The best Baltic Road Trip Itinerary for the Summer

The best Baltic road trip for the summer

Whenever you think of a summer getaway in Europe, you probably think of Italy, Cote D’Azur, or the Turkish Riviera. This summer, spice things up and go on a road trip around the underrated Baltics! This travel guide will help you plan your ultimate road trip around Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (Click the red pins for directions):

Tallinn to Haapsalu- 100 kilometers (60 miles) 📍

Haapsalu to Parnu- 110 kilometers (65 miles) 📍

Parnu to Riga- 180 kilometers (110 miles) 📍

Riga to Jurmala- 40 kilometers (25 miles) 📍

Jurmala to Klaipeda- 255 kilometers (160 miles) 📍

Klaipeda to Kaunas- 215 kilometers (135 miles) 📍

Kaunas to Vilnius- 100 kilometers (60 miles) 📍

1000 kilometers (600 miles) in total

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

The overall length of this road trip is a little over 1000 kilometers. Rentalmoose recommends dedicating at least 6 days (5 overnight stops) for this adventure at the very least.

To truly experience the best of what each destination has to offer, spend at least 10 days on the road.

What is the best time to visit the Baltics?

The best time to visit Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is definitely during the Summer (June-August) or late Spring (from May).

The tourist season peaks during the Summer break, which is from late June till the end of August. Expect some spots to get crowded, and hotel prices to be higher than off-season.

You can pick up your rental car directly as you arrive in Tallinn, and drop it off in Vilnius before leaving.

Browse through car rental options that support airport pick-up and drop-off at another location via Rentalmoose. Add excess coverage, just in case.

When picking up your rental car, use the Rentalmoose app to take check-in photos of the condition of the vehicle.

If you take check-in photos of the car, you can qualify for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee.

Trip Extensions

Explore the Baltics even further with these two road trip extensions, curated by Rentalmoose.

The Manors of Estonia

Did you know that Estonia has over 400 beautiful manors and castles? Many of them have been turned into unique hotels, restaurants, or museums.

Drive across Estonia and visit the best manors around the country. Click here for the guide.

Rental Moose mascot posing with the facade of Kau Manor in Estonia.


Once you’re in Vilnius, Poland is just a few hours away. Scenic natural beauty, sandy beaches and vibrant cities await.

Plan your Polish getaway with this Rentalmoose travel guide to Poland.

Can tourists drive in the Baltics?

Definitely! Keep in mind that the road regulations may slightly vary depending on the country you’re in.


Estonia – the country where Rentalmoose, Skype, and TransferWise all come from – accepts most of the driving licenses in the world. International Driving Permits (click to learn all about them) are not mandatory when driving in Estonia.


Tourists from most countries, including EU-citizens and Americans, can use their domestic license to drive in Latvia. If you’re unsure, contact your local government office, or get an IDP.


You can use your domestic driving license in Lithuania as long as it has a photo. If not, you need to have a photo ID along with the driver’s license. International Driving Permits are not mandatory.

All three nations have right-hand side traffic.

Now that you’re all set, let’s dive into your Baltic road trip!


Tallinn old town, vibrant square full of outdoor restaurants and tourists wandering around. Large medieval cathedral in the background and traditional architecture.

Tallinn’s old town photographed by Erkko Vuorensola.

Welcome to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia and the birthplace of Rentalmoose! For maximum convenience, pick up your rental car directly from the airport and explore this vibrant city.

What are the best places to see in Tallinn?

The Old Town

While you’re in town, be sure to visit Tallinn’s famous old town. It’s one of the best-preserved medieval cities in this part of Europe, hence it’s a highlight for practically all tourists visiting this city. Here are some of the best attractions in the old town.

Raekoja Plats

The heart of the old town, the Town Hall Square, is certainly worth a stroll. Step inside one of the numerous cafes and enjoy the medieval architecture. Visiting in winter? Be sure to attend the magical Christmas market!

Kohtuotsa Viewing Point

Take in the best view of the city from the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform. Walk up the hill and enjoy the panoramic views. The city’s skyline makes for a perfect backdrop for photos.

Remember to post your best photos online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a free rental car!

Admission to the viewing platform is free of charge.

If you have the extra time, visit the Town Hall Pharmacy and St Olav’s Church.

Balti Jaam Market

Satisfy your shopping needs at the Balti Jaam Market, Tallinn’s go-to market. You can find nearly everything there, ranging from clothing to fresh produce and delicious street food.

The market is open Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 7 PM and from 9 AM to 5 PM on Sundays.

Noa Chef’s Hall

Getting hungry? Book a table at Noa Chef’s Hall, Tallinn’s exquisite fine-dining restaurant. Enjoy a selection of delicious dishes from their wine-tasting menu paired with aromatic wine all while looking at the Bay of Tallinn.

As this top-rated restaurant can get crowded, be sure to book ahead of your visit. Tables can be booked via Noa Chef’s Hall’s website.

Restaurant Moon

Traveling on a tighter budget?

Give Restaurant Moon a shot, it’s one of the best places in town where you can find modern Russian cuisine. As this is one of the top picks in town, be sure to book a table in advance.

Open from noon to 11 PM Monday to Saturday, and between 1 and 9 PM on Sundays. 

Looking for more attractions in Tallinn? Check out our travel guide through Estonia’s castles and manors to find more fun things to do in town!

What are the best hotels in Tallinn?

Hotels in the Old Town

Sophisticated travelers can choose from a variety of high-end hotels in Tallinn. Some of the Rentalmoose favorites include The 3 Sisters Boutique Hotel, Schlössle, or Hotel Telegraaf.

Hotels in the City Center

If you’d rather stay in the city center, consider booking a room at the Swissotel or Hilton. Both of them are conveniently located in the heart of Tallinn!

Radisson Blu Tallinn, one of our favorite properties in town, is currently closed. The hotel is expected to re-open in Q1 2022.

Next on your Baltic road trip: Haapsalu, 1 hour 20 minutes


haapsalu cute white buildings with red roofs, seen from haapsalu castle. City view, surrounded by trees and baltic sea in the background.

View from the top of the castle in Haapsalu photographed by Tiia Monto.

Is Haapsalu worth visiting?

For sure! This charming town was once the go-to vacation getaway for the Russian aristocracy. Today, the town is known for its beautiful promenade, traditional streets, great restaurants and a picturesque railway station.

Haapsalu Promenade

Stroll down the waterfront promenade in Haapsalu. Step inside the Old Haapsalu Town Hall where you can learn more about the region’s history. Tickets cost 4 Euros per person, open until 5 PM between Wednesday and Sunday.

After a visit to the museum, enjoy delicious lunch at Wiigi Kohvik. This restaurant, located along the promenade, offers tasty desserts, colorful drinks, and affordable meals, enjoy them with a panoramic view of the sea.

Haapsalu Castle

Later, head inland and wander around the narrow streets of the cute town of Haapsalu. Be sure to visit the Haapsalu Castle. Guests can climb the top of the castle to get the best views of this town! Open daily between 10 AM and 6 PM.

Next on your Baltic road trip: Pärnu, 1 hour 20 minutes


aerial view of parnu. waterfront buildings and parks, bridge connecting to mainland. sunset in estonia.

Aerial view of Pärnu, shot by Kristian Pikner

What can you do in Parnu?

Parnu Beach

Be sure to visit the sandy Parnu Beach, a true highlight of this Estonian town. Located just 15 minutes away from the city center, the large sandy beach offers everything a beachgoer needs: calm sea, white sand, surfing equipment rentals, and stalls that sell snacks and refreshments. 

Tervise Paradiis Spa & Water Park

Traveling with kids? Visit the Tervise Paradiis Hotel, an action-packed property in Parnu. Thrill-seekers can spend their day at the water park (admission starts at 18 Euros per adult). Alternatively, you can relax a the spa or go for lunch in the hotel restaurant.

What are the best places to eat in Parnu?


Once you get hungry, consider heading to Supelsaksad. Although the restaurant serves great regional food, they are famous for their freshly-prepared cakes and desserts. Open until 10 PM on weekdays and 11 PM on weekends.

Rentalmoose order tip: Their lamb salad is to die for!

If you’d rather go to a different place, consider booking a table at Villa Ammende, Villa Wesset, or Mon Ami.

Which hotel should you book in Parnu?

Luxurious hotels

Sophisticated guests will find themselves at home at the classy Villa Ammende. Would you rather stay at a beachfront hotel? Take a look at the Hedon Spa. if you haven’t fallen in love with these two hotels, book a room at Rosenplanter

Budget-friendly hotels

Would you rather stay at a more affordable hotel? Consider checking into the beachfront Rannahotell, Strand Spa & Conference Hotel, or the Estonia Medical Spa.

Next on your Baltic road trip: Riga, 4 hours 30 minutes


Medieval buildings in the heart of the old town of Riga, Latvia. Panoramic view of riga's old town from above on a sunny day in the Baltics.

The heart of Riga photographed by the talented Ecksplorer.

After a four and a half hour drive from Parnu, you will arrive in the capital city of Latvia. Welcome to Riga!

What to see in Riga?

Old Town

When in Riga, make sure to visit the picturesque old town. A quick look around will be enough to realize why people often call Riga “Paris of the North”. Soak in the vibe from one of the vibrant cafes or wander around and admire the architecture.

House of The Black Heads

Step inside the House of The Black Heads, a famous museum and venue for countless exhibitions and events. Look at the building’s facade or step inside and follow the trails of history along the decorative rooms and chambers. Open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM.

St. Peter’s Church

You can’t miss the monumental St. Peter’s Church in the heart of Riga’s old town. There are regular concerts at the church, be sure to check the official website for the schedule!

Open daily until 7 PM.

Riga Central Market

Rentalmoose loves heading to local markets in cities around the world. Riga is no different, the Central Market is actually Europe’s biggest market! 

Riga Central Market is so iconic that it has earned itself a spot as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most important places in all of Latvia, and a must-see for tourists.

Stroll around the bazaar and check out the vendors who sell all kinds of goods and souvenirs. Open all week between 7 AM and 6 PM. 


Take a break from regional cuisine and head for lunch to Portofino, the best Italian restaurant in Riga. Choose from a variety of Italian dishes, including fresh oysters, aromatic pizza, or vegan alternatives. 

Rentalmoose insider tip: As this is one of the most popular eateries in Riga, booking in advance is recommended.

Open 7 days a week from noon until 11 PM.

What is the best hotel in Riga?

Pullman Riga Old Town

If you’re looking for the most exquisite and luxurious stay in Riga, check-in at the Pullman. This prestigious 5-star property features spacious rooms and suites, delicious cuisine at the restaurant, and lots of amenities.

Tallink hotel

Traveling on a tighter budget doesn’t necessarily mean having to stay at bad hotels. In fact, Tallink Hotel is one of the best-rated hotels in Riga, yet the room prices are beyond reasonable. 

Art freaks take note: The Latvian National Museum of Art is a short 15-minute walk from the hotel!

Next on your Baltic road trip: Jurmala, 40 minutes


jurmala sunset at beach. Beautiful orange sky reflects in the surface of the baltic sea, sandy beach and one person standing in the water in the distance.

Sunset at Jurmala Beach photographed by Egor-220.

Jurmala is a scenic resort town just half an hour away from Riga. Head here on your way to Klaipeda, or on a separate day trip from Riga. Either way, Jurmala is worth a visit!

Why should you visit Jurmala?

Jurmala Beach

Jurmala is best known for its long, vibrant Jurmala Beach. You definitely have to visit it during your road trip!

Sunbathe on the golden sand, go for a dip in the Baltic Sea, or come in the evening and attend one of the legendary parties. Speaking of parties, check out this next location.

Legend Restaurant & Beach Club

If you’re a fan of luxurious beach clubs, be sure to visit Legend when in Jurmala. Once you’re inside, you might feel like you’ve entered Nikki Beach or a vivid beach club in Miami.

Legend features a top-rated restaurant with seafront dining, a heated outdoor pool, and a selection of drinks as well as shisha.

Enjoying the vibe at Legend does come at a high price, though. Sunbeds start at 30 euros, while poolside beds cost 120 euros.


When you’re hungry, head into the city and go for lunch or dinner at Faces. This trendy eatery is one of the best spots in town to enjoy fresh seafood. Great service and an unforgettable experience are guaranteed!

Open all week until 11 PM. 

Next on your Baltic road trip: Klaipeda, 3 hours 20 minutes


white church in klaipeda, lithuania. beautiful architecture, church is surrounded by green grass and trees lurking into the frame. sunny day.

Photography by Drakonas

After you leave Jurmala, it’s time to enter the next country on this road trip. Say hello to Lithuania! Your first stop here is the town of Klaipeda.

What are the top attractions in Klaipeda?

Lithuanian Sea Museum

Admire and learn about all kinds of marine life when you visit the Lithuanian Sea Museum. The museum consists of different aquariums, exhibitions, and a dolphinarium. You can even book your own individual session with the dolphins!

Admission tickets start at 7 euros per adult and 3.5 euros per child. Purchase your tickets online to save time.

Curonian Spit

Spend a day out in nature when you visit the Curonian Spit National Park. The impressive sandy peninsula is almost 100 kilometers long in total, and it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its natural beauty.


The easiest way to get to the park is via a ferry from Klaipeda to Smiltyne. The ride only takes a few minutes, click here for the ferry schedule.

Note that there are two different ferry terminals in Klaipeda. The old terminal, located in the city center, is just for travelers on foot and bicycles. The new ferry terminal, located further from the city center, is for cars as well as travelers on foot, bicycles, trucks, and buses.

Klaipeda ferry service is the best way to get to the Curonian Spit. Ferry boat seen from above, leaving the old ferry port in the center of Klaipeda

Once on the Spit, drive down the road (there is only one road that can be accessed by car, bicycle, or on foot) and observe as the sand dunes and forests roll by. You can even cross into Russia, as long as you are not on foot.

Keep in mind that there is an ecological charge of 20 euros when entering the park.

Klaipeda Castle

Return back to city life and visit the monumental Klaipeda Castle. This Teutonic castle’s history dates back all the way to the 1200s, making it a true gem for history fans. Step inside the chambers and enjoy a trip back in time as you wander around the museum.

Admission costs below 2 euros per adult, guided tours are available at an extra cost.

What are the best hotels in Klaipeda?

Michaelson Boutique Hotel

If you’re looking for a hotel right opposite the Klaipeda Castle, look no further than the Michaelson Boutique Hotel. The elegant property offers spacious, stylish rooms, as well as an onsite restaurant with delicious food. The perfect location within the old town and right opposite the castle is the main highlight, of course.

Amberton Hotel Klaipeda

A bit of luxury doesn’t always have to come at a high price. In Klaipeda, budget travelers can treat themselves and stay at the 4-star Amberton Hotel Klaipeda. The hotel features modern rooms, an outdoor pool, a spa, and a fitness center!

Next on your Baltic road trip: Kaunas, 2 hours 10 minutes


old town kaunas, traditional architecture and large brick church in the middle of the frame. tourists walking around on this sunny day in lithuania

Photography by Makalu.

What can’t you miss in Kaunas?

Laisves Avenue

When in Kaunas, you absolutely can’t miss strolling down Laisves Avenue. The walking street runs through the heart of the city, connecting the old and new districts together. 

The total length is a little over 1.5 kilometers long, and there are countless cafes and restaurants you can stop at to recharge your batteries.

Devil’s Museum

Devil’s Museum is exactly as fascinating as the name suggests. The museum consists of a collection of sculptures portraying devils around the world. See how different cultures picture the eerie devil, be sure to photograph the artifacts.

Open 7 days a week from 11 AM. Admission is below 4 euros per person.


For lunch, consider heading to Numan, one of the trendiest places to eat in Kaunas. The delicious beautifully-presented meals are served in a classy, yet casual setting. 

Rentalmoose order tip: After lunch, be sure to try one of the sweet desserts to complete the experience. Then, it’s time to hit the road one more time.


the skyline of vilnius across the river. aerial view, some modern skyscrapers and traditional buildings provide a diverse architectural style. sunny day with some clouds in the distance.

Vilnius’ skyline photographed by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke

This road trip (if you don’t choose to extend it) finishes here, in the capital of Lithuania. Welcome to stunning Vilnius!

Is Vilnius worth visiting?

Of course! Vilnius is one of the most history-packed cities in this part of Europe, and it is most certainly worth spending at least a day here.

Old Town

When walking through the Old Town in Vilnius, you will soon realize that it is hard to define one architectural style of this well-preserved district. You’ll pass by Gothic churches, baroque houses and of course, the neoclassical Town Hall and the medieval castle.

Gediminas Castle Tower

For the best views of the area, climb up the Gediminas Castle Tower. Panoramic views offer a great photo opportunity, remember to post your best photos online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a free rental car!

Admission to the tower costs 5 euros per adult, there are also museums you can visit directly below the tower.

Museum of Illusions

Challenge your brain when you visit the Museum of Illusions. All sorts of fascinating illusions, inventions, and gadgets are scattered around the 400 sqm museum, making it perfect for a trip with kids.

Entry tickets cost 11 euros per adult and 9 euros per child. Children below 7 enter free of charge!


Head to Amandus for the ultimate gourmet experience in Vilnius. The tasting menu will take you on a journey across a variety of flavors, and can be paired with aromatic wine. Keep in mind that the tasting dinner has to be booked in advance, check out their website for more details.

Amandus is open Tuesday to Saturday between 7 PM and 10 PM for dinner service.

What is the best place to stay in Vilnius?

Grand Hotel Kempinski

Sophisticated travelers don’t have to leave the old town when picking their hotel. Spend the night at the Grand Hotel Kempinski, a luxurious 5-star hotel right in the very heart of Vilnius. Relax at the swimming pool or spend your evening at the onsite bar. As expected, it isn’t the cheapest hotel in Vilnius.

Esperanza Resort

Stay in a retreat just out of Vilnius when you check-in at the Esperanza Resort. The 5-star property features a stunning lakeside location with a private beach, stylish decor, a pool, a spa and wellness center, and more. Vilnius and its old town are just 40 kilometers away.


When you’re ready to head back home, simply drop your rental car off directly at Vilnius International Airport. Browse through rental car options that support airport drop-off via Rentalmoose.

Win a free rental car

Whether you’re chilling at the beach club in Jurmala or wandering the streets of the old town in Vilnius, be sure to take lots of photos during your Baltic road trip.

Post the best photos from your Baltic road trip online using #Rentalmoose for a chance to win a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

beautiful red and white facade of the kadriorg palace near tallinn, estonia. Colorful, traditional architecture of a well-renovated palace, one of many in estonia.

Road trip through the manors and castles of Estonia

Road trip through the manors and castles of Estonia

Tags: Estonia, road trip, travel by car, manor, castle

You are about to enter the birthplace of Rentalmoose! So welcome to Estonia – the country with the cleanest air, greenest forests, and well, I have to mention the Nordic temperatures. Discover the best manors and castles in Estonia with this road trip itinerary! 

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Tallinn to Vihula Manor- 90 kilometers (55 miles)📍

Vihula Manor to Saka Manor- 80 kilometers (50 miles)📍

Saka Manor to Maetaguse Manor- 40 kilometers (25 miles)📍

Maetaguse Manor to Alatskivi Castle90 kilometers (55 miles)📍

Alatskivi Castle to Pohjaka Manor 130 kilometers (80 miles)📍

Pohjaka Manor to Kau Manor- 40 kilometers (25 miles)📍

Kau Manor to Laitse Castle- 65 kilometers (40 miles)📍

Laitse Castle to Keila-Joa Castle- 30 kilometers (20 miles)📍

612 kilometers (380 miles) in total

This travel guide will take you from our capital, Tallinn, to the East-Estonia (almost close to the Russian border!), then to the center of Estonia, then driving West from there and again back to North – where our capital Tallinn, the most Northern city lies.

Countless manors and castles of Estonia

There are so many manors in Estonia but during this trip, I am going to lead you through the most famous ones, the ones that have managed to survive the bite of time (with a bit of renovation, of course) and are again working as restaurants, spas and hotels, and welcoming guests.

Other than that, we have 414 preserved manors that are all worth seeing but even us, Estonians, haven’t managed to see all of those (with maybe some manor-enthusiasts exceptions).  

When is the best time to visit Estonia?

The best time to plan a trip to Estonia will definitely be European summer (let’s say from May to September). Although we do have some pretty awesome winters if you like loads of snow and frosty minus degrees (in Celsius). 

But this current road trip should preferably be done during summer because only then you can explore the beauty of the Estonian manors to the fullest.

Rental Moose mascot holding watch out for moose street sign at a forest road somewhere in Estonia. Estonia road trip itinerary

Road Trip Extension

You can explore the region even further and head on an epic road trip across the Baltics! See the best of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, with this Rentalmoose travel guide. It’s an ideal summer getaway.

How long does it take to complete this road trip?

The total driving distance is 612km / 380mi and the duration is about 8 hours. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway! I recommend taking 4 days for this trip so you could fully enjoy all the facilities different manors have to offer.

When you just want to visit the manors without using the experiences then it’s possible to finish the road trip in 2-3 days as well.  

Just in case to avoid any future misunderstandings, don’t forget to use the Rentalmoose app to take photos of the condition of the car when receiving it. Check-in photos before starting your journey qualify for a 50% rebate from the excess coverage fee. 

Can tourists drive in Estonia?

Yes! Estonia – the country where Rentalmoose, Skype, and TransferWise all come from – accepts most of the driving licenses in the world. International Driving Permits (click to learn all about them) are not mandatory when driving in Estonia.

You can take your rental car from the Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport and drop it off at the same place. Find your suitable rental car for the journey via Rentalmoose.

Our airport (called Lennart Meri after our very loved second president, may he rest in peace) is in the capital city – Tallinn. And this is our first stop on this trip.

So let’s start the exciting journey on the trails of history!

Tallinn & Kadriorg Palace

Rental Moose mascot posing with church tower in Tallinn, Estonia. Best things to do in Tallinn Estonia with Rentalmoose

The capital city Tallinn is the biggest city in Estonia, yet it’s still so small compared to other countries. The population in Estonia is 1,3 million and about 426,538 people live in Tallinn. 

What can’t you miss in Tallinn?

Old Town

 If you have more time on hand, I definitely suggest exploring Tallinn as well. The old town is very lovely but tends to get crowded from tourists during summer. Check out Tales Of Reval for daily free tours of Tallinn’s old town.

Still, it’s a great place to have a walk and lunch on the terraces of the amazing restaurants that we have here! For example Ore or Chedi, an Asian restaurant just next to Ore. 


The route I planned will also take you to Kadriorg, a very nice area in Tallinn with cute wooden houses. It’s quite a fancy area I must say – even the Presidential Palace is there and it is no surprise – The Palaces and the park with the flowers and the ponds with swans swimming around are truly gorgeous. 

Kadriorg Palace

Kadriorg Palace is a Petrine Baroque palace built for Catherine I of Russia by Peter the Great. Both the Estonian and the German name for the palace (and the area!) means “Catherine’s valley”. It’s located just next to the President Palace. So this will be our first manor stop. Nowadays, the palace is a location for the art museum.


Just a little walk from the palace there is a new, huge modern art museum called KUMU. Kumu is the headquarters of the Art Museum of Estonia, as well as the largest and most impressive exhibition venue in Estonia. The venue has also been used for different events and parties.


I’ll see you in the beginning, friend. ##timefortenet ##tenet ##tenetmovie ##tenetfilm

♬ original sound – The Moose

Which hotel in Tallinn should you pick?

In the Old Town

If you decide to spend the night (or a few) in Tallinn, then the best hotel options in the old town would be The Three Sisters Boutique Hotel and Telegraaf hotel. 

Outside of the Old Town

The newest hotel we have is the Hilton but this is not in the old town, more like a modern glass building in a new city. A popular modern hotel option is also the Swissotel

After spending the day in the old town and Kadriorg (both are the most expensive areas to live in Tallinn), you should put a new location in the GPS and head east.

Next: Vihula manor, 1 hour

Vihula Manor

Vihula Manor Country Club and Spa, renovated manor turned into a luxury getaway in northern Estonia. White building with red roof in front of a green garden. Green apple branch and apples in the foreground.
Vihula Manor, photo by Unique Hotels/

 There are actually 3 different great manors in the very small area here. The driving distance between the three is less than 10 minutes and exactly on the way, so you don’t have to take a detour to see them all.

Palmse Manor

The first of the three manors is called Palmse manor. They have a restaurant, a manor museum (with a ticket) and a guesthouse. As of mid-2020, the entry ticket costs 9 euros per adult and 7 euros for children. Guided tours are available at an extra price

Sagadi Manor

Another one is Sagadi manor – it has been said that Sagadi looks the most like a true manor in Estonia. They offer the same experiences as Palmse does, though the prices are lower. As of mid-2020, admission to the museum costs 4 euros per adult and 2 euros per student.

Vihula Manor

The third one is the elegant Vihula Manor Country Club & Spa. It is renovated but still has the steep stairs, old original wooden floors, and wide stone walls from the 16th century. But it also has all the modern luxuries one can wish for.

Is Vihula Manor worth visiting?

Of course! Vihula’s renovation has been the latest of the three, it has everything the other two offer but also a spa – a pool, sauna, massages and beauty treatments. So for these reasons, I recommend visiting the first two and staying in the third one! 

They also have many activities you can enjoy in nature – like renting a boat for a little ride across their lakes or playing minigolf. The staff can help you organise a picnic in the forests, for example.

Then there are museums and different workshops and they also have different tours – even one with a horse carriage to make you feel like living the real old manor life. 

After these activities, you can go swimming in the pool or use the sauna or treat yourself to a really luxurious massage or beauty treatment. A perfect end to the evening would be in their most beautiful restaurant, and if you’re lucky – accompanied by live piano music. 

Next: Saka manor, 1 hour

Saka Manor

saka manor in estonia. Beautiful, renovated manor now hosts a stylish hotel. Elegant, white exterior and a decorative lawn lined with flowers in front of the building.
The elegant Saka Manor. Nosser/Wikimedia Commons

 Ready to drive closer to the Russian border? Our next manor, Saka, is located on the East of Estonia. The manor was reopened in 2010, before that it was just being forgotten and deserted (as so many manors in Estonia still are, unfortunately). 

The manor was bought by a private owner, the property underwent a full renovation and opened its doors to the public. The bright white manor works as a hotel with wellness and spa areas.

What can you do in Saka Manor?

There is quite a lot to do here – play tennis or arrow games, walk in the 19th-century manor park, or have a picnic out in the fresh air. Or go hiking – the nature here is wonderful as the manor is located on the Northern-Estonian highest cliff (up to 55 metres). 

There are also wild forests with many waterfalls closeby. Great hiking trails will get you everywhere – these are also possible to ride through with a bike (available to rent from the manor). Below the cliff, there is a wonderful white sand beach. 

Before you could only see the beach from the cliffs as there were no stairs to get there, but the new owner changed that. He built a stairway that brought a high architectural award to its architect.

Optional detour to Narva

From Saka manor it’s about a 50-minute drive to the Estonian-Russian border and the last city before Russia, called Narva. This roadtrip won’t take you there as it will make you turn to the South instead. 

The trip to Narva is optional – you can actually see Russia from Narva – it’s just across the river (river being the border). Unfortunately, you can’t visit Russia without a visa.

Next: Mäetaguse manor, 30 minutes

Mäetaguse manor

maetaguse manor in estonia. Grand, restored manor has been renovated and turned into a hotel with lots of attractions and activities for its guests. Bright, symmetrical facade with a large balcony and neatly-cut lawn in front. Cloudy day in estonia
Maetaguse Manor by Amadvr/Wikimedia Commons.

Mäetaguse manor is on the list because of the different interesting activities they offer. To fully enjoy them all, it’s good to stay here for the night. 

What are some of the attractions in Mäetaguse Manor?

The manor has hotel rooms, a restaurant and a spa but it also offers the options to play disc golf, a visit to the sauna (which can be turned into an enjoyable sauna ritual, combining a pleasant sauna and hot tub experience with skin exfoliation, nutrition, and moisturization. To do that, the special instructor will teach you in the private sauna how to make body scrubs and sauna masks from expedient means.). 

You can also have a picnic on the bog on the bank of the Seli lake and a course to make dumplings – which has become Mäetaguse manor hotel’s most popular activity.

Handicrafts activities

It is up to you to decide the shape of dumplings you want to get, either with beef, potatoes, or mushroom stuffing. 

The hotel has a very conveniently located nice handicrafts workshop right across the yard, where you can engage in a number of exciting handicrafts activities – in addition to making dumplings, there is a ceramics workshop, glass-making classes, sewing, and blacksmithing and carpentry workshops. 

You won’t feel boredom in that place, that’s for sure!

Next: Alatskivi castle, 1 hour

Alatskivi Castle

Alatskivi castle, estonia. The white fairytale-like castle has been turned into a hotel and museum. Alatskivi Castle is in the middle of the Onion Route. Bright, white facade with a castle tower on each side of the building, blue roof, surrounded by trees. Clear, blue sky
Alatskivi Castle looks like it belongs in a fairy tale! Rauno Kalda/Wikimedia Commons

The Alatskivi castle is located in a 16th-century manor house. This is the true fairytale castle! I mean – Walt Disney would be jealous if he saw the one in Alatskivi. 

Alatskivi has very classical wooden furniture in its rooms. By the way – if you want to feel like a real princess or king, book yourself a room at their tower! 

The lakes

Just 200 meters away there is the Alatskivi lake, and 3km / 1,8mi away there is the biggest lake in Estonia – Peipus (Peipsi in Estonian). It does look like a sea from the beaches there and the Russian border goes through the lake, half of it actually belongs to Russia. 

The Onion Route

The Alatskivi castle is located in the middle of The Onion Route. The Onion Route is in fact a chain of meandering villages on the shore of the Lake Peipus, inhabited both by Estonians and Russians living side by side, and which is famous for its rich cultural diversity and, yes you guessed right – for its very tasty onions. Read more about the activities in The Onion Route here.

Next: Põhjaka manor, 1 hour 30 minutes

Põhjaka manor

Rental Moose mascot posing with the colorful door of Pohjaka manor in Estonia. See the manors of estonia during our road trip itinerary.

Põhjaka manor is, together with Kadriorg Palace, a manor that does not work as a hotel. The whole building still has a rustic feel to it. But this place does work as a restaurant – and it’s one of the greatest in Estonia! 

The history of the Manor

What they say about themselves: “When the three chefs Märt, Ott and Joel discovered Põhjaka Manor in the early spring of 2007, the building, dating back to the year 1820, was in a rather poor condition. 

Windows and doors had been veneered and boarded up, half of the wood flooring was stolen, the fine stoves had been plundered and carried away.

Despite all this, the chefs were convinced that the old manor would be the perfect place to open a restaurant. It took them three years to construct and renovate the building with their own hands. Sometimes friends came to help and so the manor was given the new shape as one can see today.

The home of delicious Estonian cuisine

The restaurant was opened in 2010. By now, the chefs have proven to everyone (themselves included) that is it possible to prepare delicious food using nothing else but local Estonian raw material, being thus wholly dependent on seasons. 

 Therefore, in the winter more filling meals are prepared, during the summertime they serve lighter food – all the fresh and green that our fields and forests have to offer. 

“Not to mention the vast amounts of preserves that are stored in our cellar, so that the juices, compotes and jams could be enjoyed in the winter! Much game is used in our kitchen. By now we have our own garden and farmland, as well as a chicken coop. From this spring also four piglets can be heard oinking in the yard.”

It’s definitely worth a visit for a great lunch! Notice that they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

Rentalmoose order tip: Make yourself a favor and try their Napoleon cake aka Mille Feuille – one of the best in the world!

Next: Kau manor, 30 minutes

Kau manor

Rental Moose mascot posing with the grand entrance to Kau Manor in Estonia. See the best manors in estonia on our road trip itinerary, the best things to do in estonia

 Kau manor is one of the most special manors in all of Estonia. It belongs to private owners who have done a very different interior design from the other manors, it’s even kind of exotic and eclectic because most of the furnishings have been bought from the different corners of the world where the owners have traveled. 

Kau is at once an art center, an academy, a pristine nature preserve, and a boutique hotel and restaurant. Just so you could explore more of this place, Rentalmoose suggests spending the night here. 

Every item in this manor has a story to tell and the hosts are more than happy to share these with you. Kau is the perfect retreat to enjoy nature, gastronomy and culture in their highest forms. 

Rental Moose mascot posing with Kau Manor in Estonia during autumn. See the best manors and castles in estonia on our road trip itinerary.

Next: Laitse castle, 1 hour

Laitse castle

Laitse Castle is a knight's castle transformed into a guesthouse in Estonia. Exterior of the building covered by stone, tower on the left edge of the building and medieval architecture. surrounded by green trees and a lawn.
Ren12/Wikimedia Commons

Laitse castle is not just a castle – but a knight’s castle, like the ones in the wide world. 

What is the history of Laitse Castle?

The story is the same as with most manors, it used to be full of life, everyone was welcome here – travelers, merchants, artisans, and dandies from the city.

There were foods and drinks for everyone, and beds to let the weary ones rest. Time passed, and the land was ravaged by great floods, conflagrations, and wars. 

Rulers changed and the stones of Laitse Castle started to crumble, its beams started to rot. Then one day, a court jester with his faithful wife happened to pass by. Two lovers looking for a place to dream. 

From the very first sight, they fell in love with the castle and decided to stay there. Under the stewardship of the new proprietors, the appearance of the castle began to slowly restore itself. 

 And once again the castle welcomes all travelers, merchants, lovers, and other good people. The exuding romance and allure of Laitse castle make a unique and royal experience for the visitors. 

The Attractions

This fairytale old castle offers a variety of activities for families, for those in love, for gourmands, for colleagues or for thrill-seekers. Yes – for thrill-seekers, as the place hosts an evening of murder mysteries. The evening with 4-course dinner and role-play is like traveling back in time – people wearing costumes from different eras. 

Murder mystery dinner parties

There is a dinner party during which murder happens – everyone can find their inner Poirot to solve the murder mystery. People stay in roles the whole evening. 

How the evening takes its course depends on the contribution of each participant. The game is run by experienced and clever game hosts. If you are traveling with a group, it’s possible to order the murder mystery game night just for your group. More information on their website here.

Rentalmoose insider tip: When participating in the game night it’s recommended to stay in the hotel for the night as they also offer alcoholic drinks at the dinner and the evening will end late. 

If you wish to visit then there is another manor en route from Kau to Laitse. It’s called Saue manor and it also works as a hotel. 

Next: Joa castle, 30 minutes

Keila-Joa Castle

Keila Joa Castle seen during sunset on a cold winter day. The bright castle and the park surrounding it has a bit of snow. Winter day in Estonia
Elvis Antson/Wikimedia Commons

 Keila-Joa manor is the last manor on the road trip list and it’s one of the newest and trendiest of all Estonian manors.  

 Its name is Keila-Joa Schloss Fall and it’s also actually more like a castle. The extensive renovation on the Neo-Gothic castle ended in 2013 and then it opened its doors to the public. 

The property


The boutique hotel was opened just in 2016 – offering time-true and stylishly furnished luxury suites, an excellent restaurant and a winery with well-chosen wines. It also includes a fascinating museum where different exhibitions are displayed and many concerts and theatres are held. 

The cuisine

Of course, there is an elegant fine dining restaurant Cher Ami. “Cher Ami” aka “Dear Friend” – that is how all the letters between Tsar Nikolai I and the manor owner Alexander von Benckendorff begun and that is how the Keila-Joa Castle restaurant’s head chef invites the visitors to enjoy the exquisite flavors. Check the menu here.


There are both guided tours or the possibility to visit the manor or its museum separately. Of course, there is a small ticket price. But do check their website because on some dates the castle might be booked for events and be closed – the venue is popular for weddings and other big festivities. 

From Keila-Joa it’s only about 30 minutes’ drive to get back to Tallinn. 


Once you’ve arrived back in Tallinn, you can drop your rental car off to Tallinn Airport. Tallinn doesn’t have many direct flights but there are good connecting flights through Helsinki and Riga. Browse through car rental options that support airport drop-off via Rentalmoose.

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