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Seychelles Travel Guide: Best Places to Visit And Things To Do

Seychelles is an island republic located in the western Indian Ocean, in the southern hemisphere. The country consists of more than a hundred islands: granite in origin and coral atolls. Of these, only three dozen islands are inhabited. Geographically, Seychelles belong to the African continent. Still, the flavor of this tourist destination is not associated with either a safari or an exotic culture and primitive tribal way of life. Travel guides call Seychelles “the lost paradise of the Indian Ocean” and “the best honeymoon destination.”

The main asset of Seychelles is pristine nature. Snow-white beaches, a sea of ​​all shades of turquoise, a colorful underwater world, tropical forests with wild plants – only part of the wealth of Seychelles. Due to the island’s isolation, the archipelago has a very high percentage of endemic species: plants and animals (especially birds and reptiles). In Seychelles, it is equally interesting to have a rest for lovers of classic beach holidays and seekers of active entertainment. For the latter, diving, yachting, visiting nature reserves, and fishing on the high seas are organized.

Tourism is well developed here, but travelers always have options to escape from urbanization. There are first-class rest, impeccable service, and more authentic bungalows immersed in the local flavor.

The total population in the country is only 94 thousand people. Most of the population lives on the island of Mahe. The ethnic basis of the island is made up of Franco-African mulattoes. They communicate in a particular language – Creole (based on French). But the official language is English. Due to the colonial past, most of the local population is Catholic. Long ties with Europe and a high percentage of tourism employment have contributed to a loyal attitude towards travelers: there is no abundance of beach merchants and annoying beggars. Tourists remember holidays in Seychelles and exotic nature for the calm and friendly attitude of residents.


At the time of discovering Seychelles by Europeans (Vasco da Gama did it in 1502), the archipelago was uninhabited. Until the 16th century, only Arab navigators visited it – their graves dating from the 9th-10th centuries were found on Silhouette Island. Admiral Vasco da Gama designated the archipelago as the Admiral Islands (later, the name was converted to the Amirante Islands). Da Gama’s cartographers then mapped the largest island in the archipelago for the first time – they named it Ilya Ganaa (the real name is Mahe). They did not occupy the territory. For the next two centuries, Seychelles became a haven for pirates. They chose Seychelles for the abundance of lagoons and difficult entrances to the bays – the archipelago was the perfect place to hide from pursuers and hide the loot.

In 1609, the British expedition of Captain Sharpey landed on the islands. The British explored the islands and compiled their first detailed description. But just like the Portuguese, the British left the islands without creating a single permanent settlement.

French colony

The first permanent settlements appeared in Seychelles in the middle of the 18th century. French colonists established colonies on the islands of Mahe and Praslin. The archipelago was named Séchelles after the name of the French finance minister; the islands, for the most part, also received French words. So, the island of Mahe was named in honor of the governor of the neighboring colonial territory, Mauritius – Mahe de la Bordon. In 1756, plantations for spices were created in Seychelles: vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves. Slaves for plantation work were imported from the east coast of Africa and from the island of Madagascar.

British colony

French rule did not last long – in 1794, and the British Empire captured Seychelles. The governor of the island, Mahe de Quincey, surrendered to save his life, but after the departure of the British ships, he raised the flag of France in the capital again. This was repeated seven times until, in 1811, the British left an observer of the order on Mahe (while de Quincey was not removed from his administrative position). The official date of the accession of Seychelles to the British Empire is 1814 – the Treaty of Paris was concluded. Then the archipelago, together with Mauritius, was united into one colony.

With the rule of the British, the name of the island was changed to the English manner – “Seychelles.” Since the mid-19th century, Britain, which abolished slavery in 1835, encouraged people from India and China to Seychelles. Later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, settlers from the Arabian Peninsula appeared on the islands. This is how a colorful and unusual national composition was formed. In 1903, Seychelles became a crown colony – that is, a colony under the direct control of the British Crown through the governor appointed by the ruler.


In 1965, Desroches, Aldabra, Farquhar, and several smaller ones, separated from Seychelles, were named British Indian Ocean Territory. Seychelles themselves gained independence only on June 29, 1976. The Democratic Party came to rule the country. During the first decade after the declaration of independence, there were repeated attempts at a coup d’etat. For almost 15 years, the country was ruled by a socialist party. A multi-party system and market relations were adopted only in 1993. The Seychelles Republic is currently governed by a president, the leader of the opposition National Party.

Climate and weather in Seychelles

Weather in cities

Seychelles has a subequatorial marine type of climate. A beach holiday in Seychelles is possible all year round, although there are two conditional seasons here: an abundance of precipitation and a drier one. Temperature changes throughout the year are insignificant, within 4-6 degrees. The average annual water temperature is +28 degrees. In whatever month you go to Seychelles, your luggage will need to be collected for a beach holiday.

The wet season lasts from November to April. In the southern hemisphere, it is summer, which is characterized by scorching weather. The thermometer rarely drops below +32 degrees. Often the air warms up to +36 degrees. Air humidity during this period is very high – 80–85%.

November is the mildest month of the wet season. During the day it is moderately hot, the sea is calm and warm. In December, it may rain a couple of times a week, mostly in the morning. The greatest amount of precipitation falls in January. But heavy rains are rare even in this season in the Seychelles. Most often it rains briefly (early morning or afternoon), and the sun shines for the rest of the day. It rains in January not every day, every 3-4 days. In February, the amount of precipitation begins to decrease, but the air humidity remains high. In March, the wet season comes to an end, with occasional rains in the afternoon. April is the driest and hottest month in the Seychelles. In the shade, the daytime temperature rarely drops below +32 degrees.

Less rainy and relatively winter cool season lasts from May to October. On average, the air during the day in the summer months warms up to + 28 + 30 degrees. In May, it becomes fresher in the afternoon, southern winds bring light coolness. From June to August, precipitation is minimal. Night temperatures drop to +25 degrees.

The dry season is more windy, which is why these months are often chosen by those wishing to go surfing and sailing. Monsoon winds are less noticeable on the northwest coast – those who want to swim in the calm sea go there. In September, it becomes less windy, the air temperature begins to rise again to +30 degrees. The off-season months , May and October, are considered ideal for a beach holiday – it is still / not very humid and hot, there are no tangible waves and uncomfortable wind on the sea.

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Cities and regions

The island state of Seychelles consists of both large granite islands and coral atolls, on which one island is one hotel. Each island has its characteristics regarding beach recreation and infrastructure. There are no closed, protected areas for tourists, but there are incredibly safe places to visit, which you will need to issue a special permit. If you wish, you can organize your vacation to visit several islands or even arrange a sea trip along the entire archipelago.

Mahe Island

Mahe is the largest island in Seychelles. The only city, in our understanding, in the Seychelles archipelago, is the capital of the republic, Victoria. The town has preserved examples of colonial architecture, and there are several museums and the  Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Almost the entire coastline of Mahe is a series of beaches of different levels of comfort. In total, Mahe has about 70 beaches. Beau Vallon, located in the northern part of the island, is considered the most popular and crowded beach. The central tourist infrastructure of the island is concentrated on Beau Vallon, and the nightlife is in full swing. In addition, it is located just 3 km from the capital. A coral reef stretches along the beaches of Anse Forbans, Anse Royale, and Anse Bouganville – the sea is calm here, and the underwater world is very picturesque. Fairyland Beach is also famous for its excellent conditions for snorkeling. For solitude, it is worth going to the west coast. The beaches are wilder and more picturesque. For surfers, the Grand Anse Beach is a must. And aesthetes should visit Anse Intendance beach, located in the southwestern part of Mahe.

Praslin Island

The second-largest island of Seychelles, Praslin, is considered a coconut paradise. The fact is that Praslin is one of two islands in the world where an unusual “sea coconut” grows. Coco de Mer is the symbol of Seychelles. The nut impresses with both its elegant shape and size: the fruit weighs 20 kg or more.

Praslin Island, like Mahe, has a mountainous terrain and an abundance of greenery. Numerous bays cut the beach line. Praslin, despite its status as the second-largest island, is relatively small. Exploring it is worth renting a bike and taking a leisurely ride along the entire coast. In general, entertainment on Praslin is somehow connected with the island’s nature: walks in the national park, climbing to the peaks, and diving to the seabed.

The most popular holiday destinations are the beaches of the Gold Coast (Cote d’Or) and Anse Lazio. The latter, by the way, is recognized as the best beach in Praslin and a place with some of the most beautiful sunsets on the planet. It is worth visiting the unusual shore of Anse Marie Louise – at high tide, a natural pool forms on it. Anse Kerlan is rightfully considered one of the most picturesque bays – surrounded by coconut palms and other exotic plants, and the bay looks pristine. Now the most decent hotel in the country operates here. In the underwater surroundings of the island, coral reefs are abundant, and on Praslin itself, there are two dive centers.

Silhouette Island

It is the third-largest island in the archipelago. There are no highways on the Silhouette – you can only get around on foot or by bicycle. However, there are not many hiking routes on the island – two paths through the forest to the Dauban mountain with a height of 740 meters. There is only one luxury hotel on the island, and the population is just over 150 people. Due to the lack of developed infrastructure and intimacy, the island is chosen by lovers of relaxation alone with nature.

On Siluet you can go snorkeling, diving, fishing in the open sea. The snorkeling in the coastal waters of Silhouette is especially impressive – the island is located in the Marine National Park. The terrestrial nature is no less striking – Siluet has one of the most beautiful rainforests of all the islands of the Indian Ocean. Walking through the rainforest, you will see exotic orchids, breadfruit, sandalwood, and a carnivorous plant that feeds on insects.

La Digue Island

La Digue Island is rightfully considered one of the most postcard locations in the Indian Ocean. Photos of La Diga beaches are most often used in advertising brochures for tours to Seychelles. All thanks to the granite boulders that spectacularly frame the beaches. The most famous beach in La Diga is Sours d’Argens – at sunrise, the granite stones have a pinkish tint, and at sunset, they turn red. The beaches with pinkish sand are also impressive. They are located in the most remote bays of La Diga: Grand Anse, Petite Anse, and Anse Coco. La Digue is only 5 km long and 3 km wide. Most of the land on La Digue is occupied by Mount Eagle’s Nest 300 meters high. Road transport is not held in high esteem here, locals and tourists alike mainly use bicycles.

For snorkeling, it is better to go to the neighboring island of Ile de Cocos. There are over 30 dive sites on and around the island. The underwater world of La Diga is rich in all kinds of corals and large fish – here, you can find barracuda and gray sharks. You can see corals without diving – during low tide, and you can walk to them on foot. In addition to the rich underwater world and picturesque beaches, La Digue is known for setting the film “Goodbye Emmanuelle” – you can visit the filming locations on the island.

Fregat Island

The private island hotel is one of the most luxurious and respectable holiday destinations in Seychelles. The granite islet 2 km long and 1 km wide is famous for its wildlife and sandy beaches. The local Anse Victorine beach has even been voted the best beach in the world. There are seven beaches on the island, including one “reserved” – the first visit can sign “busy” and prohibit the others from entering the beach. The southern part of the island has the best diving conditions. Active entertainment is also concentrated here: water skiing, surfing, and boat rental for fishing. According to legend, pirate treasures are buried on Frigate Island – travelers have repeatedly found antiques and maps belonging to pirates on the beaches. Frigate Island is home to song magpies – until recently, this bird species was on the verge of extinction. There were only 14 individuals. Now the population continues to recover, and more than 100 individuals live on the Frigate.

Bird Island

Bird Island in Seychelles is not the most popular resort place. This is a small island of coral origin, the entire territory of which is a protected area. Bird is located in the northern part of the Seychelles archipelago – the surface of the plume ends with this island, then an oceanic trench 2 km deep goes to the north. Therefore, the island is often chosen for recreation by lovers of diving and deep-sea fishing.

There are two versions of the origin of the name. On the first, the Europeans sailing past saw an island where a vast number of birds nested. According to the second version, the island is shaped like a giant bird in flight. Now Bird is a private reserve – since the middle of the last century, work has been underway on the island to restore the bird population. Currently, about 1 million birds nest on the Berda. The island is also home to the world’s oldest turtle – Esmeralda. Her age is 170 years old.

 Denis Island

Located 80 km from Mahé on the northwest coast, the coral island of Denis is so tiny that the runway crosses it completely. Denis does not have a pronounced relief from the granite islands – it rises only 3 meters above the water. There is only one hotel and a small village on the island – the rest of the space is occupied by pristine nature. Since a coral reef surrounds the island, swimming here is safe. On the beaches, you can see turtles laying eggs and in the palm groves – rare birds. Fans of outdoor activities are offered diving, canoeing, fishing, and yachting.

Felicite Island

The small granite island of Felicite, which is located 4 km from La Diga, is considered the best-preserved area of ​​the virgin nature of the Indian Ocean. Felicite’s landscape consists of hills overgrown with dense tropical vegetation, caves and caverns, uninhabited coves with white sand, and coconut palms. Like some other islands, Felicite is a private nature reserve with no asphalt roads and the only hotel built as a Creole-style plantar dwelling. 3 km from Felicite is the National Marine Park with the most decadent underwater world.

Alphonse Island

The southernmost island of the Seychelles archipelago is privately owned. The island was named after a French treasure hunter whose ship once stopped here. Alphonse is a coral atoll that flanks the lagoon. The atoll has about 3.5 km of white beaches with a rich underwater world. In the fall (October), Alphonse Atoll becomes the world’s center for whale watching, with sperm whales, humpback whales, and whales swimming in coastal waters. The main categories of hotel clients on Alphonse Island are diverse and fishermen from all over the world.

Kuzin Island

The small island of Cousin is a national park and one of the most popular ecotourism centers in Seychelles. It is located 6 km southwest of Praslin. “Rest in one with nature” is what Kuzin Island offers to tourists. No more than ten people are accepted on the island, ensuring harmony with nature. The variety of birds on the island is fantastic – while they are not afraid of people and willingly pose for photographs. Here you can see both rare green and giant sea turtles. The island’s most famous turtles are George and Georgina, an elderly couple for over a hundred years.

Along the entire perimeter of the island, it is surrounded by white beaches. In the center, there is a hill with a stunning view of the surroundings. The granite origin of the island also makes itself felt on the coastline – picturesque boulders frame the beaches.

Anonymous Island

The tiny islet of Anonymous, located 700 meters west of Mahé, is of granite origin. On an area of ​​1300 sq. M., there are virgin forests and palm groves, beaches with picturesque boulders, and several luxury villas. Holidays on Anonymous Island are one of the best options for those who want to be surrounded by nature and get to the developed infrastructure on Mahe quickly.

The leading entertainment on Anonymous Island is hiking along specially equipped trails in an exotic forest, fishing, diving, and snorkeling. The coral reef surrounding the island creates ideal conditions for calm swimming and diving – there are practically no uncomfortable waves here.

Saint Anne Island

Saint Anne Island is located in the central part of the Seychelles group. There is only one hotel on the island that can accommodate a limited number of guests. Therefore, the island of St. Anne is always uncrowded and calm. The island is a series of cozy coves with a hill in the center. In the rainforests, there are not only palms and fruit trees but also exotic baobabs. The underwater world in the vicinity of the island is also fascinating. In the marine park of the same name, you can see more than 150 species of fish, octopuses, turtles, and other waterfowl.

What to see

In Seychelles, tourism is the backbone of the economy. Even on the smallest island, you will be offered an exciting excursion program related to the archipelago’s natural resources. Whichever island you are vacationing, there are top places worth visiting. It includes both the country’s unique cultural heritage and the unusual natural attractions of Seychelles.

Mahe Island


Acquaintance with the island of Mahe usually begins with the capital of Seychelles – Victoria. The city is considered one of the smallest capitals in the world. Nevertheless, important cultural and historical sites have been preserved here. It is worth strolling through the colorful market and buying aromatic spices in the capital, visiting the Natural History Museum and the Historical Museum, visiting the clock tower and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. A separate mention is the village of artisans with original works of local artists and other artisans. Here you can see original creole artisans and sample the local cuisine. In search of authentic creations, you should also visit the workshop of Michael Adams – the most famous Seychelles artist. Among the natural attractions of the island’s capital, it is worth visiting the Mont Fleury Botanical Garden with 200 species of exotic plants and an orchid garden.

Nature reserves

What to see a tourist in Seychelles from unique natural sites? The main wealth of Seychelles is the forests on the granite islands and the underwater world of the atolls. Due to the plantation past, part of the unique natural world has been destroyed. But since the middle of the XX century, many islands have been turned into reserves and given to private ownership with the condition of the revival of ecosystems. Regardless of the destination, you can always go to one of the nature reserves or national parks.

People go to the islet-reserve Arid to see the snow-white flowers of the lemon tree and breathe in their unique aroma. Arid is the only place in the world where this kind of lemon tree grows. Another endemic to the island of Arid is Wright’s gardenia, with white flowers and leaves with pink stripes. Also, on the island of Arid, pink terns, sunbirds, red-tailed phaetons, and other rare species of birds live.

St. Anne Marine Park, located a few kilometers from Victoria, unites six islands headed by St. Anne Island. The best option for visiting the park is a glass-bottom boat tour. You can swim on different beaches, explore the underwater world, and even swim with turtles during the time.

Curieuse Island, located near Praslin, is famous not only for the Coco de Mer palm trees but also for the giant turtles. Here you can observe turtles in their natural habitat and the winter months – hatching from eggs and the first steps of baby turtles.

Silhouette Island National Park is also home to giant turtles over 100 years old. In the forests, you can see rare bats, many birds, and reptiles. The island’s rain forest is famous for its abundance of rare plants – from sandalwood to cabbage palm.

Rating of the most unusual locations in Seychelles:

  • Flycatcher Nature Reserve. Visitors to the island of La Digue, first of all, go to the postcard beaches. But it is worth going inland, to the La Reunion settlement, next to which there is a unique flycatcher reserve. Among the lush tropical greenery here, you can find unusual birds – the Seychelles paradise flycatchers. A tiny blue-black bird flies very quickly and resembles a fairy-tale character. Flying foxes and turtles also live in reserve.
  • Cape “Cap Barbie.” The place is both beautiful and historically significant. The peninsula is located in the northern part of La Digue Island. Cap Barbie rises above a beautiful beach with granite boulders, surrounded by coconut palms and breadfruit trees. Here, there is an ancient cemetery with the graves of the first colonizers of Seychelles at the top.

Aldabra Atoll. It is the second-largest atoll in the world. It consists of more than a dozen islands that form a lagoon with an area of ​​224 sq. Km. Aldabra Atoll is a reasonably remote place from the central tourist infrastructure of Seychelles. A unique nature reserve, included in the UNESCO heritage list, is organized here.

  • Interestingly, due to its proximity to Africa, the local flora and fauna are more similar to Madagascar than Seychelles. Aldabra is home to the world’s largest population of giant sea turtles – about 100 thousand individuals. The local species of giant turtles are called “Aldabra.” Visiting the atoll is strictly bypassed. Twice a year, 2-week group expeditions costing from 10 thousand dollars are organized to Aldabra. Individual travel will cost from 65-70 thousand dollars.
  • Farquhar Atoll. On the islands of the atoll, the landscape is unusual for the islands of the Indian Ocean – dunes up to 10 meters high. It is the southernmost group of islands in Seychelles. The islands of Farquhar Atoll are 770 km away from Mahé. The largest island has a runway – you can get from Victoria by plane in an hour and a half hours. Scuba diving and sea fishing trips to the remote atoll. Also, only here one of the rarest species of spiders lives – the farkua quadrimaculata. On one of the islands, there is a distinctive settlement with a population of only 15 people.

Entertainment for children

When planning a vacation with children in Seychelles, remember that the islands do not have the usual infrastructure for active children’s recreation: amusement parks and water parks. But this is compensated by acquaintance with the fantastic nature of the archipelago. Hiking in the national parks does not require much physical activity, and you can watch the animals right on the beach. In Seychelles, children will have the maximum rest from civilization and constant contact with nature: from city dwellers and turn into little wildlife explorers. There are many scenarios for games: from pirates to Robinson Crusoe.

  • Underwater world. This could be coastal snorkeling or a glass-bottom boat tour of the Sainte Anne Marine Reserve. Not far from Victoria, on the island of Eden, there is a small aquarium.
  • Zipline through the jungle. On the island of Mahe, an extreme attraction is offered – a descent on a steel cable through the rainforest. Children over 14 years old are allowed on the ride. In total, there are eight rope slopes of varying difficulty.
  • Turtles. Giant sea turtles can be seen roaming freely on the beaches of some of the islands. There is an aviary with turtles in the Victoria Botanical Garden and a large nursery on Curieuse Island. Turtles can be touched and fed with watermelon rinds.
  • Birds. You can see large-scale nesting birds on Bird Island. Exotic birds can be found in the Seychelles Morne National Park, Val-de-Mae Park on Praslin, and just on the wild beach.
  • Pirate treasures. In Seychelles with children, you should go on a thematic excursion in the footsteps of pirates. During the tour, children are invited to look for treasure on a desert island.

Where to go in Seychelles

Seychelles Morne Game Reserve


The northern part of the island of Mahe, consisting of high hills of volcanic origin, overgrown with tropical forests, is part of the Seychelles Morne National Reserve, named after the most prominent hill that rises in the center of its territory. The eastern border of the reserve runs 1 km from the city of Victoria, and the western border stretches from Port Launey in the north to Grande Anse in the south. There are many hiking trails in reserve, relict species of trees and shrubs grow.

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May valley


The May Valley is a European idea of ​​heaven on earth, embodied in life. In the 19th century, it was even called the Garden of Eden. On the territory of the park of 19.5 hectares, many endemic plants grow. The main wealth of the May Valley is the largest plantation (about 7000 palms) of the sea coconut palm (Coco-de-mer) – Lodoicea maldivica Seychelles symbol. On foot, the Maiskaya Valley can be bypassed in 2–4 hours: 5 routes marked with directional arrows follow specially laid paths. The reserve is also attractive for bird watchers: bird lovers can see the Seychelles nightingale, falcon, Indian myna, salanga, blue dove, and a rare black parrot. Geckos, chameleons, turtles represent the fauna of the May Valley,

Tea factory


If you head from Victoria to Port Glaud Bay on the west coast of Mahe Island along with one of the few asphalt roads, then before reaching the beach, you can find Morne Blanc Hill (667 m). On its slopes is the only Tea Factory in Seychelles, founded here in 1962. Most of the tea produced is flavored with vanilla, sometimes lemon, orange, mint, and cinnamon are added. You can climb the hill along the path past the tea terraces to the actual premises of the factory, where tourists will be shown all stages of tea production. At the factory’s gift shop for 10 rupees, you can buy various teas or a bag of citronella, a local plant whose properties can be compared to the stimulating properties of coffee. There is also a Tea Tavern at the tea factory,

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Crafts village


The Crafts Village is located just north of King’s Bay, next to Au Cap Beach on Mahe Island. It built the village in a traditional Creole spirit to introduce tourists to Creole crafts, architecture, and cuisine. In the center of the town is a large restored colonial-style manor house (Grann Kaz) dating from 1870. It is surrounded by 12 huts, turned into craft workshops and souvenir shops, where you can buy historically accurate models of frigates, paintings, and crafts made from coconut.

Farm “Black Pearl”


On the west coast of Praslin Island, near the local airport, in the village of Amitie, there is the Black Pearl farm, where black pearls are grown. The mollusks Pinctada margaritifera, which produce black pearls (their shade can be different), we were introduced to Seychelles 10 years ago as an experiment. They took root well in warm tropical waters. The farm conducts excursions, during which tourists are presented to the process of growing pearls. There is a jewelry store where you can buy jewelry made of black pearls, set in 18-carat gold (designed by the Australian company Linneys ).


Vacations Forever: 5 Best Resort Towns You Should Move to ASAP

Do you want to be on vacation all year long? Fewer people are using their part-time vacation homes as primary residences nowadays, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a great choice for you.

Let’s go through the top resort towns you should move to if you want to be permanently on vacation.

1. Jackson Hole, United States

If you’re a big fan of skiing, you’re sure to enjoy Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Jackson Hole has very low crime rates, so it’s a safe place to live if you have a family.

It’s also home to some excellent schools, so you don’t need to be worried about your children’s education. However, Jackson Hole does have high costs of living, particularly for a city in a less populated state.

2. Estepona, Spain

Do you enjoy the south of Spain? Consider moving to Estepona. This city, which is located on the Costa del Sol, is populated along the coast. There are tons of amazing water sports you can try out when you visit Estepona.

Plus, you can check out interesting museums when you live in Estepona, like the Antonio Ordóñez Museum of Bullfighting, the Ethnographic Museum, and the Paleontology Museum. And, Estepona is home to delicious restaurants, so you’ll never get tired of eating the local cuisine. Those who are looking for a place to live in Estepona should check out

3. Cartagena, Colombia

If you’re looking for a great beach city, you’ll certainly want to consider Cartagena. There are plenty of resorts you can check out, or you can hit the beaches yourself.

Cartagena is also one of the cheaper cost of living options when it comes to beach cities. However, if you’re a vegetarian or have dietary restrictions, Colombia can be a difficult country to navigate.

4. Palm Springs, United States

Palm Springs is an interesting resort city. It’s extremely popular with seniors and members of the LGBTQ community (along with, of course, people who fall under both categories).

Palm Springs is the perfect place to live for people who love golfing or playing tennis. But be forewarned, you’ll need a car to get around Palm Springs since things are spread out and public transportation can be limited.

5. Todos Santos, Mexico

While Cabo San Lucas is one of the most popular resort city choices out there, it’s probably not a place you want to live long term. So, why not try out one of the neighboring towns? Todos Santos is one great option.

Todos Santos is home to a great community of artists, so people who love creativity won’t want to miss out. Plus, Todos Santos is one of the safest resort towns out there. And, the city is becoming more and more popular, so you’ll be trendy by moving to Todos Santos.

Move to These Resort Towns Today

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What are you waiting for? Any of these resort towns are a great option for your next stage in life.

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Estonia Travel Guide: Best Places to Visit And Things To Do

Estonia is one of the brightest, most versatile, and diverse countries in northern Europe. Situated on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea and washed by the waters of the Gulfs of Riga and Finland, Estonia offers tourists an incredible selection of natural landscapes, ancient monuments, and architectural wonders. Millennia of history, cultural traditions, lively and fascinating, historic cities, castles, and fortresses of the Crusader era, museums, and elegant museums from the time of the Empire. Two thousand five hundred islands, virgin forests and National parks, lakes, swamps, meteorite craters, and hundreds of kilometers of beaches – this is all Estonia!

With the latest technological advances, Estonia offers a unique cocktail of experiences where all the ingredients are perfectly matched. Excursions, entertainment, historical routes, shopping, gastronomic wonders, spa hotels, and the best beaches of the Baltic Sea – whatever plan you go on vacation, Estonia will undoubtedly bring them to life.

Despite its modest size, Estonia can surprise even the experienced traveler. It is easily accessible from any corner of Europe – by air, land, and water. Tallinn, the delightful and ancient capital of Estonia, and the main cities of Sweden and Finland are only hours apart. Guests from Warsaw will be delivered by a comfortable bus, and residents of St. Petersburg should not be late for the evening train. Breakfast can be ordered in the heart of Tallinn.

Magical Tallinn, an actual teleport city, a time machine in action.
The entire old town is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as an example of conservation in northern Europe.

From a bird’s eye view, its shape repeats the heart – this is probably why it regularly steals hearts from impressionable tourists!

It is enough to climb one of the observation platforms to leave your own there, and there are many of them in the city.

And then walk the whimsically twisted streets, admiring the ancient fortress walls, towers, and underground passages – the Tallinn fortress is more than 700 years old, and it is also considered the standard of medieval architecture.

In addition to the fortress, the historic part of Tallinn will offer ancient temples, medieval mansions, museums, and, of course, restaurants – to celebrate your acquaintance with the city tastefully, and you have a choice of 1001 restaurants. Many of them have earned the laurels of the best in northern Europe.

The second most important city in the country is Tartu. It is considered the intellectual capital of Estonia, and it is not for nothing that its foundation is attributed to Prince Yaroslav the Wise. The oldest university, the most picturesque ruins of the cathedral, the most beautiful Botanical Garden, and the most “advanced” museums are located here. Another reason to visit Tartu is fairs, festivals, and other entertainment events. Thanks to the university and the student body, it is also the funniest city in Estonia.

In Narva, Rakvere, and Põltsamaa, ancient fortresses and majestic castles fans should take a ride.

Life here is quiet and unhurried, and only occasionally, the city’s peace is disturbed by music festivals and historical reconstructions.

The “summer” capital of Estonia, stylish and bright, will offer its guests spa hotels, health resorts on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, a pretty port with yachts, and the Old Town of the Hanseatic League.

But the main thing for tourists who come here is eight kilometers of sandy beach, the best in the country.

Those who love everything at once should go to Haapsalu. One of the most famous spa resorts, renowned for its traditions and admirers, Haapsalu also has a worthy historical dimension.

A medieval castle and an old cathedral, a vibrant Old Town, the Seaside Promenade – culture is perfectly combined with vacation motives.

And, of course, you cannot leave Estonia without seeing its islands. Choose the largest and most beautiful island of Saaremaa and its capital, old Kuressaare. The local Bishop’s Castle is considered the most harmonious in the country, and the climate is one of the best on the coast.

In short, why would you not come to Estonia – to have fun, improve your health, or intellectually enrich yourself, you will have a great vacation. Estonia will take care of this!


Estonian history is a journey of thousands of years. This northern country has managed to preserve the traditions and customs of its ancestors, Viking sagas, and tales of overseas kings while remaining a modern European state.

Estonia: the beginning of the beginnings

Historical evidence of life on these lands can be found already in the 9th millennium BC. The appearance of the first people on the territory of modern Estonia is associated with the end of the last known ice age. According to archaeologists, the oldest site of primitive people appeared on the banks of the Pärnu River, not far from Sindi, approximately in 9500 BC. There are several such settlements. They all belong to the Kund culture.

This ancient cultural stratum existed until the 5th millennium BC and is named after the Estonian city of Kunda. Its influence spread to the eastern Baltic states, Poland, and southern Finland. The settlements of hunters and anglers used stone tools of labor and defense, which are found in many archaeologists, right up to the Mesolithic period.

Over the millennia, cultural layers have changed, and along with them – the traditions of the peoples inhabiting these lands. Already in the third millennium BC, the inhabitants of the settlements began to raise livestock, and by the first millennium, this trade became the main activity of the settlers.

The path to the emergence of statehood

Three thousand years ago, the inhabitants of the territories that make up modern Estonia chose a sedentary lifestyle. As a rule, the new settlers preferred the coastal regions, and here the first settlements were built, fortified, and defended. Their traces can be found to this day on the island of Saaremaa, and these are Ridala and Asva, as well as the settlement of Iru near Tallinn.

At the same time, sea and land contacts with neighbors begin to develop. Archaeologists designate this period as the culture of stone burials. It is associated with the resettlement of the ancestors of the Germans from Scandinavia.

Estonia, at the beginning of our era, is the land of agriculture and cattle breeding. Already in the early Middle Ages, customs and traditional ways of rural life appeared, which Estonians managed to preserve to this day. Many historic villages still exist today.

The early Middle Ages are a crucial period in the formation of Estonia. New, fortified settlements are being built, a system of administrative registration of territories has been formed, and a small farm is taken as a unit of measurement – a typical family farm. There are still many of them in Estonia. The entire territory of the state is divided into 8 regions and counties, these are Virumaa, Läanemaa, Rävala, Saaremaa, Sakala, Ugandi, Harju County, Järvamaa.

By this period, an early feudal model of society was formed, where elders ruled the lands. The major Estonian epic, which tells the story of the medieval giant Kalevipoeg, was written just in the spirit of that time.

In the same historical period, around 1030, the campaign of Prince Yaroslav the Wise began in the northern lands. He founded the city of Yuryev, present-day Tartu.

A little later, local tribes recaptured Tartu. In the following centuries, the ancient Estonians, on the one hand, and the inhabitants of Pskov with Novgorod, on the other, regularly “exchanged pleasantries.”

Such raids on neighbors were considered in the Order of things. One of them even went down in history. It is known that the Estonians conflicted with the Scandinavian Vikings. The inhabitants of the largest Estonian island – Saaremaa, mainly distinguished themselves in this confrontation.

Possessing a solid fleet at that time, the Oeselians, that is, the islanders kidnapped the Norwegian Queen Astrid and her son, Prince Olaf.

Subsequently, it was canonized, and one of the most outstanding examples of medieval architecture in Estonia, St. Olaf’s Church, was named in its part.

The Estonian Vikings are also credited with the destruction of the Swedish capital of Sigtuna at the beginning of the 12th century. Visiting the island of Saaremaa, you can see with your own eyes the treasures of the Vikings, which were found here in many.

The Early Middle Ages: From the Crusaders to the Reformation

The beginning of the Middle Ages in Estonia is associated with the spread of Christianity. The faith of Christ came to these lands later than to central Europe, and if at the beginning these were missionary movements, then the planting of a new religion took place with fire and sword. Various organizations – the Teutonic Order, the Pope, German archbishops, Denmark, and the Kingdom of Sweden – advocated for Estonia’s conversion to Catholicism. Pagan ancestor cults have always been extreme in these parts, so the Northern Crusade decided to take drastic measures. In history, he remained under the name of Livonian.

The crusaders reached the Estonian lands by 1208. And in 1217, the battle of Viljandi took place, where the Estonians were defeated. Two years later, the territories of northern Estonia were conquered by the Danes, the south of the state began to belong to the German Order of the Swordsmen.

As a result of the conquests, these lands fell under the control of the powerful Livonian Order, which had occupied a substantial part of the modern Baltic.

At the same time, the Danish king granted Tallinn, which was considered a pearl among cities, the privileges of the Lübeck city law.

According to these laws, the capital of Estonia, like other cities of the Hanseatic League, was governed until the beginning of the twentieth century.

The conquered lands were transformed into bishoprics. Some of them were subordinate to the supreme authority in Riga. Denmark ruled others.

Of course, this did not consider the interests of the local population, and conflicts were inevitable.

The most famous uprising was St. George’s Night, which marked the Peasant War of Liberation beginning.

The riots, which the Danish authorities could not cope with, forced them to sell the land to the Teutonic Order. The era of German rule in Estonia began.

German landlords wielded tremendous power here for the next 700 years. The territories of modern Estonia and Latvia are called Livonia – a medieval community of interconnected small principalities that were part of the German church territories of the Holy Roman Empire. The feudal system formed in medieval Estonia put German knights and Catholic bishops at the pinnacle of power.

The rights and freedoms of residents were constantly infringed upon, right up to the introduction of serfdom. Taxes and taxes reached unprecedented levels, and all administrative and judicial power belonged to the German magistrates. At the same time, the Estonians themselves, who constituted the majority of the population, remained predominantly peasants and did not have personal freedom.

In large cities, merchant guilds and artisan communities were formed, and Rewal – modern Tallinn, Dorpat, now the city of Tartu, Pernau, familiar to us as Pärnu, and Viljandi were part of the powerful Hanseatic League. This commercial and defensive amalgamation of merchant guilds and merchant cities quickly became a monopoly in northern Europe.

Traces of those times are still easy to find on the streets of Tallinn.

Walking through the Old Town, pay attention to the medieval warehouses, equipped with hooks sticking out above the attic for lifting loads.

Perhaps due to the eternal conflict of interests of the trading cities with their merchants and the Catholic clergy represented by the German bishops, the Reformation movement in Estonia received support.

The middle of the 16th century was accompanied by riots, where ordinary people revolted against the Catholic clergy.

One of the manifestos of the Reformation, which the locals supported, was the holding of divine services and the publication of books in Estonian.

Middle-Ages: from the Livonian War to the Russian Empire

The sixteenth-century turned out to be a turning point – the Livonian Order, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Russian tsar, Sweden, and the Danish kingdom started a major conflict over the division of territories. It remains in history as the Livonian War. Estonia became one of those lands for which they fought. Both the population and the economic component of the cities suffered greatly during the hostilities. As a result, the state was divided between Sweden, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Denmark.

Later, by the middle of the 17th century, all the territories of modern Estonia were ceded to the Kingdom of Sweden. The foundation of the University of Tartu, one of the oldest in Europe, dates back to this time. A significant event took place in 1632, at the direction of the Swedish king Gustav II Adolf.

Until the end of the 17th century, the economic stability of Estonia was ensured by trade. Large cities – Narva, Tallinn, Tartu, stood at the crossroads of trade routes, through which goods went to Europe or Russia and back. The agricultural sector also functioned well, and crafts were developing.

The Great Northern War changed the balance of power in the region. It ended in 1721 with the surrender of Sweden, and the Estonian lands came under the control of the Russian Empire.

Estonia as part of Russia

Most of the Baltic territories in the middle of the 18th century were ceded to Russia. Northern Estonia turned into Revel province, and southern lands, together with Latvia, formed Livonia. Emperor Peter the Great restored the rights of the German nobility, and they constituted a solid layer in the highest authorities. In religion, complete freedom was also allowed for both the Lutheran faith and the Russian Orthodox Church.

In the spheres of culture and education, progress was observed, books, newspapers, and magazines were published in Estonian, educational societies were actively working, defending the rights of the people, and literacy of the population was almost universal.

The population also recovered, undermined by wars and epidemics.

An important historical milestone was the abolition of serfdom by Tsar Alexander the First. It happened in 1816.

In the middle of the 19th century, Estonia and the rest of the empire entered the era of capitalism.

The industry developed by leaps and bounds, mechanical engineering, textile, and agricultural industries formed the basis of the economy.

Success in the economic field and the development of educational programs contributed to the birth of the Estonian national movement.

Towards a free Estonia

Activists of the national movement, formed at the end of the 19th century, demanded equal rights for Germans and indigenous people, Estonians, whose interests were infringed upon. These societies united writers, educators, journalists, representatives of the intellectual elite. They fought not only for legal rights but also for restoring traditions such as the Song Festival, ethnographic festivals, the first Estonian theater. However, despite these bold attempts, the Russians and Germans remained society’s economic and political elite.

In the wake of patriotic movements and extreme provocations, strikes and unrest broke out throughout Estonia. The tsarist government responded with harsh repression, but the uprisings continued in 1916, leading to the 1917 revolution. The interim government was entrusted with managing the former Estland province.

Riots continued this time between Estonian nationalists and Bolsheviks. However, now the First World War intervened in the plans of the future Soviet government. Estonia remained neutral in this conflict, demanding independence.

The wish came true on February 24, 1918 – finally, Estonia became a free state.

The first Estonian republic existed until 1940. The Second World War, its sad consequences, and the subsequent incorporation into the USSR lasted almost fifty years.

Estonia regained independence in 1991 with a rally known as the Singing Revolution.

Over the past thirty years, the state has been actively developing.

Tallinn’s old town was renovated for the 100th anniversary of independence.

Estonia is a member of the UN, the European Union, and NATO, a technically advanced and progressive country.

The system of electronic elections exists and is actively used here, and Skype was invented.

In 2002, Tallinn hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, and in 2018, the anniversary year for Estonian independence, many museums, palaces, and cultural sites were renovated.

The Tallinn Christmas market was recognized as the most beautiful in Europe by the European Best Destinations Association in the same year.

And regardless of political trends, time of year, and the weather outside the window, this beautiful, diverse, and close country is always waiting for you to visit!

Climate and weather in Estonia

Weather in cities

Several factors influence the Estonian climate. The proximity of the Baltic Sea, the Gulf Stream, Atlantic cyclones, temperate continental regions, fifteen hundred islands – this combination can be safely called unique.

The warmest month of the year is July, and the coldest is February.

However, the transitions between seasons are smooth and comfortable, and the country’s inhabitants are unfamiliar with both severe touches of frost and sweltering heat.

Estonia, located both on the mainland and on the islands, is surrounded by water on three sides. A large part of it is swamped, and the sea and the unusual natural relief create their microclimate. The weather in Estonia is most often described as humid and calm, relatively mild.

Winter in Estonia starts as expected – in December. As a rule, snowfalls at this time, which greatly adorn the landscapes, and there is a light frost conducive to walking.

It is one of the most popular tourist seasons of the year and is the time to celebrate Christmas and New Year.

January and February are colder and frosty, and there is a lot of snow. However, the air temperature rarely drops below – 6 … 8 ° C.

The weather is conducive to winter fun – ski runs, skating rinks in parks, sledding, fishing are open.

Estonians are a very athletic nation, and most of the time, joining their winter walks is entirely free.

Spring comes to Estonia not earlier than the second half of March. At this time of the year, frosts are still possible, mainly at night, but the sun is peeping more often.

April is also a fantastic month; May is considered more successful for a visit to the country. Spring can be seen in all its glory – in blooming parks, meadows outside the city, and bright city flower beds. Walking around Old Tallinn, do not deny yourself the pleasure of sitting at a table in an outdoor cafe – in May, such gatherings in the air are already quite comfortable.

If the purpose of your visit is to see summer Estonia, plan your trip in July. June is more like a warm spring than our usual summer. However, the month is exceptionally sunny and not too grainy.

The best time to visit Estonia is in June and July.

July is considered the warmest, sunniest, and driest month of the year. The air temperature warms up to + 22 … 24 ° C. + 30 ° C in Estonia is an abnormal heat. Such temperature cataclysms do not happen often.

Despite quite hot daily temperatures for Estonia, summer nights remain cool.

This feature of the local climate dictates to tourists their own rules for collecting luggage – a light jacket or sweater is required even in the middle of summer.

July and August are perfect for exploring Estonian cities and relaxing on their beaches.

The water temperature off the coast of Tallinn is usually around + 20 ° C, in rare cases warming up a few degrees higher.

Another good season to visit Estonia is autumn.

September usually welcomes guests of the country with dry, warm, and sunny weather.

This is an excellent time for both city walks and outdoor recreation. The first frosts and rains come with the onset of October, and although the average temperature is around + 10 ° C during the day, the mood is spoiled by prolonged precipitation.

It is freezing and wet in November. This is the time of real northern autumn, with fogs and falling snow. A warm hat and mittens are a must, or you can keep warm at the numerous spas, as well as at Christmas markets, which also start in November.

Estonian cities and regions

The territory of Estonia, divided in the 13th century by the knights of the Livonian Order into eight historical regions – Maakondas in Estonian, today, with the recognition of independence, has been divided into 15 counties. Almost all of them, to a greater or lesser extent, are of some interest to travelers.

Northern Estonia

The country’s history in stone can be studied in the regions of Harju, Lääne-Viru County, Ida-Virumaa. Here you will find the ruins of ancient castles, noble estates from the times of the empire, palaces, and all this against the backdrop of dunes and seemingly pristine coniferous forests. The main cities of the north of the country are the capital Tallinn, the seaside Paldiski, Maardu with its lake.

In addition to the beauties of ancient Tallinn, with its great fortress and streets of the Old Town, Harju County attracts with its excellent preservation of medieval buildings.

Temples and fortresses, historical landowners’ estates – manors, the Vasalemma palace, and park complex.

The views are also in order here – 17 landscape zones protecting unique natural monuments, including karst fields, heaths, springs, swamps, picturesque coastal cliffs.

County Ida-Viru County is famous for its ancient megaliths in Lahemaa National Park, on the coast of the Gulf of Finland.

Noble estates, the “village of captains” Käsmu, where the first ship of Estonian production was launched, the family estate of Admiral von Krusenstern, as well as a tour of the Neeruti National Park – you will not have time to get bored. Don’t miss Rakvere Castle – built-in 1226 by the Danes, it is perfectly preserved for its advanced age.

Ida-Viru County will appeal to nature explorers. Sea ledges – Klint, the highest waterfall in the country, the Oru landscape reserve, the most interesting in Estonia, the Alutaguse adventure park, the beaches of Lake Peipsi, and the opportunity to kayak on the Kurtna lakes.

Western Estonia

The western regions of Estonia – Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Pärnumaa, and Läänemaa, are an opportunity to have a fantastic seaside holiday, combining vacation with viewing architectural masterpieces. In this region, sea resorts, spa centers, mud baths, and sanatoriums are concentrated.

Saaremaa county is located on the largest island in Estonia and encompasses the islets nearby. They are loved by fans of sea sports – surfing and kiting, thanks to their windy weather. And in the holiday season, you can go swimming with seals, organized by the employees of Vilsandi National Park. Do not miss the Kaali meteorite crater, which is filled with water of an unusual jade hue. The lake is round in shape, 100 meters in diameter, and you can swim in it in summer.

The capital of the county is Kuressaare. There is a sea harbor, an airport, and the Episcopal Castle, one of the most beautiful in Eastern Europe.

The Old Town has also survived in Kuressaare, with colorful historical buildings.

Surfers and beachgoers also love hiiumaa.

The second-largest island in Estonia offers tourists a picturesque coastline with a total length of 310 km, wind, and waves for fans of sea activities, as well as hiking trails.

You can walk, for example, to the Kõpu lighthouse – the most ancient navigational landmark in the Baltics.

The largest county in Estonia is Pärnumaa. Its capital, the seaside port city of Pärnu, is considered the main Baltic resort in Estonia. Perfect sandy beaches with white dunes surrounded by pine forests are found here.

Neighboring Läänemaa attracts visitors thanks to the county capital, the old town of Haapsalu. Famous for the traditions of mud therapy – the first clinic in the country was opened here, he has not lost his “qualifications” even now. Do not miss the old Kurhaus on the seaside promenade – a beautiful wooden building from the 19th century with a concert hall. And in the center of the city, you will find a 13th-century bishop’s castle, whose ruins are majestic.

Central Estonia

The center of the country is beautiful during the warm season. Gardens are blooming, historic estates are opening their doors, and landscaped parks are inviting guests. Raplamaa, Viljandi County, and Järvamaa counties offer many exciting walks.

For example, in  Raplamaa, it is suggested to visit the “Golden Ring of Raplamaa Manors.” The program includes noble estates, old churches, historical manors, which are now open as crafts centers. Hikers should pay attention to the limestone plateau in Maryamaa parish.

Viljandi County is visited for the sake of the central city – Viljandi, with a very ancient and venerable history. The first settlements here date back to the 5th century BC, the Viking Age. Written references to the city date back to 1154, and in the 12th century, the first permanent settlement appeared on the site of Viljandi. At the beginning of the XIII century, these lands were conquered by order of the Swordsmen, and already in 1224, a stone fortress was erected here, which was considered the largest in the Baltic. The defense and the city were called Fellin. Under this name, they were part of the Hanseatic League. 

In  Järva will appeal to fans of nature and lovers of history. Here you can visit the historic Albu estate and then walk in the Kõrvemaa landscape reserve. Bird watchers will especially appreciate this park; you can watch rare black storks and golden eagles here.

Eastern Estonia

The legendary shores of Lake Peipsi are the birthplace of the Tartumaa and Jõgevamaa regions. The historical battles of the Russian-Swedish and the Livonian War did not pass unnoticed; numerous castles and fortresses in the east of the country have survived to this day in the form of picturesque ruins.

County Tartu County  – the citadel of knowledge and scientific progress. Tartu, the region’s central city and the second most populous in the country, boasts a rich history. One of the oldest in Eastern Europe, Tartu was founded by Yaroslav the Wise in 1030 as the city of Yuryev. In addition to the university, one of the oldest in Europe, Tartu is famous for theaters, museums, architectural monuments, pretty streets of the Old Town.

The vicinity of Lake Peipsi, located nearby, will be an excellent competitor to seascapes.

You can come here for a whole vacation and not have time to see all the exciting places in the area – ancient manors, the famous “Onion Route” – a historical route through museums and castles, the beautiful Alatskivi Palace.

The amazing glacial landscapes of Jõgevamaa county take us back to the time of the epic about the exploits of Kalevipoeg, the giant warrior.

Mysterious protected forests, lakes, giant boulders, as if forgotten here by a strong man – everything breathes with legends.

One of the most exciting places in the county is the town of Põltsamaa. Once there was the capital of the Livonian Kingdom, with its castle, which welcomes guests in the city center today. By the way, Põltsamaa is also considered the wine capital of Estonia – fruit and berry and fruit wines are produced here, arranging colorful festivals and fairs in summer.

South Estonia

In winter, the southern regions of Valga County, Võrumaa, and Põlvamaa are especially popular with Estonian residents and visitors. The best ski resorts are located here, and the hilly terrain is favorable for snowmobiling and sledding. Valga County is also popular with professionals – it hosts the qualifying rounds of the European Championships and the World Cup in cross-country skiing. In summer, the freestyle jumps are used as an observation deck.

Põlvamaa will appeal to fans of ethno-tourism. Here are the settlements and villages that have preserved the traditional way of life, all against the backdrop of marvelous nature. National parks offer hiking trails of any degree of difficulty, and you can walk along swamps, cliffs, and canyons.

An additional highlight is meteorite craters, and there are four of them in the area. Moreover, the diameter of the deepest is about 80 meters.

Võrumaa county will appeal to wildlife researchers. The main pride of the region is the Hinni Canyon, a mysterious valley that gives rise to the Rõuge Trail. Having passed it to the end, you will see the pasture of the indigenous abodes of these places – the reindeer.

The largest lake in Estonia and the country’s highest point, Suur Munamägi Hill, 318 meters high, is also waiting for you on the route.

Where to go in Estonia

Tallinn Zoo


The Tallinn Zoo was founded in 1939.

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Today the collection numbers over 350 animal species living on 89 hectares. The zoo’s expositions include Alpine, Central Asian, South American, Arctic, and many other zones.

The zoo is proud of the collection “Tropical House,” rare for northern latitudes: the inhabitants of the tropical jungle were settled here.

Town Hall Square


Each ancient European city has its central square with a town hall founded in medieval times. Such areas were usually used as a gathering place during some important events and as a trading platform. Tallinn is also no exception and has its center – Town Hall Square.

Monument to the battleship “Rusalka.”


A bronze angel on the seashore holds a cross in his hand held high above his head. He points to the place of death of the battleship “Rusalka.” The statue, created by the sculptor A. Adamson, was installed in Kadriorg Park in 1902 on the 7th anniversary of the shipwreck.

Fat Margarita Tower


A medieval maritime city is, first of all, towers and fortress walls, in a word, structures intended to defend the city from invading invaders. Today the Great Sea Gate and the Fat Margarita have turned into monuments reminding native Tallinn residents and guests of the town about the terrible times. Fat Margarita was “born” in the 16th century: a giant armory tower (155 loopholes) with a diameter of 25 meters and a height of 20 meters was erected next to the Sea Gate.

Kadriorg Palace and Park


Kadriorg is considered a prestigious area of ​​Tallinn. The tranquil area is famous for its rich history and the main attractions – the Kadriorg Palace and park. Now on its territory is the residence of the Estonian president and several embassies of other states. The preserved wooden houses are also of interest; Estonia’s prominent figures of literature and art lived in them in the 1920s – 1930s.

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Aquapark in Tallinn


Aquapark in Tallinn is a water spa at the Kalev Spa hotel located in the center of the “old town” next to Kanuti Park. Town Hall Square is just a 7-minute walk from the water park. In addition, within walking distance of many attractions is the center of Tallinn – Dominican Monastery, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Dome Cathedral, St. Peter and Paul Church, St. Nicholas Church, Church of the Holy Spirit, Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Toompea Castle, Kiek-de- Kyok and other objects.

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Czech Travel Guide: Best Places to Visit And Things To Do

The Czech Republic, or the Czech Republic, is a central European state bordering Poland in the north, Germany in the west, Austria in the south, and Slovakia in the east. The capital of the Czech Republic is the city of Prague, which is one big attraction in the open air. The country covers an area of ​​78 866 km², has 10 610 947 people (2016). The largest cities are Prague, Brno, Pilsen, Ostrava.

According to legend, the ancestors of today’s Czechs, led by their leader Czech, settled on the territory of the modern Czech Republic, which has been inhabited since the Stone Age. The first chronicle mentions settlements on the Czech land date back to the end of the 9th century when princes from the Přemyslid clan united these lands. In the Middle Ages, the Czech kingdom had significant influence. Still, the religious conflicts that arose (the Hussite wars in the 15th century and the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century) significantly weakened it. Soon the kingdom fell under the rule of the Habsburgs and became part of Austria-Hungary.

After the end of the First World War and the fall of Austria-Hungary in 1918, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Subcarpathian Rus united into the independent republic of Czechoslovakia. Germany occupied the country in 1939. At the end of World War II, the Czech Republic found itself in the Soviet camp, which predetermined its history until 1989. On January 1, 1993, Slovakia separated from the Czech Republic, and both countries gained independence. Today’s Czech Republic has been a NATO member since 1999, and it has been a member of the European Union since 2004.

The Czech Republic is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Regardless of the season, the country annually is visited by about 50 million people—the choice of tourist routes in the Czech. Republic is so extensive that it is worthwhile to decide in advance which direction of tourism interests you at the moment and which should be left for subsequent visits. The most attractive are historical routes since the country has many objects that will be of interest to fans of antiquity: castles, fortresses, castles. Some cities in the Czech Republic are included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.

Climate and weather in the Czech Republic

The climate of the Czech Republic is moderate continental with features of the sea. Summer in the region is warm, with daytime temperatures of + 23 … + 25 ° С, with a lot of precipitation. Winter is cloudy, cool, in the day around 0 … + 3 ° С, and at night -5. -2 ° С, snow often falls. In winter, ski resorts start operating in the mountains. 

The minimum precipitation occurs in spring and autumn, and this time is considered the most comfortable for excursions and travel around the country.

The weather in the Czech Republic rarely surprises: in summer, as a rule, it is not hot, and in winter, it is moderately calm, so tourists visit the country all year round. 

  • Pilsen Region  – This region attracts tourists with its old Baroque buildings, nature reserves, folklore, and delicious food. Local beer is considered one of the most delicious varieties in the whole Czech Republic and beyond.
  • The South Bohemian Region is the greenest and most picturesque region of the Czech Republic, with a rich history and unique architectural sights. A third of its area is covered with forests and seven thousand pounds.
  • Stí nad Labem  – this area is also called the “Gateway to the Czech Republic,” as it is surrounded by hills – former volcanoes, from the tops of which an impressive view of the whole Czech Republic opens. The region will be attractive for those who like to explore ancient cities and their architecture. And for those who prefer rest among the picturesque nature – there are many reserves here. Thanks to volcanic soils, the region grows the highest quality hops in the world.
  • Liberec Region  – the region is famous for its magnificent nature and ski resorts. It is also considered the birthplace of a precious stone – Czech garnet.
  • Hradec Králové Region  – the region is home to the highest mountains of the Czech Republic – the Krkonoše with numerous ski resorts, a large number of castles and fortresses, and the most significant Czech zoo – an authentic African safari.
  • Pardubice Region  – looks like heaven on earth. Along with its magnificent nature, this region is proud of its history and technical monuments. On the National Stud Farm territory in Kladruby nad Labem, you can see how the white breed of Starokladruby horses is bred.
  • The Olomouc Region attracts tourists with its nature reserves and the Jeseníky Mountains with exceptional climatic conditions. This area is rich in its cultural traditions and ancient monuments.
  • The Zlín Region has Czech traditions and folklore, good wine and plum brandy, delicious food, and mysterious castles. Visit the local town of Zlín with its unusual architecture in the Czech Republic. Thanks to the local businessman Tomáš Bati, who invited the most distinctive architects in the 1930s, the city has become a natural monument to functionalism.
  • South Moravian Region  – This hospitable region is considered a wine-growing region, as 96% of the Czech vineyards are located here. A region with beautiful picturesque nature and UNESCO Intangible Heritage Sites.
  • Central Bohemian Region  – the atmosphere of local towns and villages is created by the legacy of ancient royal dynasties, the prints of which can be found all over the region.

Old cities of the Czech Republic

In addition to castles in the Czech Republic, it is worth visiting ancient cities, in which a vast number of historical and architectural monuments are concentrated.

Czech Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov is the most famous historical area of ​​South Bohemia, located in the Sumava foothills, famous for its stunning ensemble of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings. Cesky Krumlov Castle is the largest in the Czech Republic after Prague Castle, and it is also included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. The ensemble of the castle consists of 40 buildings and palaces, five courtyards, and a garden.

The castle on the old trade route was founded in the 1st half of the 13th century by representatives of the Vitkovich family. The architecture and the castle’s name determined its geographical location: the court was located in a loop formed by the bend of the Vltava River (die Krumme Au – crooked meadow). Podhradie got the name Latran (latus – side, side), and it was also planned to consider the river’s bends. Initially built in the Gothic style, the vast castle complex has changed – first in the Baroque style, then in the Rococo style. In the city, tourists will be interested in a garden and a park, theater, galleries, cellars. The dominant feature of the old town is the church of St. Vitus rising on the steep bank of the river. Buildings decorated in the sgraffito style, red-tiled roofs, and gilded turrets give Krumlov a unique charm and style.

Not far from Krumlov, only 32 kilometers away, there is a new (opened in 2012) attraction – a wooden observation tower at the top of Kremlin, above Lake Lipno. This tower is unique among structures of this kind for its pedestrian zone – a wooden suspended frame begins on the ground and gradually rises to the top of the building. In 2012, this site was named the best new Czech landmark.


Telč is a city on the water, Moravian Venice, whose layout is due to the presence of three artificial reservoirs and a bypass channel – the former castle moat. The city’s historical core is an old fortress, which has retained its appearance since the Middle Ages. The Gothic castle on the water was founded in the 13th century, and the building acquired its modern appearance during the reconstruction in the 16th century. The main building of the old city is a palace with rich interiors:

  • The Golden
  • Blue
  • Theater and Knights’ Halls
  • The All Saints’ Chapel
  • A treasury
  • A banquet hall decorated in the sgraffito technique

Jindrichuv Hradec

The town of Jindrichuv Hradec is home to the third-largest castle complex in the Czech Republic, built in the 13th century on the historical border between Bohemia, Moravia, and Austria. The complex’s main building is a Gothic palace with valuable paintings, the Church of St. John the Baptist with rare frescoes, and a former Minorite monastery. The city is famous for its annual classical music (Concertino Praga) and folk music (Folková růže) festivals.


Brno is the capital of Moravia and the second most important and largest city in the Czech Republic. The most recognizable symbol of Brno is the Gothic castle of Spielberg, the silhouette of which is depicted on Czech coins. The court was founded in the 13th century on the summit of the Spielberg mountain. 

Once in Brno, it is worth exploring the Moravian Gallery, the second largest museum in the Czech Republic, famous for its rich collection. The gallery, founded in 1961, contains objects of free art – not only painting, graphics, and plastic arts from ancient times to the present, but also photography, applied art, and graphic design.

Also noteworthy in Brno is the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, the Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Church of St. Jacob, the Town Hall, the Church of St. Michael.

Kutná Hora

The historic town of Kutná Hora, the second largest after Prague in the 14th century, became famous for its silver mines. In the 16th century, after the cessation of silver mining, its importance fell, but the town retained its charm, becoming one of the most famous tourist centers in the country. Tourists may find it interesting to visit the Chapel of All Saints, built around 1400 at a Gothic cathedral in the cemetery of the Cistercian monastery in Sedlec. As a result of the cholera epidemic of 1318 and during the Hussite wars at the beginning of the 15th century, the cemetery grew considerably. The arriving bones began to be piled up in pyramids. In 1870, by order of the Schwarzenberg’s, woodcarver Frantisek Rint decorated the chapel’s interior with bones from 40,000 skeletons, from the altar to the chandelier.

It is worth visiting Vlašský Dvor – a cultural monument of Kutnogorsk, which is a complex of buildings from the 13th – 14th centuries, once the residence of Czech kings, with an old mint; the stone palace Hradek, which today houses the Silver Museum with an exciting exposition; Cathedral of St. Barbara – Czech Notre Dame de Paris.


Plze, the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic, located in the country’s west, stretches at the confluence of four rivers – Uslava, Uglava, Radbuza, and Mži. Pilsen is famous for the following attractions: the tallest church tower in the Czech Republic (103 m) – the tower of the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, the cathedral itself with the late Gothic Sternberg Chapel, the Town Hall, the dungeons, the Museum of West Bohemia, the third largest synagogue in the world in the Moor-Romanesque style.

As you know, Plze is the capital of Czech brewing, and Plze beer of the Prazdroi and Gambrinus brands is brewed here. The beer is produced according to the old technology, unchanged since the century before last, and the inimitable taste to the drink, according to the Czechs, is given by the Pilsen water, its malt, and the unique storage conditions in the cellars. You can learn more about the history of the Plzeský Prazdroj brewery in the Brewery Museum.

Memorial Terezin

The Terezin Fortress was founded at the end of the 18th century at the confluence of the Laba and Ohři rivers, 5 km south of Litoměřice. During World War II, the German invaders set up a concentration camp for Jews in the fortress, the so-called Terezin ghetto, which housed a little less than 140,000 people (of whom 33,000 died while in the ghetto). Some of the Jews (88,000 people) were deported to Auschwitz and other death camps. By the end of the war, 17,247 people had survived in the ghetto. Soviet troops liberated Terezin on May 9, 1945. Today Terezín houses the Memorial to the Victims of the Concentration Camp.

Medical resorts of the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a recognized destination for health tourism, and the country is famous for its thermal and mineral spas, the most famous of which is Karlovy Vary. The city was founded by Emperor Charles IV century. 1358 appeared in a place where 132 mineral springs break through to the earth’s surface, 12 of which are with healing water. The resort has a glorious history; the entire world elite came here to improve their health: monarchs, prominent political figures, famous people of art. The city’s streets repeat the bends formed by the Teplaya River, across which openwork bridges are thrown. The town is decorated with picturesque buildings of different eras, parks, squares. In addition to medical procedures shown for a wide range of diseases, and pleasant walks in the bosom of nature, you can always enjoy your time here. For example, the city hosts the Karlovy Vary Film Festival – the second most important in Europe after the Cannes Film Festival.

Marianske Lazne -the second most important resort in the Czech Republic after Karlovy Vary, whose history begins in 1528 – discovered Ferdinand’s spring. Today there are about 40 mineral springs here.

Another Czech town with a spa tradition is Frantiskovy Lazne, popular mainly among women, as the local mud successfully treats infertility.

You can find out more about the country’s resorts in our article “Therapeutic spas of the Czech Republic,” which tells about the most popular places for treatment on the waters.

Water parks

Aquapark Babylon is located in Liberec and is part of the largest entertainment center in the Czech Republic Babylon. The interiors of the water park resemble antique baths, and the most popular attractions are the “wild river” and the adrenaline “space bowl.”

The AquaPalace water park is located in the village of Čestlice near Prague – it is the largest water park in Central Europe. The complex consists of the Palace of Waves, the Palace of Adventures, and Relaxation. There is a diving tunnel for lovers of deep-sea diving, and sauna lovers can visit the classic Finnish saunas, Roman baths, and Russian baths.

The Aqua-Olomouc water park is located in Olomouc and is famous for its adrenaline-pumping attractions. Visitors are also offered a massage, solarium, and tepidarium (dry heating zone).

Where to go in the Czech Republic

Prague Old Town


The Old Town of Prague (Old Town) is the central, oldest, and most popular part of the Czech capital. Everything that Prague is associated with is concentrated here: narrow cobbled streets, unique buildings built in different architectural styles from Gothic to Art Nouveau, beautiful copper doorknobs, orange roofs, and the indescribable charm of a medieval city.

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The Charles Bridge


Charles Bridge is a famous Prague landmark, one of the recognizable symbols of the city, so adored by tourists.

The medieval Charles Bridge over the Vltava River is a pedestrian, free entrance, open around the clock.

The bridge connects two historical districts – Stare Mesto and Mala Strana.

The length of the Charles Bridge in Prague is 515.76 meters (usually rounded up to 520 meters).

Golden Lane


In the very center of Prague Castle, there is a picturesque street called Zlata Ulichka. Along the cobblestone pavement, there are tiny multi-colored “gingerbread” houses built into the arches of the former fortress wall.

National Park “Bohemian Switzerland”


This reserve, which has no analogues in Europe, stretches from the town of Tisza in the Ustecky region to the Shluknovsky ledge in the Decinsky region. The park was founded on January 1, 2000, and became a Czech extension of the German Sächsische Schweiz National Park (Saxon Switzerland), founded 10 years earlier (1990). The Bohemian Switzerland Park is part of the vast natural complex of Labske Piskovce, and the main object of protection is the characteristic sandstone phenomenon – the “rocky sandstone town” of Etrschowické and Dečinské Stena, and the associated biological diversity. Tourists love to visit observation decks with unique views of sandy cliffs, bridges and castles created by nature. The park is popular with fans of active sports: climbers, cyclists, rafting and hiking enthusiasts.

Millions of years ago, the sea stretched here. Having collapsed, it left behind a unique land of high sandstone cliffs and towers, rocky arches, ravines and mountains with truncated peaks.

Wild nature, which for a long time developed without human intervention, was discovered at the end of the 18th century by two Swiss artists of the Romantic era – Adrian Zingg and Anton Graf. Depicting this land in engravings and describing in poetry, they quickly spread the fame of it throughout Europe. The sites along the Elbe River canyon have become the cradle of modern tourism, becoming one of the first actively visited tourist attractions in Europe.

One of the most famous landscape painters of all time, Caspar David Friedrich, came here for the motives of his paintings. The owners of the local estates quickly realized the attractiveness of the local dense forests and romantic outlines of the cliffs, they went to great lengths to make these places more accessible by building roads and bridges. On the Mariana Rock, the Wall of Welhelm and the Rudolph Stone, steps were made, benches were placed, and gazebos were placed on the peaks. Along the roads, new taverns and lodging places were opened for tourists, walking paths appeared, and the wild river Kamenice began to be used to move between the gorges.

Not only artists came here for inspiration. Forts of robber knights, rock towns, legends about gnomes and fairies influenced the storyteller Hans Christian Andersen, poet R.M. Rilke, composers K.M. von Weber, Richard Wagner and others.

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And today the Pravcicke Gate is a symbol of “Czech Switzerland”, conquering artists, for example, the snow-covered Silent Rocks became the scenery for the film “The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. It was here that Lucy visited the cave of the faun Tumnus, and all four brothers and sisters crossed the rocky bridge for the first time and looked at the endless forests of Narnia.

One of the main attractions of Bohemian Switzerland, along with the Pravcické Gate, is a romantic boat trip along the Quiet and Wild Canyons on the Kamenice River. It is a short but impressive boat ride with a gondolier between two sheer cliffs – in places so deep that direct sunlight hardly gets here.

This was once a serious obstacle for the inhabitants of local villages. Once in 1877, at the U Zeleného stromu tavern in the town of Hřensko, five brave souls made a bet that they would sail on rafts from the Dolskoy mill to what was then called the “end of the world”. On rafts 4 meters long, they really safely reached Hrzhensk, in fact, becoming the founders of the tourist water route. The local prince Clari-Aldringen invited specialists from Italy, under whose leadership, through the labor of over two hundred workers, these sites became available to the public. Suspended bridges were thrown here, tunnels were built with the help of explosives. On May 4, 1890, the grand opening of the “Quiet” (“Edmond’s”) canyon took place. Since then, “at the very end of the world”, in fact, nothing has changed much,

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Moravian Karst


The Moravian Karst, or Moravian Karst, is a nature reserve, one of the largest karst massifs in Europe, located in the Czech Republic, 30 km north of Brno.

The area stretches 25 km in length. Its width in some places is 6 km. The natural park covers an area of ​​92 sq. km. The highest height of rock formations in reserve is 734 m. The lowest place of Kras is the Macokha abyss, which has 138 m with the Punkva River at the bottom. For tourists, unique bridges (Upper and Lower) were equipped over the abyss, from which a stunning and, at the same time, a terrible panorama of the gorge opens up.

The most popular among tourists are the caves of the Moravian Kras, of which there are about 1,100 pieces. Only five underground cavities are equipped for excursions in the Moravian Beauty, among which it is worth mentioning the Punkva cave, through which the Punkva underground river of the same name flows; deep cave Macokha; Katezhinskaya cave with unique limestone formations – helictites growing horizontally; the Balcarka stalactite cave and the Stolbsko-Shoshuvsky caves with spacious underground corridors. Other attractions of the Moravian Karst include the Empty Trough and Dry Trough karst canyons and the White Water Gap.

Unique flora and fauna protect the reserve. Many species of plants and animals are endemic. In some caves, ancient rock paintings have been found on the walls.

On the reserve territory, the so-called “ecological trains” run, delivering tourists to remote points of the park. Tourists should remember that it is stably cold even in summer in the caves, so it is worth bringing a set of warm clothes with you.

Dancing House in Prague


The Dancing House in Prague is the image of a couple in dance, expressed in urban architecture. The house consists of two towers called “Ginger and Fred,” referring to the famous Hollywood dancer and actor couple Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. The comparison is indeed justified: one tower is straight, has the shape of a cylinder, expanding upward, and symbolizes a man. And the second tower – glass, depicts the figure of a woman with a narrow waist. In the dance, she seemed to lean against her partner. The building’s less flattering nickname is The Drunk House.

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