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Estonian pride – National park of Lahemaa

The National Park of Lahemaa was founded to protect the nature and cultural heritage characteristic for North Estonia. The truth is – Lahemaa attracts everyone because it’s unique. If one longs for something traditional here’s the place were it’s possible to find the old farms and villages alive as well as restored manors.

          Founded to protect the nature we can discover here a breathtaking landscape – beautiful peninsulas and bays, forests and beaches, waterfalls and bogs. Lahemaa is one of the most important forest protection areas in Europe.

          We start our trip with a short stop at the Jõelähtme stone coffin graves dating back to the Bronze Age. We admire the Nõmmeveski waterfall. Then we explore the coastal villages of Käsmu, Võsu, Vergi and Altja; in Käsmu we look around in the small Maritime Museum and in the local church; then have a closer look to Oandu Nature Center and go to the Forest Museum of Sagadi Manor. This museum presents an overview of the usage, protection, renewal and several other aspects of the forests.

          The trip includes: a guide service, transport, entrance fees to Maritime Museum, Oandu Nature Center and to the Forest Museum of Sagadi Manor, lunch.

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Manour tour in national park of Lahemaa

Lahemaa is well known by its old manors  -  Kolga, Vihula, Palmse and Sagadi. The Palmse and the Sagadi Manors are open for visitors presenting a good overview of the way of life of the Baltic Germans in Estonia.

We start our tour from the Maardu Manor where the Russian Czar Peter the Great once stayed overnight. Then we continue our trip to the Kolga Manor, which in the 19th century was the biggest in Estonia (37 650 ha). It was returned to their former owners the Stenbocks in 1993.

The Palmse Manor belonged to the Pahlens family for 247 years; it’s nicely restored now and worth visiting by anyone interested in the landlords’ life style.

The Sagadi Manor was in the possession of  the Fock family till 1919. It’s the most attractive manor ensambles in Estonia. The first written records about that manor go back to 1444. The Vihula Manor was built in the second half of the 15th century. The last owners were the Schuberts, who were originally from the West-Prussia.

The trip includes: a guide service, transport, entrance fees to the Kolga Manor, Palmse Manor, a wine-cellar, the exhibition of the old vehicles, the Sagadi Manor and the Forest Museum; lunch.

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An exciting day at Rakvere Fortress

The Rakvere Order Fortress, a Convent-type construction, dates back to the 14-16 centuries. It was for centuries the mightiest fortress between Tallinn and Narva. That ancient fortress is one of Estonia’s most attractive tourist destinations where to  feel a genuine medieval atmosphere. You’re welcome to try archery, the sword fighting; visit a smithy, pottery or the carpenter’s workshop; taste medieval wines in the fortress cellar; walk along the Red Latterns Street, peep into a medieval brothel and a barber workshop, got an idea about the medieval medicine. And everyone who likes sharp emotions – the following is for you: the gloomy experiene of the hell, the death- and torture chamber. It’s a big relief to see the daylight afterwards. Schenkenberg Inn offers food prepared after the medieval recipes.

The trip includes: a guide service, transport, the Rakvere City tour, entrance fees to the fortress and to the House of Rakvere’s burgher, lunch.

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Unique in the Baltics – Kohtla Underground Mining Museum

          A unique possibility to see with your own eyes the mining of the oil-shale in the underground mine. The oil-shale is the most important mineral resource in  Estonia: three quarters of the mined oil-shale is burned in local electric power stations. That’s how we get our electricity.

          Kohtla-Nõmme Underground Mining Museum is a  1,7 km long labyrinth. Before descending to the depth of 8 metres all participants get a special clothes of a miner and a helmet with the lamp. We take a ride by the underground train and have a look at all the equipment and machinery the miners use in their work; finally we have a miner’s lunch down in the mine. After lunch we watch what happens to the oil-shale after the mining going either to the Kohtla Power Station or to Viru Chemical Group. In case of interest it’s also possible to climb one of the ash mountains (ash and slag accumulations) – artificial landforms in Kohtla-Järve City. On the way back we can admire the beautiful North-Estonian coastal cliffs – we make a short stop at the most impressive limestone coast Ontika and at Valaste waterfall.

          The trip includes:

          Additional information: comfortable footwear and warm clothing to go to the mine where the temperature may easily be only +8 C.

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The harsh industrial surroundings versus the beautiful Northern Coast – a trip up to the Russian border

From Tallinn to the Narva River is about 250 km – that’s where Estonia meets Russia. Is it a short or a long distance? Everything is relative but you may be sure – everything you see on that road is variable and exciting.

          We start our trip by driving through Lahemaa National Park.  Around us are the tall pine forests, coastal villages, old farms, restored manor but also the Soviet time border guard stations and the Toolse fortress.

          Soon we are in Kunda. It’s said that Kunda is a small town with a big industry, the city that produces the cement since 1870. Then we drive through Viru-Nigula where there’s the oldest stonechurch of Northern Estonia. On our way we also pass the beautiful (Art Nouveau) Kalvi Manor. This is the end of the nice sightseeings and the beginning of really tough industrial surroundings – Aseri, Kohtla-Järve, Kiviõli mines and Chemical Industry, the Sillamäe free economic zone and rare earth-metals manufacturing industry. Sillamäe used to be the important area of the processing of uranium ore during the Soviet time and was because of that much richer than the other Soviet cities. It’s the only place in Estonia where we can still see the well-preserved Soviet time architectural ensamble from the period 1940-50.

         Next we go to the summer resort Narva-Jõesuu that was called Northern Riviera by the St. Peterburg’s elite who liked to spend their summer holidays here.

Narva, the border City wih Russia,  is our last destination on that trip. There’s plenty to see in Narva, the colorful and dramatic history is everywhere – the Hermann Fortress, the Narva City Hall, Kreenholm Manufactory, the Cemetry for the German Soldiers, the „Tank T-34“ monument, the Baltic Power Station...

On our way back we pass the Saka-Ontika-Toila coastal cliffs which due to its uniqeness is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

          The trip includes: a guide service, transport, lunch, a snack and a coffee break.

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Timeless religion and sacral architecture

          Small but extremely interesting part of variable and contradictory world of religion is represented in the northern coast of Estonia. There you can find small wooden churches as well as big limestone ones, the ancient cloister ruins and the new Bridgettine Cloister.

          We start our trip from the ruins of Pirita Convent. If possible we also visit the Blessed Savior Birgitta’s Order Estonian Monastery located just beside the old ruins.

          After that we proceed to the chapel of Saha, which is one of the first Christian churches built on the Estonians holy location. In Jõelähtme we make a short stop at the limestone church and the stone-coffin graves. In Kuusalu we get a glimpse of the oldest Holy Laurentius church. From there we continue our trip to the amazing National Park of Lahemaa. We make a short stop in Käsmu known as the Captains’ village  and peep into the small wooden church there. The Vainupea Chapel is rising right up from the seaside and is the most romantic church for a wedding ceremony. We go next to the Ilumäe Chapel cemetry where under the rare and old stonecrosses lie in the graves the former landlords of Palmse and their family members. The last stop is in St. Nicholas’ church in Viru-Nigula, the oldest stonechurch in Northern Estonia.

The trip includes: a guide service, transport, the entrance fee to Pirita Convent, lunch.

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