Sõrve Peninsula information
Small cliffs, such as the Kaugatoma pank (bank) and Ohessaare pank , rear up along the west coast of the 32km-long southwestern Sõrve Peninsula. Legend has it that the cliffs were formed when the devil tried in vain to wrench this spit of land from the mainland to separate Suur Tõll, who was vacationing on Sõrve, from Saaremaa. This is where the island’s magic can really be felt. A bike or car trip along the coastline will reveal fabulous views.
This sparsely populated strip of land saw heavy fighting during WWII, and the battle scars remain. By the lighthouse at Sääre, on the southern tip, you can walk around the ruins of an old Soviet army base . Other bases and the remnants of the Lõme-Kaimri anti-tank defence lines still stand. There’s a large monument at Tehumardi, south of the beach at Järve, which was the site of a gruesome night battle in October 1944 between retreating German troops and an Estonian-Russian Rifle Division. The horror defies belief: both armies fought blindly, firing on intuition or finding the enemy by touch. Russian-Estonian dead lie buried in double graves in the cemetery nearby.