Soomaa National Park
Soomaa National Park is famous for its unique landscape, bog forests, rivers and the fifth season. During the high water season, Soomaa can be explored in the dugout boat which as been added to UNESCO’s cultural heritage list. During colder periods, the water may freeze and form large skating rinks.
Matsalu National Park
Matsalu National Park is one of Europe’s richest areas for bird species with over 270 different species. This is the main stopping ground for migratory birds such as ducks, swans, geese and cranes on the Estonian coast. The best time to visit Matsalu National Park is the spring or autumn migration period, when over two million water birds are flying through here. In addition, there are several hiking trails and observation towers in Matsalu National Park.
Kihnu and Manija
In 2021, Kihnu Island was selected as one of Europe’s TOP 100 Green Destinations success stories. Along with its sister island Manija, Kihnu offers lots to explore, as well as authentic emotions, both to visiting compatriots and foreign tourists. The Kihnu Cultural Space with its traditional way of life, customs, folk culture and nature of the archipelago has been added to the UNESCO’s list of heritage culture masterpieces. The first residents only moved to Manija in 1933, when Kihnu became too small for the locals. Consequently, the cultural links between these two islands are very close.
Kabli beach and its surroundings are a popular summer holiday destination. That is why there are lots of summer cottages around here. The shallow and warm water beach is a favourite among families with children. There is also a camping area by the beach, as well as the Kabli Bird Station, a visitor centre and a hiking trail. Various events are organised in Kabli in the summer, and the beach is a great play to enjoy sunsets.
Tori small borough
Tori small borough near Soomaa offers various sights to explore. There is a small collapsed cave near Pärnu River, called the Tori Hell. The mouth of Tori Hell was once 6 metres in diameter, and according to certain sources, the “hellhole” used to be 32 metres in length. The place is a subject of several folk stories and legends. Tori is also home to a well-preserved church, where Estonian policemen and officers take their oath of office.
The Valgerand beach and the adventure park
Located just near Pärnu, the Valgerand beach is great for holidaymakers who prefer a bit quieter environment for swimming and sunbathing than the Pärnu beach. Right next to the beach, there is the Valgeranna adventure park, which is the largest adventure park in Pärnu. The six difficulty levels of the park are putting every climber’s skills to the test. In addition, a free fall jump can be made from the 10-metre viewing platform. The smallest ones of the family can enjoy the children’s adventure park.
Tori Horse Breeding Farm
Tori is home to the historic and Estonia’s oldest Tori Horse Breeding Farm. Estonian breed horses are raised and bred here to this day. In addition, a museum exhibition “Tori attic” is open in the farm, where both hidden treasures can be found and local stories and legends explored.
The Farm Museum of C. R. Jakobson at Kurgja
The Farm Museum named after one of the most important figures of the Estonian national awakening period in the 19th century is a great place to learn about the life and work of Carl Robert Jakobson. What makes the farm museum special is the fact that livestock farming and agriculture are still being practised here. Here, you can get a closer look at cows, sheep, chickens and horses. You can also peep into the newly renovated main building and various farm buildings. The museum is also venue to various events.
Located near Pärnu, Lotte Village is the largest theme park in the Baltic States. Lotte is a popular figure in Estonian animated films, appreciated by both small ones and big. The whole Lotte Village looks just how it was pictured in the animated film. The theme park features characters familiar from the films and books. Here, you can make crafts together with Lotte, Bruno and Albert, learn gardening tricks, play music, do sports, watch some cheerful theatre performances, have fun at the adventure park and visit the homes of the villagers, where many exciting inventions can be found. The theme park is open throughout the summer and in the Christmas period.
In the Alpaca Farm in Pärnu County, visitors can see the exotic alpacas up close, and pet them and feed them carrot slices. In addition to the alpacas, the Alpaca Farm is also home to llamas, guanacos, goats, mini sheep and rabbits. It is one of the largest farms in Estonia that breeds camelids. The farm also organises trips that give an overview of the everyday life of the animals. The Alpaca Farm is located approximately 20 kilometres from Pärnu by the Pärnu-Tallinn highway.
Halinga Car Museum
Most of the exhibits at the Car Museum are from the Soviet era. More than 50 vehicles from around the world, including Europe and the USA, can be explored here. The exhibits of the restored cars will make you feel nostalgic or will bring joy of discovery over something old turned new. The museum is located on the 103rd kilometre of the Via Baltica route, right next to the Tallinn-Pärnu highway.
There are two cider farms in Pärnu Country, both of which have earned international awards. In the Tori Cider Farm, you can get acquainted with the process of making Estonian local cider. It is the largest organic cider and wine production farm in Estonia and probably also in the Baltic States. The owners will be happy to share with you the secrets of making good cider.
The Jaanihanso Cidery is the first local small producer in Estonia to make apple cider. In the cider house, you can buy and try Jaanihanso’s products and take a tour around the production site and the apple orchard if you like. Theatre plays and concerts are also organised at the cider house. In 2018, Jaanihanso was awarded the title of the Best Tourism Developer in Pärnu.
The Butterfly House
The Butterfly House is one of the most special experiences and sights in Pärnu County. Here, various exotic butterflies can be admired all year round. The Butterfly House features a glasshouse reminding of the tropics, with orchids, banana plants and exotic butterflies and moths from Panama, Ecuador and the Philippines, for example. All butterflies and moths are free to fly around the house and may even possibly land on you. If you want, you can pick up the butterflies to have a closer look.
Estonian Museum Railway
The Museum Railway in Lavassaare displays the only functioning steam train in Estonia. The courtyard of the Museum Railway showcases over 80 units of rolling stock – locomotives, freight cars, a 1930s passenger carriage, and five steam locomotives.
There are two wine manors in Pärnu: at Pootsi and at Allikukivi. The Pootsi Wine Manor produces delicious handcrafted wines from domestic berries, and organises cultural events. Both manors offer tours for visitors on the history of the manor and the production of wine. The products can be tasted on the spot. What makes the Allikukivi Wine Manor special is that most of the products are made of locally grown berries and fruit. Also, various concerts are held here in the summer. Near Pärnu, there is an old manor-era horse arena, Valgeranna Veinitall, where you can find out more about the handcrafted wines of the local producer Mamm & Frukt.
Tõstamaa Manor and Museum
The beautifully restored Tõstamaa Manor with its colourful history is one of the best known sights in the region. On a daily basis, there is a school operating within Tõstamaa Manor. The history of the manor, and the museum, can be explored by making an advance booking. The museum introduces the local way of life.
Tamme Farm Herb Garden
The collection garden of the hostess of Tamme Farm features exciting plants from every corner of the world. Long-forgotten vegetables and edible decorative plants can also be found here. The excellent flavours and aromas of the exotic plants are a great experience for the visitor. The herbs, berries and vegetables grown at Tamme Farm with tender loving care are turned into delicious and healthy preserves, jams to serve with cheese, tea, herb salt and herb oil.
The Piesta Kuusikaru Farm produces all kinds of apple-based products. The Piesta brand features, for example, pure apple juice, a spiced apple drink similar to mulled wine, apple syrup with a touch of mint, slow-fermented apple vinegar, and apple stroop – a favourite among food enthusiasts. You can visit the organic apple orchard and learn about the exciting history of the farm. Piesta spiced apple drink has been awarded the Best Drink award at the Estonian farm food competition in 2018, and the apple stroop received a special prize as the best side and most exciting organic product in 2019.
The Jõulumäe Recreational Sports Centre is the largest sports complex in Pärnu County. Despite the season, you can always try out different sports here. At Jõulumäe, you can run, ski, play tennis, basketball, disc golf, ride a bike, and do much more. Sports equipment can be rented on the spot.
Pärnu County is known for its greenness and nature. There are various hiking trails around the county. The Tolkuse hiking trail by the Pärnu-Riga highway and the Riisa hiking trail in Soomaa are some of the most popular ones among visitors. The Riisa hiking trail is also partially pram and wheelchair accessible. Both bogs have viewing platforms, benches, and bog lakes to swim in. There is a high observation tower in Tolkuse bog.