Through the centuries, Germans, Danes, Swedes, Poles, and Russians have controlled Estonia, but Estonians continued to foster their own culture and language. The country was independent from 1918 until 1940, when the Soviet Union occupied it and made it one of the 15 Soviet republics. Estonia regained its independence in 1991.
Along with Latvia and Lithuania, Estonia is often called the Baltic States. About a tenth of Estonia consists of Baltic islands, the largest of which is Saaremaa Island. The sandy western coast is a favourite resort area.
Much of the mainland is unpopulated and covered by dense forests and lakes. The Lahema National Park protects some of Estonia’s most pristine countryside, from rugged headlands fast-flowing rivers, waterfalls and generally impressive wilderness and camping country.
Estonia has a surprisingly mild climate for an area so far north. Temperatures average from about 19 to 28 °F (-7 to -2 °C) in January to 61 to 64 °F (16 to 18 °C) in July.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
POPULATION: 1.3 million
LANGUAGE: Estonian, Russian
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 230V, 50Hz. To power any electrical item an international adapter or a two pin plug is required.
COUNTRY DIALLING CODE: +372
TIME ZONE: GMT/UTC +2
You should be aware that petty theft, especially in Tallinn Old Town, is becoming increasingly common
Information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK www.fco.gov.uk