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Estonia

Estonia may share a similar landscape and language to Finland, but culturally it is completely unique, having been ruled at various times during the middle ages by Denmark, the German knights of the Livonian Order, Sweden and Russia. This is reflected in its rich heritage of cathedrals, cobbled streets, manor houses and palaces.

The most northerly of the three Baltic states, Estonia gained independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and is now able to assert its identity with Nordic traditions and temperament. The country enjoys a long love-affair with choral singing and hosts the largest choir festivals in the world.

Capital Tallinn is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in northern Europe with architectural influences from each of the countries which has ruled it throughout the centuries. Stroll through the unspoilt streets to see the Palace (Parliament), Gothic cathedral and the ornate Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

Almost 50 per cent forest, Estonia’s sparsely populated countryside is a nature-lover’s haven and is home to wildlife which is extinct in other European countries.