Introducing Western Hiiumaa
The harbour village of Kõrgessaare, 20km west of Kärdla, offers little by way of distractions except a quaint restaurant and guesthouse on your way westward.
The best-known landmark in Hiiumaa is the inland Kõpu lighthouse (469 3474; adult/concession 20/10Kr; 9am-10pm May-mid-Sep), the third-oldest, continuously operational lighthouse in the world. A lighthouse has stood on this raised bit of land since 1531, though the present white limestone tower was built in 1845. At 37m high, it can be seen 55km away. East of here, near the 61km highway mark, is the 1.5km Rebastemäe nature trail, which takes in forest paths along the highest (therefore oldest) parts of the island.
You can get more information at the small information booth next door to the restaurant near the lighthouse base.
A second lighthouse stands at the western end of the peninsula near Ristna (Stockholm is just over 200km west of here). It was brought to Hiiumaa by freighter from Paris, where it was made, together with the lighthouse at Tahkuna.
Near Ristna is Surf Paradiis(5625 1015; www.paap.ee), set on a stretch of lovely sandy beach. You can hire sea kayaks, surfboards and wetsuits or have a sauna. Check surf conditions (Paradiis' website has a webcam) before you come. Remember, this is the Baltic Sea we're talking about.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009