Travel Geeks online: beers, bears & beyond in Estonia — 12 October 2021

Join us on 12 October for our next virtual Travel Geeks, covering the history, culture and wildlife of Estonia.

By National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Published 17 Aug 2021, 08:48 BST, Updated 21 Oct 2021, 10:04 BST
Whether it’s journeying across islands, exploring bogs and forests or indulging in its luxury retreats, we’ll be diving into ...

Whether it’s journeying across islands, exploring bogs and forests or indulging in its luxury retreats, we’ll be diving into the best of Estonia at our next Travel Geeks event.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

***This event has already taken place. Watch the recording on YouTube or discover more events by National Geographic Traveller***

You might know the culture-filled capital of Tallinn, with its wonderfully preserved medieval architecture, but there’s plenty more to discover in the Baltic nation.

This Travel Geeks event will feature a panel of travel writers and experts to inspire your Estonian itinerary. Whether it’s visiting some of the country's 2,000-plus islands, bog-walking through an Ice Age landscape, spotting bears in the forests or experiencing its luxury side, we’ll be discussing new places to discover, hidden corners and old favourites.

Moderated by a member of the National Geographic Traveller team, Travel Geeks is just an hour long and offers you the chance to hear from a group of experts, ask questions and join in the chat. Register now to join us from 19.00 to 20.00 on Tuesday 12 October.

Here’s a taste of what’ll be discussed during the course of the event...


With the cultivation and brewing of beer in Estonia dating back thousands of years, there’s a strong tradition of beer-making, but there’s also a thriving and exciting new craft beer scene. Experimenting with local flavours like juniper, moss, birch and rye, Estonian brews offer up surprises even for well-travelled beer-lovers. We’ll also be looking at the culinary experiences on offer throughout the country, whether it’s discovering the traces of Nordic cuisine in high-end restaurants or foraging for the seasonal, local ingredients to be found in Estonian dishes.

Nature and wildlife

With three-quarters of Estonia covered by forests and bogs, and its air ranked as among the cleanest in the world by the WHO, this is a place to escape into nature. We’ll look at how to get out and about in the ancient, tranquil landscapes, whether it’s heading out on hiking trails through bogs, canoeing through flooded wetlands, watching migrating birds travelling between the Arctic and Western Europe or exploring the wild and beautiful coast. Estonia is home to around 700 brown bears, as well as grey wolves, Eurasian lynx, red deer, moose, elk, wild boar and much more. 

History and culture

Estonia’s 250 museums offer up the chance to learn about everything from KGB history to modern art, science and traditional village culture. There are architectural treasures throughout the country, from medieval ruins to lighthouses, manors and castles. Our panel will discuss the best spots for discovering Estonian heritage and how to find the very best cultural experiences.


Jaan Laur
Born and raised in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, Jaan is proud to be a fourth-generation dweller in the city. He’s been a guide for almost 20 years and leads everything from city walks and 10-day camping trips to VIP events. However, his true passion is the Old Town of Tallinn. Jaan is currently studying for a BA in Cultural Heritage and Conservation at the Estonian Academy of Arts to further his knowledge about the country’s past.

Jamie Lafferty
Jamie is a writer and photographer from Scotland whose words and pictures have been published in The New York Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Outside, Financial Times and Time Out, among many others. He was named the Travel Media Award’s 2020 Consumer Writer of the Year. Jamie has recently returned from an assignment in Estonia for National Geographic Traveller (UK) — look out for his feature in the January/February 2022 issue.

Kristjan Peäske
Kristjan is a sommelier and restaurateur from Tallinn, Estonia. Formerly a competitive sommelier, he now runs two restaurants in Tallinn. Kristjan loves a broad spectrum of drinks, from traditional wines to more adventurous bottlings, such as beers, ciders, handmade lemonades and kombucha. Kristjan follows his passion for interesting beverages by taking part in small-scale gypsy-brewing, cider-making and whisky-distilling.

Peep Rooks
Peep has been an avid nature-lover since childhood — he grew up exploring the meadows and forests around his family's country house. After studying social and cultural anthropology, he took a different path and worked as a guide in the areas surrounding Tallinn. In 2017, he joined Estonia's biggest nature tour company, Natourest, and went back to college to study environmental conservation. With Natourest, Peep has had the opportunity to find out more about the nature of his homeland and share his knowledge with other like-minded people.

Jo Fletcher-Cross (moderator)
Jo is a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveller (UK), and is particularly enthusiastic about food, art, theatre, Baltic and Scandinavian destinations, Eurovision, comedy and Dolly Parton.


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