Summer in Estonia is not complete without a proper road trip to one of it’s many islands! As much as I love Saaremaa – the largest island – Hiiumaa has always been my favorite. It has a special atmosphere and unique culture. Once you get off the ferry and let all the fast drivers pass by, you almost have the road to yourself. Everything is so near, you can make a round in just one day while enjoying it’s best spots.
It is noteworthy to mention and the best beaches are well hidden and you will most certainly leave the island with a steady wish to come back again. We had a whole day to explore and made it to the some of the most famous attractions of this beautiful island.
Perhaps the most famous Hiiumaa attraction is Kõpu Lighthouse. It is also one of the oldest lighthouses in the world (in use since 1531). Due to its location on the East-West shipping Lane, it played an important role in ensuring safety of all ships passing by.
Today, you can ascend to the top for an extra fee in order to observe the beauty of the nearby forests and beaches.
Ristna Surfers Beach
Very nice beach with long path stretching into the sea. It’s also called Surfers Beach or Surfers Paradise – when the wind is strong enough, surfers come here to have fun and practice. There are few beach cabins for rent, as well as equipment and instructors.
Lest & Lammas Grill
The day we decided to visit Hiiumaa turned out to be a popular date – most cafes and restaurants were booked for weddings or birthdays, leaving us with little choice in terms of places to eat. After some research and asking the locals, we were directed to a nice, cozy restaurant with amazing outdoor terrace called Lest & Lammas. I tried the fish soup (Island cuisine is fish, obviously) and my friend got Shashlyk (grilled meat on a stick). Both were really good, as well as their cake!
You can also buy some smoked flounder (fish) as a take away – recommend!
Sculpture of great Giant Leiger
According to Estonian folklore, Leiger was a great Giant who lived in Hiiumaa. His statue can be found right next to Lest & Lammas restaurant in the Southern part of the island. By the way, the newest ferry connecting the island with the rest of Estonia got the same name.
Ristimägi (Cross Hill)
We discovered this place on our way to Kõpu and decided to have a look as the name sounded intriguing. The story around this place is interesting – the first cross was placed by swedes who were forced to leave the island back in 1781. Since then, it was a place where every man who was leaving the island could set his own cross. Nowadays it is the other way around – people who come here for the first time build a cross and leave their mark. You will see hundreds of crosses made from every possible material!
Interesting, even a bit spiritual and unusual place – certainly worth a quick visit!
Lots of windmills
Don’t make too many plans when driving around Hiiumaa. Let the island surprise you. Of the way to another cafe we suddenly discovered this beautiful windmill right next to the highway. What a beauty! The area was well maintained with picknick table, small parking lot, trash bins.
Perfect camping spot
You can (and should!) camp on Hiiumaa whenever the weather is permitting. When it comes to picking up the perfect spot for camping, we came across very nice area called RMK Tõrvanina camping grounds. RMK camping is designated camping spots, free of charge, where you are officially allowed to set up you tent. In summer months, these spots get crowded very fast, so make sure to arrive as early as possible. Depending on circumstances, you may or may not have a possibility to park your car nearby. Usually, facilities such as toilets can be found somewhere nearby the parking lots.
The view was amazing and we could camp right on the beach, few meters fromt he water line. Summer skies are amazing at nights and you get observe millions of stars!