COORDINATES: Latitude 60°-58° N – Longitude 22°-28° E
SURFACE: 45.227 km2
BOUNDARIES: 1445 Km of which 764 maritime and 681 terrestrial. It borders Russia in the East, Latvia in the South, and the Baltic Sea in the North and in the West.
Estonia has a surface lightly extended than Denmark and Holland and lies on the level northwestern part of the rising east European platform. The territory of Estonia, shaped by the glaciations which took place during the Quaternary Ice Age, has a multitude of natural and artificial lakes and three important rivers: Narva and Parnu – that flow across the homonymous cities – and Emajogi, the longest Estonian river with a length of 200 km. The Northern part of Estonia is characterized by a wide and thick chalky territory.
One of the most amazing tourist attractions in Estonia is represented by the Baltic Glint. This peculiar geological reality depends on a fracture which took place during the Paleozoic Era. A long series of chalky mountains extend from Sweden to Russia. More than one third of these reliefs are under the sea surface. Along the North coast of Estonia, this phenomenon is particularly evident and spectacular, with sea cliffs often more than forty metres high. Almost the 50% of the territory is occupied by woods, while the 20% is occupied by marshy areas. There are also a lot of islands (more than 1500) most of which are very little and unmanned. The two largest islands are Hiiumaa and Saaremaa. With a territory mainly occupied by pines and junipers, they offer their visitors a particular rural environment, very small villages, lighthouses, windmills and an almost unspoiled coast. The largest lakes of the Baltic area are localized in Estonia. The lake Peipsi, which borders Russia is, the fifth European lake as far as concerns dimensions. It is possible to distinguish three landscape areas. In the North there is the asar area. The asar are long ridges of glacial origin which rise for few metres on a mostly marshy territory. Central Estonia is characterized by hills alternating with mostly little lake basins. Southern Estonia is characterized by a very different morphology, which includes broad morainic deposits and an alternation of depressions and little hills.
GEOLOGICAL ASPECT OF THE TERRITORY
The geological aspect of Estonian territory is of paleozoic origin. The coast is characterized by limestones and dolomitic outcrops. During the Quaternary glaciation, Northern Estonia was completely covered with ice, while in the Southern part of the Country glaciation had a lower impact, by favoring the sedimentation of morainic materials. Immediately after the glaciation a considerable part of the territory was flooded by lakes. Estonia has a relevant number of craters formed by meteorites. The most important one, whose name is Kaali, is located on the Island of Saaremaa. Over the centuries this crater has become a lake with a diameter of more than 100 meters and a depth of 22 meters.
Estonia is rich in superficial waters with many lakes and marshes. The rivers are not very long and rarely navigable. The most important one are Narva Jogi and Ema Jogi. The Ema Jogi feeds lake Vorts, crosses a picturesque valley of glacial origin near the city of Tartu and flows into lake Peipus, whose waters connect to the Baltic Sea through the Narva River. It is worth mentioning The Pärnu River that crosses the country from the northeast to the southwest and flows in the homonymous cities. The principal lakes are Lake Peipus (shared with the Russian Federation), Lake Vorst and Lake Ülemiste located in the southern part of Tallinn.