INSPIRING CONFERENCE OPPORTUNITIES OUTSIDE TALLINN
Organizing a conference can be a daunting task, and one of the most important decisions to make is selecting the right venue. While a city’s capital may seem like the obvious choice, it’s worth considering options outside the bustling metropolis. Choosing a venue in a smaller city or surrounded by natural beauty can offer a refreshing change of pace from the hustle and bustle of city life. It can also provide an opportunity to break up the conference with exciting activities, helping to keep attendees engaged and energized.
A relaxing event at La Spa Hotel in Laulasmaa
© Kaupo Kalda
LaSpa is located just half an hour’s drive from Tallinn amidst a sandy beach and beautiful pine forest. The unique location, the wonderful surroundings and the wide range of services make LaSpa an ideal place for meetings, team events, conferences, trainings and celebrations. The hotel has 142 rooms, 3 restaurants, 7 meeting rooms (the largest accommodates up to 200 guests), a water and sauna centre and enjoy the LaSpa Wellness Spa.
LaSpa offers plenty of opportunities for pre-and post-conference activities: start the day with yoga on the seashore or a refreshing swim in the sea, take a walk in the beautiful pine forest, take part in a surf or SUP training, play disc golf in the forest or volleyball on the beach, visit the neighbouring Arvo Pärt Centre, enjoy a long dinner at Angelica Udekull’s restaurant Wicca, one of the best in Estonia. For those coming from further afield, excursions to Paldiski city, Padis monastery or Keila-Joa castle are always a thrill.
Host Your Conference in the Wonderful Vihula Manor in Lahemaa
Awarded the title of Europe’s Best Historic Hotel in 2020, the Vihula Manor complex is located in the Lahemaa National Park, an hour’s drive from Tallinn, offering a complete break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Vihula is one of the most picturesque manor villages in Northern Estonia. There are many outbuildings, most of them scattered along the banks of the picturesque Mustoja river, including a palm house, an ice rink, a distillery, a forge and a water mill. Nearby are wonderful sandy beaches, boulders, mossy pine forests and the historic fishing villages of Käsmu and Altja.
Vihula Manor is the perfect place for a unique and memorable meeting, seminar or study day in a quiet environment away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located in an old fence building, the modern conference centre is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. In addition to the conference centre, several other exciting buildings are also available for events, such as the Palm House, the Wine Factory, the Oil Cellar, the Wine Cellar and the Tea House.
Vihula also offers a wide variety of opportunities for exciting leisure or team activities. The most authentic way to discover the Vihula manor complex is to take part in unforgettable tours. You can choose from the Vihula Manor Introductory Tour, the Winery Tastes and Legends Tour, the Golf in a Car Tour of the Manor, and the Hobokaless Fun Ride in the Manor Park & Roads. Vihula Manor has historic buildings and a rich cultural heritage full of stories and legends.
These offer a great opportunity for entertainment programmes and workshops. For example, there is a salt shaker-making workshop; Manor Mistress berry schnapps making; soap weaving workshop; clay mug-making workshop. For more active guests, paddling on the pond, cycling, mini golf game “Tour de Baltics”, and hiking on the hiking trails near the manor.
You can also relax in the modern swimming pool and sauna centre with a smoke sauna, juniper sauna, and steam sauna. Vihula Manor’s wonderful eco SPA offers a variety of treatments for the face, body and feet and hands.
Pärnu, the Summer Capital
Pärnu, a charming coastal town in Estonia, is a hidden gem when it comes to conference and seminar venues. With its wide range of indoor and outdoor event formats, it’s no wonder that Pärnu has become a popular destination for businesses looking for a unique and unforgettable experience.
Whether you’re looking for a conference in a luxurious hotel or a seminar in a traditional Estonian sauna, Pärnu has it all. You can even host your team meeting in a swimming pool or a historic villa, or organize a team-building event on the golf course.
For larger events, Pärnu’s top-class hotels such as Hestia Hotel Strand and ESTONIA Resort Hotel & Spa offer spacious conference rooms that can accommodate up to 450 and 300 participants respectively. For a more intimate setting, there are plenty of smaller, cosy venues available, such as Hedon Spa Hotel, Wasa Resort Hotel, Villa Ammende, and Rannahotell Hotel.
Several exciting conference rooms are located outside the city of Pärnu, which gives you a good opportunity to organize your seminar in beautiful nature. The largest conference halls outside the city are Klaara Manni Holiday and Seminar Centre and Maria Farm, which can accommodate up to 150 participants and up to 250 participants respectively. The Jaanihanso Cider House (the largest hall can accommodate up to 110 participants) also offers exciting event possibilities.
Pärnu offers a wide range of leisure activities. Aer the conference day, it is nice to walk to the beach to watch the sunset, take a tour of the city on a bicycle, or even go yachting at the sea. Pärnu has two excellent golf centres for golf lovers – Pärnu Bay Golf Links and Valgeranna White Beach Golf.
Adrenaline junkies can push the gas pedal to the floor at the state-of-the-art Porche circuit in Audru. Cra cider making can be explored at the Jaanihanso or Tori cideries, while wine tastings can be conducted at the Valgeranna Mamm&Frukt Winery. The Hedon Spa Hotel offers an exceptional opportunity to book the entire Hedon Spa bathing area and the Silent Spa area privately for your party!
The Night Spa is a great way to spend a relaxing and enjoyable time with your team, business partners or friends. Estonia Resort Hotel & Spa even offers a sauna party, where a special stage is set up in the middle of the large pool for live music, and the mood is set by the impressive sound and lighting equipment. In addition, sauna and body treatments can be booked for smaller groups. Culture and nature lovers can take a day trip by boat to Kihnu Island for a tour of the island in a box truck, enjoy sea songs sung by the island’s women and sample home-baked bread and smoked fish. Soomaa offers the chance to go bog hiking and canoeing. Find out more about some of the exciting ideas on Pärnu’s website.
Tartu – European Capital of Culture 2024
© Kiur Kaasik
Tartu is set to take centre stage in Europe in 2024 as it assumes the title of Capital of Culture. This presents an excellent opportunity to display its rich cultural heritage to guests hailing from various parts of the globe.
The largest conference venues in Tartu are the V Spa Hotel and Conference Centre and the Estonian National Museum. In addition, there are many unique venues in Tartu that are perfect for hosting a memorable event. For example, the University of Tartu’s Assembly Hall adds a touch of solemnity to any reception, while the 300-year-old Püssirohukelder is perfect for a more relaxed event. The White Hall of the University of Tartu Museum is one of Tartu’s most popular venues for conference receptions. For a science or history-related event, the University of Tartu’s Observatory or the AHHAA Science Centre, Tartu Nature House, are suitable venues. New popular venues include the Kammivabrik and the Lodjakoda complex by the Emajõgi river.
There are also plenty of exciting activities in and around Tartu to spice up your conference day. Start with a guided walking tour of Tartu’s Old Town or admire Tartu’s street art on the bikes of the Tartu Cycle Circuit. Then visit the city’s many museums, check out the latest exhibition at the Tartu Art House, take a quick river trip on the River Emajõgi with the Jõmmu or visit the A.Le Coq Brewery Beer Museum – the birthplace of Estonian beer. Outside the city, you can drive along the Onion Road to Lake Peipsi, where the Russian Old Believers live. See the manors, the colourful wooden houses, the traditions and the unique nature. See all the activities on the Visit Tartu page.
Since 2017, the City of Tartu also provides financial support for conferences in Tartu. The Tartu conference support aims to raise the profile of Tartu as an excellent conference destination, but also to reduce the seasonality of tourism through overnight stays in Tartu accommodations. To be eligible for a grant, the conference must take place in Tartu, the total number of overnight stays by conference participants in Tartu must be at least 100 and the conference programme must last at least two consecutive days.
Materials used: Visit Tartu, Visit Pärnu, LaSpa, Vihula Manor. Thank you!