My first mountain Suur Munamägi surprised me by its beautiful location in an Estonian national park Haanja looduspark. From its tower you can have a nice view of the surrounding countryside and the local restaurant even offers a beer with the peak’s name. Follow my journey to this surprisingly nice mountain.
Date of summit: 18th June 2018 3:35 Travelling mode: Scooter + hiking from the parking lot Height of the peak: 318m Hiking distance: 300m Time to ascend: 5 minutes Map of my hike: Movescount Personal rating of the mountain: *** (6 stars maximum) Beer on the peak: Suur Munamäe vaatetorn ***** (6 stars maximum)
I arrived from Stockholm to Riga on a famous cruise with many partying people on board. My goal was to find a scooter and use it for the visit of both the Estonian and Latvian highest peak. That appeared to be a problem. I did neither find any online renter, nor did the local tourist information office have any tips. Luckily, my hostel reception gave me a tip to a local ice-hockey player whose passion was Vespa scooters. He rented me one.
Don’t bring heavy backpack to your scooter
His advice to drive with a backpack on my back all the way was though not the smartest. Carrying 20 kg on 500 km long journey on Baltic roads was a bit too much for my back, especially because half of the Latvian roads that I used were gravel ones.
The first peak beer
I estimated to travel to Suur Munamägi in around 4 hours (214 km) but it became a whole day trip in the end. I was lucky to come just before the closing time of the tower. Lucky me because I really liked the view. Extra points coming to the lady in the tower’s cashier who brought me a trophy from the already closed restaurant – a cold beer with the name of the peak.
Crazy mosquitoes at Suur Munamägi
What a nice evening even though I missed the sunset! And it could be even better if I had booked some accommodation in advance. Since my enjoyment of the local beer and photography took some time I left the tower at 22:00 and that was quite late to find a place to sleep. My first idea was to sleep by the tower but that idea didn’t end up to be smart because of too many neighbors in mosquito bodies.
I was looking for a more suitable spot then and I found a really nice place on a stand of a biathlon stadium. Thanks to a lot of concrete there was smaller amount of these annoying insects and my sleeping place offered also a beautiful sunrise.
Next morning I came back for the sunrise to finally enjoy the mountain during daylight. Capturing the first sun rays by my drone was amazing.
My tips for Suur Munamägi
- Book accommodation in advance
- Bring a lot of repellent