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Estonia's famous bogs offer such exotic activities as bog walking and canoeing. Popular bogging spots include the Soomaa National Park in the south-western corner of the country and the Endla Nature Reserve in the north. The Käsmu Sea Museum in Lahemaa National Park (on the central northern coast) arranges sailing, rowing and diving summer camps, as well as traditional one-log canoe-building camps where you can fashion your own haabja. You can also explore the bogs of Soomaa National Park via canoe and haabja.

Bird-watchers flock to Estonia and one of their principle targets is the Matsalu Nature Reserve, which arranges guided day hikes. Another major birding area is the Käina Bay Bird Reserve on the south-eastern coast of the island of Hiiumaa, where over 70 species breed.

Estonia offers excellent winter sports. You can ski and snowboard at the Kuutsemäe and Väike-Munamäe Sports Centres, both near Otepää in south-eastern Estonia. Also in the south-east, motorised snow-bike expeditions are available from Võru.


Two of Estonia's major festivals only come around every few years. Tallinn's July Baltika Folk Festival is a week of music, dance, exhibitions and parades focusing on Baltic and other folk traditions. The All-Estonian Song Festival, which climaxes with a choir of up to 30,000 people singing traditional Estonian songs on a vast open-air stage to an audience of 100,000, is held every five years.

Summers are packed with events. Estonians celebrate their folk culture in mid-June during Memme-taadi Days, held in Tallinn. The night of 23 June is the eve of Jaanipäev, the climax of midsummer events. It's considered a night of magical powers and the traditional way of celebrating it is to head out into the countryside to dance, sing and make merry around bonfires, and seek the mystical fern flower which is said to only bloom that night and bring luck to anyone who finds it. Many Estonians take a holiday during the week around Jaanipäev. The Viru Säru folk festival is held at Lahemaa National Park during the first weekend in July in even numbered years.

Estonia's most famous ghost, Haapsalu, is said to appear at August's White Lady Festival. Later in the month a new king of the traditional Setu kingdom is appointed during the Day of the Setu Kingdom. It gets very quiet during November's Time of Spirits, when Estonians remember their past and their dead, and spirits roam freely through the land.

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