Ko apskatīt Sāremā - skats ar vējdzirnavām un pils torni

What to see in Saaremaa? Saaremaa island roadtrip

This is the first part of our Estonia road trip. We drove to the island of Saaremaa by car. During our adventure, we enjoyed nature and visited some historical human-made attractions. For a hint of romance – we watched the sunset at the lighthouse. To satisfy our thirst for adventure, we climbed down the cliff to look at the outcrops from below... And as a cherry on the cake - at the end of our visit, we also wandered into the ruins that had a sign "entrance at your own risk." Because they can collapse... We chose the open-air attractions of Saaremaa so we could socially distance ourselves. This was our first trip to Saaremaa, so one can say many of the places we visited correspond to the classic "what to see in Saaremaa" list. And on the way to the ferry that took us from Virtsu to the island of Saaremaa, we stopped at a couple of places here in Latvia and Estonia to stretch our legs and not lose inspiration during the long trip. We really liked everything, and I hope this route through Saaremaa will be helpful for you too.

Sightseeing objects on the way to Saaremaa island on the route Riga - Virtsu

The trip is long. So it is difficult to drive without stopping. And there are so many beautiful places to see in Latvia and Estonia. So we stopped at two beautiful spots to stretch our legs. We also had lunch in Pärnu. We were a bit unlucky with the cafes - due to the recent situation, several seem to have closed down (similar to Riga). But the information has not yet been updated on the Internet, so we managed to go to a place where Google still shows that the cafe is working, but when you arrive, you can see that it is closed. This is a warning from personal experience.

Ainažu North pier

Location

Near the Latvian-Estonian border there is a long boulder pier that slowly extends into the sea. At the beginning of it, there is a field of reeds on either side. In the end, you can see waves crashing at the sides. Such a beautiful and photogenic place. But there are a lot of people. So you have to think about how to keep your distance. Towards the end, the road becomes rougher, and some stones move. You have to think about where you put your foot.

Ainažu mols
Ainaži North pier, July 2020

Pērnavas piejūras pļavas(Pärnucoastal meadow) un pilsētas govis

Location.

Our Ventspils is famous for its cow sculptures. But in Pärnu, an area has been created between the city and the beach, where "urban cows" live. It seemed a little surreal to me - on one side, almost at arm's length, there is a beach where the sky is dotted with colorful kites. On the other side, there are city buildings. And in the middle is a meadow, reeds, and cows. There is also a wooden walkway and a small observation tower. During our visit, the cows had gone away, perhaps tired of the constant attention, and could only be seen as small patches in the distance. But Miks said that a month ago when he was here, the cows were almost at the footbridge itself.

Pastaigu laipa Pērnavas piejūras pļavās
Boardwalk in seaside meadows, July 2020

Ferry to Saaremaa

Location of the port of Virtsu on the map (to get to Saaremaa)
Location of the port of Kuivastu on the map
(to come back from Saaremaa)
The list of prices and boats can be viewed at www.praamid.ee

I expected this to be the most complicated part of the journey. But it turned out to be quite simple. The ferry departs from the port of Virtsu and arrives at the port of Kuivastu on the island of Muhu. From there you can go further by car to the island of Saaremaa. Tickets can be purchased either before the trip or on the spot at the port. You have to pay for the car and for each passenger in it. When the car is parked on the ferry, you can either stay in the vehicle (if you feel safer) or go to the passenger section. There are seats available both inside and outside. Sitting outside, of course, offers a more beautiful view. There is also a cafe on board. The trip passed without me noticing (only 25 minutes).

What to see in Saaremaa

Since we drove to the island of Saaremaa by car and spent a long time on the road, we arrived on the island quite late. We realized that we wouldn't be able to see much before dark, so we left most of the planned sights for the second day. But in the evening we decided to go to catch a beautiful sunset.

Saulriets Serves (Sõrve) pussalā

Location

It's free from the outside, but you need to buy a ticket to climb the lighthouse - prices and opening hours can be found here.

What a romantic evening walk! There are many lighthouses in Saaremaa, around seven. But when I read that a wonderful sunset can be observed on the Serve peninsula, which happened to be located about a 30-minute drive away from where we were staying, we chose to visit this one. Other people often choose to see this place during the day. Because you can climb the lighthouse and look at the world from above during working hours. But as we had limited time, we decided to enjoy this place when it is colored in the sunset colors and leave the climb for another trip. I must say it was charming! Sunset tones suit this place well. You just need to bring a warmer jacket, because it is quite chilly and windy in the evening.

Ko apskatīt Sāremā - Sāremas bāka
Serve lighthouse, July 2020

The peninsula is covered in small pebbles, and the different tones of earth, rocks, and grass create intricate patterns. If you look carefully far, far ahead, you can see a small strip of land - we had a discussion about whether it is Kolka or not. Because Miks had heard that you can see Latvia from here. Never solved this mystery. But I found out the lighthouse itself is 52 meters high.

Serves pussala - skaista vieta Sāremā
Serve peninsula, July 2020

A walk along the fortifications of Kuressaare castle

The castle grounds can be viewed for free, but the entrance to the museum inside the castle is for a fee.

Find ticket prices and working hours here.

Location.

We left the car nearby on one of the streets where parking was allowed.

We were here on a Monday when the museum was closed. Strong fortifications and a moat surround the castle - according to information found on the Internet, the oldest part of the fortress was built in the 14th century. But the fortifications around it were restored and rebuilt in the following centuries. You can walk around the castle on the ramparts to look at it from all angles. On one side, there is also a small wooden windmill - one of the symbols of Saaremaa.

Kuresāres cietoksnis Sāremā
Kuressaare castle, July 2020

Kaali meteorite crater

Location

Have you ever seen a real meteor crater? I hadn't. So I found the opportunity quite interesting. Once upon a time, a meteorite fell here. It split into several parts and left a large (hard to fit in the picture) hole, in which muddy water is accumulating now. But it turns out that there are actually several craters here. The biggest one is simply the most noticeable, therefore, the most popular.

Apskates vieta Sāremā - Kali meteora krāteris
Kali meteorite crater, July 2020

And check out the attention living zone sign - it's special. It has a meteor in it. Such a good dose of humor.

Dzīvojamās zonas ceļazīme sāremā, kurā iezīmēts meteorīts
Living zone sign near Kali crater, July 2020

Use the rope to climb down the Panga cliffs

Location

The rock outcrops are impressive. When we arrived, we first went to the edge of the cliff and looked at the blue water below. It's a long way down. With my clumsiness level, I probably shouldn't go that close. But where can you get down and look at the rock relief from below? There must be a way! All the impressive pictures showed the cliffs from below. And You can't really see the terrain well from above.

We went to look for the place where we could climb down. A beautiful path leads through a small forest along the cliff. The ground there is full of cones. The place is peaceful and quiet. We enjoyed the walk. However, there was no place to get down.

Skats no Pangas klintīm uz ūdeni Sāremā
Panga cliffs, July 2020

And then we saw a rope with tied knots hanging down from the rock. And we realized there is no path to walk down. If you want to look at the cliffs from below - You will have to climb this way!

Miks had fun. I was a bit scared. But in the end, it wasn't that difficult. Getting up afterward seemed to be even easier.

Virve Pangas klintīs Sāremā
Rope we used to climb down the cliff, July 2020

And as a reward - a view of the high, jagged rock outcrops. They stretch along the sea and go perfectly together with the small stones that cover the narrow strip of land between the rock and the sea. A charming and very photogenic place.

Pangas klintis Sāremā skats no apakšas
Panga cliffs, July 2020

Maasi castle ruins - enter on your own risk

Location

When we were looking for things to see in Saaremaa, these ruins of a medieval fortress were not mentioned in most of the guidebooks. When I went there, I understood why. We found a sign that the place is in critical condition. It may collapse, and entry is at your own risk. But it is not forbidden to enter.

Of course, I can't recommend you to go inside a place with such a sign in front of it. But we shrugged our shoulders and decided to try. There was a souvenir shop at the foot of the hill. So the place wasn't completely forgotten.

Ko apskatīt Sāremā - Masi pilsdrupas
Maasi ruins, July 2020

When we went underground, we were surprised. From above, this place doesn't look as grand as it does when you walk inside. It's a bit scary. And a bit spooky, especially when You consider that its construction was a punishment for rebellion. But there is electricity inside, so you can clearly see the ancient walls and arches made of large stone blocks. Undeniably interesting.

Sāremas Māsi pilsdrupas - sagruvusi siena
Maasi ruins, July 2020

Trip to the island of Saaremaa also in video format (in Latvian)


That was the end of our adventures in Saaremaa. At this point, we went back to the ferry - to travel further toward Tallinn (read our adventures in the next article). But at this point, you can also go back to Latvia if that's the end of Your holiday.

Was going to Saaremaa by car a good idea? It was a great idea! It's a charming place, and when you drive to Saaremaa in a car, you can see different parts of the island, as the sights are scattered. Are two days enough? Kind of. But we were traveling at our usual - fast pace, so if you want to take it easy or visit a spa, you might need more time. If we had more time, we would definitely spend another day there.

Ko apskatīt Tallinas tuvumā - Rumu karjers

What else to se in Estonia?

Planning to go further after visiting Saaremaa? You can explore the secrets of the Rummu quarry or enjoy the peace of Viljandi - the choice is in your hands

Divi cilvēki kas ceļojot kopā ir dusmīgi viens uz otru

How to avoid arguments and bad moods when traveling in groups? Heartfelt conversation.

Traveling with others is not as easy as it might seam

Thanks for visiting my little corner of the internet, and I hope this article was helpful to You :)

Best regards, Armanda

Zvans

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