Muhu

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Muhu church

Muhu is the third largest island in Estonia, although it is fairly small at 198 square kilometres. It's located between the mainland and Saaremaa Island.

Understand[edit]

Over the centuries Muhu has developed at its own pace and its traditions are well known throughout Estonia. The famous Muhu patterns are a refined expression of folk art.

The inhabitants of Muhu call themselves Muhu people; a self chosen title which radiates a certain pride and feeling of being different from mainlanders or communities on other islands.

Get in[edit]

By ferry[edit]

Muhu Island is connected by a frequent ferry service from Virtsu on the mainland to Kuivastu on Muhu. The ferries take cars and make the crossing in 25 minutes. Reservations are highly recommended specially during weekends. The ferries are operated by Saaremaa Laevakompanii.

By ice road[edit]

During winter time, an ice road connects the mainland to Muhu. An ice road differs by letting people drive at quite a high speed with safety belts open. The speed is reduced only while approaching the cracks that one has to cross over the boards fixed on the cracks. It takes approximately 20 minutes to cover the distance in case of favourable conditions. You can even pass the ferries that "drive" on the next line.

By bus[edit]

Muhu is well connected by a network of buses from most other cities in the region and from Tallinn. Bus schedules can be found at Bussireisid.

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

A typical old farm building in Muhu

The nature of Muhu has been left largely undisturbed in the past fifty years. It's the natural habitat to 23 species of very rare orchids. Muhu is also home to many migrating birds, which take temporarily shelter in the various bays.

Villages on Muhu are even today still headed by traditional village eldermen, who take up the role of voluntary counsel. Many of the villages are charming in their simplicity and worth having a look (especially because in terms of tourism, Muhu has remained rather untainted so far).

  • St Catherine Church. It's one of the oldest in Estonia and is notable for its trapezium-shaped tombstones with pagan symbols. The most intricate tombstone depicts the pagan Tree of Life.
  • Üügu Bluff. It's the largest and most attractive of Muhu's many bluffs being ca. 300m long.
  • Muhu MuseumKoguva village, Muhu vald. The museum is located in the beautiful Koguva village. It's also the birthplace of Estonian writer Juhan Smuul.

Do[edit]

Each midsummer, a jazz music festival takes place in Muhu, featuring famous international musicians and attracts jazz fans from far and wide.

Eat[edit]

Sleep[edit]

The official Estonian tourism website provides an extensive list of options for accommodation in Muhu [1].

  • Pädaste ManorPädaste village. The earlier history of the manor begins in the 16th century. In the end of 17th century an orchard was created in addition to the mansion and other manor buildings. By the 19th century the number of peasants had grown to two hundred. The facade of the mansion and the lawn is framed by two rows of imposing rubble stone buildings. The manor had its own windmill, lime furnace and brickfield. Today the mansion is occupied by luxurious SPA hotel.

Go next[edit]

  • Saaremaa, the largest island with an intact and well-restored medieval castle. Its city of Kuressaare is a 70 km drive from Muhu.
  • Hiiumaa Island, well known for its lighthouses, unspoilt nature, Hill of Crosses and the sense of humour of its inhabitants
  • Vormsi Island, unique blend of Soviet and Swedish history mixed with unspoilt nature
  • Pärnu, historical resort seaside city with a small harbour, Estonia's summer capital
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