wilderness experience in estonia

These are the 7 of best wilderness areas in Estonia for mammal or bird watching and just spending time in Estonian nature. You can take part in tours or explore these on your own with self-guided tours. Wilderness experience in Estonia awaits you!

1.  Haapsalu, Nõva, the northern part of Matsalu National Park- NW Estonia.

Essential for watching the migration of Arctic waterfowl, good for many forest birds. Recommended stay-  2 (3) days

recommended stay 3 days.
Highlights:

  • Elk;
  • Baltic Dunlin;
  • Broad-billed Sandpiper, Sanderling and other migrating waders;
  • Massive migration of arctic waterfowl;
  • Slavonian Grebe;
  • Golden Eagle;
  • Ural, Tengmalm’s and Pygmy Owl;
  • Capercaillie, Black- and Hazel Grouse;
  • White-backed, Three-toed, Black, Gray-headed and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Wryneck;
  • Nutcracker;
  • Trush Nightingale, Icterine Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, River Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler;
  • A big number of rare vagrants seen every year.

2. The southern part of Matsalu National Park – W Estonia. 

Matsalu NP is the most famous birding site in Estonia. Hundreds of thousands of waterbirds use this area on passage.

recommended stay 1,5 days

  • Elk;
  • Baltic Dunlin;
  • Massive migration of arctic waterfowl;
  • Black and Hazel Grouse;
  • White-backed, Black, Gray-headed and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Wryneck;
  • Nutcracker;
  • Trush Nightingale, Icterine Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, River Warbler, Grasshoper Warbler;

3. Forests, coastal meadows and ponds in Häädemeeste- SW Estonia.

Good for migrating and breeding sea- and shorebirds, very good for many forest birds.

recommended stay 2 (3) days

  • Migration of waterfowl and passerines Slavonian Grebe;
  • Many species of forest birds: Golden Eagle;
  • Ural, Tengmalm’s and Pygmy Owl;
  • Capercaillie, Black and Hazel Grouse;
  • White-backed, Three-toed, Black, Gray-headed and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Wryneck;
  • Nutcracker;
  • Citrine Wagtail, Trush Nightingale, Icterine Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, River Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler

4. Tartu area wetlands and Alam-Pedja nature reserve – SE Estonia.

Good for many forest birds (woodpeckers, owls, Lesser Spotted Eagles) essential for Great Snipe and Citrine Wagtail. – 2 (3) days

recommended stay 2 (3) days

  • Great Snipe;
  • Slavonian Grebe Marsh Sandpiper Lesser (and Great) Spotted Eagle;
  • Ural Owl and Pygmy Owl;
  • White-backed, Three-toed, Black, Gray-headed, Middle and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Wryneck;
  • Icterine Warbler, Trush Nightingale, Nutcracker, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Grasshoppers and River Warbler, Greenish Warbler;
  • Citrine Wagtail.

5. Saaremaa island from W of Estonia’s mainland.

 Picturesque big island with many natural habitats – good for migrating and breeding sea- and shorebirds. Essential for Steller’s Eider.

  • Steller’s Eider (December to mid-April) Baltic Dunlin and lots of migrating waders;
  • Massive migration of arctic waterfowl;
  • Slavonian Grebe;
  • Tengmalm’s and Pygmy Owl;
  • Black Grouse;
  • Black, Gray-headed and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Wryneck;
  • Nutcracker;
  • Collared Flycatcher, Trush Nightingale, Icterine Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, River Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler;
  • A big number of rare vagrants seen every year.

6. Alutaguse forest area- NE Estonia.

Very good area for grouses- Hazel Hen, Capercaillie and Black Grouse. Brown Bear watching from the hide.

recommended stay 2-3 days

  • Capercaillie, Black- and Hazel Grouse;
  • Ural Owl, Pygmy Owl;
  • Nutcracker;
  • White-backed-, Three-toed-, Black-, Gray-headed Woodpecker and Wryneck;
  • Woodcock;
  • Nightjar;
  • Brown Bear;
  • Elk;
  • Flying Squirrel
  • Golden Eagle
Alutaguse Bear Watching Hide

 7. Lahemaa National Park- N Estonia

 The oldest national park in Estonia. It is a good area to spot forest birds like owls and woodpeckers with watching coastal migration. The number of birds passing by during the migration is not that impressive as in Matsalu. But it is a good location for a compact visit, as it is located near Tallinn. 1 – 2 days

recommended 2-3 days

  • Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse
  • Ural Owl, Pygmy Owl
  • Three-toed-, Black-, White-backed Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Wryneck
  • Massive migration of arctic waterfowl 
  • Cranes
  • Elk
  • Otter

8. Soomaa National Park SW Estonia

The area of Soomaa is best known for its vast peat bogs and forest areas. Great for wild grouse and woodpeckers. Also for its so-called “5th season”, which happens when the local rivers can’t hold all the rain-/snow melting water and most of the NP gets overflooded. 

recommended 2 days

  • Capercaillie, Black- and Hazel Grouse
  • Ural Owl, Tengmalm’s, Pygmy Owl
  • Three-toed-, Black-, White-backed Woodpecker, Lesser-spotted- and Grey-headed Woodpecker, Wryneck
  • Corncrake
  • Great Snipe
  • Lesser-spotted Eagle
  • Golden Eagle
  • Nightjar
  • Common Rosefinch
  • Thrush Nightingale, Icterine Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, River Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler
  • Beaver
  • Wolf

If you are exploring Estonia on your own or on self-guided tour you can choose some extra experiences:

Feel free to ask any questions or book your holiday- please contact us: info@natourest.ee or by phone:

+372  56225943