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Estonia 24th – 31st August

 Saaremaa Island’s Culture and Traditions

The Estonian programme will be hosted by Maarika Toomel the director of Heritage Tours Ltd which is a  member of the Estonian Eco Tourism Society and Eco Tourism Cluster. Heritage Tours  have a concept to ‘unite cultural and natural heritage in an innovative way making it attractive to modern visitors’
The study tour begins with a tour of Tallinn and a visit to the Ethnographic Open Air Museum to familiarise participants with the culture and history of Estonia before departing to Saaremaa Island to experience the initiatives being taken to preserve, promote and enhance the Island’s cultural traditions in a modern sustainable way. Finally returning to Tallinn to learn about Estonia’s ‘Brotherhood of Blackheads’ a medieval guild of young single merchants and to join in the celebrations of Estonia’s seafaring history at the Festival of Ancient Lights, a traditional Viking festival where bonfires are lit along the coast and people join together in song. On the final day participants will visit the spectacular Seaplane Harbour Museum, nominated for the European Museum of the Year award 2014.

1st Day, 25august
Arrival to Tallinn
Meet in the airport , drive to hotel (3-4 person rooms)
Some sightseeing in Old Tallinn depending on the arrival time

Hotel Dzingel

2nd Day, 26august
Breakfast in the hotel
Visit to Open Air Museum
“The Estonian Open Air Museum is akin to a village, with 12 farms, as well as its own church, tavern and schoolhouse. There are a number of mills, a fire station, fishing net sheds as well as a dancing area and a village swing.”

Lunch in Kolu tavern, Open Air Museum

Museum of Occupations
Afternoon drive to Saaremaa (2 hour to harbour, 30 min by ferry)
Drive to Loona Manor, Center of Vilsandi National Park
Good sleep, twin rooms

3rd Day, 27august
Visit to historical Leedri village, meet the mayor of the parish, see renovated windmill.

Visit to Juniper Syrup Farm Factory in Leedri village.


Renovation of traditional Saaremaa windmill – workshop


Visit to Karala village (one of the westernmost villages if Saaremaa)- the village was voted in Facebook to be the most beautiful of Estonia J. See the gardens and houses, meet the head of village.

Cooking together


 4th Day, 28 august

Drive to Papissaare harbour
Vilsandi island – unique corner of the world
Picnic lunch
Handicraft in Kihelkonna village house – finger knitting.
A wall carpet will be made to take home. 3-4 hours
Visit Maali creation farm, Saaremaa sauna experience.
Traditional dinner – cooking together

5th Day 29.august
Community shop and Saaremaa Marketing Association

Kuressaare – the kapital of Saaremaa
Lunch, dinner
Overnight, 30august
Drive to Tallinn
Suburbs of Tallinn by car
The House of Blackheads
Night of Ancient Lights

Hotel Dzingel

7day, 31august
Seaplane Harbour Museum