The current borders of Ridala almost exactly mirror those of the ancient Ridala parish.

The names Rotelewich and Rotalia were used in the Danish Book of Valuation and the Chronicles of Henrich of Livonia to describe Lääne County as a whole – evidence of the status that Ridala held in the late Middle Ages as one of the area’s biggest and most important parishes.

Encircling the current county capital Haapsalu, Ridala today is a rapidly developing local government area and a popular recreational destination for people from the town.

The northern shores of Matsalu Bay, which form part of Ridala municipality, are a favourite site among nature-lovers. The Haeska bird-watching tower is considered the best of its kind anywhere in Northern Europe. The coastal meadows and shallow bay around it attract thousands of birds at different times of year, but especially in spring, when the landscape can transform into a sea of migratory geese.

Puise, Kiideva and Haeska are traditional fishing villages in which fishermen still head out to sea of a morning to land their catch.

Cultural tourists are generally very taken with the archaic church of Mary Magdalene in Ridala, which is renowned for its murals and for the trapezium-shaped gravestones in the church yard. The ruins of Ungru castle are also attractive for their unique architecture and stand in stark contrast to the Soviet era military airfield next door.

Ferries operate from Rohuküla harbour in the municipality, transporting passengers and vehicles to the islands of Hiiumaa and Vormsi.

View on map


Food and eating out

Book accommodation


January 2018
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
European Union Regional Development Fund