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TOUR REPORTS

 

Estonian Nature Tours has been a pioneer in developing nature and bird tourism all over Estonia. We have long term experience in organising botanical and bird watching tours and the feedback from our clients has always been good to excellent. Every year we develope one or two new tour packages.

In the autumn of 2007, we introduced our new offering, “Estonia in Early Spring”, which has proved very popular among our clients.

In spring 2008, our oldest tour, “Estonia in Spring”, was accredited with the brand EHE (Quality System Pure and Interesting Estonia).

In autumn of 2008 we came out with tours for individual tourists.

- In autumn of 2009 we came out with totally new opportunities in Estonia – "Estonia in Summer“ (wild flowers, birds & butterflies) and "Mammal Watching“ (mammals & birds). 

Please see below several tour reports:


Migration Hotspots in Estonia / Tarvo Valker / October 2014

Birds and Mammals in Estonia / Hugh and Caroline Buck / May 2014

Steller’s Eider break / New Horizons, March 2014

Steller`s Eider break by Chris Townend / Wise Birding Holidays / February 2014

Estonia in Autumn / Bird Holidays, Oct 2013

Butterflies in Estonia by Trevor Davenport / July 2013

Estonia in Summer / EBN Italy / June 2013

Estonia in Autumn / Swallow Birding, October 2013

Estonia in Autumn by Barrie Cooper / September 2013

Mammal Watching in Estonia / May 2013

Estonia in Spring by Göran Pettersson / May 2013

Estonia in Autumn by Barrie Cooper / September 2012

Butterflies in Estonia by Mike Williams / June 2012

Estonia in Spring by P.M. Callagher / June 2012

Mammal watching in Estonia by Mark Hows / June 2012

Mammals and Birds in Spring / Wildwings / May 2011

Estonia in Early Spring / Birdfinders / April 2011

Estonia in Early Spring / Eleanor Hurley / April 2011

Estonia in Early Spring / Steph Kimsey / Bird Holidays / April 2011

Estonia in Autumn by John Muddeman / The Travelling Naturalist September / October 2010

Mammal Watching.com / Jon Hall / June 2010

Mammal Watching in Estonia / FAM trip 2010

Estonia in Spring / P. C. / 2010

Estonia in Spring / NW Surrey RSPB 2009

Estonia in Spring / Henk van den Brink / Travellingbirder, May / June 2009

Estland Vogelreis / SNP 2008

Estonia in Early Spring / Speyside Wildlife 2009

Wild flowers of Estonia / Naturetrek 2008

Estonia in Early Spring / Speyside Widllife 2008

Estonia in Spring / Naturetrek 2007

After Lynx and Elk / Tarvo Valker, May 2009

Are you happy?:). After succesful Steller`s Eider watching. / Mikko Virta, Early Spring 2009


The TOP 10 client comments:

"This six-day promotional tour in West-Estonia (18-23 September) was an eye-opener for me. Unless I visited some places in northern Europe before, I saw four new birdspecies, including white-backed woodpecker which competed my European woodpecker-list! And I will never forget the beautiful evening at Matsalu Bay, with 6.000 cranes coming in, some parties dancing on the ground, black grouse in front, a hovering great grey shrike on the left, and some moose with there youngs coming out of the forest in the back. And this was only the first day…" Paul Böhre, editor of Grasduinen Nature Magazine, Holland / FAM trip September 2010

"We had a great time. Estonia is a wonderful country. I am sure we are coming back one day. Especially the Matsalu area was amazing. I've never seen so many wildflowers before. The heat was o.k. for us ( we are getting used to it here in Belgium!! ). Only the kids had difficulties to get to sleep. Estonian houses/accommodation doesn't have curtains ( to make it dark at night ) or mosquito nets ( to keep windows open at night ) That made our trip difficult sometimes. But besides that, all the places you selected for us were very good with nice and helpful hosts. The infrastructure in nature reserves and national parks is outstanding. Better than in Belgium and amazing for a 'young' country like Estonia. And it is very easy to find the right way in your country. The brochure you gave me (Tierra Maritima - Land by the sea) was very useful and we found all the places we wanted to visit. And the birds?... well I better come at another time of the year. Activity was very low, especially in the forests. It's not like Northern Scandinavia, were birds sing until mid July. I should remember that. What a petty that Estonia is that far for us. Otherwise we would come every year. There is so much more to discover. And in general...Estonia has its environmental problems too indeed, and there will be many more when the E.U. creeps further into your lives. But the network of protected areas is impressive. I hope you people can lobby for their existence.Thanks for everything. I will encourage friend to visit Estonia" S.G. / July 2010, Belgium

 „We had planned to go to Estonia with Mark and Alice in early April. A combination of EasyJet and Icelandic volcanoes ensured that this did not happen: but we finally went with Alice only, late in May. We had booked our holiday with a really helpful lady, Marika Mann, who runs her own business organising birding tours and birding holidays in Estonia.  She had arranged a 3-day tour for us, with a guide called Tarvo Valker, who turned out to be a lot younger than we had expected (he is low thirties).  He is knowledgeable about birds, found a lot of birds because he knew the terrain so well and had a fantastic ear for the songs.  He also speaks good English and knows the (English) names of all the birds. 
An excellent few days.  Estonia feels like management have taken a ‘quality’ decision: everything Estonia does will be done well, even if they cannot afford it.  They are one of the ‘greenest’ nations in Europe, environmentally friendly, large areas of national park and protected areas, good walkways well maintained, decent roads with some bicycle lanes, hotels good, clean and friendly.  Tallinn was a joy, but more so the areas outside Tallinn where the government is trying to create an aura of quality: this is all difficult in a country with the bear looming over the shoulder, and with such a low income.  Prices are at euro levels, but incomes less than half those of UK/Germany/France.  As Tarvo said, Estonia produces excellent dentists – but they all go to Finland, where they are paid three times as much.
In three days with Tarvo we saw an incredible 117 bird species, heard another ten (including three we have never seen!) and seven land mammals (and seals and bats).  In Tallinn we saw an excellent ballet and an excellently-performed opera.  Overall a really good holiday.“ P. & V.C. / Spring 2010 /  

"Thank you for a great holiday. We had a fantastic time. Margus was a great and knowledgeable guide and the bus driver was excellent. The holiday went well and the food was very good especially the farms. The change to Troffee hotel was great. It is a fantastic place to stay with many birds to see. Your skill in organising the trip was well recommended and we look forward to seeing you again in the future. I will keep in touch." D.B. / Spring 2009 RSPB North West Surrey Local Group /

„First of all we want to thank you once more for your very valuable help in making our stay in Estland very succesfull and most enjoyable. Yourself, Tiit and Remek made it possible to let us make observations which would never have been possible without you all. Thank you also for the warm welcome at your nice office and for all the documentation you gave us. I shall proudly dress in your T-shirt this summer!
As mentioned already, we enjoyed this trip so much that we really intend to come back next year for probably a longer period.“ R.V / Spring 2009 /

 “I want to thank you again for the wonderful guidance during our splendid vacation in Estonia! We had such a wonderful time with you and Are. I wish you all a great future in "Naturetours"; I have been talking to friends in France, they want to see my film and pictures, they can not believe all we did see and heard, they are absolutely jealous!
What a wonderful trip, what a wonderful country, what a great organisation! Please thank all your team members, that made this trip into such a success!” A.van den Lugt / Spring 2009 SNP /

"I wanted to thank you, on behalf of all our group members, for arranging such a marvellous holiday for us. Our accomondation was perfect, the food was delicious (everyone loved the soup at lunchtime) and just the right amount. It was lovely to be able to visit the communities to have our food in their village halls. We had the very best guide Mikko and we will never be able to thank him enough for finding all the birds and animals we wanted to see. There will never be such a lucky group as ours I think to see Steller`s Eider so close! I hope that your groups enjoy their visits as much as we did. We will certainly be encouraging our friends to visit Estonia." P.R. / Spring 2009 Private Group /

"A simple list of what we saw last year doesn't do justice to the memories: brilliant views of all seven species of woodpecker in one morning; face to face views of Ural Owl; frame filling views of Nutcracker; Waxwing, Bearded and Penduline Tit just a few feet away; dancing Common Cranes; the tight pack of 300 Steller's Eiders looking great despite being distant; identifying animal tracks left in the snow ... all wonderful memories, I for one won't forget."  R.Atkins / Spring 2008 Speyside Wildlife /

"I enjoyed every minute of this holiday from start to finish. There were so many highlights, from the way the group 'gelled' so quickly, the fun and laughter, to the unusual log cabin accommodation, the excellent guiding and the search for birds and animals (escpecially the variety of footprints in the snow) to the chance to see a new country. Apart from the joy of being able to see so many bird species in such a variety of habitats, the sight of the Ural Owl sitting so low down on the branch of a tree and so close to us has to be near the top of my 'Holiday Highlights' list. But our welfare was not forgotten and we appreciated refreshments being served in a moving 'shoogly' bus on our way from Tallin to our accommodation by an Estonian tourism representative. I liked the idea of having a hot buffet meal in the middle of the day, an opportunity to taste simple and wholesome Estonian food in a variety of surroundings, from a farmhouse to a barn, a museum and a tavern. It also brought us into contact with local people which was good. I also liked the tour of the old city of Tallin, led by a delightful and very knowledgeable guide with an impish sense of humour. The main reason for us being in Estonia was of course the birding and I do not want to forget the success of that fact. But, my Holiday HIghlight has to be the hospitality and friendliness of the Estonian people. It is a thought that will remain with me for a long time to come." J.J. / Spring 2008 Speyside Wildlife  /

 "We were very lucky to have a complete week of unbelievably good weather which gave us the opportunity of getting stunning views of virtually everything we saw. I must make a special comment about the food on this trip. The meals in the farmhouses and manor houses would make this trip worthwhile even if we had not seen any birds. It was a real pleasure to eat good honest local food whilst meeting local people in their own homes." D.G. / Spring 2007 Naturetrek /

„We were grateful for the Estonias picnics because it showed us more about the people & way of life.“ H.H. / Spring 2004 Naturetrek /


 

 

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