The Village by the Sea
Puise is in fact a peninsula that extends out of Matsalu towards Muhu.
Puise is located 15 km from Muhu. In the 20th century, the residents of Muhu and Saaremaa could cross over the ice to Puise and then continue on from there to Haapsalu and Tallinn. Kumari and Papilaid, two small islands where there was once a pub on each, facilitated the journey.
In the autumn of 1944, a group of Estonians fleeing to Sweden gathered in Puise. The Soviet troops were approaching from inland at the same time. Puise was at the time, under the leadership of Otto Tief. The ship en route from Sweden arrived late, so many went back inland.
During the Soviet period, Puise was a port where locally caught fish were frozen and sent to, among other places, Moscow. Fish is still caught today and seven different fishing companies use the port of Puise.
Thanks to its geographical location, the tip of the cape is an excellent place for bird watching. In May, flocks of arctic water birds fly to the beach, and the seashore is bustling with life before their journey continues on to Siberia.
In the last few years, the tourism industry has begun to flourish. Lunches can be organised for groups and the green towers along the seaside can be rented as accommodation.
When visiting the area, be sure to mind the dogs while admiring the gardens from afar.
Puise is located in Ridala County, which can be reached by turning towards Puise from the Haapsalu-Lihula highway.
TEXT MIKKO VIRTA, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV