Ida-Virumaa is located in the most North-Eastern part of Estonia. It is one of 15 counties in the country and home to approximately 136,000 people. Traditionally seen as an industrial region that supplies the country with its energy, Ida-Virumaa is not usually seen as the first choice cultural tourism destination. However, project stakeholders, the Ida-Viru Tourism Cluster are working to change this perception and the region’s largest town, Narva recently strove to become Europe’s Culture Capital 2024.
Ida-Virumaa is a unique region that over centuries has been the contact zone between Russia to the east and Estonia to the West. Today, it is one of the territorial borders between Russia and the EU. Heritage sites ranging from 13th century Narva Castle to the Russian Orthodox Pühtitsa Convent and Soviet towns such as Sillamäe, offer ample opportunities to engage with this rich history. In addition, Ida-Virumaa offers possibilities to experience wonderful intangible culture through Jõhvi Ballet Festival and Narva Opera Days but also opportunities to learn about different cultures of ethnic minority groups in the region.