop and learn more about this unusual job! Also, Good Kaarma sells coffee and snacks, so you can also relax and start a conversation with locals.
Good Talu Kaarma, Kuke, Saaremaa, Estonia, +372 5348 4006
Visit a local sauna
Spa Hotel Ruutli Water Park is a wonderful place for people, especially with kids, who love water and sauna! It is a small park with a jacuzzi, sauna, water slide, and a swimming pool. It might also be a perfect place to meet some locals and have a conversation about Saaremaa island while enjoying a hot sauna.
Pargi 12, Saaremaa, Estonia, +372 452 7149
Grab a cup of coffee
Travelers must always remember that they are on holiday and need to rest and enjoy their time. Cafe Retro is the best place to do that, as it serves wonderful cafe and delicious food, including beetroot risotto and mushroom soup. Also, the desserts in Cafe Retro are just spectacular. The interior is quite unique, making this place a perfect spot to take some Instagram photos for your food porn collection!
Kuressaare, Saaremaa, Estonia, +372 5683 8400
Meet the local artists
Saaremaa Art Studio is the place where you can meet local artists, see their work, and even buy some traditional Saaremaa souvenirs. There are always some exclusive exhibitions or events organized by Saaremaa Art Studio, so it won’t be boring for sure!
Walk in the woods
Viidumae Ecological Reserve is a wonderful place for people who want to experience the untouched flora and fauna of Saaremaa island. Most of the area is foresty, so if you enjoy long walks surrounded by woods, this might be your jackpot. Also, many different local animals live here, starting with Burgundy snails and finishing with wild boar and owls.