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After 7 centuries of German, Danish, Swedish, Polish and Russian rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918.
Forcefully annexed into the USSR in 1940, it re-gained independence in 1991 through its Singing Revolution , a non-violent revolution that overthrew an initially violent occupation.
All national and public holidays are a day off for workers in general, but most convenience stores remain open during regular hours.
Estonia itself is divided into 15 counties (or maakonnad, singular - maakond).
West Estonia and Islands West Estonia is well known for its resorts, Haapsalu and Pärnu (the summer capital of Estonia), and its islands (Saaremaa and Hiiumaa being the biggest). Noarootsi and the islands of Ruhnu and Vormsi have been (and are) inhabited by coastal Swedes.
Estonia is a Baltic gem offering visitors the chance to see a tiny dynamic land on the shores of the Baltic Sea.
Since the last Russian troops left in 1994, Estonia moved to promote economic and political ties with Western Europe.
It is now one of the more-prosperous former communist states, enjoying a high-tech environment, an open and liberal economy and a transparent government system.
However, to bring out the unique characteristics of Estonia, we use 4 distinctive regions in this guide.
As the country is small, most destinations can be reached within a couple of hours from Tallinn.
Glorious beaches pepper the extensive coastline, although the swimming season is short.