One of the unique and most exciting activities you can try in Estonia is bog walking. There are a lot of wetlands and swamps, such as Selisoo, Viru Bog, and Soomaa National Park, and some places are really hard or even impossible to reach on foot. Estonia is also known for its flood season labelled as the fifth season when bog shoes are especially needed. Many bogs in Estonia are equipped with wooden boardwalks for such activities.
There are a lot of places perfect for discovering the country with bog shoes and boardwalks, the Soomaa National Park being one of the most iconic marshlands in Estonia. Each season has its perks when it comes to bog walking and bog shoeing tours.
March and April are known as the "fifth season" that brings spring floods. Bog tours usually combine hiking, canoeing and walking with special bog shoes while listening to the interesting stories about the local animals. You might be lucky to see flocks of migrating birds returning to Estonia. Some companies also offer picnics and warm tea.
In May, nature awakens, bog plants start flowering, and explorers can hear different voices of birds such as Cuculus, Saturnus, and Ciconia. Nature lovers head to Viru bog, one of the most accessible bogs in the country that runs through the forest and swamp landscapes characteristic of Lahemaa National Park.
In summer, bogs are at their best with a scent of heather and wild rosemary, and days are long enough to spend as much time as you need to take hundreds of photos. Bog tours familiarize nature explorers with herbs while hiking and canoeing through the marshlands. The summer season also offers white nights hiking experience after the sunset. On a sunny day, you can enjoy a swim in the open water in the bog. Wild berries and mushrooms peak in late summers, so a dose of natural vitamins awaits you there.
Autumn brings fabulous hues of nature, Moose mating season (yeah-yeah, you might hear them at night!), and a variety of mushrooms and bog berries. Migrating birds take rest on bogs before departing southward, and the air over bogs is full of their sounds.
Late autumn brings silence to the bogs and woods of Estonia. Local companies offer Christmas wreath collecting and decoration workshops. As soon as winter takes over the land, the area becomes silent. On a snow-shoe hike you can find traces of wild animals on the snow, reach previously inaccessible areas (thank you, ice!), and end your day with campfire stories about local animals and mythological themes. Night owls can go on moon hiking tours with locally produced mulled wine and food products. The lucky adventurers might even hear wolves howling.
Whatever season you choose, Estonian bogs will amaze you with their beauty and bring silence to your soul. For more details on starting points and dressing tips, contact local tour offices.