ESTONIAN HOLIDAYS has almost thirty years of successful experience in providing tours for the cruise passengers who visit Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia. Among our long-time partners are cruise lines like Costa Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Acromas Shipping Ltd, Aida Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises, MSC Crociere, Oceania Cruises, Hapag Lloyd Kreuzfahrten, Compagnie du Ponant etc. In 2018 Estonian Holidays hosted ca 150 thousand cruise passengers.
Besides the popular sightseeing tours of the Old Town we take tourists to the ultramodern and bohemian districts of Tallinn. We also offer many innovative special interest tours and activity tours. Tours can be combined with concerts, local food and beer tasting or visits to numerous museums, local parliament, art studios , farms, manor houses or private homes. There are miles of scenic bike routes in Tallinn and also tracks for hiking and rivers for canoeing are not far from the city. We also offer tours suitable for guests with mobility issues.
Since 2006 when a new and modern cruise harbour was opened in Mustjala parish we also offer tours in Saaremaa – the biggest island in Estonia. Saaremaa is known for its extraordinary combination of unique nature and fascinating historic and architectural sights. In the villages there are still stone fences and houses with thatched roofs, many locals wear beautiful national costumes and one can hear island dialect of the Estonian language. Junipers, dolomite, windmills and the famous local home-brewed beer are considered the symbols of Saaremaa.
Some tours for cruise passengers with special interest
Popular shore excursions in and around Tallinn
ESTONIAN MANOR HOUSES
Estonian manor houses deserve a special mention. The Saue manor, located only half an hour's drive from Tallinn, has been crowned with the title of the most beautiful and valuable early classical estate complex in the Baltic states. The Palmse, Sagadi and Vihula manor houses on the territory of the Lahemaa national park offer not only beautiful interiors , each in its own style and colour scheme but also several restored auxiliary buildings and a fascinating scenery. To get into the right mood you can enjoy a walk in the lovely park, taste local wine and listen to a recital of period music.
OLD AND NEW ART IN TALLINN
In Tallinn you have a splendid opportunity to see art from different periods, starting with mediaeval altar paintings and ending with modern exhibits. Your tour will start in St. Nicholas' Church-Museum, which displays a wonderful collection of medieval altar paintings and ends in KUMU, the new art museum of Tallinn. KUMU is a new type of a multifunctional art building and a unique example of northern architectural design in the Baltic States. The permanent exhibition displays the best of the Estonian art and very modern temporary exhibitions.
MARVELS OF ESTONIAN WILDLIFE
This tour takes you to a wildlife adventure in the Viru Bog. - one of the many well-survived bogs in Estonia. You will walk along the boardwalk admiring, the variety of the landscape and getting acquainted with the help of your guide with the unique bog plantation. You will also drive through the territory of the national park famous for the places of scenic beauty followed by a typical Estonian lunch in an old village inn.
VISIT TO A MARZIPAN WORKSHOP
This is one of our family tours visiting a little marzipan museum and workshop. Your guide will give you an overview of the history of marzipan-making. Tallinn was among the first in Europe to introduce marzipan into the medicine and later as a popular candy. Everybody including children is given now a piece of marzipan which you can shape into a nice figure of a fruit, animal or any other object you like. Later you will be given food coloring to paint your marzipan figure the way you wish. After your finishing touches your souvenir will be nicely packed for you to take home.
OPEN AIR ACTIVITIES
Niitvälja golf course was completed in its full measures in 1994. The oldest 18-hole course in the Baltic, it is quite a challenge to every golf player. Half of the course is located in the forest. There is enough water in Niitvälja, which does not directly disturb but makes playing more exciting.. But all in all it can be said that the golf course at Niitvälja is well in balance and exciting for the strong players as well as for the beginners. Transfer from Tallinn takes only half an hour. The golf course has all the facilities (café, restaurant, restrooms etc) for a nice and enjoyable half or full day. Now there are two more well -equipped golf courses at the same distance from Tallinn.
Your cycling tour with a guide takes you towards the beautiful Kadriorg Pirta area, avoiding the crowded main streets of the city centre. You'll ride through the Kadriorg park, lined with marvelous wooden houses, passing the Swan pond and St. Catherine's Palace, continuing towards the Song Festival Grounds, the summer residence of count Orlov and the Memorial facing the Gulf of Finland. Soon you'll be cycling through a beautiful residential area of typical Estonian detached houses. The ride continues to the beautiful beach area, passing the St. Birgit's convent and also the Pirita yachting marina. On the return you can enjoy the ride along the seaside offering magnificent view of the city skyline. It is also possible to continue your cycling in the Old Town.
Tallinn is a popular yachting centre. Pirita yachting marina has been the site of Olympic yachting and still hosts annual international regattas. You will be taken by bus to Pirita, passing the Kadriorg park and Song Festival Ground on your way. In Pirita you will board a comfortable yacht with a professional crew who, with the help of wine and snacks will guarantee that you will enjoy sailing on the Bay of Tallinn.
Popular shore excursions in and around Tallinn
TALLINN OLD TOWN
A UNESCO World Heritage Site – Tallinn is a wonderfully preserved city of the Hanseatic League. Departing from the pier, your coach will circle around the Old Town, offering magnificent views of the medieval city walls. You start your guided walking tour in the Upper Town with its watch-towers, graceful spires and winding, cobbled streets. You'll visit the Russian Orthodox Church and the Gothic style Dome Cathedral. You will view the exterior of the Castle and visit the vantage point from which to view the red-gabled roofs and spires of the Lower Town. Your tour continues in the Lower TownAmong the highlights is the apothecary, which opened in 1422, the Great Guild House and the 15th century Gothic Town Hall (all from outside). You'll also visit the colorful market on the territory of the Dominican convent.
HIGHLIGHTS OF TALLINN
This combined bus and walking tour is an excellent way to get acquainted with the best sights of Tallinn. You can walk in the narrow, winding streets of the one-time Hanseatic town but also admire the new city with modern architecture and seaside area of Tallinn. Among the real highlights of the Old Tallinn there is the city wall with its towers, medieval guild houses, the Gothic Town Hall and the 15th century Pharmacy.. You will enjoy some free time in St. Catherine's arts and crafts center before rejoining the buses and drive towards the central park of Kadriorg, visit the Song Festival Ground where national song festivals are held. Drive through one of the most beautiful residential areas of private homes until you arrive in Pirita Marina – the former sight of Olympic yachting and still home to many international competitions . You will enjoy a brief visit to the 15th century St Bridget's convent before you start your return drivr.
On the panoramic tour of Tallinn you'll drive through the city's cultural heart towards the Cathedral Hill (Toompea). You'll make a stop at one of the three remaining towers from the Knights of the Sword Castle. From the base of the near-by cannon tower you'll have a wonderful panoramic view of Tallinn's upper town with its churches and spires. Continue your tour towards the city's central park, with its charming Baroque palace. On your drive through this beautiful park you'll stop at the Song Festival Ground and a beautiful residential area drowned in greenery. You will make a stop on the popular beach. and enjoy a cup of coffee and pastries at a seaside restaurant before visiting the lovely St. Bridget's Convent. As you return to the harbor you'll drive past delightful statue of Russalka, Estonia's mermaid.
ROCCA AL MARE OPEN AIR MUSEUM
Just 4 miles from Tallinn's city center is a fascinating museum that recreates the village life of the18th and 19th century rural Estonia. Its Italian name means "Rock by the Sea" - the setting is a beautiful forested area on the sea coast. This Estonian Village Museum offers you the opportunity to explore authentic examples of the local rural architecture, such as farmhouses, country pubs, windmills, chapels and the furnishings and household items that were part of daily life in this country region. A stop is made at a 19th century tavern where you can enjoy some refreshments and at a handicrafts shop where those looking for keepsakes of their visit will enjoy the Estonian handicrafts available on the premises.
TALLINN AND SURROUNDINGS
Departing from the pier, your coach will drive around the medieval city wall which encompasses the Old Town before starting a guided walking tour through its atmospheric streets. Visit the old churches, view the exterior of the Castle and enjoy the city's panorama from the viewing platform.. Your tour continues as you follow your guide to the Lower Town. You'll walk past many medieval houses before you reach the Town Hall Square where you'll find the oldest surviving Gothic Town Hall in Northern Europe. Across the square is a 15th century Apothecary shop, probably the oldest pharmacy still in use. homes. Lunch is served at a charming restaurant in the Old Town followed with free time for shopping . In the afternoon you'll visit Kadriorg (Catherine's Valley), the largest park in Tallinn. Visit the newly renovated Baroque Palace and the garden (all from outside) and make a stopover at the Tallinn Song Bowl, a natural amphitheater, the site of the main gatherings of Estonia's national song festivals. Drive through a beautiful residential area drowned in greenery to the Pirita marina that hosts annual international regattas and visit the St Bridget's Convent, a magnificent
monument of the 15th century limestone architecture before returning to the pier.
NATIONAL PARK OF LAHEMAA
You will get a glimpse of the medieval city wall, pass the cultural centre of Tallinn and drive through the Kadriorg park, till you reach St.Petersburg Highway. After less than an hour's drive you leave the Highway and turn to the Palmse manor which is an 18th century baronial property of the von Pahlen family about 6 km off the main road. Enjoy some refreshments on the premises before the walk in the park and inside visit to the impressive manorhouse. You continue your tour of the the other near-by manorhouse (from outside only) and visit several places of unique scenic beauty. Lunch will be served in an old village inn. After lunch you can have a pleasant walk in an old fishing village and admire the coastline of northern Estonia before you start your return drive.