Join us for a special experience in Estonia, an undiscovered gem on the Baltic Sea. We'll explore Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and perhaps the best-preserved medieval capital in Northern Europe. Tallinn feels quite unlike anywhere else, unlike Scandinavia and unlike Europe. It's a beautifully eclectic city with a unique atmosphere that's both endearingly shabby and amazingly pretty. The old town is stunning and there's a very hip entrepreneurial tech area which you'll also get to see and experience. After time in Tallinn, we'll decamp to Polli Talu, a traditional Estonian farm complex now converted into a rustic country retreat and center for the arts by Marika Blossfeldt. Marika is a health coach, yoga teacher an award-winning cookbook author. She loves guiding her clients to eat healthfully and lead an energized life. Marika teaches and practices Kundalini Yoga, a dynamic form of yoga, combining postures, stretching, movement, meditation, breathing, and chanting. Our time in Polli Talu will give us the opportunity to explore our passions and connect to our purpose while enjoying a pleasurable time together with blissful easy yoga, delicious wholesome meals, luxurious massages, breath walks and soothing meditations.
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip.
Arrival in Tallinn, the capital city, we’ll transfer you to your elegant hotel in the Old Town. Tallinn in the 13th century was a thriving trading center where people all across Europe came to do business. Tallinn is a fortified medieval city, one of the most famous port towns in eastern Europe both then and now. It’s old town with its cobbled streets is where our luxury hotel sits, a reconstructed warehouse dating back to medieval times and restored in 1758 in the Baroque Gothic style.
After check-in and a refresh, we’ll take a late afternoon tour of Tallinn’s Old Town with our guide followed by a welcome dinner at our historic 5-star hotel. If the weather agrees we’ll take it outside in their beautiful garden.
Stay at the Hotel Schloessle
Breakfast at the hotel.
Today we’ll tour the town with an expert guide heading first to the magnificent Kadriorg Palace.
The Kadriorg Palace was built by Russian Tsar Peter I in 1718 and named Kadriorg (Katharinenthal in German) in honor of his wife Catherine I. Designed by the Italian architect Nicola Michetti its magnificent main hall is one of the most stunning examples of Baroque architecture in Estonia. The lovely palace is surrounded by gardens with fountains, hedges, and flowerbeds, modeled after Versailles.
After the palace we’ll head over the Kumu Art Museum just a short walk away. Opened in 2006, the Kumu Art Museum’s goal is to preserve and interpret Estonian art from the 18th century to current day. Lunch will be taken near the palace grounds at the charming Mantel Café.
After lunch we’ll take a tour of the Loomelinnak neighborhood, the go to area for creatives in the Old Town. You’ll have some free time here for shopping and a bite on your own or with your new friends.
Stay tonight at the Schloessle hotel.
Breakfast at hotel.
This morning is set aside for individual exploration and last-minute shopping in the Old Town having lunch on your own and at your leisure. We’ll meet back at our hotel by 3pm for a transfer to Polli Talu, a traditional Estonian Farm complex an Estonian country retreat and our home for the remainder of the trip. The farm rooms are both simple and welcoming.
Upon arrival you’ll enjoy time to rest and unpack and take a tour of Marika's lovely farm. Settle into your room and take a rest. Soon you’ll realize how restful this rustic farmhouse compound truly is. Here we share bathrooms and live a simple lifestyle with wholesome fresh air, exercise and soak in the beauty of nature.
At 6pm we meet up for a healthy vegetarian dinner in Polli Talu’s dining room, or al fresco when the weather is nice.
After our meal, we’ll take a 20-minute walk to the seaside, where an evening swim will be possible.
9 am Breakfast at Polli Talu.
Today we’ll enjoy an outing to the Matsalu National Park where we will have a picnic lunch in this stunning park which is home to more than 8000 acres of Kasari meadow, Europe’s largest preserved flat meadow. The meadow is an important nesting site for a myriad of birds and waterfowl, so bring your binoculars. We will also take a boat trip through the reed fields and visit the local museum to learn more about this gorgeous area.
After our nature exploration and picnic lunch, we’ll head back “home” for a little rest. For those who want, a meditative walk led by Marika throughout the surrounding area will act as your exercise for the day,
Tonight, we’ll enjoy a healthy dinner at Polli Talu.
This evening we’ll have time for a visit to the Sauna on the property to wind down and prepare for a lovely night’s rest.
Today will be a day for journal writing, reading and walking on your own in our beautiful surroundings and practicing being mindful. Throughout the day a masseuse will be on hand to give everyone a 60-minute massage.
8:30 am Yoga and guided meditation with Marika
9:30 am Breakfast at Polli Talu
Today we have a treat, we’ll work together and learn from Marika how to cook a wholesome vegetarian meal. We’ll help chop and stir and then feast on our vegetable centric meal after our labors in the kitchen. Every participant will be gifted a signed copy of Marika’s cookbook.
1:30 pm Lunch at Polli Talu – some say this is the best meal of all because you were a part of it!
4 pm This afternoon we’ll try a movement class with Marika, a former dancer. Free movement allows us to let go and simply enjoy movement freely and without judgement in our beautiful surroundings.
6:30 pm Dinner at Polli Talu
Tonight, after dinner we’ll enjoy a lesson in Estonian folk music and dance taught by a local music teacher.
6:30 am Early Breakfast at Polli Talu
7:15 Day trip by bus and ferry to Kihnu Island, the matriarch island in the Baltic Sea aka ‘Women’s Island’.
We’ll take a guided tour of this unique island which will include the Kihnu Museum, the Orthodox Church and the lighthouse.
Today we’ll enjoy lunch per our guide’s recommendations at a simple little place on the island.
This afternoon we’ll explore more of Kihnu Island. We’ll experience a traditional folkloric concert led by the women and leave time to peruse the souvenir shops which sell some of the beautiful handiwork created by the craftswomen of the island.
For those who are game, take a sidecar motorcycle ride around the island which is a typical way to enjoy Kihnu.
4:15 pm Ferry back to the mainland
6:30 pm Dinner at Polli Talu
Time is set aside this evening for massages for those who have not yet had them.
9:00 am Breakfast at Polli Talu
10:00 am depart for our day trip by bus to Parnu on the coast of Pärnu Bay on the Baltic Sea.
Pärnu is a resort town dating back to 1838. For many years Pärnu’s spas have offered healing mud baths and various helpful water-focused procedures.
At the Hedon Spa we’ll enjoy a myriad of steam and dry saunas, a salt room, a large jacuzzi and a salt scrub foot bath. This surely will relax our bodies and open our minds. Then we’ll experience a selection of cures whether it be a massage using organic local hemp and carrot oil, an exfoliating mud wrap or a facial. After you will have more time to enjoy all the various hot and cold pools. After our restorative spa experience, we’ll relish a superb lunch at the Pastorat Cafe.
This afternoon you’ll be free to stroll town to shop and explore on your own. Then we’ll meet up to take a refreshing swim in the Baltic Sea at the Women’s Beach. Don’t forget your bathing suits!
After our vigorous swim we’ll go have a cocktail back at the beach front outdoor restaurant at the Hedon hotel where we began the day. Then we’ll do it up right on our last night with our farewell meal at stunning Art Nouveau mansion, which is both a hotel and a restaurant, the Villa Ammende.
Back at the farm, we’ll take a moment to reflect back on the past 7 days of restoration and discovery in enticing Estonia. A new country discovered, wellness restored, and new friends made. What could be better.
Breakfast at Polli Talu followed by your transfer back to the airport for your flight home.
Hotel Schloessle is situated in Tallinn’s Old Town which mean food, culture and so much more.
Polli Talu is a traditional Estonian farm complex situated near the Baltic Sea. Here we will live a simple lifestyle with wholesome fresh air, exercise and time to soak in the beauty of nature.
Your host for this trip is L. Leigh Rhoads (“Linda Leigh” to her friends, of which you will assuredly be one after your travels). Leigh calls the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia home and is a true Southerner, replete with the warmth, manners, and charm for which that region is known. A Civil Rights attorney by trade and a yogi at heart, Leigh has taken every gift of time available to her, between practicing law and being mother to an extremely fun and mischievous set of twins, to seek out adventurous and meaningful travel experiences like this one. She is so looking forward to sharing it with you!
Estonia is a place for independent minds
Estonia is a small country in the north of Europe, bordering Russia to the east, Latvia to the south, and the Baltic Sea to the north and west. Aside from its picturesque medieval capital Tallinn, Estonia boasts a number of interesting sights. Large forests, mystical bog landscape, and caves, castles, and cliffs make Estonia a must-see destination.
All lodging in Tallinn & in the countryside at the farmhouse
All meals except one dinner and one lunch which are mentioned on day 2 & 3
Yoga, meditation & cooking classes with Marika
Outings to various islands and spa towns
A restorative massage by an expert at the farmhouse
All guides, concerts and a sidecar-motorcycle ride
All transfers to/from airport and down to Farmhouse
A spa day which will including one spa treatment (a massage or a facial) as well as plenty of time in the modern spa with it sauna, steam, jacuzzi and much more!
Extra spa treatments
Extra wine beyond what is ordered
Travel and Medical Insurance (required)
Tallinn experiences temperatures from the high 50's into the high 60's and low 70's. It might be ever so slightly cooler at the farmhouse, but it is summertime so bring a light sweater or coat for the early mornings or evenings.
This trip is set up for total beginners in all area. You do not have to be a yogi to join this trip nor to do yoga. If you are breathing and on your mat, you are doing yoga perfectly well. Marika is very kind and will introduce us to a lot of new things. All you need is an open mind and a willingness to try.
As this is a retreat, you'll be served wine on the first night at the hotel in Tallinn, and on the last. However, at Marika's farmhouse we will be abstaining in general. You are free to bring something if you really need it but it's really nice for our livers to take a few days off!
You'll want to fly into Tallinn International Airport.
The trip officially starts on the afternoon of August 9th, but if you are traveling across an ocean to get to Estonia, you may want to consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax and get acclimated to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, please let us know and we will take care of booking your room for you and make sure that you are kept in the same room as you will be in when the trip starts.