Discover Estonia's charming cities and idyllic countryside on this relaxed, week-long cycling tour. Starting in the capital of Tallinn, wander its medieval Old Town and 18th-century Kadriorg Park before setting off by bike. Cycle through Lahemaa National Park's protected boglands, skirt the shores of scenic Lake Peipsi, and visit the lively bohemian city of Tartu. After exploring the windswept beaches and historic windmills of Saaremaa Island, your adventure ends with one last ride through the bucolic Noatootsi Peninsula.

Highlights

  • Tour Tallinn's UNESCO-listed medieval Old Town 
  • Cycle along the biodiverse boglands of Lahemaa National Park
  • Discover old trestle windmills & windswept beaches on Saaremaa Island 
  • Skirt the shores of Lake Peipsi, Europe's largest transboundary lake
  • Bike through the Noatootsi Peninsula, starting in the historic town of Haapsalu

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tallinn Tallinn
Day 2 Visit the Estonian Open Air Museum & Kadriorg Park Tallinn
Day 3 Cycle in Lahemaa National Park Vihula
Day 4 Cycle Along Lake Peipsi - Transfer to Tartu Tartu
Day 5 Tour the Renowned Estonia National Museum in Tartu Tartu
Day 6 Cycle to the Windmill Park on Saaremaa Island - Transfer to Kuressaare Kuressaare
Day 7 Cycle the Noatootsi Peninsula - Depart Tallinn  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tallinn

Tallinn's Old Town
Stroll the cobbled streets of Tallinn's Old Town

Welcome to Estonia! Your trip starts in the historic capital city of Tallinn. After arriving at the airport, transfer to your hotel and settle in before heading out to explore the city with a guided walking tour of the Old Town.

Dating from between the 11th and 15th centuries, Tallinn's UNESCO-listed city center is a well-preserved medieval masterpiece, full of character and charm. Stroll its cobbled streets and admire its defensive towers, old stone walls, and historic houses. Head to Town Hall Square to visit the 15th-century hall and enter Europe's oldest continuously-operating pharmacy. Don't miss Toompea Hill where you'll find the castle that houses Estonia's Parliament, nor the Cathedral of Saint Mary (which dates to the 13th century), and the Russian Revival-style Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

Grab a snack at one of the many cafés, bistros, and restaurants in the heart of the Old Town, then walk down to Seaplane Harbour, where you'll find a modern maritime and military museum complete with tours aboard historic ships. 

The evening is yours to roam Tallinn at your leisure. Enjoy the city at night and find a traditional meal at one of the restaurants near Town Hall Square.

Day 2: Visit the Estonian Open Air Museum & Kadriorg Park

Step back in time at the Estonian Open Air Museum

Step back in time this morning with a visit to the Estonian Open Air Museum, located just outside Tallinn. The development of this unique exhibition began in the early 20th century to preserve rural culture and architecture. The government set aside about 177 acres (72 hectares) to protect traditional buildings dating back to the 18th century.

Farmhouses, mills, a church, inn, and fire station are among the almost 80 buildings that are preserved in their original state, untouched by time. On a walking tour of this historic village museum, you´ll get a vivid sense of the world before modernization and urbanization encroached on society.

In the afternoon, you'll visit Kadriorg Park, a 172-acre (70-hectare) green space home to Kadriorg Palace, an impressive baroque palace built for Catherine I of Russia. Peruse the art museum on site, which features exhibits from the 16th through 20th centuries, then head out for a walk around the manicured lawns, Dutch-style canals, and Russian formal gardens. Nearby is the Presidential Palace and KUMU, an excellent art museum featuring works by both Estonian and international artists.

In the evening, you'll settle into your hotel and then can head back into Tallinn's city center for dinner.

Day 3: Cycle Lahemaa National Park

Lahemaa National Park
Lahemaa National Park

After breakfast at your hotel, you'll transfer to Estonia's scenic coastline northeast of Tallinn. Upon arriving, your host will introduce you to your bike, ensuring you have all the gear needed for today's cycle.

The first leg of the trip will be through Lahemaa National Park, which is set along the country's northern coast and considered one of the last unspoiled regions of the Baltic Coast. You'll cycle through a unique bog landscape, filled with many lakes, streams, and boardwalks. You'll also visit old forests, historic manors, and see an abundance of wildlife, particularly several species of birds. 

In the late afternoon, end your cycle in the small town of Vihula, where you can view the 16th-century Vihula Manor. Take some time to settle into your accommodation and rest your legs before heading out for dinner.

Cycling Distance: about 40 miles (60 km)

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Day 4: Cycle Along Lake Peipsi - Transfer to Tartu

The Kissing Students statue in Tartu
The Kissing Students statue in Tartu

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning, then transfer to the town of Mustvee to set out on today's ride. This pleasant route follows along the shores of Lake Peipus, which is the fifth-largest lake in Europe. It's also the largest transboundary lake on the continent, as it shares borders with both Estonia and Russia.

You'll cycle along a designated path from Mustvee to the small village of Varnja, which is home to under 200 people. The ride passes by marshy wetlands, rural fields, small towns and forests, and long stretches of lakeshore beaches. From Varnja you'll transfer to Tartu, Estonia's second-largest city.

After settling into your accommodation, take some time to enjoy Tartu's young, bohemian atmosphere. Stroll its historic streets, starting in Town Hall Square with a visit to the statue of Kissing Students. Nearby you'll find St. John's Church with its many terracotta sculptures, plus Tartu University, which was founded in 1632. Enjoy dinner at one of its hip eateries near the university.

Cycling Distance: about 40 miles (60 km)

Day 5: Tour the Renowned Estonia National Museum in Tartu

Exhibits in the Estonian National Museum
Exhibits in the Estonian National Museum

Today you'll learn about Estonia's history, folk art, and ethnography with a tour of the Estonian National Museum in Tartu. Founded in 1909, the museum centers around the heritage of folklorist Jakob Hurt and preserves the history, life, and traditions of Estonia and its populations, including the Finno-Ugric community and religious minorities. The museum is an important generator and developer of cultural dialogue, linking the past and the future. Enjoy perusing historic relics in religion, fashion, homelife, and economics, as well as holiday celebrations and rural peasant life.

After the tour, you'll have the rest of the afternoon and evening to spend at your leisure in the city of Tartu. If you're interested in visiting more museums, check out the KGB Cells Museum or the Estonian Literary Museum. You can also relax along the riverfront and swim at the public beach.

Day 6: Cycle to the Windmill Park on Saaremaa Island - Transfer to Kuressaare

Lighthouse on the Sõrve Peninsula
A lighthouse on the Sõrve Peninsula

Wake early today for a morning transfer and scenic ferry ride to Estonia's largest island, Saaremaa Island. With little traffic and flat roads, Saaremaa provides the perfect rural setting for cycling. It's also a great place to explore what life was once like throughout Estonia, as the island maintains its calm atmosphere and simple way of living.

You'll start your ride along scenic roads, following the coastline of the Baltic Sea and enjoying views of forests, rocky beaches, dramatic sea cliffs, and the lighthouse on Sõrve Peninsula. Then make your way to the village of Angla, where you'll visit the iconic trestle windmills at Angla Windmill Park. There's also a small museum in the park, depicting peasant life in Estonia.

In the late afternoon, you'll transfer to Kuressaare, the capital of Saaremaa Island. Enjoy some time exploring its impressive fortress, the Kuressaare Castle. You can also relax at the city's public beach or stroll through the historic center, enjoying dinner in one of the many restaurants lining the main street.

Cycling Distance: about 35 miles (50 km)

Day 7: Cycle the Noatootsi Peninsula - Depart Tallinn

Ruins of Haapsalu Castle
Ruins of Haapsalu Castle

After a leisurely breakfast, you'll have more time to explore the city of Kuressaare. Visit the castle museum or walk around the park surrounding the fortress, enjoying one last moment on the shores of Saaremaa Island.

Afterward, you'll head back to Tallinn via the ferry to the mainland, stopping in the town Haapsalu on the way. Walk around the historic town, visiting the ruins of its castle before setting off on your final cycle of the trip. Today's route connects Haapsalu to the town of Nõva via the scenic Noarootsi Peninsula. You'll pass scenes of Estonian countryside, with goats grazing in the fields and old farmhouses in the distance, plus a beautiful coastline full of sandy beaches and rugged forests. 

Your adventure draws to a close as you reach Tallinn in the afternoon, where you can continue your onward journey or transfer to the airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!

Cycling Distance: about 28 miles (45 km)

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