Welcome to Matsalu National Park
Spring migration peaks in April/May, but swans arrive as early as March. Autumn migration begins in July and can last until November. Birdwatching towers, with extensive views of resting sites over various terrain, have been built at Keemu, Suitsu, Penijõe, Kloostri and Rannajõe. There are also marked nature trails at Penijõe (3.2km to 7km), Salevere (1.5km) and Suitsu (1km). Bring reliable footwear, as the ground is wet and muddy.
The reserve’s headquarters is 3km north of the Tallinn–Virtsu road at Penijõe, an early-18th-century manor house near Lihula. Here you’ll find a nature centre with a permanent exhibition and a free 20-minute film. With advance notice, the centre can hook you up with guides offering tours of the reserve, from two-hour canoe trips around the reed banks to several days of birdwatching. It can also recommend lodging in the area.
Estonian Nature Tours, based in nearby Lihula, employs naturalist guides who have a wealth of knowledge about Matsalu’s avian, mammalian and botanic riches. Check its website for a calendar of its specialist tours.