Prangli is one of more than 1,520 islands sitting in the Gulf of Finland off the Estonian coast; it is a haven of tranquility, a rural backwater island still mainly given over to agriculture and making a perfect day’s escape from the urban maelstrom of Tallinn. Along with the minute islets of Aksi and Keri, the island forms part of a tiny archipelago that emerged from the sea 3,500 years ago and sits 19 km (12 miles) offshore northeast of the city. It’s just 6.5 square km (0.19 square miles) in area, but despite its diminutive size, Prangli supports a community of around 100 in its three villages of Idaotsa, Kelnase and Lääneots and it has a small museum showcasing island life since the 13th century, a cultural center, a store selling souvenirs, and the remnants of a former Soviet watch tower as well as a sprinkling of wooden cottages painted in cheery colors.
However, the island’s chief claim to fame is its spectacular natural beauty; the crenellated coastline hides little coves and stony beaches punctuated with fir trees; there are swathes of juniper and pine forests, stretches of rolling sand dunes and boulder-strewn silvery seas glinting under the Baltic sun. Prangli is known for its summertime fogs as the heat of the
sun makes the sea steam, while all year around there are spectacular sunsets to reward a day’s exploring.
Ferry services leave Leppneeme on the mainland for Kelnase
harbor twice a day and take around an hour; tickets are €5 (book well in advance in summer and take mosquito repellant).