Kihnu island

Kihnu is the largest island in the Gulf of Riga and the seventh largest island in Estonia. The island covers an area of 16.9 km², being 7 km long and 3.3 km wide. The closest point on the mainland is the cape of Lao, on the Tõstamaa Peninsula, which is 10.2 km from Kihnu. Kihnu is home to the unique traditional Kihnu culture, which has been living on the islands along Pärnu County’s coast for more than 600 years.

The Kihnu Cultural Space, which has been added to the UNESCO Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity List, is exciting for all visitors who are interested in cultural heritage, unique nature and friendly people. In 2021, Kihnu Island was selected as one of Europe’s TOP 100 Green Destinations success stories.


Kihnu – an ancient island of seafarers, fishermen, and seal hunters. Kihnu Island was first mentioned under the name Kyne in 1386, and its residents were first mentioned in 1518. Historical evidence suggests that fishermen and seal hunters had already visited Kihnu as far back as 3,000 years ago.

Historically, the men of Kihnu have spent much of their time at sea, having thus left the women in charge of the island’s affairs. As a result, the women of Kihnu have become the guardians and bearers of the island’s cultural traditions, such as handicrafts, dances, games, and music. The homemade Kihnu folk costume skirt, known as a ‘kört’ in the local dialect, remains a part of their daily attire. 

Due to the island’s seclusion, Kihnu’s culture and centuries-old traditions remain alive to this day and the wisdom of the ancestors is still followed in everyday life. For example, the ceremonies related to marriage, such as the three-day wedding celebration, have remained unchanged, as well as many other customs and rituals that are followed on folk and church calendar holidays.

Kihnu Travel Wheel

So that visitors could comfortably discover the island, the route “Kihnu Travel Wheel“ has been put together, joining all sights of the island into one circular tour. The route is nearly 23 km long and can be completed on foot, by bicycle and by car. It takes 4–12 hours to complete the route by bicycle, depending on one’s physical form and the objectives of the trip.

How to get to Kihnu island?

Kihnu Island can be accessed year-round via the ferry Kihnu Virve, which departs 3–4 times daily from the Munalaid Harbour (approx. 40 km from Pärnu). Ferry tickets can be purchased on the website Kihnu Veeteedand as there are various events continuously taking place on the island, you should always book tickets in advance. When tickets are sold out or you would like to have an even more exciting cruise, you can also find special-order water transportation for Kihnu. See more at Visit Kihnu.

You can go on the ferry to Kihnu by car, motorcycle and bicycle. We recommend leaving your car in the secured parking lot at Munalaid Harbour. The most convenient way to travel around Kihnu island is by bicycle, which can be rented from the Port of Kihnu. You can easily cover the entire island by bicycle. Also, it is a fun and athletic way to spend time with your friends and family.

Kihnu Island is full of smaller bed and breakfasts, with a few tourist farms and guest houses mixed in. There are two small grocery stores on the island, and a couple of smaller eateries that may not be open every day. At most bed and breakfasts, the families will offer food to their guests.

There are no ATMs on Kihnu Island, which means that you should bring along plenty of cash. Card payment option may not be available everywhere.

There are four villages on Kihnu Island:

  • Lemsi
  • Linaküla
  • Rootsiküla
  • Sääre Village

In Lemsi in the east, there is a main port for traffic between the mainland and the island during the navigation season. In Linaküla in the western part of the island, there are a hospital, a school house, a local history museum, a church and a new public house that also accommodates the library and the rural municipality government. Sääre Village is located in the northern and middle part of the island and has a post office, shops and the Kurase centre. In the southern part of Kihnu, in Rootsiküla, there are a memorial stone, a weather station and a lighthouse.

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For tourism sector

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