Summer time is just so great for short road trips. When it comes to picking our next spot, we always look for good variety of sightseeing’s. Eastern Estonia is great because it’s still very near to the capital, but has a lot to offer. On our last trip to Eastern Estonia we explored some of it’s gems, so this time we decided to pick some more places.
The whole trip fit nicely in one day and we were back home by 9 pm.
Ontika limestone cliff and Valaste waterfall
Beautiful spot to admire the sea and stunning nature. The bridge-like construction on the photo was sadly closed when we visited, but nevertheless we could take a good look at the waterfall sliding down the cliffs.
It can’t be really compared to much bigger and powerful waterfalls around Tallinn (Keila-Joa and Jägala), but is still nice one. It is also the highest in Estonia with its fall of 30 meters.
Toila Oru park – Jewel of Eastern Estonia
Just a few kilometers down the road lays a small village called Toila, which is famous for it’s SPA Hotel and Oru Park. Initially, there was also a palace, built by one of the wealthiest men in the 19th century Russia Grigori Jelissejev and later given as a gift to Estonia’s first president Konstantin Päts. Sadly, the palace was completely destroyed during Second World War. Nowadays, you can only see the place where the Palace used to be located.
Walking in the park is a great experience, the trees give great shadow during hot summer day. The garden is well maintained with various tree species. Make sure to explore the beach – it’s cobblestone, similar to Nice (France). Sometimes it’s so nice just to take you time on the beach and admire the sea, feel chilly breeze and throw the stones into the water.
Vaivara Blue Hills Museum and War Cemetery
Our next target was located in just about an hour drive from Toila. The Vaivara Blue Hills Museum is a really small museum packed with artifacts from the Second World War and in particular – the Battle of Tannenberg Line held here in 1944.
The museum is semi-interactive, meaning you can actually touch some of the items, such as handguns. The lady at the ticket desk is a also a guide and will give a brief introduction of the battles held in the area. Some of the items were located outside the museum.
It is worth visiting the War cemetery a few minutes drive away. Visit the monument for soldiers who died in the battle in Vaivara area. I was shocked to see just how young they were – some were 20 years old and younger.
Kauksi beach at lake Peipus
Our last stop, just before heading back home, was Kauksi beach at lake Peipus – largest lake in Estonia. The beach is not different from the Sea beaches – sandy, quite steep and with many facilities for a nice BBQ hangout or sun bathing. The weather was getting rainy, so we couldn’t stay there for long.
I love visiting this area, it has it’s own, special charm. Once we parked our car, I was immediately overwhelmed with the amount of wild strawberries growing everywhere you look! Wish we had more time to gather some of them.
Our last stop was Rannapungerja Lighthouse – small and fully automatic, but nevertheless functional little lighthouse.