Searching for a wildlife-filled spring getaway? Whether you want to admire exotic orchids, listen out for birdsong or spot a blue whale in the wild, Europe has something to offer. James Lowen, author of 52 European Wildlife Weekends, discusses the highlights.Read more...
Estonia - At a glance
Estonia at a glance
Location Northern Europe; borders with Russia and Latvia. Tallinn, the capital, is 85km from Helsinki, 320km from St Petersburg, and 1,800km from London.
Climate Winter temperatures range between –5 and 5°C although shortspells of much colder weather also occur. Summer temperatures of 20°C are normal, though occasionally temperatures reach 30°C. There is no identifiable rainy season.
Status Parliamentary democracy
Population 1,286,540 (2012 census)
Life expectancy Men 65, women 75
Capital Tallinn (420,000 inhabitants)
Major towns Tartu (98,000), Narva (63,000), Kohtla-Järve (39,000), Pärnu (42,000)
(Photo: A wooden vessel in the harbour in Tallinn © KSLight, Shutterstock)
Administrative divisions 15 counties (maakond), 193 townships (vald)
People Ethnic Estonian 68%, ethnic Russian 25%, other racial backgrounds 7%
Language Estonian, a member of the Finno-Ugric group
Religion Predominantly Lutheran, though all major faiths are represented in the population
Currency Euro divided into 100 cents; for up-to-date exchange rates, go to www.xe.com.
National airport/airline Tallinn/Estonian Air
International dialling code +372
Time GMT and BST +2hrs
Electricity 220 volts, 50Hz
Flag Horizontal blue–black–white
National anthem ‘Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm’ (My fatherland, my joy and happiness)
National flower Cornflower
National bird Barn swallow
Public holidays 1 January (New Year), 24 February (Independence Day), Good Friday, 1 May (May Day), 23 June (Victory Day), 24 June (Midsummer), 20 August (Re-Independence Day), 25 and 26 December (Christmas)