Estonia travel guide is providing Estonia tourism & travel information with hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, vacations, tours, culture, history, weather, as well as reviews, Estonia travel tips and advice.
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Estonia Travel Guide


Overview

A small country in Northern Europe, Estonia is one of the least populated countries of the E.U. This is a country with deep historical roots, dating back to just after the last Ice Age, around 8500 BC, when the region was first settled. Beginning in 1227, it was continuously subjugated by first Danish, then Teutonic, then Swedish, then finally, Russian rule. During the Second World War, Estonia was taken over by the USSR until the Nazis invaded and occupied it as part of the German campaign to annex the northern regions of the Soviet Union. When the Germans lost, Estonia was reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944, effectively shutting it off from the rest of the world behind the Iron Curtain until 1991 when it became independent. Since then, it has rapidly gained ground in both its economy and social reform. In fact, Estonia has adapted to new technologies so quickly that in the past decade it has been one of the world's quickest growing economies. It was very hit hard, however, in the recent economic crisis of 2008 and 2009.

Even though it's the littlest of the Baltic nations, it causes waves with its seashore villages, charming old-world countryside and lush forests, all set against deep cultural and historic wealth evident in its medieval castles, crumbling stone ruins, and its modern capital city. After centuries of being kept in the dark, Estonia is finally free and ready for visitors to explore its many mysteries.

The crown jewel of Estonia has to be Tallinn with its narrow cobblestone streets, 14th century homes, restaurants, outdoor cafes, and old-world shops. Nights comes alive with fashionably modern clubs and dance bars. In the countryside you'll find a much slower pace harkening back decades. In northeast of Estonia is Lahemaa National Park, full of verdant forests and winding trails along the coast. Saaremaa is Estonia's largest island with its four historic towns, windmills, lighthouses, beaches and medieval ruins. On the western shores of Estonia are beach towns, more medieval ruins, spas and fishing villages. Much of the country is covered in forest, making for spectacular hiking, horseback riding and canoeing along the many inland rivers. Estonians, like the neighboring Finns, love the outdoors and cross-country skiing and swimming in lakes and rivers are activities every family enjoys before a nice hot sauna.

The city of Tartu is called the country's 'spiritual capital', mainly because of the Taru 'vaim' or spirit, said to be wandering the streets, the medieval houses of the old town, and the riverfront. This is also a college town, making for a lively social scene within a historic and tree-lined city completely full of old-world magic.


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