Ruhnu lighthouse on the island RuhnuSource: Ruhnu Vallavalitsus

Ruhnu island

Ruhnu island, often called the pearl of the Gulf of Riga is the southernmost island in Estonia.

Often called the pearl of the Gulf of Riga, Ruhnu has fewer than 100 permanent residents. This makes it an ideal place to go for a break from the city. If anything interupts the silence here at all, maybe just the sound of the sea. Swedish cultural influences and heritage are strongly felt in Ruhnu. 

Sitting just off the coast of Latvia, Ruhnu is the southernmost island in Estonia. The closest point on mainland is Cape Kolka in Courland, Latvia, 37 km away. Kuressaare is about 70 km away, Kihnu Island 54 km, Pärnu and Riga both 96 km away.

There are two ways to get to Ruhnu island. From October to April, you can take a small airplane from Pärnu and Kuressaare. From May to October, you can reach Ruhnu by ferry from either Pärnu, Roomassaare (Saaremaa), or Munalaid. No cars are allowed, but visitors are welcome to take a bicycle along. For experienced boat travellers the smaller harbour Ruhnu Marina is serving visitors with private boats. 

Ruhnu is home to some unique buildings and architecture

On the island, you’ll find the oldest wooden building in Estonia and the oldest surviving wooden sanctuary, St. Madeline’s Church (built in 1643).

Explore the unique Ruhnu Lighthouse 

On the island’s highest point, Haubjerre Hill stands the lighthouse designed by the famous engineer Gustav Eiffel. It was made in France and erected on the site of an old wooden building in 1877. Today, it is the only surviving lighthouse of its kind anywhere along the Baltic Sea.

Explore local culture of Ruhnu

Experience Ruhnu's heritage at the handicrafts workshop, explore the local Ruhnu museum, and enjoy cultural events at the Ruhnu Cultural Centre.