10 fun facts about Keri Island in Estonia
Keri Island is located just 6 kilometres off the coast of Prangli Island, Estonia and therefore our tour leaders often go there to explore around. We organise tours to Keri Island for large groups as well as private tours with a speedboat. In the summer 2020, we run group tours that everyone can join! What is there to see and what should you know about Keri Island?
1. Keri Island is tiny
Depending on the sea level, Keri Island stretches about 400 metres in length and 80 metres in width, giving it the total area of about 3 hectares. For example, Roald Johannson, an Estonian journalist, circled the island, by jogging along the rocky coastline, with less than 8 minutes.
2. In 2002, the last permanent resident, a lighthouse watchman, left the island
Before 2002, Keri Island had permanent residents – the lighthouse guard and his family. After they left, there is no-one living on Keri Island permanently. An NGO called Keri Selts took over the responsibilities on the island and is organising the life of the lighthouse guards, who are now all volunteers. Normally, a person who is assigned to guard the lighthouse, spends one week on the island after which another person takes over. There are so many people on the waiting list who want to have this responsibility, that they need to wait more than a year. That’s right, people are waiting for over a year to spend one week on the tiny Keri Island, keeping an eye that everything is in order and the lighthouse is working.
3. Not a single tree grows on Keri Island naturally
As of 2020, the species growing on Keri Island have been counted and the results stored in Tartu University’s eElurikkus website. According to this website, 129 different plant species grow on Keri Island, however not a single tree. The trees which are growing on the island have been brought and planted by the lighthouse guards but did not start growing there naturally. The island is also a home for many seabird species, and you can even spot seals near the island!
4. The northernmost sauna in Estonia is on Keri Island
The sauna on Keri Island really is the northernmost island in Estonia, which is great for cold and windy days as well for warm summer evenings. Every visitor on the island can ask the lighthouse guard to heat up the sauna. As the island is surrounded by the sea, you can go for a swim after the sauna. Just remember to notify the lighthouse guard’s beforehand if you wish to go to the sauna. If you can’t bring your own firewood you can buy some on spot.