In Kuressaare’s Kesk väljak (main square) you’ll find the yellow-painted Town Hall, dating from 1670, its door guarded by stone lions. From the square, Lossi runs south to the magnificent Bishop’s Castle (Piiskopilinnus), set in the middle of an attractive park and surrounded by a deep moat. The formidable structure dates largely from the fourteenth century and is protected by huge seventeenth-century ramparts. The labyrinthine keep houses the Saaremaa Regional Museum (May–Aug daily 10am–7pm; Sept–April Wed–Sun 11am–7pm; €5; students €2.50), a riveting collection of displays charting the culture, nature and history of the island (including an excellent section on Soviet occupation). You can also climb the watchtowers, one of which houses stunning contemporary art and photography exhibitions.

Around the island

Cycling is a wonderful way of seeing Saaremaa, with its alternating landscapes of pine forest, tiny villages and vast fields. Highlights include the 37km route north from Kuressaare to ANGLA, its five much-photographed wooden windmills by the roadside. Halfway along, KAALI village, home to a giant meteorite crater thought to be at least 4000 years old, makes a worthy detour.

Ten kilometres southwest of Kuressaare, you can stop at JARVE, the local beach hangout, or do the 47km down to the tip of the Torgu peninsula, which ends in an amazing view from the jagged cliffs.

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