In association with: Nordic Travel Solutions
When you think of Estonia, red-roofed medieval buildings and fairytale-like castles might spring to mind, but there’s plenty more to this destination than meets the eye.
Among its famous cobbled streets, there’s an unbeatable culinary scene and, beyond the capital city Tallinn, there’s unspoilt countryside that showcases the destination’s natural beauty. And it’s just a three-hour flight from the UK, making it perfect for a short break.
Cuisine and culture
There’s lots for history-lovers to explore in Tallinn, including the world’s oldest continuously operating pharmacy, dating back to 1422. The majestic Kadriorg Palace and its immaculate gardens and the domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral are also must-visit sites, rich in heritage.
During the Christmas season, soak up Tallinn’s festivities in the Old Town Square, which transforms into a winter wonderland in December. Stalls sell everything from handcrafted mittens to piparkook (gingerbread), by the showstopping Christmas tree.
The charm of the Old Town is complemented by Estonia’s evolving culinary scene. There are 34 Michelin-recognised restaurants, including two that have been awarded at least one star, and six with Bib Gourmand certification, which represents fantastic value for money – so visitors can sample locally sourced ingredients and modern cooking styles without breaking the bank.
Wilderness and wetlands
Away from the city, Estonia’s landscape is defined by nature – in fact, half of the country’s land is occupied by forests and wilderness.
Those on a short break only need to venture an hour outside Tallinn to be among unspoilt lakes and woodlands. Guests can meander along boardwalks stretching six miles, try a bogwalk or take to a paddleboard to explore even further.
Fresh ingredients are a staple of Estonian food, and it doesn’t get fresher than forest dining, which involves feasting on local delicacies – sometimes foraged – in the great outdoors.
Excellent accommodation options aren’t limited to the city either, with luxury manor house hotels offering guests a superb stay in the country.
Become an Estonia expert with the Visit Estonia online training programme: estoniaexpert.com
One flight away
Reach Estonia’s ancient charm and contemporary buzz in less than three hours, with direct flights to Tallinn from Gatwick and Luton. For Manchester-based clients, there are easy connecting flights via Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Stockholm or Helsinki.