Estonia is a small country, but it has a lot of islands (2222 sea islands, and 133 lake islands). The islands of Estonia represent a unique experience, with their clean nature, inspiring forests, and the surrounding sea. The biggest island of Estonia is Saaremaa. When you step on it from a ferry boat, just breathe in the fresh air and let the island, where the time stands still, take you on an adventure.
Saaremaa is known for its spa culture. When they found a healing mud in Saaremaa, in the 19th century, it was only logical to establish a first healing spa in the capital of Saaremaa, Kuressaare. The spa became very popular among Estonians and even Germans, Russians and Swedes. The popularity of spa-culture hasn’t faded – Saaremaa now has eight spa-hotels, where among mudbaths, you can enjoy different relaxing treatments, pools, and saunas. The most romantic of them is Grand Rose Spa. Inspired by roses and romance, it won’t leave anyone indifferent.
After the spa treatment, it is nice to take a walk in the small old town of Kuressaare to enjoy its architecture, galleries, cafes, and shop in small boutiques, mostly selling handcrafted items. In the middle of the city stands Kuressaare Castle. It is the only medieval fort in the Baltics that has remained in its original state. It was built in the 14th century, and now everyone can visit it as a museum, learn about the history of Saaremaa, and listen to the walls that tell stories of the old times. After your visit, go up to the café in the castle. It is the highest café of Kuressaare, where you can enjoy the best view of the city.
The most magical place in Saaremaa is the Kaali crater. This huge crater, 110 meters in width and 16 meters deep, was created 7500 years ago when a meteorite hit Saaremaa. It is about 20 minutes drive from Kuressaare, but make sure not to miss it – this wonder of nature is worth the effort.
There is no better sight than a clear blue sky, tall green trees, and windmills standing proud in the field. In Saaremaa, you can find five windmills – they stand in their original place and are the best-preserved windmills in Estonia. In the Angla village, where they are located, you can also try your hand in making clay dishes and baking bread.
Among thousands of islands in Estonia, Saaremaa is the biggest. When you visit Saaremaa, the waves crashing against the shore, the clean forests, and the fresh air will make you feel as if the time stands still.
Cover picture © Credit to: iStock/Krivinis
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