EuroMAB 2015 conference in Haapsalu, Estonia - Biosphere Reserves: from heritage to sustainable innovation

EuroMAB 2015 conference in Haapsalu, Estonia

Study Tour to Hiiumaa or Vormsi island

Study tour general information

The whole day event - study tours to island Hiiumaa or Vormsi departure on 21 May at 9:00 in front of the Conference Venue; the light snack, water (water-bottles in the bus) and dinner (TBA) is provided by Conference Organizers.
The participation in study tour is included to the conference fee, however the pre-registration (and confirmation by Organizers) is required.
See below for detailed tour programmes.


Hiiumaa island was formed 455 million years ago as a result of a meteor explosion. Hiiumaa is one of the oldest islands in the world. It is located in the Baltic Sea, north of Saaremaa island and its largest town is Kärdla.
Estonia, Hiiumaa, Kassari Chappel The island is longest in length from Sarve to Ristna – 60 km – and the greatest width from Tahkuna to Rannaküla – 45 km. The length of the coastline is 326 km. The highest point is Tornimägi on the Kõpu peninsula, which is 68 meters above the sea level. This is also the highest point in western Estonian, and emerged from the waters of the Baltic Ice lake about 11,000 years ago.

It's difficult to find anything more picturesque than Hiiumaa. Hiiumaa is well known for its lighthouses, unspoilt nature, Hill of crosses and sandy beaches.

Hiiumaa is the most forested county in Estonia, with over 70% of the area is covered with forests and shrubs. Hiiumaa is located in an area of transition from coniferous forests to broad-leaved forests. Hiiumaa's natural landscapes are dominated by the pine forests, marshy deciduous forests, coastal meadows and dunes, bogs and marshes.
Estonia, Hiiumaa Kõpu Lighthouse The people of Hiiumaa are peaceful and tolerant. They live close to nature and have their own language – the Hiiu dialect is not easily recognisable even to Estonians. The most important thing to remember about the people of Hiiumaa is their sense of humor – they like to laugh at themselves and love all kinds of jokes – especially the ones which are about their neighbours – the people of Saaremaa.
The ferry-trip to Hiiumaa takes 1,5 hours, the ferry leaves from Rohuküla port (10 km from Haapsalu).

Hiiumaa programme:

Departure to Rohuküla Port. Departure point - in front of the Conference Venue
Vessel Rohuküla-Heltermaa
Arriving to Heltermaa Port
I bus Vaemla wool factory;
II bus Kassari Recreation Center
I bus Kassari Recreation Center;
II bus Orjaku port; bird tower
I bus Orjaku port; bird tower;
II bus Vaemla wool factory
I and II bus departure to Kõpu

Travel through Leluselja - wood sculptures, State Forest Management Centre (RMK) walking trails and resting places

Kõpu lighthouse,
Light meal
Departure to Kärdla,
Reigi church
Kärdla – old Kärdla, crater story, artesian wells, gardens and old factory buildings, Kärdla port
Deprature to Soera
Ethnic dinner at Soera farm museum
Vessel Heltermaa-Rohuküla
Arrival to Haapsalu


Vormsi is Estonia's fourth largest island, which is located between Hiiumaa and the mainland. The name Vormsi is derived from its German name „Worms” or its Swedish name „Ormsö” (both meaning „snake island”).

Historically Vormsi was inhabited by coastal Swedes and before World War II more than 2500 people lived on the island. The island's current population is approximately 240 inhabitants. During the Soviet occupation Vormsi was a closed border-zone, where guests could arrive only with government permission and where it was strictly forbidden (even for the local fishermen) to go to sea.

Estonia, Vormsi circule-stone-crossNowadays you can get an insight into the early history of Vormsi from the church built in the 14th century. Vormsi cemetery is the only place in Estonia where you can see Celtic crosses from the 13th century.
Vormsi with its juniper fields, seaside meadows, erratic boulders and lighthouses is best toured by bicycle or on foot. Enjoy the various habitats, like coastal grasslands, reed beds, alvars, forests, bays and lagoons that support numerous plant and bird species. To protect the habitat for rare species the Vormsi Landscape Reserve was formed in 2000.

To get to Vormsi island you can take a ferry (trip is 12 km and takes about 45 minutes) from Rohuküla port (108 km from Tallinn). There is also a public transportation between the port and the island's centre Hullos.

Vormsi programme:

Departure to Rohuküla Port. Departure point - in front of the Conference Venue
Departure of vessel Reet
Arrival to Vormsi Island
Meeting with Mr. Tanel Viks, Mayor of Vormsi Parish
Vormsi Parish House and history
Vormsi today (Smart Vormsi)
Vormsi kindergarden and school
Vormsi Island's St. Olav church and historic cemetery
Light local lunch (soup and cake) in Elle-Malle’s Guesthouse
13:30- 15:30
Saxby lighthouse and shingle coastline
Hill of Huitberg
Prästvike lake, Suurallikas - Life spring project – Mrs Kaja Lotman
A walk on Rumpo peninsula – diversity of species and maintanance of semi-natural coastal grasslands – Mrs Kaja Lotman & Mrs Elle Puurmann
Dinner in local tavern “Krog”
Departure of vessel Reet
Arrival to Haapsalu

Last update 15.05.2015 08:38