I’m just so excited about Estonia right now… We’re already planning a return trip this year, if we can get an apartment booked.

What’s so exciting? The people, the history, the energy and a cost-to-value ratio that blows much of Europe out of the water.

To listen to this Estonia podcast, hit play below or find episode 299 in iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud:

Wait, where is Estonia?

Estonia is a European country, the northern-most of the Baltic countries. They are ex-Soviet bloc states, gaining independence in the 90’s. Estonia is just a few hours away from Helsinki Finland by ferry and borders Russia in the east, Latvia to the south, and the Baltic Sea along its north and west. Read more about Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on our Baltics page.

Tallinn, the beautiful capital

The capital, Tallinn, was a real highlight of my 10 days in the Baltics. The food, especially, was so fresh, well plated and delicious. What a stand-out!

(See our post, Estonia in 11 amazing Instagram photos.)

The Unesco-listed Old Town brings out the ghost stories and quirky tales from medieval Europe. Narrow streets and colourful buildings bring colour to the stories. Or perhaps it’s the stories that bring so much atmosphere to the city.

Estonia Podcast - The summer palace at Kadriorg, Tallinn
The summer palace at Kadriorg, Tallinn

It’s not all Old Town and medievalism though: the nearby ‘hipster’ district is much less hipster pretension and much more fashion, creative and foodie. Don’t get me started on the craft beers… I had to start an UnTapp’d account just to keep up.

Dumplings! Soul food on a cool day.
Dumplings! Soul food on a cool day.

Hiking with bears, berries and beavers in the National Parks

Before trying bog walking, the only use I knew for peat was in whisky making. While that is still my preferred use for the bog plant, I have to admit it can sure put on a colourful show.

Bog walking in Kõnnu Suursoo national park
Bog walking in Kõnnu Suursoo national park

We hiked with special bog walking overshoes, spending time walking over the deep bog and picking sour out-of-season berries. While the national park is home to wolves, bears and lynx, they avoid the bog. By the time this podcast is going live, they’ll all be out and about, with 360.ee offering treks with safe places to observe them in the wild.

After our hike we went to home restaurant and were served, amongst many other delicious courses, beaver. Who knew they tasted so good! Certainly not our Canadian travel buddy, who reacted a little strongly after finding that out. Check it out on the podcast.

Spa time in a renovated Soviet People’s Temple at Parnu

After city exploring, hiking and eating our way into oblivion, a stop at the seaside was welcome. May weather was a little too cold to sit out on the beach, so we made the most of Hedon Spa in Parnu.

Estonia Podcast - The view from my room at Hedon Spa
The view from my room at Hedon Spa

Now, I’m not much of a spa-goer, although I do indulge in them once or twice a year. These are something special: in operation since 1838 with pauses after World War I and Estonia’s recent independence. The modern hotel, just opened last year, boasts a michellin-trained chef and backs onto the historical spa baths.

Hendon Spa's post WWI neoclassical façade
Hendon Spa’s post WWI neo-calssical façade

Don’t read the stories, listen to them!

You can find the award-winning Indie Travel Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud.

This episode of the Indie Travel Podcast is sponsored by 1Above, the flight drink.

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Craig travelled through Estonia with JayWay Travel as part of the #jaywaybaltics trip (see posts on Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, you name it). More details on our Baltics page. He stayed as the guest of Merchant’s House in Tallinn and the Hedon Spa in Parnu with excursions planned by JayWay, the Estonian Tourism Board, Est Adventures and 360.ee.

Your thoughts on "Four full days in Estonia: the Estonia podcast"

  • Hi Craig and Linda, Those look like bog walking shoes to me ;) Awesome shots of the national park! Thanks for sharing. Ryan

    on May 30, 2015 at 7:49 pm Reply
    • Hi Ryan, thanks so much! There's a bunch more on our instagram channel and https://indietravelpodcast.com/estonia/estonia-in-11-amazing-instagram-photos/ Have you been bog walking? It was quite an odd stride.

      on June 2, 2015 at 11:06 am Reply
  • Really enjoyed the new documentary style and found it funny that Craig wasn't sure how much it would cost per day for budget travellers, you guys have changed! :P

    on June 1, 2015 at 5:37 am Reply
    • Hah!! I'm always scared about how budget to go budget on now. I've been told we sometimes underestimate -- like when I've budgeted based on couchsurfing, but hosteling has been relatively expensive. And then folks are out of budget :( But yes, I wasn't doing the budget route on this trip. Glad you enjoyed the new style. We really enjoyed putting it together, and with doing shoes less frequently, we can spend a bit more time per show.

      on June 2, 2015 at 11:08 am Reply
  • Hey nice blog post. Pictures are so colorful and amazing.

    on June 3, 2015 at 2:57 am Reply
  • Hi Craig and Linda, such an amazing way to describe your trip. Lovely images and i must say the dumplings looks so tasty really ;)

    on June 5, 2015 at 12:36 am Reply
  • Tallinn is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Love the pictures, it really shows how beautiful it is.

    on June 18, 2015 at 8:02 pm Reply
  • I have just returned from Estonia. Lithuania is still my favourite Baltic state, but I loved Estonia, too! It's safe and modern. I can't wait to visit there again.

    on June 22, 2015 at 7:58 am Reply
    • I'm not sure which would be my favourite... I have to go back and compare again!

      on July 30, 2015 at 5:23 am Reply
  • Great photos! such colorful and beautiful places! i love it………i will try to my best for go to Estonia……… Thanks for Sharing

    on July 14, 2015 at 1:59 am Reply
    • Thanks Harry! We can definitely recommend Estonia, it's a great place.

      on July 30, 2015 at 5:24 am Reply

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