Saaremaa is the largest island in Estonia and is part of the West Estonian Archipelago. The island is known for its beautiful beaches, historical sites, and breathtaking natural landscapes. This opens up possibilities for a lot of great things to do in Saaremaa, Estonia.

If you like history, you can visit museums, medieval churches, old lighthouses, ruined castles, and WWII battle sites. There are several amazing places to visit in Saaremaa that dive into regional history and culture. The history of civilization on the island dates back to 5000 BCE and has been inhabited by several cultures over the ages.

You will see Saaremaa attractions bearing the influence of various cultures including Viking, French, Danish, Roman, and Russian. The island was also occupied by Soviet and German forces around the time of the World Wars. There are quite a few WWII battle sites that have become Saaremaa tourist attractions.

During the 1800s, the island began gaining popularity as a seaside retreat destination. This was primarily because of the Saaremaa beaches and lush natural landscapes. The coastline of this island has a lot of interesting spots. There are sandy beaches, rocky terrains, cliffs, forests, and peninsulas to explore. The beaches in Saaremaa are also known for leisure, spa resorts, and adventure activities.

Finally, you have the exploratory part of Saaremaa sightseeing. The island is full of lush landscapes including forests, hills, cliffs, and plains. The coastal forests are especially popular for bird-watching. These serve as home to a variety of native and migrating birds for nesting. There are also numerous wonderful things to see in Saaremaa island as well. The forests and plains are home to wild horses, cows, goats, bunnies, and a few other animals. You can see them while exploring the hiking trails through the forests and cliffs. People can also experience pastoral life at some of the farms on the island. You can feed and pet farm animals at these places. There are lots of fun places and activities to enjoy when you visit Saaremaa, Estonia.

This Blog Post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything from that link then I may earn a small part of the commission and for that, you do not need to pay any extra amount.

16 Tourist Places to Visit in Saaremaa, Estonia

1. Yugu Cliff (Üügu Cliff)

This is the largest cliff on Muhu island. It rises 300 meters high and is known for beautiful trails and picturesque viewpoints. The cliff is also rich in wildlife. You will see wild horses galloping around and a variety of cattle grazing.

If you enjoy exploring nature, this is one of the best things to do in Saaremaa, Estonia. The trails also run along the coast. You get amazing ocean views during the trail and when you reach the top. It takes 1 to 2 hours at least to complete the trails of this cliff. There are also longer trails if you wish to explore the region further.

2. Maasi Order Castle (Maasilinna Castle)

This castle was destroyed in 1576 by Danish king Frederick II. However, the ruins still tell the story of its former glory. This medieval castle is believed to have been undefeated until 1576. It is one of the best places to visit in Saaremaa, Estonia to learn about its medieval history.

The castle was built with strong 8-meter-thick walls and complex defensive architecture. Research shows that it took 200 years to build this castle. You will need about an hour to explore various parts of the castle ruins.

3. Kaali Meteorite Crater

This crater is the 8th youngest among giant craters in the world. This crater formed about 7500 years ago but the site is still one of the most fascinating Saaremaa attractions.

It shows the impact a meteorite would have when it hits the ground. And this was just a small one. The crater also had a significant impact on the history and culture of the people who lived on the island. It is believed to have been used for religious and ritualistic ceremonies during ancient times. You can easily spend 30 to 45 minutes exploring the crater when you visit Saaremaa.

4. Kuressare Castle & Saarema Museum

This castle had been impregnable and stood strong for centuries. It was built in the later half of the 14th century and severed several rulers over the years. However, it was never conquered in a siege.

The castle is steeped in history and houses the Saarema Museum. It focuses on the history of the region. While the primary focus is on political history, the museum also has several artifacts concerning culture. It is one of the most interesting Saarema tourist attractions.

You will learn about the various civilizations, conquests, and invasions that took happened over the centuries. This includes the German and Soviet occupation. The museum also shows how these shaped the regional culture. The museum also hosts several fun things to do in Saarema including treasure hunt and archery. You will need about 2 hours to explore the castle and the museum.

5. Thule Koda Museum of Alternative History

This museum draws inspiration from the world-historical role of Saarema in Ultima Thule. It describes the mythical journey of Pytheas, the Greek explorer. The museum is full of quirky objects, mythological sculptures, and fun exhibits.

The motto of these exhibits is “Don’t Believe Everything You’re Shown.” These exhibits are funny, self-deprecating, and even thought-provoking. It also hosts a variety of fun games and experiences based on Ultima Thule. It is a must-see in Saarema if you want to enjoy something offbeat. You will need an hour or so to explore this museum.

6. Sõrve Lighthouse

This lighthouse stands on the southern end of Saarema Island and is one of the oldest in Estonia. Sovre is also the tallest lighthouse in the Baltic Sea. It was built in the 17th century and stayed active till the 1960s. The lighthouse is known for its iconic white and black colours.

The lighthouse sits by the beach surrounded by amazing scenery. You can get even more majestic views if can climb to the top. The climb is 45 steps, so you will need good stamina.

But the view from the top is one of the most beautiful things to see in Saarema, Estonia. On a clear day, you can see the coast of Latvia from the lighthouse. You can easily spend a couple of hours enjoying this monument and its surroundings.

7. Best Beaches in Saarema

There is a beach at literally every corner of Saarema and all of them have something unique. Some are great for nature trails that hug the coastline. While there are some are known for their pristine beauty. There are also Saarema beaches where you can enjoy water activities like swimming, jet skiing, snorkelling, kayaking, paddleboarding, and boat tours.

Some of the best beaches in Saarema include Tuhkana Beach, Kuressare Beach, Jarve Beach, and Mandjala Beach. If you want to enjoy swimming in calm waters, you can also head to Lake Karujarv. It is the largest lake on the island. It is facilitated with an outdoor pool and recreational activities. You can easily spend a couple of hours from Saarema travel enjoying the beaches.

8. Stone Towers on Ohessaare Cliff

This limestone cliff is best known for its stone towers. These are made with flat stones by the people who visit here. The cliff is the site with the largest collection of Silurian sedimentary rock layers, resulting in tons of these flat rocks lying around.

So people come here during Saarema sightseeing and build a structure of their own. You will see a lot of interesting structures built over the years and you can leave your mark too. Maybe people who after you would admire your handiwork. You can easily spend a couple of hours enjoying this place. The cliff also gives you amazing views of the Sorve Peninsula.

9. Tire Forest Church of the Nativity of Christ

This abandoned church sits in the middle of the forest. It is an incredibly sombre sight but has a sort of magical appeal to it. You can find it going on Route 102 going west from Metsalouka County. There is a board outside the church that will tell you its story with photographs from its past.

It is a hidden gem of history that you can explore during Saarema sightseeing. It will only take a few minutes but there is something about this ruined church that makes it memorable.

10. Kiipsaare Lighthouse

Built in 1933 this lighthouse stands 26 meters tall but is partly submerged in the ocean. When it was built, it stood on the land, but as time passes, the ocean has taken it in its cradle.

The lighthouse also earned the name “The Leaning Tower”. Over the years, waves, tides, and strong winds have caused it to tilt a little. The monument is one of the most interesting things to see in Saarema. A solo tower standing in the ocean as if still keeping vigilance over the ocean.

You will need 20 to 30 minutes to admire this lighthouse from the shore. However, during certain days of low tide, you can get closer to it.

11. Stebel Coastal Defence Battery No. 317

This defensive structure was built by the Soviet army when they occupied the island. It was built during the WWII to fortify the island. The ruined state of the battery is connected to its role in the war.

The German troops attacked the battery in 1941 which led to much of its destruction. But, it stood strong and broke the German lines. This is one of the best places to visit in Saarema for its history. You will need about an hour to explore it and see remnants of a WWII battle.

12. Panga Cliff

This is the highest cliffs on Western Estonia’s islands. It stands 21 meters tall and is known for two Saarema attractions. The exposed wall-like rock formations are a delight to watch during sunset.

This spot on the cliff is also ideal for birdwatching. You can enjoy hiking trails along the coast or climbing up the cliff. The other attraction on this cliff is a sole dolomite sundial. See if you can figure out how it tells the time. You will need 2 to 3 hours to explore this cliff and its coastline when you visit Saarema, Estonia.

13. Angla Mills

You will find small wooden windmills throughout the island of Saarema. This place is a museum dedicated to them. You will get to explore several 19th-century windmills and learn about their history and the farm life of the yesteryears. Another section of the museum is dedicated to the folklore of the island. It gives you great insight into the regional culture.

Angla Mills are also quite popular for fun things to do in Saarema for families. The museum has a mini-zoo where people can feed and pet goats, bunnies, geese, and ducks. You can easily spend 2 to 3 hours enjoying this place.

14. Karja Medieval Lutheran Church

This medieval church is one of the oldest surviving Saarema tourist attractions. It has been around since the 13th century. The church is also home to one of the richest medieval stone sculpture decorations in all of the Baltics.

The exterior features elaborate structures with intricately carved stonework. The interesting thing is that these carvings were done by different artisans over the ages from different regions. You will see styles reflecting Sweden, Germany, and France. It is a must-see in Saarema for those who like history and architecture.

The church is also decorated with beautiful murals which date back to medieval times. Some symbols also seem pagan in origin. You will need about an hour from Saarema sightseeing to explore this church.

15. Muhu Ostrich Farm

This animal park has a variety of animals including zebras, ostriches, kangaroos, ponies, porcupines, alpacas, emus, and more. The best part is that it allows you to interact with many of these creatures.

You can feed them, pet them, and even you can get pictures with them. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Saarema for families. Some of the animals would eat right out of your hands. Isn’t that exciting? You can easily spend a couple of hours enjoying this place.

16. Vilsandi National Park

This bird reserve comprises of 150 islands and is a paradise for bird-watching. The park serves host to more than 250 species of birds. You can see white-tailed eagles, barnacle geese, Eider ducks, and even seals.

The park includes a variety of terrains which you can explore with hiking, kayaking, and boat tours. It is also home to some of the best beaches in Saarema and several historical sites. You will need at least 2 hours to explore parts of this National park.

If you are looking for more places to visit in Saarema, go through the sections below. We have listed all the tourist attractions you can explore on the island and a few hidden gems.

Things to do in Saaremaa, Estonia

Monuments, Museums & Historical Places to Visit in Saaremaa, Estonia

  1. Kuressaare Castle
  2. Sorve Lighthouse
  3. Saarema Museum
  4. Angla Windmill Park
  5. Mihkli Talu Museum
  6. Saare Kek Museum
  7. Kuressare Raegaleri Art Gallery
  8. Salme’s Ship’s Funeral
  9. Kiipsaare Lighthouse
  10. Valjala Church
  11. Sorve Museum
  12. Ruins of Maasi Castle
  13. Poide St. Mary Church
  14. Kuressaare Siioni Church
  15. Karja Church
  16. Aavik House Museum
  17. Saaretuka Lighthouse
  18. Heritage Culture Centre
  19. Pidula Manor
  20. Kivestu Tuuilk
  21. Ansekula Lighthouse
  22. Muhu Museum
  23. Eemu Windmill
  24. Ruhnu Lighthouse
  25. Koguva Parish

Nature & Wildlife Tourist Spots in Saaremaa, Estonia

  1. Suur Toll ja Piret
  2. Kaali Crater
  3. Vilsandi National Park
  4. Vildumae Nature Reserve
  5. Panga Cliff
  6. Military Equipment Museum of Saaremaa
  7. Lake Karujarv
  8. Harilaiu Matkarda
  9. Puha Soobiku
  10. Audaku Matkarada
  11. Harilaid Peninsula
  12. Lake Koigi
  13. Tagamoisa Peninsula
  14. Lake Mullutu-Suurlaht
  15. Laidevahe Nature Reserve
  16. Lake Pitkjarv
  17. Lake Jarise Jarv
  18. Kaarmise Lake

Entertainment & Leisure Tourist Spots in Saaremaa, Estonia

  1. Keskaja Elamuskeskus Medieval Activity Centre
  2. GoodKaarma Soapmaking Workshop
  3. Grand Rose Spa
  4. Georg Ots Spa
  5. Thule Koda Alternative History Museum
  6. WOW Keskus Amusement Center
  7. Saaremaa Peony Gardens
  8. Asva Vikingikula Amusement Park
  9. Lymanda Lime Park
  10. Saaremaa Loomaaed
  11. Lambakogu Theme Park
  12. Kurressaare Lossi Park
  13. Muhu Ostrich Farm

Shopping in Saaremaa, Estonia

  1. Auriga Shopping Center
  2. Kaubamaja Department Store
  3. Saaremaa Center

Beaches & Islands in Saaremaa, Estonia

  1. Sorve Peninsula
  2. Tuhkana Beach
  3. Kuressare Beach
  4. Jarve Beach
  5. Mandjala Beach
  6. Ohesaare Bank

Offbeat Places, Tours, & Adventures in Saaremaa, Estonia

  1. Hiking
  2. Water Sports
  3. Boat Cruise
  4. Kayaking
  5. Paddleboarding
  6. Swimming
  7. Sailing

Sightseeing in Saaremaa, Estonia

  1. Koigi bog and hiking path
  2. Odalatsi Allikand
  3. Boulder Piretikivi
  4. Oti Manor
  5. Illiku Laid

Food, Dining, Restaurants, & Street Food in Saaremaa, Estonia

  1. Sabba
  2. Muhurito
  3. Ristorante le Perla
  4. Padaste Yacht Club
  5. Arensburg Wine Cellar
  6. Sassimaja OU
  7. Ku Kuu Fish
  8. Vinoteek Restoran Prelude
  9. Chameleon Cafe Lounge
  10. Castello Restoran Pizzeria
  11. Saaremaa Veski
  12. Cafe Mosaic
  13. Kessu Cafe
  14. Resto Hafen
  15. Pritsumaja Grill & Bar
  16. Poide Grillhouse
  17. Captain’s Tavern
  18. Viking Burger
  19. Kodulinna Lokaal
  20. Monk Restoran
  21. Muusa Lounge
  22. Waag Restobar
  23. Kaali Tavern
  24. Sarg Resto

Where to Stay in Saaremaa?

Here we have listed Top Rated Hotels in Saaremaa. You can check below listed hotels for your perfect stay in Saaremaa.

  1. Georg Ots Spa Hotel
  2. Johan Spa Hotel
  3. Asa Spa Hotell
  4. Arensburg Boutique Hotel & Spa
  5. Grand Rose SPA Hotel
  6. Hotel NOSPA
  7. Laugu Turismitalu
  8. Tehumardi Recreation Centre and Campsite
  9. Hotel Staadioni
  10. Arno Apartments


How to Reach Saaremaa, Estonia?

By Air

The Kuressare Airport is the main airport on the island. You can get direct flights to visit Saaremaa from Tallinn, Stockholm, Parnu, and Ruhnu. If you want to reach the island from any other destination, you should for a connecting flight through these destinations. You can get buses and cabs to get to Kuressare city from the airport. Then you can head to other places to visit in Saaremaa from Kuressare.

By Road

Saaremaa is connected to the Muhu island by road and you can get buses and rented cabs to travel between these two islands. You can get ferries to reach Muhu from Virtsu. Then you can continue to Saaremaa travel by bus.

If you are planning to reach Saaremaa by road, you should head for Route 10 from Muhu Island. That is the only road route connected to the island.

By Water

You can get ferries to reach Saaremaa from Tallinn, Tartu, and Parnu. You can also get a ferry to reach Muhu from Virtsu and then take a road route to visit Saaremaa.

Image Reference