11 Reasons To Visit A Bog On Your Estonia Roadtrip
Updated: Jun 29, 2020
No visit to Estonia would be complete without visiting a bog. A bog? Yes, a bog! A lake-turned-wetland type of landscape that will enchant you with its silence and natural beauty. Still in doubt? Okay, don’t you worry, because here are 11 reasons why you should visit a bog in Estonia.
1. They are breathtakingly beautiful. Let me get this out at the beginning: Even though the name bog may not evoke images of natural beauty in your mind, you‘d be surprised to find out that they are just that. Instead of the smelly marshland you might expect, an Estonian bog is a harmoniously balanced ecosystem! The many small water holes and forest patches create an absolutely fascinating landscape.
2. They are a symbol of pride. Bogs are part of Estonias identity in the same way that mountains are for Austria and beaches for Italy. In fact, Estonia prides itself on having the second most bogs in the world after its northern neighbor Finland. Around 6% of the country is covered by bogs, so its no wonder they play an important role.
3. The scenery is incredibly tranquil. The silence in a bog can almost be deafening. Not that Estonia is a particularly loud country, but visiting the bogs will allow you to get away from the comparative bustle of Tallinn or Tartu. Take a seat on one of the benches and listen to the sounds of the birds in the distance or the gentle rustle of the leaves.
4. Escape most tourists.
Most visitors of Estonia explore the city of Tallinn, which is very scenic and definitely worth the trip. However, in order to learn more about the country, you will need to get a feel for its nature. Getting out into the countryside will allow you to escape the typical tourist crowds. Make sure to arrive early in the morning, especially on weekends, to avoid other visitors.
5. What better excuse for a roadtrip?
There is no better way to explore a country than through a roadtrip! Get yourself a rental car and just start driving. It won‘t take you longer than 90 minutes to arrive at one of several bogs close to Tallinn. As a bonus, you will get to see the Estonian countryside with its small villages.
6. Bogs are the ultimate conversation starter.
Estonians LOVE bogs, so it is just natural that every Estonian has a favorite bog. You might even encounter two Estonians get into a „heated debate“ (Estonian style), discussing the merits of one bog over another. Tell them you plan to visit a bog, and they will be happy to share a plethora of tips with you. If you are lucky, they might simply take you to their favorite bog (Thanks Sandra!).
7. Go for a swim.
When the summer temperatures in Estonia reach a scorching 28° Celsius, there is barely another way to cool down. Just before Estonians reach their boiling point, they jump into the refreshing bog waters. Several platforms with ladders help swimmers to get in and out. Be aware that getting out of the bog without a ladder can be quite a challenge. The soft underground will have you look like a graceless seal trying to move on land.
8. Go for a hike on the boardwalks.
If you expected to have to make your way through knee-deep water, you are luckily mistaken. The infrastructure in Estonias bogs is excellent. Many modern boardwalks allow you to stroll leisurely through this unique landscape. If you are up for an adventure, you can also take a guided tour on bog-shoes!
9. Climb up a watchtower. Some of Estonias bogs do not only have excellent boardwalks but even watchtowers that allow you to get a wonderful view of the landscape. The tower at Mukri Raba is 14 m high and overlooks one of Estonias oldest bogs. This elevated viewpoint gives you a completely different perspective on the otherwise flat landscape.
10. Encounter a unique flora and fauna.
Bogs are thriving ecosystems and the home of countless animal and plant species, that often can be found nowhere else. With a little bit of luck, you might even encounter larger animals such as deer or moose.
11. Be surprised by the seasonal changes.
If you get the chance to visit bogs during different seasons, you will be astonished by the constant change. Whereas they are blossoming in the spring and summer, they will be completely frozen and covered in ice during winter. Each season has its special character and it is worth visiting them more than once.
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