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Destination Details

Vormsi, Estonia

Known as “snake island” and previously inhabited by coastal Swedes it was closed off during the Soviet occupation. The unique blend of Soviet and Swedish history mixed with unspoilt nature is very interesting.

Vormsi is located between Hiiumaa Island and the mainland.

Covering 92 square kilometers it’s Estonia`s fourth largest island.

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. 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.

Nowadays 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 bicycleor on foot. Enjoythe 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 12km and takes 45minutes) from Rohuküla port (108 km from Tallinn). There is also a public transportation between the port and the island’s centre Hullos. If you’re going by car, make sure you refuel, because there aren't any petrol stations on Vormsi.

Vormsi is for people interested in rare nature, peace and quiet. It also appeals to Swedish history or Soviet history enthusiasts.

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