Estonian Islands vol1: Prangli

Text: Anu Vane Photos: Hasso Hirvesoo, Prangli Reisid Published: 1 / July / 2018

Only an hour or two away from the contemporary heart of Tallinn, unique islands, where you can completely forget about work, schedule and real life, await you. Spring and early summer, when the shining sun gets warmer every day, is the best time for discovering them.

Thanks to satellites, we found out in the summer of 2015 that Estonia has all together 2,222 islands; not too long ago we would have told you that Estonia has 1,521 islands. Since many of the islands are located just a day away from Tallinn, why not take this one day, and visit some of them? A unique experience is guaranteed! Here we present the islands, which can be reached most easily in summer.

#1 Prangli – pure and active village community

Prangli island is the closest island to Tallinn that has maintained its native population and culture. The island has about 80 inhabitants, and there is a primary school, shop, church, medical point, post office, community centre and restaurant. The village road is as scenic as fifty years ago, and all that you see is real life. Islanders drive different types of Soviet cars, and getting transported in an open-top Jeep or truck is adventurous. The islanders have very strong fishing traditions, and tasting local fish-based dishes is worth it.

In recent years however, Prangli's nice marina has been discovered by the Scandinavians sailing the Baltic Sea as well as the people of Estonia who attend beach parties on the island, and this has, unfortunately, violated the island's uniqueness. Prangli remains in general untouched by mass-tourism though and has wonderful long sandy beaches where one can take long walks and admire colourful sunsets.

Prangli Eesti Saared Estonian Islands Nordica flyNordica Photo H. Hirvesoo
Summer night colours. Photo H. Hirvesoo

What distinguishes Prangli from other islands?

Annika Prangli, (Prangli Tour Leader): "The genuine fishing village atmosphere created by villages bordered by three stone walls. The dwellings of the Prangli people have remained similar to those of centuries ago on the North Estonian islands. The villages of Naissaar, Osmussaar and Väike-Pakri were destroyed during World War II. Vormsi has several villages, but nowadays they are more reminiscent of the Swedish lifestyle than their coastal fishermen. Prangli is the smallest of the islands in the area, so guests can easily grasp its nature. Prangli has also preserved its dialect."

What are the top events on the island during the summer?

Annika Prangli: "The most visited attractions are the Season Opening, which hosts the Prangli run, Fishermen's Day on July 8th, and the night of the ancient fires on August 26th, which also attracts a lot of foreign visitors with the Wooden Ship Regatta."

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Prangli island is the closest island to Tallinn that has maintained its native population and culture

What is the one thing you have to do when visiting Prangli?

Annika Prangli: "Riding in the back of an open-top jeep brings the most excitement, as well as listening to the island's folk tales."

What is your own personal favourite place or thing on Prangli?

Annika Prangli: "The silence, the south shore beaches, pure nature, breathtaking sunsets."

How to get there?

Annika Prangli: "Prangli can easily be visited on your own. From Tallinn drive to Leppneeme harbour (25 minutes!), and then take a boat to Wrangö island. The boat trip lasts 60 minutes, and the schedule can be found at: http://www.veeteed.com. More information on both trips to and events on Prangli can be found at: https://pranglireisid.ee."

Article was published in Nordica´s in-flight magazine Time Flies  (summer 2017).