It’s no secret that Estonian summers are just as likely to recall wet winters as they are to produce scorching heat. But whatever the weather, we look forward to the season all the same – and want to make the most of it. Have you already made summer plans? If not, here are some ideas that should leave you heading into autumn thinking: “I’m really glad I gave them a go!”
Try something completely new
If you feel at home in the water, give water sports a go. Wakeboarding will give you the adrenaline rush of an extreme sport if you practise long enough to get good at it, but if that feels a bit like diving in at the deep end, then you might find that paddleboarding’s more your thing. It will test your balance and is a great workout for your muscles, but caught up in the fun of it, you won’t even notice you’re doing exercise. As with any water sport, however, no matter how confident you are, make sure you don a life vest just in case. If water’s not your thing, you’ll find similar pastimes on dry land – why not try skateboarding or longboarding?
The pandemic inspired a lot of people to get to know their own countries better, and many were surprised to discover fascinating and beautiful places not that far from their front doors. Estonia too offers plenty to explore and delight in. Have you been to the old Rummu quarry? It’s become a popular swimming site for its bright blue waters, and you can also visit the old prison there. It makes for a great day out. If you’re looking for a more athletic way to pass the time, check out the hiking routes on the State Forest Management Centre app (see https://www.rmk.ee/organisatsioon/rmk-mobiilirakendus). You might want to make a weekend of it, spending the night on a farm, in a tent or in a cabin in the woods – it all depends on the level of comfort you’re looking for and the budget you’re working to.
Pop in and say hi to the neighbours
If you want to explore beyond Estonia’s borders, you’ll find there’s plenty of natural beauty to discover in Latvia. Try the Cecīļu nature trail (the locals love it) or head for the Latgale region, where you can unwind in a traditional Latvian smoke sauna. In terms of accommodation, there’s something for everyone: glamping, treehouses, floating cabins and much, much more! Take your pick, but don’t leave it too late to book. Alternatively, take the practical and certainly more economical route – pitch a tent!
Make hay while the sun shines
No one wants to think about winter when summer’s only just starting, but there’s no denying it’s a good time to do something that’s both fun and useful. Why not spend the warm summer evenings picking berries to freeze or turn into jam for the colder months? Then, as autumn creeps in, you can try your hand at the national sport that is mushrooming – soak up the peace and quiet of the forest as you stock up on winter supplies. After all, inflation’s through the roof at the moment, so saving money where you can makes sense. You can even collect what you need to make your own herbal teas. There are plenty of good books and a lot of websites that will open up the world of tea to you.
Enjoy open-air concerts and performances
Following two years of restrictions, a huge number of open-air concerts, performances and festivals are being held this summer. Make the most of the opportunity to get together with old friends, make new ones and revel in a bit of culture under the open sky. We can definitely recommend two music events taking place in the resort town of Haapsalu: Taff:Fest (8 & 9 July) and Augustibluus (5-7 August). Both will be headlined by artists from Estonia and abroad.
What does summer taste like?
What, for you, is the taste of summer? What do you look forward to most? Strawberries tend to start appearing in Estonia around Midsummer; perhaps they’re your favourite. Maybe it’s the new potatoes or the chanterelles the season brings. Give some exciting new recipes a try, and play around with combinations. We tend to hear that sweet things aren’t good for us, but you can use berries to make healthy (and delicious!) dishes, and not just for dessert either – they make for a great start to the day. Porridge topped with freshly picked strawberries, raspberries and blueberries looks much more appetising, and needless to say is tastier as well.
We hope you find ways of pampering yourself and recharging your batteries this summer. Enjoy the season with family and friends, making lasting memories that are always a pleasure to recall. Happy summer!