Altja nature and culture historical trail (3 km)

Lääne-Viru County, Lahemaa National Park

The small northern coastal village Altja was mentioned for the first time in 1465 as a fishing site at the mouth of the Oandu River. Since 1838 the whole village belonged to the Sagadi manor.

Fishing was the way of life, the transport of firewood, trading and salt smuggling brought wealth to the villagers. This money was used for buying and building sailing vessels. There were three village pubs and three shipyards at Altja, two manors had summerhouses on the beach in the 19th century. In 1923 the Altja-Mustoja educational and Cultural Society was founded. 

During the Soviet occupation the traditional village life came to an end. People were closed off from the sea by a border zone, there was a barbed wire fencing and a strip of harrowed area along the coast, boats were sawn in half, burnt or taken away. Families escaped to the West or moved to towns.

When Lahemaa National Park was created in 1971 Altja was found to be a coastal village where it was possible to restore the overall appearance and original architecture. Now Altja is a village where life continues. The unique atmosphere and surrounding nature from the stony beach to river floodplain offer the feeling of past, present and future.

Phone +372 676 7010
+372 329 5555
Type of objectStudy trail
Parking facilitiesParking area in front of the Altja tavern
AmenitiesLarge information boards at the parking area and at the tip of the cape by the net sheds and 8 small information boards on the trail, indication, 2 bridges
Camping facilities Mustoja campfire site, Oandu campsite
Hiking options yes
SightsLog houses with thatched roofs and small windows, dwelling-houses built in the 1920s-1930s, net sheds, village swing, tavern, the natural glacial stone "museum" among which "Altja Suurkivi" is the largest (h=4,1 m, circum.=22,6 m), river, always enchanting sea view from the top of the cape to Vergi Peninsula
Additional information Before going on a nature walk please read the Environmental code of conduct (freedom to roam), rules of conduct and waste-sorting policy
Restrictions The trail is situated in Lahemaa National Park, view the restrictions on visiting here. Additional information from the Environmental Board: +372 662 5999,
LocationAltja, Haljala Municipality, Lääne-Viru County 
Object no. 7 on the national park map
Driving directionsDrive 73 km from Tallinn towards Narva, turn left onto Viitna–Koljaku road and drive 6.5 km to Palmse village, turn right (at the sign 6 km to Sagadi). Drive on Palmse–Sagadi road, cross Rakvere–Haljala road (at the sign 2.5 km to the Sagadi manor) and drive up to the Sagadi manor. Turn left (at the sign 5 km to the Altja fishing village), drive 5 km on Sagadi–Altja road. The trail starts from the parking area in front of the Altja tavern. 
Geographic coordinatesLong-Lat WGS 84
latitude: 59.583056
longitude: 26.111111
L-EST 97 x: 6606944.9 y: 619266.6