Best time to visit Estonia

Bog Walking in Estonia 2023-2024

Estonian bogs offer something beautiful and mysterious every season

Best time: all year round

Bog Walking
Bog Walking
Bog Walking
Bog Walking
Bog Walking
Bog Walking
Bog Walking
Bog Walking
Bog Walking
Bog Walking
Bog Walking

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.

Practical info

When is the best time to go bog walking in Estonia?

Estonian bogs offer something special in each season. Bog walking tours are popular among visitors, combining hiking and walking with canoeing. The spring floods from March to April make it an ideal time for such tours. May and summer attract visitors with blooming plants, herb familiarity, and bird watching opportunities. Magnificent autumn nature hues, mushrooming, and rare bird sightings are some of the highlights. Winter offers snow-shoe hikes and moonhiking tours for adventurous bog walking experiences. Show more

Where are the best bog walking destinations in Estonia?

Estonia houses popular locations for bog walking and boardwalks, such as the iconic Soomaa National Park. Visitors can also explore the wetlands and swamps of Lahemaa National Park; the Viru bog here is particularly easy to explore. Other fantastic places to visit include Selisoo and Viru Bog. For an exciting nature exploration experience, visitors can walk through the forest and swamp landscapes of these destinations, discovering unique flora and fauna throughout the journey. Show more

How accessible are the bogs in Estonia for first-time visitors?

Aside from being hard or impossible to reach by foot in some areas, bog walking is typically accessible for everyone in Estonia. Most bogs are equipped with wooden boardwalks that make the expedition easy. Guided tours from local tourist centers are available and preferred by many first-time visitors as it provides tailored and convenient experiences. Travel companies offer pickup and drop-off services at any location in Estonia. It's essential to ensure proper attire and insect repellent are worn in any season. Show more

What type of animals can visitors expect to see during bog walks?

Bog walking in Estonia provides sightings of various wildlife, including flocks of migrating birds returning in spring and different sounds of birds like Cuculus, Saturnus, and Ciconia. From late summer to autumn, the lush mushroom growth is an attraction. You might see occasional migratory birds resting on the bogs before their southern migration. Sightings of wild animals on the snow, including foxes, bears, and lynx, during snow-shoe hikes in winter are not uncommon. Show more

Are there any local companies that offer bog walking tours in Estonia?

Many travel companies, such as Nature Explorer, Soomaa, and Kaasiku, include bog walking tours in their packages. Visitors can choose from a range of options, from canoeing and hiking to picnics and tea drinking. Each tour allows visitors to experience the natural beauty of the Estonian bog environment. These companies offer pick-up and drop-off services from any location in Estonia. Before booking, visitors must check portfolios and customer ratings to find the ideal tour matching their interests and preferences. Show more

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Last updated:
Authors: Olha Savych