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Travelling by motorhome in Estonia - all you need to know

What is it like travelling with a motorhome in Estonia? We've just returned home after almost three glorious weeks on the road with our campervan in Estonia, and we've put together a post about roads, traffic rules, campsites and anything else you want to know about travelling by campervan. The quick summary is that travelling by motorhome in Estonia is very easy and enjoyable!

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Which ferries go to Estonia?

There are two different ferry lines to choose from when travelling by motorhome to Estonia - either Stockholm to Tallinn (Tallink Silja or Viking Line) or Kapellskär to Paldiski (DFDS). The first option takes longer, offers more entertainment and is more expensive. The second option is faster, much easier (most travellers are truck drivers) and cheaper.

Baltic Queen
Pleasant ferry crossing with the Baltic Queen from Tallink Silja, with Peter's brother and wife.

Which ferries go to islands within Estonia?

There are many islands in the Estonian archipelago, which can be visited by ferry. The two largest islands are Saaremaa (Saaremaa) and Dagö (Hiiumaa). There are also islands such as Kynö (Kihnu), Runö (Ruhnu), Moon (Muhu), Ormsö (Vormsi), Odensholm (Osmussaar) and Stora and Lilla Rågö (Suur-Pakri and Väike-Pakri).

From the mainland it is usually possible to go down to the ferry terminal half an hour beforehand to catch the ferry, but there are of course special days when there may be a queue. For the ferry between Saaremaa and Dagö it is good to book in advance, at least during the high season. You can book ferries at Veeted.com and on Praamid.ee.

Färja mellan öarna i Estland
Peter on the ferry to Saaremaa

What happens at customs?

Estonia is part of the EU and goods for personal use can be brought in free of VAT and duty if VAT has been paid in the country of purchase. Tax-free goods purchased on international waters include 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco, 1 litre of spirits or 2 litres of fortified wine (15-22%), 4 litres of wine and 16 litres of beer, and other goods with a value of EUR 300.

Motorhome in Estonia - How are the roads?

The roads are generally good and of a good standard. In some parts of the countryside there are also small gravel roads when turning off the main roads.

Vägar - med husbil i Estland

Do you pay motorway tolls?

There are no road tolls for passenger cars or mobile homes in Estonia. As of 1 January 2018, transport vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are subject to tolls, but this does not apply to mobile homes over 3.5 tonnes. More information on this can be found at Teetasu.se(We thought it was a bit unclear what applied to motorhomes over 3.5 tonnes, so we emailed and asked. We were told "No, campers do not have to pay").

How is the traffic?

Estonia has a relatively small population of 1.3 million people and only a limited number of tourists. This means that traffic is less congested.

What is the speed limit for a motorhome in Estonia?

Passenger cars with or without trailers, motorcycles and motor homes with a total weight of less than 3.5 tonnes follow the speed limit signs. On roads you can usually drive at 90 km/h and on motorways 110 (in summer and if you have had a driving licence for at least two years) or 90 km/h. Mobile homes with a total weight of more than 3.5 tonnes can drive at a maximum of 70 km/h.

Med husbil i Estland

When should you use winter tyres?

Winter tyres are required from 1/12 to 28/2 regardless of whether or not there is winter weather. Winter tyres should also be used before and after this period, if road conditions so require. Dual tyres are allowed from 15/10 to 31/3, and if there is winter weather, they are accepted throughout the period from 1/10 to 30/4.

med husbil i Estland
With Inspire Camper 599 in Estonia, summer 2019

Which traffic rules apply?

The blood alcohol limit is 0.0. Talking on a handheld mobile phone and sending text messages while driving is prohibited, but hands-free calls are allowed. You cannot overtake a tram that has stopped at a stop. Roundabouts are often marked with priority signs, and the same rules apply as in Sweden. If there are no priority signs, the right-hand rule applies.

WIFI.se

Can you drive a large motorhome in Estonia?

You can absolutely drive large motorhomes in Estonia. There is a charge for lorries over 3.5, but not for motorhomes. See more under the heading "Do you pay motorway tolls?" (higher up in the post).

How much does it cost to refuel?

It is relatively cheap to fill up, costing about 14.30 SEK per litre (2019). There are plenty of petrol stations along the main roads, and Circle K stations are common. Most petrol stations take credit cards.

Can you free camp with a motorhome in Estonia?

Free camping is allowed, except in national parks and as long as it is not on private land. It is also allowed to stay overnight in a vehicle parked on a road, street or car park. We found it very easy to fricamp. There is plenty of beautiful nature and nice places to free camp. It also generally feels very safe to hitchhike, although of course normal caution should be exercised.

Inspire Camper
Free camping on the island of Kynö in Estonia in summer 2019, with Inspire Camper 599

Are there car parks?

There are motorhome pitches in Estonia, although they rarely provide specific 'motorhome services' (grey and black water drainage or water filling). However, it is common to find rubbish collection, swimming pools and sometimes barbecue areas. The pitches are often marked in the app CamperContact.

Haapsalu - med husbil i Estland
Unserviced motorhome parking in Haapsalu

What are the campsites like?

Many Estonian campsites are simple, but there are also very modern campsites. Some campsites are mainly focused on cabins and tents, and sometimes these are limited in service when it comes to motorhomes. Others have every conceivable service in the form of grey water drainage, chemical toilets, water filling facilities, etc. You can find campsites for example via the CamperContact app, via Camping.info and at Camping-Estonia.ee.

What is the cost of camping with a motorhome in Estonia?

We paid between 17 and 25 euros per night including electricity at the campsite, and 10 euros at a simple campsite without electricity. These prices are for 2019, and we were two people in the motorhome.

med husbil i Estland
 At the beautiful Mereoja Seaview Caravan & Camping campsite, on the north coast

Do you need anything special when travelling by motorhome in Estonia?

In addition to the obvious things like a passport and driving licence, it's a good idea to bring your car's insurance papers. All vehicles must also carry a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher. When getting out of your car on a busy road, you should wear a reflective vest.

Can you manage in English?

Most people we met in Estonia spoke very good English. We also met some who spoke more broken English, but in general English works well.

Tallinns flagga

What is the situation in rural areas?

The Estonian countryside is green and beautiful, and it sometimes feels like being in Sweden 50 years ago. In general, you are struck by the calmness and very little stress. You see farms, cows and cottages. The easternmost part of the country is a bit poorer than the western part, but it is well-kept and green, and people are hospitable.

Gås i Estland

What is available in shops and restaurants?

There are many different food chains and the range of products is fairly similar to that of Sweden, except that you can buy alcohol in ordinary shops. Prices are lower than in Sweden, and you can take advantage of bargains such as chanterelles, raspberries and blueberries. On the islands, along the coast and at Lake Peipus, it is common to sell both fresh and smoked fish. Many restaurants, especially in the larger cities, serve very modern and creative dishes.

med husbil i Estland
Peter shops for smoked fish at Lake Peipus in eastern Estonia.

Summary

We really loved travelling by motorhome in Estonia! The scenery is beautiful, there is no crowding and it is single to travel here. You can read more at Visit Estonia. Here are some reasons to travel by motorhome in Estonia:

  • Beautiful nature
  • Amazingly beautiful beaches
  • Interesting history and exciting sights
  • No congestion
  • Good prices
  • Personalised campsites
  • Allowed and safe to hitchhike
Med husbil i Estland
All our top tips for Estonia. Click on the image!

Programme "Promoting Estonia as a Tourism Destination" is supported by European Union Regional Development Fund.

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