There are various ways to get acquainted with the outskirts of Tallinn, from nearby islands to ancient national parks and quirky small towns. The boulder-littered Viimsi peninsula, only 15 kilometres from the city centre, is a destination for history enthusiasts. Sights include the Estonian War Museum, the Museum of Coastal Folk, and the Viimsi Open Air Museum right on the seashore. The islands near the city are valued natural gems, known above all for their peaceful pine forests and intimate beaches. In the summer, the small islands of Aegna and Naissaar are accessible by boat while permanently populated Prangli Island can be visited year-round.
On land, Jõelähtme is a fascinating parish with a gorgeous seaside and the highest natural waterfall in Estonia, Jägala. The Lahemaa National Park area offers bogs, forests, fishing villages, manors, and picturesque views of the sea. Another beautiful coastal region west of Tallinn is Keila-Joa, with a waterfall and castle of the same name, several historical lighthouses, hiking trails, sandy beaches, and leisure areas. The Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa, in the middle of a pine forest, is an open meeting place for everyone interested in the works and philosophy of the world-famous composer.