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Soomaa
tips

Recommendations for visiting Soomaa

It is a good idea to read up on where to visit in Soomaa and when to get the most out of your visit. The Soomaa Visitor Centre is an excellent source of information. They advise visitors over the phone and via e-mail, although printed material can be reviewed and advice asked for onsite at the Centre during its opening hours. The Visitor Centre also has exhibitions on local nature and life. We recommend stopping by the Centre, if you have the opportunity.

Wear a comfortable pair of shoes and weather-appropriate clothing. Your shoes may get wet. The bog is often quite warm, and home to many bugs! Make sure to bring along plenty of water if you are planning on spending more than an hour or two on the nature and study trails and in the forest. If you have gone to Soomaa on your own, remember to bring along food, as the closest grocery store is in Tori Village.

Estonia’s clean and wild nature will only remain this way if everyone visiting does the following respectfully.

Behave as follows:

  • Respect the peace of local residents, animals, and plants.
  • Move along the designated paths and areas.
  • Follow signs and other information.
  • Be prepared to take everything that came with you out of the nature – there are no rubbish bins or cleaners in the forest.
  • You are only permitted to light fires and camp at designated campfire sites.
Riisa bog (Photo: Priidu Saart)

Arriving by car

The easiest way to arrive at Soomaa is by car. The paved Kõpu-Jõesuu road passes through the National Park, with several signs directing travellers passing through nearby settlements to the park. Approaching from the direction of Tori, the first nature and study trail is the Riisa Study Trail, located near Riisa Village. The road leads to the Soomaa Visitor Centre in Kõrtsi-Tõramaa and continues, passing by several nature and study trails. There are several campfire and camping sites between the borders of Soomaa and the Visitor Centre. Additional information about the nature within Soomaa and how to discover it can be found at the Soomaa Visitor Centre as well as HERE.

Important to know! During the fifth season, some roads and nature and study trails may be underwater. Keep track of news on the page Soomaa.com, at RMK Soomaa, or ask about the status of the water from the Pärnu Visitor Centre.

Soomaa (Photo: Juhani Särglep, Katri Palm)

Arriving with guides

Moving about with a guide in the national park allows you to experience the nuances of nature in a way that would be difficult to achieve on your own. Luckily, there are experienced service providers in Soomaa National Park, who allow for guided as well as independent adventures. If possible, we recommend spending the night in Soomaa, and in most cases, local entrepreneurs cooperate with each other and can provide you with the necessary transport to and from Soomaa for an additional fee.

Klaara-Manni Accommodation (Photo: Innervisionteam)

Arriving by bus

You can also travel to Soomaa National Park via bus, although this option requires a bit of patience and walking. Buses do not travel throughout the day between Pärnu and Soomaa, doing so only in the morning and in the afternoon, which means you definitely need to plan ahead for the trip.

As a day trip, the most realistic place to visit when travelling by bus is the Riisa Study Trail. The next trail, i.e. the Meiekose Study Trail, is located 7 kilometres from the Riisa Study Trail, with the Soomaa Visitor Centre located a further 2 kilometres away.

Along the Meiekose Study Trail are 2 campfire sites, 4 camping sites, as well as the Kõrtsi-Tõramaa campfire site with room for 10 tents located close to the Visitor Centre. For an independent nature lover or group of people, one possible idea is to spend the night in a campsite with your own supplies and return to Pärnu the next afternoon.

Once per day, bus No. 99 will take you directly to the Riisa stop, from which you can walk a kilometre or two to the Study Trail. In the morning, you can take a more circuitous route to Riisa with the bus (it makes a brief detour to neighbouring villages) or you can exit at the Riisa tee stop, in Jõesuu Village, and take in the local life while waiting for the bus to return. We recommend that you visit Estonia’s longest suspension bridge in Jõesuu Village! The Jõesuu Kodukõrts Pub is also open in the afternoon, where you can enjoy affordable and nostalgic foods. Bus No. 99 will also bring you back from Soomaa along the same route. Also operating from Monday – Friday evenings is bus No. 92-2.

Bus times Pärnu-Soomaa

Bus times Soomaa-Pärnu