Paljassaare Conservation Area – Where the sea and the city meet
Text Mark Taylor Photos Maria Susanna Poikela
For those of you looking for a little slice of Estonian nature on your short break to Tallinn, its hard to look further than the Paljassaare conservation area. That is just 20 minutes by bus from the central city.
The Paljassaare peninsula lies at the northern most tip of Põhja Tallinn (Nothern Tallinn). The district that includes the trendy Telliskivi and Kalamaja areas as well Noblessner and the Lennusadam Sea museum. But we are not interested in those places today.
The Paljassaare conservation area is a site of European significance for birds. Being home to more than 230 species, 85 of which are protected by law. Making the nature reserve a fantastic place to visit for birdwatchers. There are also two bird watching towers in the conservation area.
Don’t worry if you not a bird watcher. Paljassaare has many paths and wooden boardwalks through the forests, reeds, open grasslands, and rocky/sandy coastline. At the very tip of the peninsula you will also find a herd of cows – something very young visitors will especially enjoy.
But perhaps what is best about Paljassaare, is just how quiet it is. Bar the occasional dog walker. Outside of the summer season, you will hardly see anyone. Making it a great place to truly unwind and relax in Estonian nature.
In the summer months, Paljassaare has another big draw, and that is Pikakari beach. Not only is the beach sandy, it has a couple of big plusses over the other two main beaches in Tallinn (Pirita and Stroomi). This is because, firstly, it is the least busy of the three. And, secondly, the water goes deep quickly, making it a good place to swim – unlike the other two beaches where the water remains waist height or less for 100m or more.
It takes just 20 minutes on the number 59 bus from Baltijaam (the central train station) to get to the conservation area and beach. Getting of at the last stop, “Pikakari”. The bus runs twice per hour. You can also get there by Taxi (for example, Bolt, for around 5-7 euros from the central city).