Estonia: The Perfect Mix of Myth and Modernity

In this day and age, it’s unusual to find a European tourist destination that’s still a little shrouded in mystery. Estonia is one of those rare finds – beautiful, largely unspoilt, with a stunning natural landscape and cosy yet cosmopolitan cities. Lonely Planet’s pick for “Best Value Destination 2016”, there’s a surprising amount to be discovered in this tiny country of just 1.3 million people.

Panorama view of sunset in forest

Kids near the Baltic sea coast

The Estonian people have long maintained a strong connection to the natural world and love nothing more than spending time in the forest, picking mushrooms and berries. Almost half of the country is covered in forest and it is traditionally a place that has offered food and shelter to the population. Today, even though most people lead busy, modern lives in the cities, the cool, leafy shade of the forest offers refuge and a chance to reconnect with nature all year round.

The bog in estonian forest

Goats in the fog

Foggy forest view

Estonia is home to hundreds, if not thousands, of sacred trees that dot the landscape all over the country. The forest is deeply embedded in the mythological roots of Estonia and many beloved mythical creatures have their origins here. Take Hiid, Hero of the Holy Forests, for example. While he’s prone to throwing trees and stones around in a temper, he’s also great fun to be with and happiest when he’s the centre of attention. Or Metsik, Elf of the Forests, who loves to spend time with the forest creatures and sometimes turns herself into a tree to whisper words to visitors by rustling her leaves.

View from the cliff

Breathtaking view on the forest from above

Sunrise in the forest

Nothern lights on the seaside

If you are a nature lover, Estonia is definitely the destination for you. The majestic pine forests and ancient bogs are popular getaways for locals and tourists alike, suitable for beginners and skilled hiking enthusiasts. The longest hiking trail in Estonia is 820 km long, and passes by camp sites, huts and cottages; the ideal place to spend a quiet night under the Northern sky. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll even bump into Hiid or Metsik…

WiFi even in the forest

With all of this intriguing nature and mythology, you might be surprised to learn that Estonia is also the world’s most advanced digital society; just one of the many contradictions that make Estonia such a fascinating place. As early as 2002, the government provided free public Wi-Fi in most populated areas, online voting was introduced in 2007, and the vast majority of people now fill in their tax returns online, which takes around five minutes.

Old Tallinn in winter

Estonians developed the codes behind Skype and Hotmail, the country has one the fastest broadband speeds in the world, and also holds the record for start-ups per person. In short, it’s an ever-changing country that still somehow manages to maintain a deep connection to the past and the natural world.

Christmas market in Tallinn

Estonia is for people looking for something a little bit different. Among the heaving, overcrowded cities of Europe, it offers an escape to something both other-worldly and totally of this world. Enjoy being connected or enjoy being away from it all – Estonia makes it easy to have the best of both worlds.

Sponsored by Visit Estonia. For more information on how you can explore Estonia, visit

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I fell in love with traveling much earlier than I fell in love with my first man. And I'm still faithful to that love (But I have exchanged some men since my first one). I have never had a reason to regret my passion. I constantly dream of going further, it gives me indescribable emotions and meaning to my life.

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