SPA & mining weekend

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 in Mäetaguse village. Completely renovated house serves now as a boutique hotel and a popular place for locals to go to relaxing saunas and pools.

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

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.

Trip to Ida-Virumaa will take place  on 06 – 07. November 2021.

Plan of the weekend:


  • 9am departure from Tallinn (three pickups: Academic hostel, Larsen house, Mere pst 5)
  • Drive to Kohtla-Nõmme, Estonian Mining Museum  (2.5h)
  • Division to two groups and according to groups: visit to underground tunnels and the tour OR Miners lunch underground AND discovering the area (3h)
  • Drive to Kohtla-Järve (15min)
  • Visit to Museum of Oil Shale (45min)
  • Drive to Mäetaduse Manor Hotel & SPA (20min)
  • Check in to the hotel
  • Dinner in the hotel
  • Relax in SPA area


  • Morning swim
  • Breakfast and check out from the hotel
  • Drive to Viivikonna abandoned city (40min)
  • Walk in Viivikonna (40min)
  • Drive to Sillamäe (20min)
  • Walk and lunch in local restaurant in Sillamäe (1.5h)
  • Drive to Toila (20min)
  • Walk in Toila Our park and seaside (1h)
  • Departure to Tallinn (2h)
  • 19pm arrival to Tallinn

This is a great way to learn more about Estonia and our resource oil shale together with spa visits and meals.
Join us for this all included trip!
Price for the trip is 165 Euros.
Departure at 9 am and arrival back the next day at 7pm.