Kärdla is the biggest and only town on Hiiumaa. It is located at the edge of the Baltic Sea on the east coast of the island. It allows for a convenient base to explore the rest of the island by car or bicycle.
Hiiumaa capital Kärdla probably existed as a small Swedish settlement already in the 14th century, however, the oldest written record of Kärdla dates from the year 1564. The Swedish word Kärrdal denotes a wet and boggy valley. A more dynamic period followed, after the barons Ungern-Sternberg founded a textile factory in 1829 to produce a heavily milled woolen cloth - broadcloth. The directors' house (the Long house) has survived until the present day.
There are a few bus connections from the ferry station and the other villages. But generally your are best off with a car or bicycle.
Kärdla also has a habour and small airport nearby, which can be reached by private transport. The airport is served by a 30-min flight operated by Transaviabaltica to Tallinn.
It is not big, so walking is the most feasible option.
- 1 Hiiumaa Museum Long House, Vabrikuväljak tn, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Oct-Apr M-Sa 10–17:00, May-Aug daily 10–18:00, Sept daily 10–17:00. It's the main Hiiumaa museum. Popularly known as the Long House (the longest wooden house in Kärdla, over 60 m), the building was constructed in the 1830s as the residence for the directors of the Hiiu-Kärdla Cloth Factory. In addition to the story of the development of Kärdla and the factory, a factory worker’s residence is on display. Various short-term exhibitions are also organised year-round. Winter: €2.50/2 adult/discount, summer: €4/2.50 adult/discount.
Besides relaxing and enjoying the local food and bar, the most interesting sees and dos are spread all over the island.
Kärdla offers the most accommodations around the island and is therefore a convenient base for exploring the island.
- 1 Posti Hostel (Prema Light), Posti 13, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Friendly and comfortable budget accommodation. Rated 4.3 out of 5. Single from €20.
- 2 Hotell Sõnajala OÜ, ☏ . Has a bar, sauna (for 16 people), rents bicycles (€7 per day), has information about hiking routes, and got WiFi. Single: €35-40, Double: €50-55.
- 3 Tiigi majutus, Tiigi põik 3, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. More expensive, but highly recommended.
- Mamma Mia Pizzeria Italiana also has a fabulous guest house, but mid-range prices.