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Soomaa National Park, Estonia

4.8
#8 of 19 in Nature in Estonia
National Park Nature / Park
Soomaa National Park is national park in south-western Estonia. Soomaa protects 390 km², and is a Ramsar site of protected wetlands. The park was created in 1993.GeographyThe national park, situated in Transitional Estonia, has been created to protect large raised bogs, flood plain grasslands, paludified forests and meandering rivers. The territory of the national park is mostly covered with large mires, separated from each other by the rivers of the Pärnu River basin — the Navesti, Halliste, Raudna and Lemmjõgi rivers. Of the raised bogs, the most noteworthy is the Kuresoo raised bog, whose steep southern slope, falling into the Lemmejõgi, rises by 8 metres over a distance of 100 m.On the eastern margin of the national park lie the highest dunes on the Estonian mainland, situated some 50 kilometres off the contemporary coastline. The most characteristic coastal formations of the predecessor of the present Baltic Sea, the Baltic Ice Lake (11 200–10,600 years ago), which marks the one-time water level, are situated on the north-western and western edges of the Sakala Upland. The Ruunaraipe Dunes are the highest of the area. The dune ridge, winding from northwest to southeast is a 1.2 km long sand ridge, whose maximum height is 12 metres.In 2009, Soomaa National Park, the largest intact peat bog system in Europe preserved as wilderness, joined the PAN Parks network of wilderness areas as it proved excellence in combining wilderness protection and sustainable tourism development.
A visit to Soomaa National Park represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Parnu vacation trip planner to plot your vacation.
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Where to stay in Parnu

With a selection of accommodation on the Parnu River and Parnu Bay, there is no shortage in Parnu of old hotels with gorgeous views of the seaside, historical buildings, and picturesque parks. In a city known for its spas and beaches, staying just outside the city may defeat the purpose of your trip to Parnu. Fortunately, most lodging here fits a mid-range budget. Consider a spa-hotel combination where you can take advantage of luxurious services without stepping foot outside. Alternatively, choose something near the beach for quick access to the sun and sand.
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16 reviews
Google
4.7
  • If you're in the area and love nature this is your place. About 45 mins from Viljandi. You may not see any animals cause they normally are most active at night but you will enjoy being outside and wal...  more »
  • Really lovely place(s) .... large park area (forests and bogs) that cater for the walker / visitor very well. Good tracks/paths, duckboard walks across bogs. Wildlife (birds and mammals) quite superb,...  more »
  • Though very used to this landscape, I thought the park is amazing. If you have the time, spend some hours there, even a day, and explore it. Sunset and sunrise are even nicer. The only remark: the lon...  more »
Google
  • The park is big and good for a nice, 4-5 km walk. There is a shorter, special track for disabled people. I barely saw any trash.
  • Great and unique places to visit. Full of small oases, but as a pass-through destination for long hikes Soomaa is a dreadful place due to loooong stretches of uninteresting roads (up to 13km long super-straight gravel roads).
  • Beautiful swamps and bogs. Stay at some of the tourist farms!
  • We slept in Karuskose for two nights in July 2017. It was in the middle of a little paradise. The guided bog tour and our canoe beever tour we did, startet and ended in Karuskose too, next to our own little hut. We could do a bath into a natural bog pool, do a original smoke sauna together with our hosts, for free. In the river, we jumped in for cooling down after sauna, splashed a beever away, right next to us. Our hosts was very kind and gave us some fine insider tips. I guess we come back again when we have kids.
  • Lived it !!! Amazing place