Muhu, located in west Estonian archipelago of the Baltic Sea, is the third largest island of Estonia. It is said that Muhu is a place where time rests as nature and traditions have not changed much over time. We made few stops on the Muhu island during our road trip to Saaremaa. The Island can easily be explored in a day. Here I am listing top 5 places to visit in Muhu, Estonia.
Where is Muhu?
The total area of the island is only 198 sq. km. There are three main villages in Muhu – Kuivastu, Liiva and Koguva. Muhu, which is known as Muhumaa in Estonian is divided from mainland Estonia by the Suur Strait. It is linked to mainland by ferry service but in winter an ice road connects the island to the mainland. The island is connected to Saaremaa with a scenic land bridge.
There is an ancient tradition of painting doors and decorating them with magical symbols in Muhu. The island is also famous for having the only still-working traditional windmills in Estonia.
Places to visit in Muhu
1. Muhu Church:
If you have interest in history and churches, then St Catherine’s Church is definitely a worth to visit. This Gothic style church is notable for its trapezium-shaped tombstones with pagan symbols – Tree of Life. The reference of this church has been found in chronicles since 1267. Most precious parts of the church are fragments of mural paintings in the chancel area which are preserved from the 13th century. The main door of the Church is the oldest preserved wooden door in Estonia. Though it suffered damage throughout the history, things are well preserved. The place is close to the road leading to Saaremaa and surrounded by an ancient burying ground. There is a small green corner near the Church where you can see beautifully designed large ‘wooden Shoes’.
2. Koguva Open-air Museum (Muhu Museum):
Koguva is the best preserved village in Estonia as all buildings of the village are under historical protection. Now it is open to visitor as open air museum. The oldest building which is in the center of village, dated from the 18th century. The museum has four parts: Tooma farm – homeplace of the writer Juhan Smuul, an old schoolhouse, Windmills and Exhibition-house, displaying beautiful traditional textiles from the area.
Single ticket allows you to visit all areas. You can get ticket and a map of the village from Tooma Farm. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday 10 to 17.
Ticket price – 4€ adult, 8€ for family.
3. Eemu Windmill:
Eemu windmill is located in Linnuse village, one kilometre away from the causeway that separates Muhu and Saaremaa. It is the only still-working traditional windmill in Estonia. Though it is no longer an indispensable part of a self-sufficient farm, it is an important part of their culture, and a tribute to fore-bearers work. The windmill was opened to visitors on May 17th,1980 and is operated as a museum. You can buy beautiful souvenirs from the museum shop.
4. Üügu Cliff:
Üügu cliff is one of the top attractions of Muhu. This 300m long cliff is the largest bluff of the island. You can enjoy a beautiful view of the Baltic from the cliff. It is located about two kilometers from Nõmmküla. Before World War I, dolomite was quarried for St. Petersburg metallurgy foundries from here. Even today, you can easily locate the places where dolomite was quarried. Unfortunately, much of the bank has been destroyed now. There are walking areas, “Goat Chamber” and “Roebuck Room” caves and the Magic Eye Spring. These Sea washed caves provided shelter in prehistoric times. The taste of crystal-clear spring water is really unforgettable, so don’t forget to take empty bottle with you.
5. Ostrich Farm:
If you are travelling with kids, Ostrich farm in Muhu is a must visit. This is located in Nautse village, only 2km from the causeway which connects Saaremaa and Muhu. Apart from Ostriches you have the opportunity to meet zebras, Red Kangaroos, Wallabies, Emus, Alpacas, Ponnies and Bunnies. This is the only place in Estonia where you can find Zebras and Red Kangaroo. You can feed Ostrich and learn about their habits from the guide. The souvenir shop is small but full of interesting animal-products. You can buy even ostrich eggs, meat, feather dusters, eggshells, exclusive ostrich skin products and cosmetic products made from ostrich oil. The open-air café serves good food.
Ticket price- 4€ adult, 8€ for family.