The northernmost LEADER-region in Estonia is Arenduskoda (Development Center) with its beautiful nature and exciting cultural heritage. It includes  Lahemaa National Park by the seaside, Northern-Kõrvemaa nature preserve and Landscape Protection Area of Neeruti with its rolling hills. Development Center leads the cooperation and joint projects at five municipalities – Tapa, Kadrina, Kuusalu, Haljala parishes and Loksa town. There are active communities and small enterprises in the region, the most important branches of economy are agriculture and forestry.

This area with its pleasurable forests, peaceful sandy beaches, big boulders, picturesque forest lakes and hiking trails is a paradise for nature lovers. See more about hiking in Estonia State Forest: http://loodusegakoos.ee/en.

Oandu hiking trail

Lahemaa National Park, the oldest national park in Estonia is a tourist magnet. It is also one of the most important forest protection areas in Europe. Local tour guides (VisitLahemaa) make the visit to this area perfect. Holiday houses and bigger resort villages offer accommodation, tourist farms have created a sustainable tourism network Genuine Experiences form Lahemaa. Several caterers have the Local Food of Northern Estonia label.

Home restaurant Mer-Mer

Kuusiku Nature Farm

Rich cultural heritage can be seen at old coastal and country villages, rural towns and at two small towns – Loksa and Tapa with their original architecture and history. There are several interesting manors in the area, most famous among them Jäneda, Kiiu, Kolga, Palmse, Sagadi, Vihula and Neeruti, but you can find smaller manors with interesting services and architecture.

Vihula Manor

Palmse Manor

Among important landmarks are churches at Kadrina and Kuusalu, and also Viitna Tavern. The biggest private art collection is at Viinistu. Käsmu village has a Sea Museum, other smaller museums are also worth visiting.

Those, who are interested in military bases, can find exciting coast guard buildings from soviet time here. Small harbors are ready to welcome visitors.

There are many community centres, where in addition to local events, private parties and seminars can be held. Cultural life is very lively in summer, when several traditional outdoor events take place: Farm Days of Jäneda, Fishermen Days at several coastal villages, Võsu Jazz and Beach Festival, Saint Lawrence Day at Kuusalu, Viru Folk at Käsmu, Tapa Sausage Festival, Bagpipe Days at Lahemaa, Loksa Town Day and Aincent Lights Night at several beaches. Fairs at Kuusalu, Jäneda, Kolga and Loksa are all worth visiting. Last but not least: Tapa Film Festival and President’s Hike.

Concert in Käsmu

More information about all these events: http://www.tapa.ee/aktiivne-puhkus , http://haljala.kovtp.ee/uldinfo , http://www.kadrina.ee/atp/index.php?id=240 , http://www.kuusalu.ee/aktiivne-puhkus , http://www.loksalinn.ee/aktiivne-puhkus .

Photos: visitestonia.com, Anne Lius-Liimatainen, Sanna Kuitunen

The project is supported by EU Leader program.

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