For those longing for a short break from the city, there's a wealth of fantastic day trips departing from Tallinn. An unmissable opportunity to get out and see the real Estonia, and with a little planning, sample a slice of the modern rural revival sweeping the country.
With Tallinn located on the north coastline, it's a solid plan to head out either east or west in search of one of Estonia's coastal fishing villages. An exploratory walk around a village can be combined with a stroll on the beach, or through a pristine pine forest, many of which grow up right up to the beach. All of that walking is bound to build up an appetite, remedied with a visit to a coastal restaurant (OKO; MerMer; Wicca; Ruhe), who can all serve up local delicacies in the comfort of a seaside-inspired interior. What's even better is that these fine dining restaurants are also considered among the 50 Best Restaurants in Estonia.
Lahemaa is largest national park in Estonia and is situated one hours drive east of Tallinn. It contains a variety of curiosities including geological, historical sites and architectural monuments all dotted around an expanse of forest, lakes, streams and coastline. There is also a spectacular bog (Viru bog), which is decked out with a modern boardwalk which makes for easy access. A well positioned watch tower provides panoramic views of the stunning site and is guaranteed crowd pleaser. The visitor centre for Lahemaa is located in Palmse where you can see one of the impressive renovated medieval manor houses, with more manor complexes also at Sagadi and Vihula.
Also west of Tallinn is Jägala waterfall, the widest natural waterfall in Estonia. Worth a visit, especially in the dead of winter when the falls transform into a wall of icicles.
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