A day in the wilderness – Soomaa National Park

  • Duration: 5.5 hours tour
  • Activity level: moderate

 

 

Spend a day in the great out-doors in Pärnu county! This coach trip takes us out of Pärnu into the countryside and fantastic natural surroundings. The destination is Soomaa National Park, where the population density is a mere 2 persons per square kilometre, and large predators, such as lynx, wolf and brown bear roam free.

Soomaa National Park

First the tour takes you through different residential areas of Pärnu with glimpses into the everyday life of local people, onwards to Sindi, the site of a large and famous textile factory in the past. J. C. Wöhrmann established a wool mill on the banks of the Pärnu river in 1832, today in this small town of 4,000 people, buildings of a former railway station, factory workers’ houses, red-brick school, and factory buildings can still be seen.

On the road to Tori your guide will be talking about the people, everyday life and natural surroundings in Pärnu County.

Tori is a particularly fabulous place to visit, with its horse stud, old pub and central church, all built from granite and red bricks. The church, dedicated to all victims of World War II is known as the Estonian Soldiers Memorial Church. It is the place where Estonian policemen and officers are sworn into office and where historical anniversaries of Estonia are celebrated.

The equestrian monument of St George slaying the dragon is dedicated to Estonia’s victory in the War of Independence and is located next to the church.

Horse breeding commenced in Tori in 1856 and the local Tori breed was registered in 1925. Tori Hell is the most attractive natural monu-ment in Tori, consisting of a collapsed cave system in the high river bank of Devonian sandstone. These caves have given rise to numerous stories as well as the name – hell.

From Tori, the trip ventures further to Soomaa National Park, the second largest in land area in Estonia. Soomaa encompasses varied landscapes, boggy lands, river meadows, large forests and can fascinate visitors in any season of the year. Village people still describe the year as having five seasons – the fifth being the flooding season. During floods many areas, including roads, become passable by canoe or kayaks only.

In Soomaa the tour includes the opportunity to take a walk along boardwalks through a bog and woodlands, featuring resting areas, a viewing tower and a DC. Part of the boardwalk is accessible to wheelchair users and baby prams. After the walk, the day continues at the visitor centre, which has exhibitions and films on different aspects of the park.

Lunch in Pärnu.

Schedule:

  • 00:00 departure from the port
  • 00:20 touring through Pärnu residential areas
  • 00:40 touring through Sindi
  • 01:00 touring to Tori; attractions: Tori Hell, church, horse stud (WC available)
  • 01:45 touring to Soomaa
  • 02:00 walk in Soomaa (WC available)
  • 03:30 return trip to Pärnu
  • 04:30 lunch (WC available)
  • 05:30 back at the port

Length of journey: ca 100km

  • Maximum number of participants: 45 persons
  • Minimum number of participants: 20 persons

Notes:

  • Comfortable outdoor clothing recommended
  • A hat, with a mosquito net if necessary
  • Insect repellent if necessary
  • Anti-allergy medication (if known to suffer from insect allergy)
  • Stairs in Tori Hell (35 steps)

Price includes:

  • Coach transfer
  • Lunch (mashed potatoes with groats, barley bread, butter with boiled egg, curd pie, herbal tea)
  • Guide services