Saaremaa is the largest Estonian island, situated on the west coast of Estonia. The capital (and only city) in Saaremaa is Kuressaare.


Windmills in Angla

The territory of Saaremaa has been inhabited for about eight thousand years. The people of Saaremaa have seen many battles and been ruled over by Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Russia.

Saaremaa has retained its uniqueness due to its location and isolation. In the villages there are still stone fences and houses with thatched roofs. Dolomite, windmills and the famous local home-brewed beer are the symbols of Saaremaa.

The islanders' life has always been bound to the sea and the resilience of their womenfolk, kept busy toiling the land while their men were at sea.

The people of Saaremaa love jokes - especially the ones which are about their neighbours - the people of Hiiumaa. The jokes of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa folk may be lost on other Estonians, just as is British humour is sometimes not appreciated "on the continent".

Get in

By car

There is a bridge from the island of Muhu, which has a vehicle ferryconnection with the mainland.

By bus

Buses run to Kuressaare from Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu. Bus schedules and journey planner can be found at Bussireisid.

By sea

There are ferry connections to the nearby islands of Hiiumaa, Ruhnu and Vilsandi.

By plane

Kuressaare Airport (IATA: URE) operates regular flights to Ruhnu, Stockholm and Tallinn.

Get around


A lot of the attractions on Saaremaa are located in the city of Kuressaare.

The portal of Karja Church

Some fragments of the wall frescoes can be seen. The baptismal font is from 14th century. The pulpit is from 1638. On the choir vaults, in the ceiling, there are several magical symbols, such as the three-legged triskelion, a devil that looks between its legs, and the pentagram, among others. There is a small entrance fee, for the tiny parish of 70 people.



There are many peninsulas, bluffs, lakes and villages worth visiting both in Saaremaa and the nearby islands and islets. The most notable places are Koguva village, on Muhu Island, which is Estonia's best preserved village, and Sõrve peninsula.

Vilsandi National Park is located on the western coast of Saaremaa and counts within its territory nearly a hundred little islets and their surrounding sea. It's a well known place by bird watchers.

Music festivals

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, August 15, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.