ESTONIA – Narva-Joesuu
The exquisite sea side resort of Narva-Joesuu in North-East Estonia in the Ida-Virumaa region is the oldest resort in the country and is situated 200km from Tallinn, 155km from St. Petersburg, and just 13km from the city of Narva.
Narva is a border town famous for Peter the Great’s battles against Sweden in 1700 and 1704 and its 13th century magnificent Hermann castle which dates from 1256. The castle sits right on the river Narva (Narova) facing the Russian fortress of Ivangorod. The distance between the castle and fortress is unique in that it is just the width of the river.
A good road funded by the European Union now runs from Tallinn to St. Petersburg via Narva so hiring a car in Tallinn is an option, although comfortable coaches run from Tallinn to St. Petersburg via Narva.
This extraordinary peaceful relaxing resort of Narva-Joesuu is completely unspoiled and is situated on the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the river Narva (Narova). Pine trees run down to the seven kilometre sandy beach, the longest in Estonia, in fact the entire resort is wooded and long recognised for its healthy qualities. Small roads lined with beautiful houses are ideal for walking and cycling. Cycles can be hired for a reasonable fee at your hotel.
Along with its beautiful parks Narva Joesuu makes an ideal holiday destination for both individual tourists and families. The small Museum on Nurme Street situated in a 20th century wooden house in desperate need of funding is worth a visit. The enthusiastic and knowledgeable curator Lubov Nikkar will make you feel very welcome.
There is a modern well equiped cultural centre where our family gather to enjoy recitals, poetry reading and Chekhovs plays. There is a wealth of serious talent in this region. Just a few minute’s walk from the Hotel Meresuu and Spa is a small wooden Russian Orthodox Church where my ancestors would have worshiped as we do now following in their footsteps.
I was thrilled to discover unique wooden-laced houses scattered throughout the resort. To my utter despair, sadly I quickly realised they were completely and utterly neglected by the Estonian government. Please, save them, Estonia, for future generations! They are your heritage.
Places of interest in the region are the Kuremae nunnery and the manors of Kalvi, Maetaguse and Illuka all over 100 years old and restored to their full glory. I have visited the resort in winter and it is incredibly beautiful under snow.
It is worth remembering that Estonia invented Skype so there is free internet everywhere. In Tallinn there are free connections in the parks. Something else you might like to know is how fit the Estonians are, helped by the fact that every Park in Tallinn has adult keep fit exercise equipment, enormous fun when out walking or running with friends.