Estonians tend to live near the sea on flat terrain, but they definitely know how to enjoy the hills and valleys of their nation. Estonian hillsides and lowlands offer everyone spectacular views of surrounding landscapes or fantastic opportunities for deep, internal, introspection.
Estonia is a rather flat country with no staggering peaks or valleys but boasts quite a few scenic hills. Western Estonia and Estonia’s many islands tend to be especially low, reaching only a couple dozen meters above sea level, but the country has an absolute height of about 50 m above sea level in most places. With around 40% of Estonia located between 50–100 m above sea level, a rather small portion – just 10% – reaches a little higher than 100 m.
Those seeking out the country’s hills and valleys should head to South Estonia. A visit to Otepää, Karula, or Haanja – the region sometimes jokingly referred to by locals as “the Estonian mountains”, are beautiful spots to take in nature; or a hike at one of Estonia’s two highest spots. Suur Munamägi (the Great Egg Hill, 318 m) in the Haanja highlands, or Vällamägi in Võru County (304 m).
The viewing tower of Suur Munamägi offers a great view of the Haanja highlands, and Vällamägi’s spiritually inspiring hiking trail gives a sense of pristine and holiness in its primeval woods – Vällamägi is an ancient sacred grove. A short jaunt away, the hilly landscape of Karula National park, filled of countless lakes, is another breath-taking view.
South Estonia is a popular landscape for painters and artists to draw inspiration from.
Photo by: Visit Estonia