Miles and miles of untouched nature in Matsalu and Soomaa National Park, the living museum of Kihnu Island, as well activities like golf, theme parks, and spas offer something for the whole family in Pärnu County.
PärnuThe city of Pärnu conjures images of sunny days, white sandy beaches, and long lazy summer days. Known as the Summer Capital of Estonia, Pärnu offers fun and activities all year long.
Perhaps the best way to explore Pärnu is by bicycle. There are many places to rent bikes and dozens of paths connecting the city’s parks and beaches. Pärnu’s historic center offers plenty of cafés and restaurants to try. Rest and relaxation are never far away at one of Pärnu’s famous spas or the mud baths at Tervise Spa. Still hungry? Why not wander through the newly renovated central market, located a little ways from the centre. Fresh fruit and veg, as well as local specialities and handicrafts are fun to peruse.
Outside of TownJust outside of town, you’ll find the biggest racetrack in the Baltics - Auto24ring in Papsaare - as well as Estonia’s largest theme park - Lottemaa. Get your thrills at Pärnu Adventure Park or Valgeranna Adventure Park. Love golf? Whitebeach Golf offers 18 holes situated by one of the most beautiful beaches in Pärnu Bay, Valgerand. The Pärnu Bay Golf Links also offers 18 holes, and some say, even more striking surrounds.
The RMK Rannametsa-Tolkuse Nature and Study Trail has always been popular among hikers. The circular trail, which runs partly on a boardwalk takes you through pine forests on the dunes and the Tolkuse bog.
Heading south from Pärnu, the quiet seaside villages of Kabli, Treimani and Häädemeeste are fun to explore. In July, Kabli brings some of Estonia’s most talented musicians together for the annual Kabli Sunset Festival. Stunning sandy beaches run all the way down the coast from Pärnu to Latvia. And on a sunny day, Tolkuse Watchtower offers stunning views over the Gulf of Riga.
Kihnu, Estonia’s seventh largest island, was included on UNESCO’s list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003. Hop on a ferry from Pärnu (2.5 hours) or Munalaiu (1 hour) to explore this tiny island’s rich cultural heritage. Puhka Kihnus is your one-stop-shop for accommodation and touring of the tiny island of Kihnu.
Birdwatchers will be thrilled with the over 250 species recorded at Matsalu National Park, one of Europe’s best birdwatching destinations. Soomaa National Park straddles Pärnu and Viljandi Counties and is best known for its great flood or “fifth season”, when the water from melted snow and heavy rains floods the forest, swamps, rivers, and surrounding fields.
A mysterious cave on the steep riverbank known as Tori Hell Cave can no longer be explored, but this beautiful natural formation of the 32-metre deep “passage to hell” can be admired from the outside. The tiny village of Tori is also home to an interesting museum / horse breeding farm and the Tori Church, which serves as a memorial to all victims of World War II.
Other Points of InterestDive into the fascinating life and work of Carl Robert Jakobson at the Farm Museum of C.R. Jakobson at Kurgja. Car fanatics will love the Car Museum in Loomse Village, located 25 kilometres north from Pärnu towards Tallinn. Over 50 different vehicles are on display from around the world, including Soviet era, classic European and American cars. It also houses the first showroom of classic old cars in Estonia.
We bet you didn’t know that alpacas live in Estonia? Visit these friendly animals at the Alpaca Farm in Are. Native to Peru, they’re known for their exceptionally soft coats and are mainly grown for wool. In addition to alpacas, you can also see pygmy goats, miniature sheep, angora rabbits, and chickens.
For more information about Pärnu County visit: www.visitestonia.com and visitparnu.com