Estonia Travel Guide : Food, hotel, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach

You can find about travel advice such as public places & services, best restaurants, activities, sightseen and other key facts of the Estonia .

Estonia is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden, to the south by Latvia, and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia. The territory of Estonia consists of the mainland and of 2,222 islands on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,227 km2 (17,462 sq mi), and is influenced by a humid continental climate. Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and Tartu are the largest cities and urban areas in the country. Other notable cities include Narva, Pärnu, Kohtla-Järve and Viljandi. The official language of the country, Estonian, is the second-most-spoken Finnic language.

The territory of Estonia has been inhabited since at least 9,000 BC. Ancient Estonians became some of the last European pagans to adopt Christianity following the Livonian Crusade in the 13th century.[15] After centuries of successive rule by Germans, Danes, Swedes, Poles and Russians, a distinct Estonian national identity began to emerge in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This culminated in independence from Russia in 1920 after a brief War of Independence at the end of World War I, where Estonians, led by General Laidoner, had to fight for their newborn freedom. Initially democratic prior to the Great Depression, Estonia experienced authoritarian rule from 1934 during the Era of Silence. During World War II, Estonia was repeatedly contested and occupied by Germany and the Soviet Union, ultimately being incorporated into the latter as the Estonian SSR. After the loss of its de facto independence to the Soviet Union, Estonia's de jure state continuity was preserved by diplomatic representatives and the government-in-exile. In 1987, after the peaceful Singing Revolution, its de facto independence was restored on 20 August 1991.

Estonia is a developed country, with a high-income advanced economy; ranking very high in the Human Development Index. The sovereign state is a democratic unitary parliamentary republic divided into fifteen counties. It has a population of 1.3 million, and is one of the least populous members of the European Union, the Eurozone, the OECD, the Schengen Area, NATO, and the United Nations Security Council. Estonia has consistently ranked highly in international rankings for quality of life, education, digitalization of public services and the prevalence of technology companies.

Foods in Estonia :
(1) Dark Rye Bread : 

Home baked or bought at your favorite bakery, this famous traditional Estonian bread is present on every table, being a quintessential part of the Estonian culinary tradition, according to Chef Ants Uustalu from Ööbiku Gastronomy Farm.It is also an ode to slow cooking. The ingredients are kept simple – rye flour, water, salt, sugar, and yeast, although added ingredients can be used such as seeds and nuts, dried tomatoes or other fruits, garlic (or pretty much anything for that matter).The end result, slightly moist and a bit sweet, also known as black bread or leib in Estonian, is a piece of bakery that keeps the heart merry and the belly full. If you don’t find yourself traveling to Estonia soon, you could always try baking it yourself. The final product will be totally worth the effort – and it will be a big one as this local speciality takes no less than 12 hours to prepare.

(2) Kiluvõileib – Sprat Sandwich :

A dish of bread and fish that varies a lot in the North, the Estonian Sprat Sandwich is popular in Slavic cuisines, being a natural culinary emanation of a country bordered by so much sea. It may not be a beautiful dish, but it’s very tasty and taken damned seriously by Estonians. Kiluvõileib is served for every occasion, from less formal gatherings to birthdays, holidays, weddings, and funerals, and always indulged in with the same pleasure.  For this simple dish you need a good quality marinated sprat fillet, a slice of dark bread (see above), butter or a mayo-like sauce, a boiled or poached egg, maybe topped with some aromatic herbs and… voilà your new favorite sandwich!

(3) Mulgipuder – Potato and Groats Porridge : 

This is a 100% Estonian dish. The locals claim this is a classic of Estonian peasant culinary creativity with no foreign influence, and was served as a part of their important holidays menu. This potato and groats mash – one of Chef Silver Saa‘s favorites of traditional Estonian cuisine – comes from South Estonia and was traditionally placed on the stove in the morning and left to simmer throughout the day for when the peasants returned home from working the fields.It can definitely be prepared quicker now and it only has two basic ingredients: potatoes and groats, for the vegan version, or you can try the authentic Estonian version by cooking it with lard, fermented/sour milk, and some pieces of fried onions and bacon. Don’t forget the pickles! Yum!

(4) Kama Desserts : 

Another Estonian mixture, Kama or kama flour or, even better, “Estonian muesli”, is one of the “foods of the region”, as you can also find it in Finland and Russia. Historically a non-perishable and easy-to-carry food, kama is a finely milled flour that was initially mixed with butter or lard for a quick but fulfilling snack. Being already roasted, kama doesn’t need any further baking. Kama is technically not a dessert, but a main ingredient in many puddings, and the local chefs incorporate it into many of their trade-marked sweet dishes.Nowadays Estonians use it for lots of things: salty snacks, cakes and other types of desserts, or simply add sour milk or yogurt, plus sugar, giving the base for what can easily become the famous “Estonian Muesli”.

(5) Smoked Fish : 

As a people with the Baltic Sea for a neighbor, the Estonians have an unconcealed passion for fish, preparing it in many delicious ways. But they are masters in smoking and marinading it, two effective methods of preservation. Smoked sprats, herring, salmon… Estonians enjoy these delicacies especially during the summertime, when they often buy their smoked fish from turg (local outdoor markets). It’s not expensive and the buyers know exactly where the smoky-flavored merchandise comes from – the nearby sea.

Weather & geography in  Estonia :

Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic States. Its capital, Tallinn, lies about 80 kilometers south of Helsinki, Finland across the gulf of Finland. West of Estonia is the Baltic Sea, and to the east is Russia. Estonia borders Latvia on the south. The smallest of the Baltic States, Estonia covers 17,462 square miles (45,226 square kilometers)Estonia is located on the Great Northern European Plain. Its topography is typically flat in coastal regions and hilly in the inland southeastern part of the country. The elevation in northwestern Estonia averages 160 feet (49 meters) but rises to 320 feet (98 meters) in the southeast. The highest point in Estonia, at 1,040 feet (317 meters) above sea level, is a hill called "Suur Munamägi" ("Big Egg Mountain") in the southeast.
Estonia’s inland waters include 1,400 lakes and many shallow rivers. The largest lakes are Lake Peipsi in eastern Estonia on the Russian border and Lake Võrtsjärv in south-central Estonia. Estonia’s two major rivers are the Emajõgi, running east-west from Lake Võrtsjärv to Lake Peipsi, and the Narva, that connects Lake Peipsi to the Gulf of Finland. Estonia has substantial areas of bogs and wetlands, particularly in western regions. Forest and woodland, which are usually a mixture of coniferous spruce, pine, white birch, ash, maple, and aspen, cover 47.4% of Estonia.
Off the coast of Estonia sit 1,520 islands that account for nearly 8% of the country’s total land area. The largest islands are Saaremaa and Hiiumaa.

The climate is northern continental, with long winters and short summers. Winter begins in October and lasts often well into April. Snowcover is common from mid or late November to the latter half of March. Cloud cover and slate gray skies are typical between October and early February, when drier and sunnier days arrive. Mean January temperatures are 22°-25°F(-4°-6°C). The Gulfs of Finland and Riga only freeze over during the coldest winters.In addition to being cold and snowy, winter months are characterized by shortened daylight, a result of Estonia's northern latitude (59°N). When days are at their shortest, daylight is present only between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Prevailing gray skies from November through January make daylight seem even more fleeting. The sun, when it shines, hugs the horizon, thus giving the impression that it is early morning or late afternoon even at midday.It is often difficult to say exactly when winter ends and spring begins. After the Vernal Equinox (March 21), daylight increases dramatically. Most days in late March, April, and May are sunny. Daytime temperatures, however, may still remain in the 30°-45°F range into late April, and it is not safe to put winter clothing into storage until late May. Occasional snow flurries and light snow are possible even through May.Summer in Estonia is a short, magical season. July and August temperatures are the warmest, averaging 67°-75°F (19°-24°C). Mornings are cooler and the late afternoon can warm up to the low-80’s. The surface water temperature in the Baltic Sea is from 60°-78°F (16°-26°C). The heaviest rains occur in July and August, but they are usually passing showers. During summer months, Estonia benefits from its northern latitude, with daylight extending long into evening hours and reappearing well before earliest risers are out of bed. From early June to mid-July, there is no real "nighttime."The short autumn can start as early as late August and is generally cool and rainy.

Per day Cost in Estonia :
How much money will you need for your trip to Estonia? You should plan to spend around €81 ($96) per day on your vacation in Estonia, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, €24 ($28) on meals for one day and €18 ($22) on local transportation.

History of Estonia :

The history of Estonia forms a part of the history of Europe. Humans settled in the region of Estonia near the end of the last glacial era, beginning from around 8500 BC. Before German crusaders invaded in the early 13th century, proto-Estonians of ancient Estonia worshipped spirits of nature. Starting with the Northern Crusades in the Middle Ages, Estonia became a battleground for centuries where Denmark, Germany, Russia, Sweden and Poland fought their many wars over controlling the important geographical position of the country as a gateway between East and West.After Danes and Germans conquered the area in 1227, Estonia was ruled initially by Denmark in the north, by the Livonian Order, an autonomous part of the Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights and by Baltic German ecclesiastical states of the Holy Roman Empire. From 1418 to 1562 the whole of Estonia formed part of the Livonian Confederation. After the Livonian War of 1558–1583, Estonia became part of the Swedish Empire until 1710/1721, when Sweden ceded it to Russia as a result of the Great Northern War of 1700–1721. Throughout this period the Baltic-German nobility enjoyed autonomy, and German served as the language of administration and education.The Estophile Enlightenment Period (1750–1840) led to the Estonian national awakening in the middle of the 19th century. In the aftermath of World War I (1914-1918) and the Russian revolutions of 1917, Estonians declared their independence in February 1918. The Estonian War of Independence (1918-1920) ensued on two fronts: the newly proclaimed state fought against Bolshevist Russia to the east and against the Baltic German forces (the Baltische Landeswehr) to the south. The Tartu Peace Treaty (February 1920) marked the end of fighting and recognised Estonian independence in perpetuity.In 1940, in the wake of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, the Soviet Union occupied Estonia and (according to e.g. the US, the EU, and the European Court of Human Rights illegally annexed the country. In the course of Operation Barbarossa, Nazi Germany occupied Estonia in 1941; later in World War II the Soviet Union reoccupied it (1944). Estonia regained independence in 1991 in the course of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and joined the European Union and NATO in 2004.

Language in Estonia :

 Estonian is the official language of Estonia, spoken natively by about 1.1 million people; 922,000 people in Estonia and 160,000 outside Estonia. Estonian belongs to the Finnic branch of the Uralic language family.

Culture of  Estonia :
The culture of Estonia combines an indigenous heritage, represented by the country's Finnic national language Estonian, with Nordic and German cultural aspects. The culture of Estonia is considered to be largely influenced by Germanic. Due to its history and geography, Estonia's culture has also been influenced by the traditions of other Finnic peoples in the adjacent areas, also the Baltic Germans, Balts, and Slavs, as well as by cultural developments in the former dominant powers, Sweden, Denmark and Russia. Traditionally, Estonia has been seen as an area of rivalry between western and eastern Europe on many levels. An example of this geopolitical legacy is an exceptional combination of multiple nationally recognized Christian traditions: Western Christianity (the Catholic Church and the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church) and Eastern Christianity (the Orthodox Church (the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church)). The symbolism of the border or meeting of east and west in Estonia was well illustrated on the reverse side of the 5 krooni note. Like the mainstream cultures in the other Nordic countries, Estonian culture can be seen to build upon ascetic environmental realities and traditional livelihoods, a heritage of comparatively widespread egalitarianism arising out of practical reasons (see freedom to roam and universal suffrage), and the ideals of closeness to nature and self-sufficiency.

Place to visit in Estonia :
(1) Viljandi

(2) Soomaa National Park

(3) Rakvere Castle

(4) Hiiumaa

(5) Narva Castle

(6) Parnu

(7) Saaremaa

(8) Lahemaa National Park

(9) Tartu

(10) Tallinn

Hotel in Estonia :
(1) Meresuu Spa and Hotel

(2) Hotel Palace

(3) Lydia Hotel

(4) Revelton Suites

(5) Hilton Tallinn Park

(6) Ekesparre Boutique Hotel

How to reach in Estonia :
You can fly to Tallinn from large European cities, such as London, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Helsinki, Stockholm and Oslo with major airlines Finnair, Norwegian, Lufthansa, budget airlines Ryanair and Easyjet, and regional airlines AirBaltic and Nordica.

Travel Guide for Estonia : Food, hotel, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach. – Published by The Beyond News (Travelling).