Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Visit MATSALU – one of the most internationally recognized national parks in Europe

Estonian Nature Tours considers Matsalu National Park as its home. The founder and CEO of ENT Marika Mann is living in the park and she worked 10 years in Matsalu before started her career in birdwatching tourism. Our office is just a couple of kilometres away, in Lihula. We love Matsalu Bay and wish to share this beauty with you.

Matsalu National Park covers 486 square kilometers and is one of the most important bird wetlands in Europe. It boasts plenty of habitats suitable for use as staging posts or for breeding, including one of Europe´s largest wet meadow and 3,000 hectares of reedbeds, and the shallow, brackish, nutrient-rich waters of the Matsalu Bay which has a 165-kilometre coastline. It is not surprising that avian diversity is unequalled in northern Europe in spring and autumn. And it is easy to see why more than 170 species breed here – and why the north European day-list record of 194 was set in this region in May 2007.

Matsalu National Park / Photo: Arvo Tarmula (Source: online.le.ee)

Matsalu National Park was founded in 1957 to protect nesting, moulting and migratory birds. Since 1976 Matsalu is included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of international importance.
Matsalu National Park is the only reserve in the Baltic countries which has been rewarded with the Diploma of the Council of Europe, which confers the distinction of biological, geological and landscape diversity of Matsalu. The Diploma, rewarded in 2003, is the highest award of the Council of Europe Bern Convention to nature reserves, but simultaneously it is an obligation to provide sustainable and harmonic social, educational and economic functions to the region in such a way that preservation of biological and landscape diversity would be guaranteed. Areas with the Diploma possess high importance in promotion of nature education and nature tourism. The status of Matsalu NP has been audited twice and both times the results have been really good.

Matsalu National Park / Source: et.wikipedia.org

During a festive ceremony in Brussels, EUROPARC Federation rewarded Matsalu NP as the first location in Estonia with a certification of sustainable tourism. The requirement of the certification is efficient collaboration between different stakeholders and interest groups, as well as mutually agreed strategic purposes and activities, facilitating sustainable tourism in the region. Tourism and biological diversity are very closely related, as success of tourism industry is directly depending on favourable conditions of ecosystems.

The area of Matsalu National Park is also acknowledged by the EDEN network (European Destination of Excellence) of the EC.
Estonian Nature Tours is delighted to be included and to have a crucial role in assignation and preservation of several important statuses. Our contribution to setting up the network of tourism entrepreneurs, organising several seminars and study trips and drawing up marketing strategy and product development has been remarkable.

For bird watchers who want to enjoy a leisurely birding break with a fabulous variety of birds, we have on offer a fantastic five-day trip to Matsalu National Park. You will stay all four nights at Tuulingu Guesthouse, in the neighbourhood of the famous Haeska watch tower. The record for the highest day list of bird species from a single spot in Northern Europe was achieved from this tower – 128 species by nightfall in May, giving you some idea of the incredible diversity here.

Common Cranes / Photo: Remo Savisaar

Tour dates are 15th - 19th May/11th - 14th September and you can book flights from London Gatwick with Easyjet, or from other airports with British Airways, Finnair, SAS, Ryanair or Air Baltic.

Invite your friends, contact us, book a suitable period and start packing! 

For more information > info@naturetours.ee

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