ESTONIA kihnu island



Package type: full day tour
Season: January – December
For whom: individuals/groups (max. 20)
Package includes: guided tour + traditional lunch + home visit + folklore concert (groups only)
Programme duration: approx. 6.5 hours
Type of transport: private transfer/tour bus and ferry to/from Munalaiu harbour (near Pärnu in Estonia)
Distance: Tallinn 140 km, Riga (Latvia) 240 km
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Kihnu is the largest island in the Gulf of Riga, with an area of 16.4 km2. It is only 7 km long and 3.3 km wide. Kihnu’s cultural space and traditions are included on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. There are four villages on the island and the islanders still wear national dress as everyday apparel. The unique atmosphere of the island can be experienced during a guided day programme. Kihnu Mare, the local guide, has developed her own traditional culture network with the people who have the know-how and skills to demonstrate for visitors the different aspects of Kihnu culture: the language, the traditional clothes, farming and fieldwork, handicrafts, the preparation of traditional foods, folklore, church life, singing, and dancing at weddings and village parties, as well as their traditions surrounding the sea, fishing, seal hunting and living with nature.

Boat from Munalaiu to Kihnu

09:30 Local guide Kihnu Mare meets visitors arriving by ferry from Munalaiu at the harbour.

10:00 Kihnu Museum. Visitors will learn about the history of the island, see national costumes and household items, fishing equipment and local paintings. There is a range of local souvenirs on sale and a coffee corner.

11:00 St Nicholas Church, built in 1784, is one of the few orthodox churches converted from a Lutheran sacral building. There is a simple but beautiful iconostasis in the church.

11:30 Kihnu lighthouse is a striking iron structure, built in 1864 and offering spectacular views over the island. It is 29 metres high, with a winding internal staircase. At the top there is a narrow round-the-tower balcony.

12:00 Metsamaa Heritage Farm visit. Visitors will see traditional architecture, handicrafts, farm life, and the motorcycles with side-cars that are used by the local women as a regular means of transport and have become closely associated with the island.

13:00 Traditional lunch: fish or meat, home-made rye bread.

14:00 Home visit – an opportunity to see how a traditional Kihnu family lives. Guests will see sheep, storehouses with chests full of handicrafts, a sauna and the living rooms of the main house.

15:00 Folklore concert. Local singers and handicraft masters perform the island’s traditional wedding and village songs and dances, and demonstrate handicrafts.

16:15 Ferry departs.