Hiiumaa Island in Estonia is famous for its virgin nature, picturesque coastal landscapes and a peaceful pace of life. Already on the mainland, in Rohuküla Harbour waiting for the ferry to Heltermaa a peculiar peaceful and pleasant feeling will sink in.
The county centre Kärdla is a cosy little town with small wooden houses, beautiful gardens and a nice beach. Most of Hiiumaa is covered with forests; the Kõpu Lighthouse – the symbol of Hiiumaa – rising high above treetops attracts the eye from a great distance. This imposing structure was erected in the first half of the 16th century and is the world’s third-oldest operating lighthouse.
The windy, shingled beach of the Ristna Peninsula has made it a popular surfing centre. Luidja is famous for its beautiful beach and Reigi for its church, known from “The Vicar of Reigi”, a novel by Aino Kallas. Near Kärdla is Ristimägi (Cross Hill) with thousands of crosses made by visitors from rocks, leaves or branches.
At the tip of the Tahkuna Peninsula there is a fine lighthouse and a memorial to the children who perished in the disaster of the ferry Estonia; nearby are ruins of military installations from various periods of time. The shoreline of the peninsula is ideal for long walks in search of inner calm.
Manor House on Hiiumaa Island
The oldest place of worship on the island is Pühalepa Church with a unique stone pulpit. The splendid Suuremõisa Castle is close by. Driving towards Käina one passes the Vaemla wool factory where one can watch the work of centuries-old machinery, buy local products and refreshments in the café.
The narrow Sääre peninsula in the southwest of Kassari Island stretches far into the sea; with its warm coastal water it is a great sunbathing and bathing spot. Other places worth visiting in Kassari are the Hiiumaa Museum and the unique reed-roofed chapel.
Hiking on the Orjaku nature trail one can observe a host of birds in the Bay of Käina. Up to 10 metres high junipers in Nasva are a must see. Tough and aromatic juniper wood and products crafted from it are the trademark of the Estonian islands. Both Kassari and Käina offer plenty of places for dining and staying the night.
(Sources: Estonia Tourist Office, MarvaoGuide.com)