Matsalu National Park

The predecessor of the national park, Matsalu Nature Reserve, was established in 1957 to protect birds and their nesting, moulting and stopover sites. In 2004, the reserve was given the status of a national park. Internationally known wetland is famous for its semi-natural habitats – flooded alluvial meadows, coastal meadows, alvars, wooded meadows and biggest reed bed in the Baltic Sea region. Bird migration is characteristical to Matsalu especially during spring and autumn.

Matsalu National Park has been awarded with several recognitions. The park has received European Diploma of Protected Areas by the Council of Europe in recognition of its efforts to protect biological, geological and landscape diversity in the area. In 2015 Matsalu with its surrounding area received European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas, which is issued by EUROPARC Federation. This means that tourism development in Matsalu area is sustainable.

Matsalu National Park - Pärnu, Estonia

Matsalu National Park Visitor Centre

Penijõe, Lääneranna vald, Pärnumaa

Tel: +372 472 4236

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Opening hours:

April 15th – September 30th: Monday-Friday 9-17 I Saturday-Sunday 10-18 I In other times open on pre-booking

October 1st – April 14th: Monday-Friday 9-17 I In other times open on pre-booking

At the Visitor Center you can watch 20-minute multi-media program “A Year at Matsalu: Life from Ice till Ice”, offering an overview of the inhabitants of the national park and their activities. There are different nature education possibilities with or without guiding. Penijõe hiking trail starts just outside from the centre and soon a new hiking road – Penijõe-Aegviidu-Kauksi – will be opened!


The protected area has several natural, historical and cultural heritage sites. More information can be found here.

More information about the national park can be found here.

Tour operator: OÜ Kumari Reisid / Estonian Nature Tours





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