Visit Muhu for a Quiet Escape
Should the expression “brother from another mother” ever require a geographical equivalent, Muhu island in Estonia seems to fit the bill.
Situated on the northeastern side of its “big brother,” Saaremaa, Muhu is the third largest of all the Estonian islands. Together with neighboring “little brother” islands of Kesselaid, Viirelaid, Võilaid and Suurlaid, Muhu forms is own Parish within Saare County.
Though quite similar to its brother, the 76-square-mile island of Muhu is far less hectic. And with a population of 1,697, and only about 23 people per square mile, there’s plenty of room for film crews.
From Padaste manor, a 16th century spa hotel to rugged terrain dotted with ancient battle sites and tiny, quaint villages, the island offers the perfect mix of cultural landmarks and raw beauty for those looking a rustic vibe. Not to miss is Uugu bluff, which boasts stunning views of the Baltic Sea, and is home to unusual cave-like basins.
Muhu is not as remote as it may sound, though. There is a surprisingly vibrant cultural life: Estonian pop singer Ivo Linna lives here, for instance, which is a sign of quality on its own, at least in the eyes of many Estonians.
The island is famous for the only working traditional windmill in Estonia. The Eemu Windmill was opened to visitors in 1980 and while windmills have lost their economic importance by today, Eemu is still the symbol of Muhu, both on and off the island, enriching the landscape and being the testament for the tough work the ancestors of the island’s current inhabitants did back in the day.
Muhu is divided from mainland Estonia by the Suur Strait and from neighbouring Saaremaa by the Väike Strait. Both islands are connected by a causeway. In winter, you can drive your car to Muhu from the mainland thanks to an ice road that is usually open in winter.
The island can effortlessly accommodate a film production of any size, a fact well known among local producers and directors, as many Estonian films have been shot here.
And just in case you need a little more of an incentive, you should know that filming in Estonia comes with some major perks, like a cash rebate of up to 30 percent on eligible production costs.
Photos: Visit Estonia