If you think a meteorite can hit the Earth in our time only in a Michael Bay movie, then think again: It has actually happened, and yes, it happened in Estonia.
Scandinavia is famous for many things: saunas, hunting knives, sandwich cakes, 6 hour workdays, Ikea, and tall, blonde women. It is almost as well known for its famous and strange (or delicious, depending on your culinary preference) salty licorice called “salmiakki.” Scandinavia–especially Finland–is also rich in lakes, irresistible lochs and lagoons. But then, there are high taxes and red tape.
Fancy something similar like 1500 dazzling lakes, surrounded by fairy-tale-like forests but don’t have the time for bureaucracy? Welcome to Estonia, the land of flexibility and untouched nature, a mere 20-minute flight from Finland!
If you think a meteorite can hit the Earth in our time only in a Michael Bay movie, then think again: It has actually happened, and yes, it happened in Estonia. According to a legend (and scientific findings, of course!), a meteorite hit the Estonian island of Saaremaa about 7,500 years ago. The result was (and still is) a stunning 72-foot deep crater, deep enough for Norman Bates to finally get rid of that darn car! The crater, called Kaali Järv, remains a top tourist attraction in Estonia. If your movie scene doesn’t include Japanese globetrotters or random schoolkids, then sealing off the area for your shoot is as easy as selling a “Godfather” clapper on Ebay.
Another notable Estonian beauty is Lake Peipus, the largest transboundary lake in Europe (with Russia along its east coast). Peipus, which is a remnant of a body of water that existed in the area during the Ice Age, covers almost 1,375 square miles with an average depth of 30 feet (take note, Scrat and Sid!). The shores of the lake feature unique Russian village communities of traditional Old Orthodox Believers, sights that have to be experienced to be truly understood and appreciated.
If praise from National Geographic magazine is any indication, then do not miss Lake Võrtsjärv for your next movie location. It’s the second largest lake in Estonia, 111 feet above sea level, and fairly shallow. The watchtowers on both coasts will make an ideal backdrop for movie scenes–from breathtakingly romantic to excruciatingly horrifying.
Rõuge Suurjärv, a gorgeous body of water in the southern part of Estonia, is the deepest lake in the country, with a maximum depth of 125 feet. Should your lead star want to fish between takes (celebrities are weird), then he or she can expect plenty of perch, roach and Esox. If kayaking is his or her thing, you could move your production to Lake Pühajärv, another shimmering pearl in the seemingly endless Estonian lakes.
Of the nearly 1500 easy-to-access lakes in Estonia, there’s one for literally every taste and need, and shooting there won’t make you go bankrupt in the unlikely event your flick doesn’t set the box office on fire.