WHAT IS A SMART-GUIDED TOUR?

Natourest is one of the first wildlife and birding tour companies to offer this innovative nature tour type. A smart-guided tour (SGT) with a smart device is designed for active and independent people appreciating privacy and flexibility.

 SGT offers the opportunity to visit the same nature areas as on our guided trips. With SGT, you will be your own guide and you can decide where to go and how much time to you want to spend at a specific location. By choosing our SGT you don’t have to do the research on finding the best birding areas or walking trails in Estonia. That’s what we have already done for you. The only thing you have to do is choose among the suggested locations.  All locations are thoroughly chosen and visited annually by our guides to ensure you will have the updated information. Most people choose one of our ready-made self-guided itineraries or ask for a smart-guided version of a scheduled tour, but there’s also the possibility to ask us for a tailor-made SGT.

HOW?

On the self-guided tour, you will have a Smart Device (tablet PC or smartphone) with 4G internet connection and GPS geolocation, a special app (suitable for iOS and Android) with a built-in online map with locations and detailed instructions. You will also receive a suggested itinerary for all your touring days. A paperback map is also provided as a backup.

You only have to download the Loquiz app from Google Play Store or App Store. In case you’ll travel with your own smart device and there’s no need to meet our representative at the airport, we will send you a unique username and password shortly before your arrival.

According to your wishes and the itinerary, we will book organise you a rental car (if you don’t come with one) and find you the most suitable accommodations. While you are on the tour, Google Maps navigator leads you the way to the suggested locations so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Also, you get the information on where to park a car, where is the next observation tower or an interesting hiking trail, what kind of birds you most probably see there and where to look for them. The app (Loquiz) we use for the SGT works on both iOS and Android devices.

The self-guided tour includes:

  • Hotel bookings
  • Car rental
  • A representative of Natourest meeting you at the Tallinn airport (if you receive the tablet from us)
  • Smart device (tablet) with tour map during the tour
  • Paperback atlas of Estonia
  • Tour description with daily route suggestions
  • Phone assistance during the tour
BENEFITS:

SGT offers opportunities missed when traveling with a group – flexibility, privacy, and favorable price with the support from our office.

1) Flexibility and privacy

-You travel on the dates that are best for you and your group

-We give itinerary recommendations for all the travel days but you decide at what pace and order you visit the best wildlife watching locations.

-You travel with your own friends or/and family

-Your route is well planned by our experienced guides

-All accommodations are chosen in the middle or close to the best wilderness areas, you have a choice of accommodation options to suit your budget

2) Favorable price

-Prices vary based upon your level of accommodations and duration of the tour. By default, we will make the quote and book accommodations with WC and shower inside the room. 

-For example, Steller’s Eiders weekend self-guided 4-day  short break is 450 euros per person. The approximate cost of a guided short break would be 630 euros per person.

3) Support from expert

-Upon your arrival, you will be met by a representative of Natourest for a short introduction and tour materials.

-If you need assistance during the trip you will have phone support 24/7

WHEN?

The best months for bird-watching and mammal watching in Estonia are April-May and September- October. March and the first half of April are the best times to come to Estonia to see both the Steller’s Eider and also observe the activities of owls, woodpeckers, and forest grouse.

How to be sure you would enjoy a self-guided trip?

  • You have some intuition about using technology. Just awareness of when to load batteries and how to turn the device on is good enough.
  • You prefer to take time to notice details in nature yourself without someone pointing out species and have the patience to observe.
  • To really enjoy a self-guided trip, you should like discovering surroundings on your own hand and have an open mind. So if you do miss a turn and have to backtrack you will be okay doing so. After all, the most memorable travel includes some unplanned adventures!
  • You value having a personal trip schedule.
AVAILABLE SELF-GUIDED TOURS:

 1. Steller’s Eider weekend- self guided short break, 4 days.

About 1000 Steller´s Eiders (Polysticta stelleri) winter in West-Estonian coastal waters. In Early spring they come closer to shore and are easier to see. At the same time woodpeckers, owls and grouses are getting more active. The Western Capercaillie, Black Grouse, and Hazel Grouse are lekking. Owls have started vocally defending their breeding territories and woodpeckers are drumming. The best time for sighting all this natural life is at the end of March and the first part of April. Read more…

2. 8 best wilderness areas in Estonia

If you want to do the planning on your own and need only a know-how map with locations then contact us  info@natourest.ee about  Estonian wilderness areas. It is a package of 8 best wilderness areas in Estonia with locations of target species habitats and instructions on how to spot them better.

3. Estonian birds and mammals, 8 days self-guided tour.

Estonia has about 10 000 Elk, 800 Brown bears, 200 Grey Wolves, 500 Lynxes, lots of roe deer, foxes, raccoon dogs. It’s also the best place in Northern Europe for mammal- and birdwatching. This self-guided tour will lead you from N-E Estonia – where you’ll get close-up views from a Brown Bear hide to the world-famous Matsalu NP on the western coast. Read more..

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