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Bus or rental car to Saaremaa?

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Nuangola...
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Bus or rental car to Saaremaa?

My husband and I are coming to Tallinn the first week of October and we decided we would like to spend one night in Kuressaare. I'm torn between taking the bus or driving ourselves.

We want to explore Saaremaa and also check out Muhu. Will that be hard without a car? Will there be buses we can catch to see most of the sights on the two islands?.

If we do decide to rent a car is the drive from Tallinn tricky? In early October will getting our car on the ferry be a hassle?

Any pros and cons you can think of?

Thanks in advance.

gxp
Niagara
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1. Re: Bus or rental car to Saaremaa?

Rent a car. The drive is straight forward once you get out of Tallinn. I would suggest renting a GPS with the car to make finding your way a lot easier.

No problem with the ferry, especially in October. Even in the summer the new ferries can handle the traffic, though there is a peak time in June where you may have to wait during Jaanipaev.

You will need a car to see the sights unless you stick to Kuressaare.

check www.saaremaa.ee/index.php…

Tallinn, Estonia
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2. Re: Bus or rental car to Saaremaa?

Deinitely car. Otherwise you just riding one straight route from Tallinn to Kuressaare by bus.

And please do your homework before your trip, ie. what you want to see because there is not much to see on the main road and you have to turn off from main road.

Helsinki, Finland
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3. Re: Bus or rental car to Saaremaa?

Even in summertime, you are much better off with a car on Saaremaa. In October, it's an open-and-shut case. You will also be able to explore along the way (Haapsalu comes to mind first) instead of sitting passively on a bus for hours.

Trenton, NJ
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4. Re: Bus or rental car to Saaremaa?

A few years ago my daughter and I went to Kuressaare via Estonia Air from Tallinn. A nice short flight. When we got there we hired a taxi to take us around to the main places. It was very cheap. We walked to the castle in town. Very short distance. A day trip by car or bus eats up most of the day driving.

Nuangola...
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5. Re: Bus or rental car to Saaremaa?

Thank you all for your suggestions!

Ok, I'm going to rule out the bus. What do you guys think of flying and getting a taxi to show us the sights?

Avoiding the long drive seems like an attractive option.

I went on the Estonia Air page but did not see a flight to Saaremaa?

Edited: 17 September 2013, 18:33
Helsinki, Finland
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6. Re: Bus or rental car to Saaremaa?

A taxi is fine for around Kuressaare but it would pay you to hire a car to see the rest of the island and Muhu.

Flight information: kuressaare-airport.ee/eng/info/airlinesatkur…

gxp
Niagara
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7. Re: Bus or rental car to Saaremaa?

The flights to Kuressaare keep changing. Guess it's not always profitable. Currently serviced by Avies

www.flyavies.ee/frontpage.jsp?menuId=10

If you fly you, you will probably end up only in Kuressaare as distance and time to north end including Muhu will be considerable. I would still drive.

Also you should check cost of taxi as costs have gone up considerably with Euro. You could look at renting a car in Kuressaare also.

Tallinn, Estonia
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8. Re: Bus or rental car to Saaremaa?

I have, over the years, used the bus, driven and flown to Saaremaa for short breaks and they all have their attractions.

Bus. As mentioned before it can be nice to sit back and watch the scenery but is quite a slow trip. It does have the advantage of queue-jumping for the ferry but the larger ferries negate this benefit.

Car. You can visit Haapsalu before heading to the ferry, which is a nice town with a castle.

Fly. The route is subsidised by the state and is comparable in cost with the bus. If the times suit you it is the best option as the flight is 30-40 mins.

With the bus or flying, hiring a car is the best option on the island but make sure it is done in advance with a reputable company (there are several to choose from). You can pick a car up and return it to the airport, or get a bus into Kuresaare and get the car later very easily (I have done both) if you don't want the car while you are in Kuresaare.

If they still do morning and evening flights you can get a good view of the island with a one-night stay.

Nuangola...
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9. Re: Bus or rental car to Saaremaa?

After thinking it through we have decided to rent a car. It will be nice to have complete freedom and take our time exploring. Once again, thank you all for your help!

Tallinn
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10. Re: Bus or rental car to Saaremaa?

You made smart choice. When you get out of Tallinn choose the road to Pärnu. But you have turn about 20km from Tallinn to right, next direction is to Virtsu. Better to enter Kuressaare in GPS.

When you take ferry, after 20 minutes You will land on Muhu island. So see Muhu island first. But there is not much to see, cause there are only few good roads on island. Before You leave the island, definetily vist minifarm http://www.jaanalind.ee/en/ There are ostrich and kangaroo farm and nice cafe too. It is located little before Saaremaa bridge starts. Turn right, where is the kangaroo figure.

Then go to Kuressaare by car, visit the Kuressaare Castle, handmade shops and old town. Good views to sea anywhere on island. Have a nice stay!