All the older generations of Finns have probably heard the Saarenmaa walse, which praises the white nights and the beauty of summer nights in Saarenmaa.
We headed there, too, for a week in June, not so much attracted by the white nights, but by the very reasonable prices of spa holidays. We had been planning to stay in our home country and were counting the costs of accommodation when we noticed a newspaper ad of one week spa holiday for a much cheaper price. We made a quick decision and were on our way just a few days later.
We were met in Tallinna harbour by our Estonian guide, Anneli. During the bus ride she told us what to expect in our destination. After about two hours bus trip we boarded a ferry to the island of Muhu and from there to Saaremaa island and its capital, Kuressaare. Our hotel, spa hotel Rüütli, was in a wonderful place on the seafront, next to the medieval Bishop´s Castle, just a short walk from the centre of Kuressaare.
We indulged in spa life: swam in the hotel full-size pool, took massage, enjoyed mudbaths and pedicure, took peaceful walks by the sea and in the parks and visited the gym. After a hectic spring, we could feel the stress drifting away.
The Tibetan massage with bundles of sea-salt and the Chinese massage relaxed the muscles and the mud bath left the skin really soft. After the pedicure one could hop, skip and jump back to the hotel room. We had luck with the weather, especially on the first part of the holiday it was so warm that we even dipped ourselves in the Baltic sea at the beach behind the Bishop´s Castle. You could also rent bikes but we left that for another time.
We didn´t manage to lose any weight, though. There was a breakfast buffet at the hotel and the centre of Kuressaare was packed with lovely little restaurants and coffee shops. You could choose local or international dishes. We tried local wild boar and duck and the cakes were too tempting.
We also took part in a countryside tour where our guide Anneli showed us the main sights and also managed to tell us widely about the past and present of this island. The lake formed by a fallen meteorite and the story associated with it was especially fascinating.
If you are a fan of night life and shopping malls, Saaremaa is not your place. On the other hand, if you enjoy nature, peace and quiet, pampering yourself and a historical surrounding, Saaremaa is for you. You can do some shopping, too, there are beautiful handicraft shops, and local foodstuffs. We were really satisfied, relaxed and full of new energy when we came back home.
Saaremaa Spa Hotels homepage: http://www.saaremaaspahotels.eu/en/
Some photos from the island.