Estonia is located in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Formerly a Soviet satellite state, Estonia is now a parliamentary republic whose two highest offices of Government are a President and a Prime Minister respectively. Estonia is home to only 1.3 million people, and covers just over 45,000 square kilometers. It officially declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, and joined the European Union in 2004. The Capital of Tallinn is home over 430,000 people – almost half of the entire population of Estonia.
From a cycling standpoint, Estonia is one of the Baltic state’s best locations for bicycle touring. You can explore the Lahemaa National Park by mountain bike, or tour Tallinn on a regular road or touring bicycle. The country is also home to many bike touring routes which circumnavigate it, taking you through historical towns and villages and past historical buildings, others go along the Estonian coast roads, which provide smooth sailing on coastal roads overlooking the Baltic Sea.
Popular Bike Tour Destinations In Estonia
Lahemaa National Park is located an hour’s car drive from the capital city. Lahemaa is Estonia’s first – and largest national park. Established as a national park in 1971, it was the first in Estonia, and the first National Park in the Soviet Union. Lahemaa’s shores provide a unique insight into Estonia’s fishing industry, Estonian fisherman sailed to Finnish islands to catch seals and other fish, and brought the fish home – unloading in Lahemaa’s many fishing villages. In addition to heritage and culture coming together, large sections of Lahemaa’s forestry remains untouched and provides the mountain bikers among us, with hours of fun.
Parnu is known as the “Summer Capital of Estonia”, and with good reason. Parnu is a summer resort, home to white sandy beaches, and perfect swimming conditions in the Baltic Sea. There’s over 200 kilometers of coastline to explore, road and touring cyclists have plenty to explore, with the resort offering a plethora of tourist attractions, as well as that 200 kilometers of coastline to explore, if you’re looking for long-distance cycling.
Kuressaare is located on the Saarema island, it is home a major cycling route – peculiarly through Estonia’s region most famously associated with art and antiques. The picturesque streets of Old Town host antique shops and art galleries, you can also pay a visit to the episcopal Kuressaare Castle, which today is a museum.
Tartu is Estonia’s second-largest city, with a population of around 97 thousand people. Tartu is the centre of Southern Estonia, and the beginning of the “mother river”, which connects Estonia’s two largest lakes. The city has it’s own style and blends modernisation with history – as it houses the Estonian Supreme Court, the National Museum, the Sports Museum – as well as the nation’s oldest theatre – the Vanemuine. There’s plenty to see and do from the saddle of your touring or road bike in what is known as the Estonia’s “intellectual center”.
From Tallinn to Lahemaa National Park, from shores of Lake Peipsi to Tartu, Estonia’s North East is an area perfect for exploring by bicycle. In this bike tour, Estonia reveals its wonderful landscapes at their best. [/one_third] [one_third]
This tour takes you to Western part of Estonia and to the largest islands Saaremaa, Hiiumaa and Muhu. People have always been inspired by the mystery and remoteness of islands. It is on the islands, where you can see some of the original and the most fascinating features of this country.
Facts About Estonia
Estonia was the world’s first country to use an online voting system in it’s political elections.
Almost 50% of the country is covered by forestry.
Instant Messaging and Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol technologies: Hotmail, Skype and KaZaA were created in Estonia.
Estonia has a literacy rate of 99.8%, it ranks second out of nearly two hundred countries in that respect.
When Estonian-born Chess Grandmaster Paul Keres passed away in 1975, over 100,000 people attended his funeral.
Estonia is the world’s least-religious country, only 14% of the population purports to have religious beliefs.
The University of Tartu is one of the oldest universities in Western Europe. It was founded in 1632 by King Gustavus Adolphus II, at a time when Estonia was under Swedish rule.
Although Estonia is part of the Baltic countries (which include Latvia and Lithuania), there is no real political alliance.