SPA & Mining weekend in East Estonia

Happy to announce and invite you to one more area we have not discovered together – weekend getaway to Ida-Virumaa (East-Estonia). The industrial area of Estonia with underground oil shale mines, electricity production plants, soviet style cities – some renovated, some abandoned. We stay in Mäetaguse Manor Hotel & SPA located in a former manor house with relaxing saunas and pools.

We spend two days discovering the area, eating local dishes, become experts in oil shale mining, taking time off in spa and neighboring (abandoned) cities.

Dates for Spring 2022

Trip #1: 30 April – 01 May 2022

  • The trip departs at 9am on Saturday and arrives back at 7pm on Sunday.
  • The trips are open to everybody, so bring your friends and family with you! Places for the trips are limited.
  • Price for the trip will be announced soon.
  • We travel in safe and private group and we stay in a SPA hotel with free entrance to the SPA both evenings!
  • Please take a moment to read from the programme (below) or talk to students who have been to Mareti trips before how much is included in the price. And get your ESNcard for discount!

Programme of the trip

Our tour brings us first to Estonian Mining Museum in Kohtla-Nõmme. We go to visit the underground area of the museum. This is both, exciting and attractive to see – 1km long oil shale tunnels with former mining gears, we will dress up like miners, put on helmets and lights and go 8 meters underground. Unique walk to understand how the daily work of miners used to be here (and still is in some places in Estonia). To complete the visit, we will eat proper miners’ lunch in the underground workers canteen!

To really get to know everything about oil shale, we go to visit Kohtla-Järve Museum of Oil Shale because oil shale is the strategic energy source in Estonia and gives 4% of our GDP. The industry of oil shale in Estonia is one of the most developed in the world. Around 70% of oil shale is used for electricity generation and it makes 85% of our total electricity production. In addition, Estonia is the second largest shale oil producer in the world

Our home for the night will be in Mäetaguse manor house that was first mentioned already in the middle of 16th century and served noble families until 1919. Then the manor house has accommodated a school, rural municipality government and since the end of 2017, a hotel.  Bath-house of Mäetaguse manor house hotel is well-known as the warmest SPA-center, where the air and water temperatures are both around 30 degrees.

Viivikonna village, also known as Little Paris among locals (because of the water tower that reminded Eiffel tower), is now called the abandoned city. The village was established next to oil shale mine and for some time, around 3000 people lived here. Today, only around 50… Those who live here, pay rent to the closest city, and get heating, electricity and tap water. They say they are happy to live here.

Sillamäe on the other hand is a city with more than 13 000 citizens, great seaside promenades, port, and recently renovated Stalin style buildings. The history of this city is as well strongly related to oil shale and the oil shale processing plant built in 1930s already. Later, other kinds of chemicals, for example uranium for nuclear materials for soviet nuclear power plants and weapon facilities were produced in Sillamäe until 1989.

Plan of this weekend goes like this…

DAY 1: Saturday
We depart on the morning from Tallinn (three pickups: Academic hostel, Larsen house, Mere pst 5) and drive towards Kohtla-Nõmme, Estonian Mining Museum. We’ll divide into two groups and according to groups: visit to underground tunnels and the tour OR Miners lunch underground AND discovering the area. After this, we drive towards Kohtla-Järve to visit the Museum of Oil Shale. After all these visits, it’s time to arrive to the accommodation: Mäetaguse Manor Hotel & SPA. We’ll check in to the hotel, have dinner in the hotel and relax in SPA area.

DAY 2: Sunday
We start our day with morning swim and buffet breakfast. After check out, its time to drive towards Viivikonna to see the abandoned city. And then, a short drive towards Sillamäe – to see some luxury life compared to Viivikonna. We have lunch here in a local restaurant and then go to see another seaside resort town called Toila. A recently renovated park is waiting for our visit and after this, it is time to drive back towards Tallinn. We arrive back home later in the evening.

What do I get for the price


  • Comfortable bus transportation from and to Tallinn.
  • Accommodation  SPA hotel (rooms for 2 people) and free access to SPA!
  • Food for 2 days (breakfasts 1x, lunches 2x, dinner in SPA hotel, Estonian food and drinks tasting during the days).
  • Visits to underground mine museum (inside visit with a ticket and local guide), oil shale museum (inside visit with a ticket), Viivikonna village visit, walk in Sillamäe and Toila Oru park.
  • Help from Mareti group leader at all times (of course) + gifts.