Wildlife holidays in Estonia
Tell me about Estonia …
Estonia is the smallest and least populous of the three Baltic States which achieved independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991.
A magnificent indented coastline, studded with small islands, borders the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland to the west and north, while Latvia and the Russian Federation comprise Estonia’s neighbours to the south and east respectively.
It is a land of great natural beauty, with a varied landscape which includes over 7,000 rivers, 1,500 lakes and substantial areas of forest and marsh. An admirable 10% of the country is afforded protection within nature reserves that vary in size from the large national parks to the smaller, locally protected, reserves.
Our Estonia specialist recommends...
"I would recommend our ‘Estonia in Early Spring’ tour exploring the pristine forest and coastal habitats in search of owls, woodpeckers, grouse and large gatherings of Steller’s Eider ducks."
Whats special about the wildlife?
Estonia is still comparatively little known as a wildlife destination. However, it has a very impressive avifauna which matches that of any country in northern Europe.
With over 200 regular breeding bird species, and a huge volume of Arctic-bound migrant birds passing through the country, it is sure to occupy a higher profile in future years.
Its flora is among the most spectacular in northern Europe. In particular, strong influences in the countrys floral make-up come from both Siberia and also the warmer regions of southern Europe, with many plant species reaching their respective western or northern extremities of range within Estonia.
Naturetrek tours to Estonia
Naturetreks natural history tours to Estonia include bird watching and botanical holidays. They focus on the spectacular migration, breeding birds and wild flowers, particularly orchids, of this Baltic country.
WHAT YOU'VE BEEN SAYING ABOUT OUR Estonia HOLIDAYS
I must have done some ten to twelve natural history holidays in Britain or abroad and have to say that this was the best. We were extremely lucky with the weather, which obviously makes it more pleasant to walk around and I love Estonia with its wildness - lakes, woods, marshes and bogs and its long coastline. In the week we had good experience of them all, seeing lots of species as we went along. We were exceptionally lucky with both our tour leader and our local guide. Gerald is obviously a very experienced leader who creates a relaxed atmosphere at the same time as being very serious when it comes to the actual excursions. This combination meant that we could have a really good time, but see and learn a lot. He has a tremendous knowledge of birds, but also of mammals and butterflies and moths. His general all-round knowledge makes it much more interesting. He also deals effectively with people. You feel that he is completely in control and would deal with any situation. To get the balance of good fun, seriousness and competence is not easy. Yet Gerald managed to combine all three exceptionally well. Mati gave us a feel for his country. He explained some of its history and took us to a good selection of sights, so I came away with a feeling that I wanted to know more about it. I enjoyed his sense of humour and learnt a lot from him. I loved eating with local people as it meant we got a taste of real Estonian food, not just the hotel variety - which was also very good. Obviously, I go on your holidays because I enjoy birdwatching, but I am interested in all aspects of natural history and when I go to a new country I like to learn as much as possible about the country - its history, culture and politics. This holiday has fulfilled all aspects. I certainly want to return to Estonia and if the trip is run by Gerald and Mati, so much the better. I want to congratulate you on choosing two such intelligent, knowledgeable and competent guides who, at the same time, are extremely nice people.
This holiday was really very good indeed, with an excellent mix of birds, cuisine and culture. I really enjoyed it, and the organisation and planning went well beyond the extra mile. A superb first trip to Estonia for Naturetrek - so well done all.
Whoever organised the picnic venues and luncheons deserves a medal.