In Estonian, the word ‘soomaa’ literally means ‘land of mires.’
Soomaa is a landscape region in South-West of Estonia. Soomaa National Park was founded in 1993 in the core area of Soomaa landscape region. Soomaa national park is an extensive wilderness area, containing large peat-bogs and thick forests interwoven by numerous rivers and the floodplains that border them.
Soomaa is best known for having five unique seasons with the the fifth season being the high-water season. The waters here are extraordinary. A number of local rivers from surrounding uplands, meet in a relatively small area between the bogs and swamp forests. Once or twice a year, when snows melt across the country, they fill with melt-water and break their banks.
The largest four bogs situated within Soomaa include Kuresoo (10843 ha), Valgeraba (3379 ha), Ordi (7135 ha) and Kikerpera (8775 ha). The bogs are separated from each other by the Pärnu, Halliste, Navesti, Raudna, Lemmjõgi, and Kõpu rivers. Alongside these rivers, floodplain meadows and floodplain forests occur.