Saaremaa Island, Estonia
Saaremaa is the largest island belonging to Estonia, located in the Baltic Sea, south of Hiiumaa island, and belongs to the West Estonian Archipelago (Moonsund archipelago). The capital of Saaremaa is Kuressaare.
Saaremaa has retained its uniqueness due to its location and isolation. In the villages there are still stone fences and houses with thatched roofs, beautiful national costumes and dialectal language are still used. Junipers, dolomite, windmills and the famous local home-brewed beer are considered the symbols of Saaremaa.
Among the numerous sights of Saaremaa, several are worth calling special attention to, e.g. Angla windmill hill, Mustjala cliff, bell tower built in the 17Ih century at Kihelkonna, manor house at Loona, ruins of Maasi castle of order, and Mihkli Farm Museum at Viki. The medieval churches of Saaremaa have remarkable archaic architecture, e.g. churches of Poide and Karja. The oldest of them - the church of Valjala - was built in the 13th century.
The most important tourist sight in the only town of the county, Kuressaare (up to 1917 Arensburg) is the bishopric castle dating from the 13lh century. This castle is unique in the Baltic countries. Kuressaare is also known for its beautiful and well preserved old town.
Things to See and Do
* Saaremaa Castle
* WWII Memorial
* Kaali Crater - Meteorite Crater
* Panga Cliffs
Cruise Season – March - Nov
Currency – Estonian kroon (EEK)
Language – Estonian
Land Area – 2,672 km²
Population – 39, 240 approx
Electricity – 2 round pins European style
Time – GMT plus two hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 372
Port Location – The port is located at the capital Kuressaare.
Travel Links - Saaremaa is reached by ferry from Virtsu on the Estonian mainland to Muhu island, which is itself connected to Saaremaa by a causeway, the Väinatamm. Saaremaa can also be reached by ferry from Sõru on the island of Hiiumaa. In summer it is also possible to reach Saaremaa by ferry from Ventspils in Latvia. This service started in 2005 and is run by SSC Ferries.
In winter it is possible to drive to Saaremaa by an ice road between the mainland and Muhu.