Today I decided to put my English blog into good use and introduce you to Lahemaa National Park
in northern Estonia, where we own a house that accommodates travellers from May to the end of September. The house is situated in the small but idyllic village of Võsu
and is very close to the famous Võsu beach.
First, a few words about the house. It is a beautiful and romantic house that consists of several apartments with a kitchen and a toilet together with a shower. Each apartment caters for four persons and is normally rented for one week at a time. Longer periods and long weekends are also possible.
Should you be interested, please do not hesitate to ask more!
My e-mail is tiina.linkama (at) villaottilia.ee
. You can also contact me via Villa Ottilia B&B
's home page. (Villa Ottilia B&B is our other holiday home in Otepää
, South Estonia.) For further information click here: Villa Ottilia
|Our house in Võsu, Lahemaa National Park|
|The inner yard of our house in Võsu, 70 km from Tallinn in North Estonia.|
Lahemaa National Park - and Võsu - is one of the most interesting places in northern Estonia. Lahemaa is situated ca. 70 kilometres from Tallinn and is the oldest and largest national park in all Estonia.
The name "Lahemaa" can be translated into: The Land of Bays
. And, indeed, the north coast of Estonia is formed by a string of several small peninsulas and bays. To the left of Võsu there are the Käsmu
peninsulas. To the right you find the peninsulas of Lobi
(The Pine Island) and Vergi
Some of the shores, like those in Pedassaare or Juminda are made of small pebbles that glitter in many different colours as the sea washes them..But there are also many fantastic golden sand beaches - the 3 km long sand beach of Võsu being the most famous one.
All in all Lahemaa National Park consists of 72,500 ha, out of which 47,410 ha is land and 25,090 ha water.
|A languid day at Võsu beach, Lahemaa National Park|
|Erratic boulders in Käsmu, Lahemaa National Park|
|A swan taking off at Käsmu Bay, Lahemaa National Park|
|Try to throw a flat stone so that it bumps several times on the surface of the water!|
|Wild roses in Turbuneeme Bay, Lahemaa National Park|
|Golden sunset on Võsu beach, Lahemaa National Park|
|The magic moment on Võsu beach just before the sun sets behind Käsmu peninsula|
Lahemaa is one of Europe’s most important forest conservation areas,
where many large mammals live. South of the national park are the large
Kõrvemaa areas covered by mires and forests, which expand the living
space of moose, boars, brown bears, lynxes, and foxes even more. You can
find out about the lives of beavers on the beaver trail, located in a
picturesque valley between the Oandu and Altja Rivers. Among the common birds seen here are the Ural Owl (Strix uralensis
) and Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius
); the Common Crane (Grus grus
) comes to feed on the fields around Sagadi in autumn.
Lahemaa is not only stony and sandy seashores, picturesque bogs, pine forests, old-growth
forests, cliff forests, alvars and rivers that have cut into the
limestone cliff. It is also full of culture that covers the entire history of Estonia. The closeness of the sea and the fantastic pine forests lead into shipbuilding and seafaring. Fishing and maritime trading were natural occupations, as was the smuggling of spirits and salt, too.
The historical villages like Käsmu
are living monuments of the golden days of seafaring. There is a Maritime Museum in the old captain town of Käsmu. Altja is an old fishermen's village, where you can still encounter some old traditionally built houses with thatched roofs. In Vergi there is a modern guest harbour with a restaurant. And in Viinistu, the home of smugglers in the olden days, there is an excellent restaurant and an Art Museum.
|A thatched roof in Altja, Lahemaa National Park|
|An old totem in the Fishermen's Village, Altja, Lahemaa National Park|
|A traditional restaurant in Altja, Lahemaa National Park|
|In Viinistu there is a good restaurant and an Art Museum|
The Baltic German era in Estonia was the time when many fantastic manors were built and a rich manor culture evolved. Some of the most famous renovated manors are situated in Lahemaa. The grand manors of Palmse
are all within 20 kilometers' distance from Võsu.
|The Palmse Manor was finished in 1730|
|The entrance gate of Sagadi Manor, Lahemaa|
|Sagadi Manor seen through its entrance gate|
As I mentioned earlier, the Lahemaa National Park was founded in 1971 and was the first of its kind, not only in Estonia, but in the entire Soviet Union, part of which Estonia was at the time.
Luckily, the Soviet era left the ancient forests and the extraordinary nature of Lahemaa intact, but you can still find remnants of the Soviet times especially on the coast. For example in Juminda and Suurpea
there are empty, decaying military bases and in Rutja
there is an old military airfield. These are quite intriguing for anyone interested in military history.
|And old Soviet watchtower at Suurpea|
, our own hometown, is an excellent base for exploring all the beauties of Lahemaa. Võsu is an old seaside resort that has plenty of charm. In summer it offers several cafés and restaurants for the hungry and the thirsty. It has a village shop that also caters for all the basic needs of a visitor. In winter nothing much happens there, but in summer Võsu springs into life.
Yet, even during the high season it does not lose its true character - it is a charming and idyllic small town that offers peace and tranquility for the visitor.
|Little flower shop in Võsu|
So, why not visit Estonia and Lahemaa this coming summer! Lahemaa has plenty to offer for anyone interested in nature, natural beauty, beaches, history and culture. And also in good living and in peace and tranquility.
|A jug of sangria is refreshing in the end of the summer day|
If you are interested in renting an apartment at our house, do not hesitate to contact us! Either with an email: tiina.linkama (at) villaottilia.ee or through Villa Ottilia's homepage